Academic Center Admissions Process

Fifth Grade

Fifth grade is key. Admission to an Academic Center is based on a total possible score of 900 points, and 600 of those points (two thirds) is based on your child’s performance in the 5th grade. Therefore, strong 5th grade performance is vital to your child’s success in the Academic Center application process.

Fifth Grade Standardized Test Scores (300 points or one third of the score) In the spring of the 5th grade year, your child will be administered a standardized achievement test. For public school students this test is given during regular school hours. It measures competency in Common Core aligned math and reading comprehension. CPS is now requiring all students wishing to test into an Academic Center as a 6th grader to take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test.

If your child who is now a 6th graders did not take the MAP test as a 5th grader, you should contact CPS’ Office of Access and Enrollment to inquire about “make-up testing”.

Your child MUST score in the 45th percentile or above on the 5th Grade Standardized Test MAP in both Math and Reading Comprehension to be eligible to apply for an Academic Center in 6th grade.

5th Grade Final Grades (300 points or one third of the score). Your child’s final 5th grade GPA for the following four subjects will be used in the admissions process:

  • Reading
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies

How it works. For each subject (Reading, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies):

  • A is worth 75 points
  • B is worth 50
  • C is worth 25
  • D is worth 0

Getting straight A’s or a perfect score in these four subjects is worth 300 points, giving your child the full one third of the total points. Getting straight B’s drops the total potential admissions score by a full 100 points and getting straight C’s lowers the total potential score by 200 points.

Recommended Action. Getting less than straight A’s could keep your child out of the top Academic Centers. Focus your child’s attention on getting the best possible grades in these core subjects. If you want your child to get into one of the top Academic Centers, this is not the year to be stretched too thin with outside activities.

Calculate performance. Since identical criteria are used for Academic Center and Selective Enrollment admissions, once you have all of your child’s 5th grade data (e.g., 5th Grade Standardized Test scores, grades, days absent, etc.) you can plug them into SelectivePrep’s Academic Center Know the Score! calculator to determine your child’s total 5th grade points.

Interpret performance. Whitney Young is the most highly regarded and competitive Academic Center. Last year, over 1,200 applications were received for 120 Whitney Young spots. In 2015-2016, the average Whitney Young acceptance score was 862 points (on a 900 point scale), so your child should have approximately 500 points or more from 5th grade performance to be a viable contender for the Whitney Young Academic Center.