Academic Center Admissions Process

Chicago’s Academic Centers offer accelerated programs for 7th and 8th graders and a path towards an excellent high school. These schools are some of the highest caliber middle schools in the entire state.

As parents become more aware of Academic Center options, competition for slots is rapidly increasing – and admissions scores continue to increase. Last year, Whitney Young Academic Center accepted only 10% of students who applied! A relatively recent addition, Lane Tech Academic Center, has become increasingly competitive — approaching Whitney Young in the scores needed for admissions.

Performance on the Academic Center Admissions Test is the deciding factor in the Academic Center admissions process. This test contains problems that most students have never encountered. SelectivePrep will provide your child with exposure to and intense practice with these unusual questions. This exposure will be invaluable in providing your child an edge on test day.

Sixth Grade


The Academic Center application form is typically available in early October with a final deadline in mid December. Typically testing takes place starting in mid December and continuing into early February.

You need to fill out only one application form to apply to any Academic Center. Your school will fill in information on your child’s 5th grade performance. Applications can be obtained at any public elementary school or can be made on-line through CPS’ Office of Access and Enrollment.

Preparation and Testing

SelectivePrep’s program to prepare for the Academic Center Admissions Test begins in October. Most testing takes place in January or February.

Academic Center Admissions Exam (300 points or one third of the score). This test focuses on your child’s ability to uncover relationships between figures, numbers and words. It is radically different from other tests that your child has previously encountered. SelectivePrep will help prepare your child for this crucial exam.

The Academic Center Admissions Test

Strong performance on the Academic Center Admissions Test is REQUIRED to gain entrance to one of the more competitive Academic Centers.

If your child scores a mere 99.0% on the Academic Center Admissions Test, then he or she will get only a 255 — LOSING 45 POINTS OF A POTENTIAL 300 POINTS.

To find out more about how the Academic Center Test is evaluated, click pdfhere40.53 KB for a score chart.