Cal State LA Academic Talent Search


The next Cal State LA Talent Search and Open House will be held March 10, 2018




Students must register for the exam on the College Board website:

Because our office does not have direct access to who is registering with the College Board, please complete the RSVP form: 

Under 13 please contact the EEP office for a paper registration form. 


The registration deadline for the March 9, 2019 SAT is Friday, February 8, 2019. The late registration deadline (with $29 fee) is February 27, 2019 (online), or February 19, 2019 (by mail).

Outreach Letters:

Each of these letters provide better insight into the exam and the talent search as a whole.

Outreach letter for Students and Parents 

Outreach letter for GATE, Counselors, and Principals



Cal State LA Academic Talent Search (CATS) Frequently Asked Questions - For Students/Parents

What Is The Cal State LA Academic Talent Search (CATS)?

The CATS is a talent search sponsored by the Early Entrance Program (EEP) is designed to identify and help very gifted young students. Participating students take a cognative based exam, the SAT. Such tests are difficult exams intended for college bound high school students. It is a multiple-choice examination and covers verbal and mathematical skills; each component, verbal and mathematical, is worth a possible 800 points.

The CATS is held twice a year at Cal State LA, usually the first Saturday in December and the second Saturday in March; dates for the current year are listed above.

Who May Participate?

Students between the ages of 11-15 who are identified by their schools as highly gifted, who score in the top 10% of their class on standardized exams like the Stanford 10, and/or who show extraordinary verbal or mathematical skills are eligible to test.

We ask GATE coordinators, teachers and administrators of many intermediate schools in Los Angeles County and beyond to select those students who they believe would be especially qualified to sit for the Cal State LA Academic Talent Search. Parents and students may also self-select, based on their test scores or skills, and sign themselves up for the test.

Why Participate in the Exam?

There are a number of good reasons to participate in the testing.

  • Many bright students "top out" on regular achievement tests. You probably know that your student is exceptionally able, but you may not have a clear idea of how he/she stands in relation to other very bright students. You also may not know the areas in which your student is strongest or weakest. The CATS testing provides a better idea of your achievement level in a variety of specific areas. In a sense, the normal tests administered to public school students are not challenging and your student likely scores in the 90 percentile or above each time the test(s) are taken. It is as if they are measuring a 10’ tall student with a 6’ tall ruler. The information gleaned from the CATS test should help you evaluate your student’s abilities more realistically and assist educators in planning an optimal program for them.

  • The experience of taking a difficult exam like the SAT provides valuable experience for students who will probably be college bound and who will be taking many similar tests in the years to come.

  • Each year, over 30% of the students who participate in the CATS qualify for programs available at Cal State LA. The Early Entrance Program is a small full-time program at Cal State LA, which provides the very top scoring participants the opportunity to skip most or all of high school and attend college early at ages 11-15, full-time.

What Happens After The Test?

Your test results, along with instructions for interpreting them, are sent to you a few weeks after the test date via email. Those participating students who qualify for the program must notify the EEP office in order to move forward with the EEP application process. 

How To Register For The Test?

Complete the RSVP  form, and complete SAT registration on the college board website. Be sure to select CSU Los Angeles as your test site location.

It is important that College Board receives your applications by the deadline date, as space is limited. We reserve testing seats on a first come first served basis and we may not be able to accommodate all students referred to us.

Please be assured that participation in the CATS is entirely voluntary. Students have been invited to participate because it is expected that they will do better than most people their age and that the test results will be of value to them. You should feel very proud of your student’s high achievement whether or not you choose to take part in the testing. Keep up the good work and don't hesitate to call if you have questions we haven't answered.

We look forward to assisting you. Contact us at (323) 343-2287 or by e-mail to