When the SAT is offered in December, a 12-year-old Evans pupil will join dozens of area high school students in taking the exam.
Bryson Beckworth, a home-schooled seventh-grader, will take the college entrance exam as part of the Duke University Talent Identification Program for gifted youths.
The program identifies seventh-graders in 16 states who have scored at the 95 percent or better range on a national grade-level achievement test. These pupils are invited to take the SAT or ACT and see how they fare in comparison to high school students.
"My score will be compared to thousands of other kids, including ones who are in 11th and 12th grades," Bryson said. "It will help me better prepare for the upcoming SAT, which I will take in 11th and 12th grades."
Bryson, who has been home-schooled since 2006, qualified for Duke's TIP through scores on standardized tests that he took in the Columbia County school system. He qualified for the school system's elementary gifted program when he was in second grade at Greenbrier Elementary School.
The Duke program gives gifted pupils and their families a better idea of their standing in relation to their gifted peers and insights into the appropriate levels of educational challenges. The seventh-grade talent search recognizes pupils for their test scores, provides them with detailed information about their abilities and introduces them to a network of academic opportunities and resources.
Bryson said he started taking some high school courses this year. His studies include logic, Latin, chemistry, biology, physics and algebra.
"Giftedness is half nature, half nurture. You're born with it, but you still have to nurture it by challenging yourself," Bryson said.
He said he would like to attend the Georgia Institute of Technology.
"When I grow up, I plan on pursuing a career as an atmospheric scientist," he said.
Bryson also enjoys reading, especially books about atmospheric science, and playing baseball, golf and video games.
"But mostly, I'm committed to my gifted work," he said.
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