Matthew Robertson earned an SAT score that would grant him admission to many top colleges. 

But Robertson has plenty of time for college plans. He just finished seventh grade at The Basilica School of Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Key West. 

Robertson was honored recently by Duke University’s Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) for achieving an exceptional score on the SAT, the same test taken by college-bound high school students. Seventh graders who score at least a 540 in the SAT math section and/or a 550 in the verbal section are invited to join Duke TIP, a nonprofit organization that recognizes academically talented students and provides advanced learning opportunities that 

foster their intellectual and social growth.

“Each year, Duke TIP identifies a select group of students as academically gifted, based on their 

standardized test scores. Those students are invited to take the ACT or SAT, which can provide 

crucial insight into a gifted student’s strengths and abilities,” states a press release that invited Roberson into the program. 

The highest scorers among these students typically are invited to a special recognition ceremony hosted by one of more than 24 colleges and universities. 


While the in-person ceremonies were postponed this year due to the pandemic, Duke TIP celebrated these students’ academic achievements by providing their families an at-home ceremony tool kit.

Matthew Robertson was proud of his achievement and said much of the test, particularly the math section, came easily to him. Some of the verbal sections were more challenging. 

“But it was the same test high school students take before they apply to college, just without the written essay portion,” Matthew told Keys Weekly. 

Basilica School principal Robert Wright and Robertson’s mother, Mayed, both said they are so proud of Matthew and his brother as well as their academic achievements. More information on Duke TIP, including qualification requirements for its Talent Search Program,is at

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