Are there specific tests that should be used to determine giftedness?

Districts in Pennsylvania are required by Chapter 16 to adopt and use a system to locate and identify all students who are thought to be gifted and in need of specially designed instruction (PDE, 2000). The identification system is multi-phased and includes three components: Identification, Screening or Selection, and Placement. During identification, also known as nomination, and screening, the district should utilize and review various identification tools to help eliminate bias and provide a well-rounded representation of the student’s ability across time and not just a one day, one assessment snapshot.

Types of some Identification Instruments that district’s may use:

  • Objective:
    • Tests & Assessments:
      • Achievement Tests – can be academic specific (Language Arts, Math, Science, etc.) or standardized tests (SAT, SRA, MAT, etc.)
      • Ability Tests – Intelligence quotient (IQ)
        • Individual: Standford Binet, Woodcock Johnson, Wescher Intelligence Scale for Children, or Test of Nonverbal Intelligence, etc.
        • Group – CogAT, Otis-Lennon, Matrix Analogies Test, Hemmon-Nelson, etc.
      • Student Cumulative Records –
    • Subjective:
      • Nominations by self, peer, teacher, administrator or parent
      • Teacher observations, rating scales, or checklists
      • Portfolios, Performances, Student case studies or educational profiles