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Why Gifted Testing?

There are many reasons why a parent would want to pursue gifted testing for their child or adolescent. One of the most common reasons parents choose to initiate such testing is to determine whether a child meets eligibility requirements for a gifted or academically enriched program. As previously noted, State law in Arizona mandates gifted education be provided for students who demonstrate superior intellect or advanced learning ability or both (ARS 15-779.02). Such is commonly determined by scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed ability or intelligence tests in one or more of three areas – verbal, quantitative or nonverbal reasoning. Gifted education programs administered by Arizona school districts often include “pull out” enrichment services or “self-contained” gifted education programs, both of which have unique admissions requirements that are tied to how a child performs on a nationally normed intelligence / ability test. In short, not all gifted programs are alike! Some are considerably more advanced and academically challenging than others. As such, a comprehensive gifted evaluation is often the best way to estimate a child’s ability to succeed in any specific gifted education program, as well as determining whether the testing admissions requirements for entry into such programs are met. Aside from district administered gifted programs, Arizona has also seen exponential growth in recent years in charter schools geared towards academic enrichment (e.g., BASIS Schools,Great Hearts Academies etc.). Gifted testing can also help parents determine whether a student is intellectually suited for these types of educational environments as well.