Assessing for Giftedness

text "Standardized intelligence tests are generally used to assess giftedness. These tests evaluate probelm solving abilities in verbal and performance areas."

Alberta Learning has adopted the following definition:

“Giftedness is exceptional potential and/or performance across a wide range of abilities in one or more of the following areas: general intelligence, specific academic, creative thinking, social, musical, artistic, and kinesthetic.”

Standardized intelligence tests are generally used to assess giftedness. These tests evaluate problem solving abilities in verbal and performance areas. They also assist in identifying gifted students who do not fit the stereotypical image of high achievement, high verbal ability, or high motivation. Gifted students may also be underachievers or have low verbal ability, learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders or physical impairments. There is a growing recognition and acceptance of multiple identifiers of giftedness and also greater acceptance of these “dual exceptionalities”.

It is important to understand what information is required before testing is done. For the specific requirements for application to the Calgary Board of Education GATE Programs, please refer to the CBE website page: GATE Program Placements and Documents. Within the CBE, limited resources are available for psychological testing. Testing a potentially gifted student is possible within the school system; it is best to check with your school Principal and/or Resource teacher to determine the availability of this resource for your child.

Deadline Dates for Application to the GATE Program and criteria for acceptance may be found on the CBE website.

Private Testing

Many parents of students currently in our program have had their child tested privately by educational psychologists. Costs range approximately $700-$1200 or more. Many employees have health benefit plans that may cover all or part of this cost; some psychologists require a referral by a family physician.

Alternatives for Families in Need

Integrated Services in Education (ISE), Werklund School of Education, University of Calgary

  • Assessments are completed by graduate students in School and Applied Child Psychology under the supervision of Registered Psychologists. Application process is available on the website.
  • Phone: 403-220-2851
  • Website

Clinical Services, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta