The term “gifted,” like most labels applied to children or adults, is a catchall of complexity. Usually, giftedness implies a very specific and extraordinary talent. But that talent may lie in music, sports, writing, language learning, vocabulary, math – really in any domain in which we can recognize unusually accomplished performance.
Parents and teachers often worry about two things when considering how best to support their gifted students.
- How to help them continue to develop their unique talents, and
- How to help them integrate that talent with other skills needed to enhance that talent and ensure balance, addressing the attention and other behavioral issues which sometimes come with exceptional ability.
Qualifying for Gifted Programs
Many school districts use cognitive tests in combination with academic performance to determine eligibility for a gifted program. Performance on the Mindprint Cognitive Assessment can be a good indicator of that a student has an extraordinary level of talent in one or more cognitive domains and might want to consider applying for a specialized program for gifted students.
Cognitive tests frequently used to qualify students for gifted programs include the CogAT and the NNAT. It is important to understand that such tests usually measure “developed cognitive ability,” not the potential of a child to develop those cognitive abilities. In fact, just about any individual can develop his or her cognitive skills beyond wherever they are starting from.
A school district in South Carolina identified a need in some elementary schools to support students in improving their developed cognitive abilities to increase the number of students qualifying for the gifted program based on performance on the CogAT test. Over the past three years, 557 students in the district have used BrainWare SAFARI and taken the CogAT before and after.
- 95% of the students improved on at least one section of the CogAT.
- 12% of the students qualified for the gifted program or for the opportunity to complete further testing to qualify.
Average improvement on the CogAT (percentile rankings) have been very consistent over the three years with the following gains documented in the 2010-2011 school year:
||Average Percentile Point Gain