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Gifted Programme

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son (who is in 2nd grade, age 7) earlier this year was asked to test for the gifted program by his teacher because he was misbehaving in class and she thought that he may be bored. He tested and missed the IQ portion of it just slightly, but is in the talented program for Math.

He just received his Terra Nova results back, which shows his national scores are 89th percent for Reading, 85th% for Language, 99th% for Math and a total score of 97th%. Does this constitute him being in the complete gifted program? Should I contact the teacher? Thank you.

A: His high scores for Math on the Terra Nova secured him a place in the talented programme for Math. However, it is unclear how schools decide on cut-off points for gifted programmes as each school may have different ways of looking at it which is well justified. Usually the cut-off point on an IQ test that warrants admission into the gifted programme is considered the border and even a few points down may not justify a place.

Having said that, the selection committee may be able to make some adjustments based on special cases, so of course, speaking to his teacher may be a good idea. His teacher would be able to shed more light on how the selection is done. Do also bear in mind that the gifted programme may not be suitable for everyone; the school usually tries to place a child in a programme that would best cater for the child's needs based on their objective evaluation. No selection can be perfect, hence it would be best to discuss with his teachers if you feel he would do much better in a complete gifted programme. You may want to suggest a probation period. Nevertheless, this is all subject to the school's discretion on the flexibility of selection.


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