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Eligibility for Gifted & Talented Programme

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My 8 year old son had a WISC-IV test. Below are the results:

  • IQ - 121


  • perceptual reasoning index - 119

  • Working Memory Index - 116

  • Processing Speed Index - 106

Do you think these score are eligible for applying for Gifted and Talented program? I just want to find out whether it would be worthwhile to try out.

A: Depending on where you are, in most cases, the cut-off for an entry into the G&T programme is 125 full IQ score onwards. As the competition is stiff, in practice, only students who score in the 99th percentile on a standardised or approved intelligence and/or achievement test are considered. Some programmes that have siblings already enrolled may also have a better chance for a seat.

Schools may also their own version of gifted programmes and eligibility is usually for children with scores in the 90th percentile or above. Having said that, if talent is considered as well (as it should be), a combination of scores and evidence of talent may be used.

There is no harm applying if you feel that your child would benefit in such a programme if the scores were not too far off. In terms of scores, it may be a little hard but if there is other evidence of suitability in such a programme, schools do admit special cases. These programmes are a form of special education meant to provide extra services for students with high aptitude who could get bored in regular classroom settings. It may not be suitable for all students, hence the stringent admission process. A child would thrive best in an educational setting that best suits and caters to her or his needs. All the best!


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