Identifying Gifted Students

Identifying Gifted Students

Everyone has heard the term “gifted student,” but people rarely have a concrete definition for what that means. People like to think of their children as being exceptional, but some students are truly outstanding. How do teachers differentiate? How does one define “gifted,” exactly? There are a few different ways to help identify whether a child is truly extraordinary.


Creativity is an incredibly important part of judging if a child should be in a gifted program. If a child shows true originality of thought and a curious nature, they could be right for a more rigorous program. An understanding of detail, receptiveness to new and interesting ideas and a willingness to take risks could all be signs of an exceptional student who needs to be moved to a more suitable school or learning program.


If a student, especially a young student, is remarkably committed to their assignments, it could be a sign of great things to come.  Perseverance and enthusiasm for learning or a specific task are great indicators of giftedness. Knowing that your child or student is setting high standards for what they want to accomplish with their assignments and work in general will help you know that they need to be tested and challenged in a gifted program.

General and Specific Ability

Exhibiting any exceptional abilities is an important indicator for a brilliant student. Students who exhibit abstract thinking, higher level reasoning and rapid memory are more likely to fit into gifted programs. If a child is going above and beyond general abilities in specific areas, such as arts or leadership, a gifted program may be right for her. Of course, a key part of this is being able to identify what goes beyond the normal range for children. Knowing what is anticipated of a child will help you see when your student exceeds expectations.

Recognizing the signs of a gifted child is an excellent first step toward getting them into a program that fits their needs. Gifted children need more rigorous and challenging schooling than other students and getting them into the right program will help them flourish.

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