Gifted Testing

Intelligence Testing for Gifted Programs in the GTA

Gifted testing is intelligence testing for children which occurs annually in most elementary schools throughout Toronto and the GTA.  The purpose of gifted testing is to identify students with special learning needs due to their exceptional level of intelligence, as measured on an IQ test.  Students who meet the criteria for the Gifted exceptionality may be formally identified through the Identification Placement and Review Committee (IPRC) process, as an exceptional student.  These students may then qualify for placement in a Gifted Program.  If your child missed the gifted screening, or if you would like to be assessed privately, we can help you with that.

FAQ’s about gifted testing

What is the gifted criteria?

Every school board has slightly different criteria for testing and formally identifying and placing gifted students.  Most model the Toronto District School Board’s procedures. Gifted testing usually involves the administration of an intelligence test (e.g., Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 5th Edition).  The WISC-V evaluates verbal and non-verbal intelligence and provides an IQ score.  With few exceptions, in most school boards, gifted students must score in the top two percent of students their age (98th percentile).  Students who have been IPRC’d as Learning Disabled or who are English as a Second Language learners, may qualify for the Gifted exceptionality under somewhat modified criteria.

How do I get my child tested for giftedness?

If you believe your child may be gifted it is best to first speak with their teacher.  The teacher may be able to submit your child’s name for consideration of gifted testing by the school psychologist.  In many school boards, group screenings using the Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test (CCAT) are conducted in Gr. 3 and high scoring students are then referred to the school psychologist for standardized intelligence testing.  If your child has been refused gifted testing or you would like to have intelligence testing done privately, we can do the testing for you.

In order to complete the testing, we would meet with your child to administer the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V) and any additional testing your particular school board requires (e.g., CCAT, academic testing).  Shortly after testing, we will score and provide you with a written report containing all the necessary information you will need to bring to your child’s school principal.   If you are concerned that your child seems very bright but is academically delayed, a more comprehensive assessment may be required to determine the root cause of these delays.

What age is best for gifted testing?

It is generally recommended to do gifted testing in Grade 3 or up, as before Grade 3 children are growing and changing rapidly. Valid results are difficult to obtain prior to then and thus school boards do not generally accept gifted testing that is completed before that time.

What tests are used?

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V)
The Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT-IV),  if required by your school board (e.g., Peel & York School Boards),
The Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test,  if required by your school board

How long does the test take?

Approximately 1.5 to 2 hours for the WISC-V,
Approximately 2 to 3 hours for the WIAT, if needed

How do I prepare my child for the test?

The WISC-V is a test you can’t and shouldn’t study for.  The most important thing is a good sleep and a good meal before the testing.  Please feel free to bring drinks and snacks for your comfort.

Please note:  Attempting to study for the WISC-V using online or other resources can actually interfere with your child’s performance on the test.  Please keep in mind that psychologists are trained to detect lying and dishonesty, including repeated testing to improve performance.  When this occurs, we will cancel the test and you will be charged for the time and test materials used.

When do I find out the results?

Scores on the WISC-V can be shared with you as soon as the test is completed.  WIAT scoring takes a bit longer – if your school board requires the WIAT, you will receive those scores in the written report in about a week’s time.

Is your gifted test accepted by the school boards?

Absolutely.  Only registered psychologists or psychological associates are authorized to do gifting testing.  We are specialists in school psychology which means you’ve definitely come to the right place.

How long do I have to wait to be re-assessed?

At minimum, a child should not re-take the WISC-V until at least a year has passed.

Caution:  Please keep in mind that psychologists are trained to detect lying and dishonesty, including repeated testing to improve performance.  When this occurs, we will cancel the test and you will be charged for the time and test materials used.

Gifted and learning disabled?

If you are concerned that your child seems very bright but is academically delayed, a more comprehensive assessment may be required to determine the root cause of these delays.  For more information, please see our  psychoeducational assessments page.

Dr. Donna Reist, PhD., C.Psych.
Registered Psychologist

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Angela Massey-Garrison, MA, OCT Psychoeducational Consultant

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