GATE Identification FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is “G.A.T.E.?” 

The GATE program, “Gifted and Talented Education,” is the educational program designed to address the learning styles of the students who have been identified as gifted and talented. GATE services are based on the most current research in gifted education.

These are in keeping with the State Education Code’s directions for services for the gifted and talented. Differentiation of course content is achieved through added depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration. Teachers across the district are provided with opportunities to attend staff development in differentiation of instruction. 

What should my child do to prepare for the screening? Can they study?

As a parent you can: 

  • Ensure that your child is completing all school assignments.
  • Help your child to develop good study habits, thinking skills, and a positive attitude towards learning.
  • Ensure that your child has good attendance at school.
  • Stay in communication with your child’s teacher.
  • Encourage your child to read as much and as widely as possible.
  • Look for educational games and programs that engage your child.
  • Help your child learn how to follow directions carefully.
  • Help your child to embrace failure and encourage a “growth mindset.”
  • Speak to your child as often as possible.
  • Be aware that there is no specific preparation for an intelligence test.  Pre-exposure to similar test items may invalidate the test results.

Schools will notify parents in advance of the expected test day.  Prepare your child as follows:

  • Make sure your child is prepared
  • Inform your child of the upcoming test.
  • Assure your child that you are aware of the test and approve of their taking the test.
  • Remain positive
  • Staying calm will help your child stay calm. Discuss relaxation techniques that can be used if needed.
  • Make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep and eats a healthy breakfast

If your child is not well on the morning of the test, please keep your child home.  Tests can be rescheduled for illness BUT reassessment requests are not valid because of an illness.

After the Test:

  • Test scores will help determine your child’s program eligibility and scheduling needs and help guide the teacher in implementing instruction in the classroom.
  • Talk to your child’s teacher/counselor regarding appropriate programs and courses.
  • Discuss test results generally with your child.  
  • Assure your child that all results are positive.

What is the CogAT7 Full-Battery?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple choice test written by Dr. David F. Lohman and published by Riverside Publishing. It is used to measure cognitive development among children and is often used to identify gifted children for services in gifted and talented programs across the United States. The CogAT was first published in 1968. The most current version of the CogAT, the CogAT Form 7, was published in 2011.

The CogAT is made up of three sections called batteries: the Verbal Battery, the Quantitative Battery, and the Nonverbal Battery. These batteries take approximately 30 minutes each and can be administered separately over a series of days. They are designed to assess specific reasoning skills in each area that correlate strongly to academic success. More specifically, the CogAT measures cognitive development, the ability to learn new tasks, and problem solving abilities. Because much of its content is nonverbal, the CogAT is also very useful for testing students who are not native English speakers. 

CogAT Assessment Components Explanation for Parents

What is the NNAT3 (Naglieri)?

The Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability test is a matrix reasoning type of exam that contains diagrams and shapes that form patterns and shapes. The Naglieri test is considered a non-verbal test and unbiased toward a child whose first language is not English. Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Tests include different types of questions – pattern completion, reasoning by analogy, serial reasoning and spatial visualization.

My child was identified for GATE services in another district/state. Will that transfer to SCUSD?

Please contact the GATE Department at 916-643-2348 to learn more about how your child’s unique situation can be supported.  Each school district in CA and each state across the nation determines their own identification practices for Gifted and Talented Education services. In order to determine whether or not your child’s GATE status is transferable, documentation of GATE status from the previous district/state will be required.  This can include: district letter verifying GATE status, and/or GATE screening assessment results. 

My child was not identified for GATE in 1st grade, and I’d like to request re-screening.

The SCUSD GATE department provides universal GATE services screening to all students in both 1st and 3rd grades.  As such, your child will be automatically re-screened in 3rd grade.  Additionally, the GATE department will screen an SCUSD student for GATE services as many as 3 times between grades 1-6. If you would like to request that your child be re-screened prior to 3rd grade or in grades 4-6, please contact the GATE department at 916-643-2348.