GATE Identification FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions

What is “G.A.T.E.?” 

The GATE program, “Gifted and Talented Education,” includes educational services designed to address the learning needs of students who have been identified to receive gifted and/or talented educational supports. GATE services in SCUSD are based on the most current research in gifted education.

These are in keeping with research informed best practices, and SCUSD Board Policy 6172, as California currently has no educational code related to Gifted Education services.  Differentiation of course content is achieved through added depth, complexity, novelty, and acceleration. Teachers across the district are provided with opportunities to attend on going professional learning 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 actively participating in their classroom environment.
  • 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.  You may wish to prepare your child in any of the following ways:

  • Inform your child of the upcoming test as a way for the adults to learn more about how he/she learns best.
  • 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 GATE services eligibility and help guide their teachers 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 most current norms were established in 2017.

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. 

SCUSD uses Local Norms in our GATE Services Screening Process.

CogAT Assessment Components Explanation for Parents

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 or 3rd 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 1st grade 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.

We would prefer to have our child re-screened for GATE services before 3rd grade.

It is possible to have your child screened as an 2nd grader. Because 12-months are required between screenings, your child will be eligible to be screened in January of 2nd grade.  

At that time updated cognitive, academic, and learner profile information will be collected.  

To arrange for re-screening, please either call the GATE department at: 916-643-2348 or complete the Screening Referral Form.