Gifted Identification

Gifted Identification

Ohio law sets criteria to be used by all districts for identifying students as gifted in the following areas: superior cognitive ability, reading, math, science, social studies, creative thinking ability, and visual and/or performing arts. Districts are required to offer two opportunities per year for assessment.

  • Superior Cognitive Ability – This area of gifted identification is for students who demonstrate advanced cognitive reasoning and problem-solving skills.  Identification is based on an advanced cognitive ability standard score (typically in the 127-130 range, although it varies by test).

  • Creative Thinking Ability – This area of gifted identification is for students who demonstrate atypically inventive or unique ways of thinking.  Identification is based on an elevated cognitive ability score (typically in the 112-115 range, although it varies by test) and a qualifying score on a checklist of creative behaviors.

  • Specific Academic Ability – This area of gifted identification is for students who demonstrate advanced knowledge and skills in a core subject area, such as reading, math, science, or social studies.  Students must earn a score at or above the 95th percentile on an approved achievement test to be identified as gifted in a specific academic area.

  • Visual and/or Performing Arts Ability– This area of gifted identification is for students who demonstrate advanced artistic talent in the areas of visual art, instrumental or vocal music, drama, or dance.  Identification is based on a qualifying score on a checklist of artistic behaviors and a demonstration of talent via portfolio or audition.  Skills are evaluated in light of prior training and opportunities to develop talent with gifted identification based on exceptional skill in relation to the amount of training received.

The state publishes a list of approved tests and qualifying scores, and districts are required to select from these assessments when evaluating students for potential gifted identification. Measures include tests of cognitive ability, which are assessments of thinking and reasoning skills comparable to a measure of intelligence. State-approved measures also include tests of academic achievement, which measure what students already have learned in comparison to their grade-level peers. Additionally, state-approved instruments include checklists of creative and artistic behaviors to determine creative and artistic abilities.  **Ohio State Tests administered each spring at the end of grades 3-8 and high school end-of-course exams cannot be used for gifted identification.  They are grade-level proficiency tests that are not designed with enough of a stretch to determine giftedness.  Therefore, the state has not approved them for use in gifted identification or service placement.

Types of Gifted Screening Processes

There are two types of gifted screening processes. The first is whole grade screening, which is when an entire grade level is tested and the results are reviewed for possible gifted identification.  This occurs with MAP testing (gr. 2-8), PSAT (gr. 9-11), ACT (gr. 11), and fall cognitive testing (gr. 2 and 4).  For more information about whole grade screening, click here.  Individual referral and screening is any other type of gifted screening for students in grades K-12.  Individual students may be referred for gifted screening by a teacher, parent/guardian, or other individual.  This testing occurs in winter and spring.  For more information about individual gifted screening, click here.  Both types of gifted screenings utilize tests approved by the Ohio Department of Education for gifted identification with the same identification criteria as establish by Ohio law.

General Gifted Identification Procedures

Permanence of Gifted Identification

Once a student is identified as gifted by an Ohio public school district, that identification remains duration of the student’s academic career in Ohio regardless of future test scores.  Additionally, gifted identifications from an Ohio public school district transfer throughout Ohio.


Students New to Bexley

Families enrolling a gifted student in Bexley City Schools are asked to provide evidence of gifted identification, such as an identification letter or test score history.  If a student has been identified as gifted by another Ohio public school district, Bexley City Schools will honor the student’s gifted identification(s) in accordance with Ohio law. For students coming from out of state or an Ohio private or charter school, the district will review past test scores. Students will be identified as gifted if a qualifying score was achieved in the past 24 months on a test from Ohio’s approved list of assessments. Students without qualifying scores will be evaluated by the district within 90 days of enrollment at the request of parents/guardians.


Considerations for Underrepresented Students

Ohio’s regulations give protection to students of color, English language learners, students who are economically disadvantaged, and students with disabilities. Students from these groups who meet state criteria may not be prevented from being identified as gifted. Districts are required to review tests, procedures, and environments for any biases that may prevent underrepresented students from demonstrating their areas of giftedness. The district makes conscious decisions to select the most appropriate test to determine a student’s abilities and regularly reviews its tests using state-approved guidelines and recent research to determine the best retesting options for students who might otherwise be overlooked.  Practices include frequent whole grade screening in grades 2 through 11, use of cognitive tests that are current with research to support use with diverse populations, use of cognitive subscale scores where allowed by state rule, and collaboration with the Special Education staff to review ETR outcomes of students who may be twice-exceptional.


Parents/guardians may appeal the outcomes of gifted assessment in writing to the Superintendent within 30 days of receiving test results. Appeals will be reviewed in light of state laws and ethical testing procedures. Appeals requesting an exception to the identification score will not be granted since gifted identification scores are determined by Ohio law and may not be modified by Bexley City Schools. A decision regarding the appeal will be made within 30 days of receipt of the written appeal.