What is a Gifted Student?
A gifted student is one with an exceptional native intelligence.
The generally accepted measure of giftedness is an IQ score above 130. This is roughly the top 2% to 3% of all individuals.
Not all gifted individuals will fit the criteria of having a uniformly high general IQ score. Some people may score highly on some portions of an intelligence test while scoring low on others. Sometimes there are problems with test giving or test taking, although most testing professionals work very hard to minimize the effects of these problems.
Often, parents and teachers see a consistent set of traits in gifted children, as detailed in this list of “Possible Problems That May be Associated with Characteristic Strengths of Gifted Children,” From James Webb (Adapted from Clark (1992) and Seagoe (1974)):
|Acquires and retains information quickly.||Impatient with slowness of others; dislikes routine and drill; may resist mastering foundational skills; may make concepts unduly complex.|
|Inquisitive attitude, intellectual curiosity; intrinsic motivation; searching for significance.||Asks embarrassing questions; strong-willed; resists direction; seems excessive in interests; expects same of others.|
|Ability to conceptualize, abstract, synthesize; enjoys problem-solving and intellectual activity.||Rejects or omits details; resists practice or drill; questions teaching procedures.|
|Can see cause–effect relations.||Difficulty accepting the illogical-such as feelings, traditions, or matters to be taken on faith.|
|Love of truth, equity, and fair play.||Difficulty in being practical; worry about humanitarian concerns.|
|Enjoys organizing things and people into structure and order; seeks to systematize.||Constructs complicated rules or systems; may be seen as bossy, rude, or domineering.|
|Large vocabulary and facile verbal proficiency; broad information in advanced areas.||May use words to escape or avoid situations; becomes bored with school and age-peers; seen by others as a “know it all.”|
|Thinks critically; has high expectancies; is self-critical and evaluates others.||Critical or intolerant toward others; may become discouraged or depressed; perfectionistic.|
|Keen observer; willing to consider the unusual; open to new experiences.||Overly intense focus; occasional gullibility.|
|Creative and inventive; likes new ways of doing things.||May disrupt plans or reject what is already known; seen by others as different and out of step.|
|Intense concentration; long attention span in areas of interest; goal-directed behavior; persistence.||Resists interruption; neglects duties or people during period of focused interests; stubbornness.|
|Sensitivity, empathy for others; desire to be accepted by others.||Sensitivity to criticism or peer rejection; expects others to have similar values; need for success and recognition; may feel different and alienated.|
|High energy, alertness, eagerness; periods of intense efforts.||Frustration with inactivity; eagerness may disrupt others’ schedules; needs continual stimulation; may be seen as hyperactive.|
|Independent; prefers individualized work; reliant on self.||May reject parent or peer input; non-conformity; may be unconventional.|
|Diverse interests and abilities; versatility.||May appear scattered and disorganized; frustrations over lack of time; others may expect continual competence.|
|Strong sense of humor.||Sees absurdities of situations; humor may not be understood by peers; may become “class clown” to gain attention.|