Best practices in gifted identification and assessment: Lessons from the WISC‐V


Linda K. Silverman | Barbara J. Gilman

Gifted Development Center, Institute for the Study of Advanced Development, Westminster, Colorado

Psychol Schs. 2020; 7:1569–1581, 2020 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (



School psychologists in today’s schools have the unique opportunity—and responsibility—to guide identification for gifted programs. “Who is gifted?” remains a perennial question in the gifted education literature, not answered by group intelligence screeners that purportedly level the playing field for all. As the student body grows more diverse, there is increasing necessity to ensure that all students have equal access to gifted programs. Failure to identify and develop the advanced abilities of gifted children who are culturally diverse, economically deprived, highly gifted, or twice exceptional is justifiably viewed as a civil rights violation. The National Association for Gifted Children’s 2018 position statement, “Use of the WISC‐V for Gifted and Twice Exceptional Identification,” offers important considerations for identifying the gifted. Based on a national research study of 390 gifted children on the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fifth Edition (WISC‐V), the statement recommends that the traditional practice of mandating Full Scale intelligence quotient scores be abandoned. Instead, it embraces the use of any one of six expanded index scores that are better measures of abstract reasoning for selecting students for gifted provisions. As gifted children are oftentimes asynchronous, alternate index scores are less biased and better able to document the strengths of all gifted children. What is learned from the WISC‐V can be applied by school psychologists to improve the choice of comprehensive individual intelligence tests, brief intelligence tests, and the body of evidence gifted children must exhibit.

gifted, identification, WISC‐V