Parent Information Meeting for GATE Students

2023-2024 GATE Parent Meeting Presentations:

GATE Testing Information- GATE Testing for students in 3rd grade begins in September 2023.

Identification of GATE Students

The Etiwanda School District (ESD) GATE process identifies students as Gifted and Talented in grades three through eight. Eligible students in ESD are initially tested for potential GATE identification at the beginning of their 3rd grade year. Once students are identified as GATE, their designation remains throughout the period of enrollment in the District. Students entering Etiwanda with a previous GATE identification are recognized as GATE students.

Qualification for GATE is a two-part process that includes a Cognitive Abilities Assessment (CogAT) screener and the CogAT exam. 

The CogAT screener is administered to all third-grade students in the fall. This screener is also offered to students in any grade who are newly enrolled in the District. 

Parents/guardians may choose to opt their child out of participation in this screener.

The second step for GATE qualification includes the CogAT exam. The Etiwanda School District uses the CogAT Form 8 as the assessment tool for identifying exceptional academic abilities. The CogAT is administered at each school site in a group setting – see schedule below. The following levels of the CogAT are administered based upon a child’s grade: 

  • 3rd grade = Level 9

  • 4th grade = Level 10

  • 5th grade = Level 11

  • 6th grade = Level 12

  • 7th grade = Level 13

Students are assessed in three content domains to ensure a balanced view of the child’s ability. The three areas are:

  • Verbal analysis measures a student’s ability to remember and transform sequences of words to understand them and to make inferences and judgments.

  • Quantitative analysis measures a student’s understanding of quantitative concepts and relationships.

  • Non-verbal analysis measures a student’s ability to reason using pictures and geometric shapes. This section in particular reduces the impact a child’s language may play in their overall score.

Based on CogAT scores, students qualify for GATE if their scores are:

Composite Age Level Percentile Rank score of 95+
Composite Standard Age Score of 131+, or a Standard Age Score of 131 in any of the three areas assessed

Explanation of CogAT scores

The Composite Age Percentile Rank score is a percentile for all three sections.  This number combines all three scores and indicates where your child stands by comparison to other students in the same grade who took the test.  For example, a child’s Composite Grade Percentile Rank score of 98 indicates that this student did better on all three sections combined than 98 percent of the other students.

The Standard Age Score (SAS) is a normalized standard score for each of the three areas assessed.  This score allows educators to compare the level of cognitive development for an individual compared to others in their age group.  Students are grouped by this measurement in one-month increments.  The SAS has a mean of 100 and a standard deviation of 16.  Therefore, an SAS score of 100 is average.  A student with an SAS of 130 would have a faster rate and a higher level of development in a particular area than a typical student would have in their same age group.

Retaking the CogAT

Students may take the CogAT one additional time in a future year providing their previous CogAT scores were in the 90th to 94th percentile rank.

For more information about the CogAt please click here.

Parent/Guardian Notification

Families are sent a letter informing them their child is scheduled to participate in the CogAT screener in the fall of the student’s third grade year. Subsequently, a letter is sent informing families of the results of full CogAT and the status of GATE qualification.