GATE Identification

One goal of the TUSD GATE Program is to utilize equitable practices to identify gifted learners.

Due to the pandemic GATE testing was postponed in the 2020-2021 school year. 

The following adjustments have been made to the 2021-2022 GATE Testing schedule and process to accommodate students who did not have an opportunity to participate in testing last year:

  • All GATE Testing will occur in the fall 
  • Universal GATE Testing will occur in both 3rd and 4th grade during the 2021-2022 school year
  • Students eligible to participate in GATE testing in the 5th and 6th grade will have an opportunity to test (with parent/guardian permission)
  • Eligible students new to TUSD (in grades 7-12) will have an opportunity to participate in GATE Testing (with parent/guardian permission)  


Links to TUSD GATE Identification Info Session 2021-2022:  Video and Presentation

The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3)

TUSD utilizes the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT3) is the cognitive assessment used as tool for gifted identification.Our goal is to create a stress-free test environment and the test is intended to be taken without any preparation. Rather than placing pressure on performance and score, families can support their students and lower testing anxiety by encouraging students to get a good night’s rest and to try their best. For more information regarding the NNAT3 click here.

Testing Location, Schedule, and Result Notification

During the 2021-2022 school year, the NNAT3 will be administered at each elementary and middle school site for eligible students in Grades 3-6.  

The GATE Testing Schedule (2021-2022) can be accessed in the Quick Links section (starting 9/13/21) for site specific testing dates.

GATE tests are scored and mailed home 12-16 weeks after the GATE testing window closes. Students scoring at or above the 95th percentile will be identified as a gifted student in TUSD. Students identified as GATE in TUSD are not retested and retain their identification as they remain enrolled in TUSD. 

Grades 3-4

The TUSD GATE identification process begins with universal screening in Grade 3. As an accommodation for students who were unable to participate in testing during the 2020-2021 school year, we will also be universally screening students in Grade 4 this year. No form or application is necessary for participation in Grades 3 and 4 universal GATE testing.

If a parent/guardian chooses to withdraw their student from GATE testing, they must submit a Withdraw From GATE Testing (Opt-OUT) form by the established deadline. Parent/guardians will receive notification about testing and will be provided the option to withdraw their student from testing. A copy of the Withdraw From GATE Testing form can also be accessed through the Quick Links section on this webpage.

If a student scores in the 94th percentile or below and does not qualify for identification, further testing will be allowed per parent request via permission form, but only in one additional year (Grades 4-5).

Grades 5-6

Grades 5 and 6 students will not be universally tested throughout the District. Please watch for the Grades 5 and 6 GATE testing permission (Opt-IN) form window in an email sent by the District to eligible students (those who are new to the district or have only tested once before) and in your school site's communication (the week of September 13th). The GATE testing permission form deadline will also be posted on this website.  

Unlike the process for universal Grade 3 and 4 GATE testing this year, Grade 5 and 6 testing requires parents/guardians to submit a signed permission form. Permission to Test (Opt-IN) forms must be submitted by the deadline in order to participate in testing.

New to TUSD in Grades TK-2

Newly enrolled students in grades TK-2 will have an opportunity to participate in TUSD's gifted identification process beginning in Grade 3. Prior to any formal identification, families are highly encouraged to discuss their student's strengths and challenges with classroom teachers so they can differentiate support for each individual. 

New to TUSD in Grades 3-6

If your student is a newly enrolled TUSD student in Grades 3-6 and has not had a previous opportunity to participate in TUSD GATE testing, they will have an opportunity to participate in GATE testing during their school site's scheduled date(s). Please note that in 2021-2022 Grades 3 and 4 are an Opt-OUT process and do not require submission of any form to partcipate. In contrast, Grades 5 and 6 are an Opt-IN process that requires parent/gaurdian permission to be submitted by the deadline. 

New to TUSD in Grades 7-12

If your student is a newly enrolled TUSD student in Grades 7-12 and they were previously identified gifted/GATE in another district, please submit a Permission to Request GATE Records form. 

Gifted Identification in a Previous District & New to TUSD

If your student was identified gifted/GATE in a previous district and is newly enrolled in TUSD, please send a completed and signed Permission to Request GATE Records form (refer to Quick Links resources) to

Once received, this form will allow us to formally request gifted records directly from a previous district and conduct a review to see if GATE identfication may transfer to TUSD.  Since identification process and criteria vary between localities, transfer students who have been identified gifted in other school districts do not automatically qualify for GATE identification in TUSD. Once records have been received, they will be reviewed by the GATE Office and parents/guardians will be mailed a notification regarding the results of the review.

If previous records do not qualify your student for GATE identification in TUSD, they will have an opportunity to participate in scheduled GATE testing during in Grades 3-6 at school sites, or at a centralized district location in Grades 7-12.  

Once a student is identified GATE in TUSD, gifted identfication will be added to our district's internal records for your student and there is no need to participated in further testing.

Student is Currently Enrolled in TUSD

If your student is currently enrolled in TUSD and you would like to request gifted records, please submit a request through the GATE Record Request form (located in the Quick Links section). Due to confidentiality, we will only be able to send records to the email or home address that is officially on file with TUSD.

Student is No Longer Enrolled in TUSD

If your student was identified GATE in TUSD but is no longer enrolled in our district, please request gifted records through the district that your student is currently enrolled.  Formal written request for gifted records and a signed parent/guardian release of records from an outside district may be directed to  Once these items are received, TUSD gifted records will be sent directly to your student's current district. 

Frequently Asked Questions - GATE Identification in TUSD:

My student is young for their grade. Are tests graded based on age or grade in school?

The NNAT3 is scored using 3-month age bands. For example, if your student was born in January, 2013, they will be scored using the January-March 2013 scoring band. The test is nationally norm-referenced, meaning your student's results will be measured against peers in their age band from across the nation.

How can I prepare my student for GATE testing?

The NNAT3 is intended to be taken without any preparation. Lowering a student's anxiety about testing, by encouraging them to try their best without placing pressure on their performance is highly encouraged.

My student qualified for GATE identification, now what?

GATE identification can be a useful for students, parents/guardians, and teachers in understanding more about a student's learning and social-emotional needs.  Having discussions with your student's teacher(s) about how learning experiences can be differentiated or social-emotional needs can be supported is highly encouraged.

Following testing and result notification, parents/guardians of identified GATE students will receive details regarding a virtual TUSD Family Info Session. Identified GATE students will also receive information regarding enrichment sessions facilitated virtually by the GATE Resource Teacher and at each school site level by GATE Teacher Leaders.

In the spring, TUSD GATE students Grades 3-8 and parents/guardians are invited to an annual GATE Conference where they will be able to engage in sessions focused on gifted learners.

My student did not qualify for GATE identification, now what?

If your student is in Grades 3-4 and they did not qualify on their first testing opportunity, they may participate in the screening process in one additional year. Students may test a maximum of 2 times between Grades 3-5 (Note: testing was offered to eligible Grade 6 students in 2021-2022 due to the postponement of testing during 2020-2021).

At the secondary level, GATE identification is neither a barrier nor pass to accelerated math, Honors and Advanced Placement classes. The purpose of identification is to understand more about how a student learns, so that educators and parents/guardians can better differentiate academic and social-emotional support. 

TUSD strives to provide a learning environment that meets the social and cognitive needs of all our students.  Communicating any concerns you have as a parent/guardian with your student's teachers is highly encouraged. The more teachers know about a student (interests, needs, challenges, etc), the better they can support them. 

Is private intelligence testing accepted for GATE placement?

No. Only testing done as part of the District's GATE identification process is accepted.