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Gifted and Talented (GATE) Screening

Cognitive Abilities Screening Test (CogAT)

Each year, all Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) third-grade students have the opportunity to participate in the Cognitive Abilities Test (CoGAT) screening assessment used to determine students who are eligible for Gifted and Talented identification.  Students in grades 5-7 may also participate in the assessment if nominated by teachers or parents, with parent permission. GATE Testing is a diagnostic assessment which is used together with other assessments to inform teachers and principals in designing personalized learning strategies/differentiation to meet students' academic needs. Students with the GATE designation are not separated from their grade level peers to participate in a specific program with other students who are also identified as GATE. Instead they benefit from differentiated instruction to meet their specific level of academic development.

The 2023-24 school year CogAT Testing Window will be from Oct. 12 through the first week of November.  Test dates at specific school sites will be shared with parents by students' home schools. 

Timed Test

The CogAT is a timed, multiple-choice test and is administered online through a secure website and takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. Students are tested during the school day at their own school.

This test appraises the student’s level and pattern of cognitive development and measures both general and specific reasoning abilities. These abilities are assessed in three domains: verbal (words), quantitative (math), and nonverbal (patterns and puzzles). Each domain includes reasoning tasks, which can be used to provide an alternative measure of cognitive development and to identify students whose predicted level of achievement is different from what is observed in the classroom. Testing takes place at each school site with teachers, administrators, or trained test proctors.


In order to be identified as GATE in PUSD, a student's composite national age percentile rank (APR) on the CogAT Screening Form must be 98% or above.


It typically takes about 4-8  weeks from the first week of CogAT administration for parents to receive results.

Gate Criteria

Previously identified GATE students who enter PUSD are considered for GATE identification as determined by the PUSD GATE identification criteria. The parents/guardians will need to submit documentation to the school office during enrollment which shows the students’ prior GATE program qualification, along with assessment results that were used for the qualification.

Differentiated Instruction

GATE identification provides teachers and parent/guardians the knowledge of a student's aptitude for instructional differentiation within the classroom. Teachers use strategies throughout the school day to address all student needs.

For additional information, questions, or concerns, please contact your school’s GATE Liaison.