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California Gifted and Talented Education (GATE)

What is the California GATE Program?

The California Department of Education administers the Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) Program, which provides funding for local educational agencies to develop unique education opportunities for high-achieving and underachieving students. Each school district’s governing board determines their own criteria for GATE program participation. (Note: If a student transfers school districts, they may need to requalify for the new school district, as they are not automatically accepted.)

California Assessment of Student Performance & Progress (CAASPP)

Do you have prep for the GATE Test?

There are many tests used for GATE (Gifted and Talented Enrichment) programs in California. Regrettably, we do not know the specific test for many districts, so we do recommend you reach out to your district to get information regarding the test used. If they will not provide the test name, they may describe the test. Please get back to us with the information they do provide so we can guide you accurately.

Each spring, students in grades 3 – 8, 10 & 11 take a CAASPP test. The CAASPP Program looks at how well schools and students are performing. Students take tests in math (grades 3-8 and 11), reading(grades 3-8 and 11) and science (grades 5,8, and 10).

  • Math: Grades 3 – 8, 11 Smarter Balance, on-line test
  • Reading: Grades 3 – 8, 11 Smarter Balance, on-line test
  • Science: Grades 5, 8 & 10 CST Science, paper-pencil test

The CAASPP Program includes four tests: the Smarter Balance Math & Reading Test, the CST Science Test, the California Alternate Assessment, and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish.

The CAASPP assessments allow students to demonstrate analytical writing, critical thinking, and problem solving skills along with their knowledge of facts in ELA, mathematics, and science.

Grades 3 – 5

Grades 6 – 8 

High School

California LEA’s testing coordinators are currently administering the following tests:

ELA (English/ Language Arts) and Math (3rd – 11th grades):

  • Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments
  • California Alternate Assessments (CAAs)

Science (5th, 8th, 9-12th):

  • California Science Tests (CST)
  • CAA for Science

Skill Assessment

Categories for Gifted and Talented identification may include one or more of the following:

  • Intellectual – extraordinary or potential for extraordinary intellectual development
  • Creative – perceives unusual relationships among aspects of the pupil’s environment and among ideas, overcomes obstacles to thinking and doing, & produces unique solutions to problems
  • Specific Academic – functions at highly advanced academic levels in particular subject areas
  • Leadership Ability – displays the characteristic behaviors necessary for extraordinary leadership
  • High Achievement – produces advanced ideas and products and/or attains exceptionally high scores on achievement tests
  • Performing and Visual arts talent – originates, performs, produces, or responds at extraordinarily high levels in the arts
  • Any other criterion that meets the standards set forth by the State Board of Education

Best practices support using more than one factor to identify GATE students. Achievement, intelligence quotient (IQ), ability, and other test scores; motivation; parent/guardian, student, and teacher recommendations; classroom observations; and portfolio assessment are some of the possible factors a district may use to identify GATE students. The two charts below show possible tests in each district and a profile for each student, showing you the many factors that can be considered under the state guidelines

Academic AchievementLevel
California Achievement Test (CAT 6)K-12
California Test of Basic Skills (CTBS/4)K-12
Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS)K-8
Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT)K-12
Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (PSAT)10-11
Stanford Achievement TestK-12
Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)7-12
Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement (WJ)K-12
Academic Achievement/SpanishLevel/Age
Spanish Assessment of Basic Education (SABE)1-8
Intellectual AptitudeLevel/Age
Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)K-12
Inview-A Measure of Cognitive Abilities2-12
Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children IIAge 3-18
Naglieri Non Verbal Intelligence Test (NNAT)K-12
Otis-Lennon School Abilities Test, Sixth (OLSAT)K-12
Raven Colored and Progressive MatricesK-12
Stanford-BinetAge 2-Adult
Slosson Full-Range Intelligence TestAge 5-Adult
Structure of Intellect (SOI)K-3
Test of Cognitive SkillsK-12
Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (TONI)K-12
Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT)K-12
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children IVAge 6-16
Woodcock-Johnson III Cognitive Ability (WJ III)Pre-12
Intellectual Aptitude/SpanishLevel/Age
Cognitive Abilities Test/SpanishK-12
Wechsler Intelligence Scale IV/SpanishAge 6-16
Woodcock-Munoz, Bateria –R/SpanishAge 2-90
Structure of Intellect, Spanish (SOI, Spanish)K-3
Observation ScalesLevel/Age
Renzuli/Hartman Scale for Rating
Behavior Characteristics of Superior Students
Silverman, Characteristics of Giftedness ScaleK-12

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8 Responses

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How do I purchase for gate test exams for 2nd grade? And what do I need to purchase?


I want to see what can we develope our kid skills once using this site.

Hi Linh –

We’re happy to help! Please reach out to our Parent Success Team at or by calling us at 877-609-6203.

All the best,



Hello, would like to try practice questions .



My daughter is in 2nd grade and I have registered her for California GATE this year.
I would like to register so she can practice for next few weeks online in the forMat of her exam.

Please advise what are the different package options I can have?

I would like to see what would be best options for us here as the exam is usually end of Jan to first week of Feb.


Hi Manisha –

With a membership to TestingMom, you have full access to our website. We offer a monthly, quarterly and yearly subscription as well as a Lifetime Membership that would be great for your young daughter! You can purchase the membership on our Buy Now page!

All the best,


See if supports your child’s test by your school district. If you don't see your child's school district listed, check with us! We have practice for other tests as well.

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