SIGS as a GTi Assessment Tool

IQ test+SIGS+MAP data+student work samples=GTi interventions

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Topics covered:

  1. What is SIGS?
  2. How to score it?
  3. Work Samples
  4. What is a "good" work sample?


What is SIGS?

Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS) offers the most comprehensive observational instrument available for identifying gifted students ages 5–18. Used as part of a comprehensive process for identifying gifted children, SIGS offers schools an instrument with extensive statistical and research support. This standardized, norm-referenced instrument is completed by teachers or parents and provides an effective method for identifying gifted children.
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The SIGS scale contains 12 items that are rated using a Likert-type scale. The items were chosen from a comprehensive body of research concerning the characteristics of gifted students.
The SIGS is composed of seven scales:
(1) general intellectual ability
(2) language arts
(3) mathematics
(4) science
(5) social studies
(6) creativity
(7) leadership.


SIGS was normed on a total sample of more than 3,600 students (1,721 normal students and 1,884 gifted students). Norms are provided to the GTi specalists to use for scoring. SIGS offers us an observational scale with the largest, most diverse norming sample and statistical support of any gifted identification observational instrument available.

The potential bias of every item on the test on the basis of gender and ethnic group was studied. Only non-biased items are included in the SIGS. We are assured this instrument has no gender or ethnic group bias.
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How to I complete the SIGS?

  • online copy of SIGS
  • SIGS questionnaire must be completed within 4 days
  • for departmentalized grade levels, complete the area you teach, and work together to complete leadership/creativity sections, since those can be identified across subjects
  • complete the top section of student information (date of birth not needed)
  • give yourself non-rushed time to thoughtfully respond to each question without distractions
  • mentally select the most "normal kid" in your class, he/she should be on grade level in EVERY way, not advanced, overly creative, etc.
  • complete the SIGS questions comparing the student to the "normal kid" you mentally selected
  • choosing a "teacher-pleaser" can dramatically alter the SIGS scores
  • see me if you have a question about comparing/selecting an age peer BEFORE beginning the SIGS questions



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Is that all?

  • add up EACH column, and put the total in the bottom boxes
  • if the student has scored a 4 in six, or more questions within the subject areas, you must write in detailed, student-specific support in the "Examples"
  • total each subject area, and write it in the "Total" (green) box for that area
  • transfer EACH subject area "Total" score to the FRONT "Summary of Scores" box


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How to select student work samples?

  • copies of student work, not student originals
  • first/last name of student, and date must be included
  • if student work doesn't speak for itself, write a quick summary of lesson/assignment on the top
  • could be examples, or non-examples


What could be considered an example?

student work is far beyond age expectations
  • student work shows deep/complex understanding, almost an "expert" in topic
  • student work shows patterns within other disciplines, "this is like..., this reminds me of..."
  • student work shows various, and/or unusual point of view (identifies with support vs.main book characters, underdogs, underrepresented groups, etc.
  • student work shows advanced perseverance (sometimes considered TOO focused on one topic, can't move on in lesson w/o having their questions addressed)


Click here if further explanation is needed.