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Gifted vs. Bright: Understanding the Difference

Do you want to know if your child is gifted or bright? Learn how to recognize and understand the differences between a gifted child and a bright child by viewing the simple table below.
 
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You know your child is smart. But is s/he gifted or bright? While the distinction may seem trivial, there are clear differences between gifted children and bright children. Distinguishing between a gifted child and bright child is important, as they have different academic needs.

While a bright child may work hard and do well in school, a gifted child may struggle to focus, but still be able to achieve high levels of success. Gifted children may become bored with regular classroom material but often thrive in gifted programs. It is often the bright child, not the gifted one, who teachers generally favor, since teachers often struggle to understand and connect with a gifted child. See Janice Szabos’ table below to help you discern if your child is gifted or bright.

Gifted vs. Bright: A Detailed Comparison

A Bright Child A Gifted Learner

Knows the answers

Asks the questions

Is interested

Is highly curious

Is attentive

Is mentally and physically involved

Has good ideas

Has wild, silly ideas

Works hard

Plays around, yet tests well

Answers the question

Discusses in detail, elaborates

Top group

Beyond the group

Listens with interest

Shows strong feeling and opinions

Learns with ease

Already knows

Six to eight repetitions for mastery

One to two repetitions for mastery

Understands ideas

Constructs abstractions

Enjoys peers

Prefers adults

Grasps the meaning

Draws inferences

Completes assignments

Initiates projects

Is receptive

Is intense

Copies accurately

Creates a new design

Enjoys school

Enjoys learning

Absorbs information

Manipulates information

Technician

Inventor

Good memorizer

Good guesser

Enjoys straightforward sequential
presentation

Thrives on complexity

Is alert

Is keenly observant

Is pleased with own learning

Is highly self-critical


-Janice Szabos, Challenge Magazine, 1989, Issue 34

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Tests for Gifted Children

Do you still want to know if your child is gifted or bright? You can have your child tested to find out. Tests such as the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) and Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) are available to give you a better idea as to whether or not your child is gifted. At TestPrep-Online, we provide children with a wide variety of study materials, including several practice tests with detailed explanations for each question.



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Preparation with TestPrep-Online

Start helping your child prepare for his or gifted and talented test. TestPrep-Online will to ensure your child is well prepared for gifted testing.


The CogAT, OLSAT, NNAT, New York City Gifted and Talented Test, SCAT, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.

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