Identifying Gifted/Talented Students

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) has a wide variety of Gifted/Talented programs available. To be eligible for one of these programs, children must first be identified as gifted. Under the LAUSD Gifted/Talented heading, children fall into seven different categories:

  • Intellectual Category
  • Specific Academic Ability Category
  • High Achievement Category
  • Creative Ability Category
  • Visual Arts Ability Category
  • Performing Arts Ability Category
  • Leadership Ability Category

Identification for some of these categories may involve standardized testing. For example, to be placed in the High Achievement Category, students must perform well on the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT). The OLSAT is administered to all second graders at all LAUSD schools during the months of March and April. Children will receive their scores in the mail approximately two months later. Students who score in the 95th percentile or higher are identified in the High Achievement Category and will be eligible for certain gifted programs. Once a child is identified as gifted, that student will remain in the gifted category as long as they are in the LAUSD system.

For information about preparing for the OLSAT, see our OLSAT Practice Tests

Gifted/Talented Programs

There are three different types of Gifted/Talented programs in LAUSD for which the OLSAT may be necessary:

  1. Magnets for gifted and highly gifted students
  2. Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS)
  3. Cluster programs

1. Gifted/High Ability Magnet Centers

Gifted/High Ability Magnet Centers are highly regarded in the Los Angeles area. These schools often receive thousands of applicants for only a couple hundred available seats. Gifted/High Ability Magnet Centers are designed for gifted students who show abilities to work two years above their grade level. These centers place students in a challenging and mentally stimulating academic environment.

Students who wish to apply must meet at least one of three requirements. One of these requirements states that a student must be identified in the High Achievement Category, meaning they would have to score highly on the OLSAT. Preparation is the only way to ensure your child's success.

It should be noted that there are two different kinds of gifted magnet schools in Los Angeles: Gifted/High Ability Magnet Centers and Highly Gifted Magnet Centers. Highly Gifted Magnet Centers require intellectual giftedness tests not associated with the OLSAT. A high OLSAT score will only allow students the opportunity to apply to Gifted/High Ability Magnet Centers.

Below is a list of Gifted/High Ability Magnet Center Elementary Schools:

School Grades
74th St. 1-5
Ambler 1-5
Balboa 1-5
Baldwin Hills 1-5
Braddock 2-5
Canterbury 1-5
Commonwealth Arts/Tech. 2-5
Cowan Int Humanities 3-6
Eagle Rock 2-6
Euclid--Bilingual: Spanish/English 1-5
Harbor Math/Science at Park Western 1-5
Kester 1-5
Multnomah Highly Gifted/Gifted High Ability 2-5
Russell 2-6
Sunland 2-5
Vena 2-5
Welby Way 1-5
Wonderland 2-5

2. Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS)

Schools for Advanced Studies (SAS) programs provide gifted children with a rigorous and innovative education, designed specifically to match students’ level of ability. These programs require a student to be identified in any one of the seven categories listed above. A high score on the OLSAT would allow a child to be identified in the High Achievement category, thus making them eligible for an SAS program. However, since a student can be eligible by being placed in any of the other six categories, taking the OLSAT is not always required.

3. Cluster Programs

Cluster programs are programs in which gifted students are grouped together for parts of the day within their regular community school. Cluster programs are designed for gifted students, but may include other students who have not been identified as gifted.

Why Prepare for the OLSAT?

Many schools use the OLSAT as an admission test to gifted and talented programs. Practice has been shown to improve the results significantly and reflect your child's abilities much better. Therefore, it is important to prepare for the OLSAT. Our website offers full practice packs for all OLSAT levels.

Help your child start preparing today with TestPrep-Online, allowing him/her to perform his/her best on the OLSAT Test. Our all-inclusive OLSAT practice packs include the OLSAT Video Academy, available with most premium packs and levels, as well as study guides, and full-length practice tests.

Prepare for the OLSAT with TestPrep-Online

The OLSAT is a challenging test for any student. With competition for LAUSD gifted programs at an all-time high, it is important that your child be prepared for test day. With TestPrep-Online, you can get hundreds of OLSAT practice test questions, detailed answer explanations, and study tips. Start practicing now with a free sample practice test

If you have more questions about the OLSAT, check out our OLSAT Frequently Asked Questions

The OLSAT, NNAT, CogAT, New York City Gifted and Talented Test, 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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