Characteristics of Gifted Children

Specific Academic Ability (i.e. Mathematics):

  • Strong memorization ability
  • Advanced comprehension
  • 1-2 repetitions for mastery
  • Intense interest in a specific academic area
  • High academic capacity in special-interest area
  • Pursues special interests with enthusiasm
  • Operates at a higher level of abstraction than peers
  • Asks poignant questions
  • Discusses and elaborates in detail

General Intellectual Ability:

  • Understands complex concepts
  • Draws inferences between content areas
  • Sees beyond the obvious
  • Thrives on new or complex ideas
  • Enjoys hypothesizing
  • Intuitively knows before taught
  • Uses an extensive vocabulary
  • Does in-depth investigations
  • Learns rapidly in comparison to peers
  • 1 - 2 repetitions for mastery
  • Manipulates information

Creative Thinking:

  • Independent and/or flexible thinker
  • Exhibits original thinking in oral and/or written expression
  • Generates many ideas to solve a given problem
  • Possesses a keen sense of humor
  • Creates and invents
  • Intrigued by creative tasks
  • Improvises and sees unique possibilities
  • Risk taker
  • Resists conformity

Visual and Performing Arts:

  • Communicates their vision in visual/performing arts
  • Unusual ability for aesthetic expression
  • Compelled to perform/produce
  • Exhibits creative expression
  • Desire for creating original product
  • Keenly observant
  • Continues experimentation with preferred medium
  • Excels in demonstrating the visual/performing arts


  • Takes an active role in decision making
  • High expectations for self and others
  • Expresses self with confidence
  • Foresees consequences and implications of decisions
  • Follows through on a plan
  • Appears to be well liked by peers
  • Ideas expressed accepted by others
  • Sought out by others to accomplish a task

*Adapted from the National Association for Gifted Children

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