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GATE Information

What is GATE?

GATE stands for Gifted and Talented Education. Gifted Education refers to the special practices, procedures and theories used in the education of children who have been identified as gifted or talented. The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) defines gifted as "individuals who demonstrate outstanding aptitude (an exceptional ability to learn or reason) or competence (documented performance or achievement in the top 10% of the population) in one or more domains."


To dig deeper into their grade level curriculum, GATE students work on projects that last for extended periods of time, have multiple components, and require interacting with other students in order to complete them. To set students up for success, all of our activities focus on four learning objectives:

  1. We are learning that a problem solver thinks and tries before giving up or asking for help.

  2. We are learning that a helpful team member talks to and works with their partner.

  3. We are learning that a flexible thinker can let go of one idea and move on to another.

  4. We are learning that a fluent thinker generates and shares lots of ideas.

Click here for information about the difference between a bright child and gifted learner.

What's the difference between GATE and TAGS?

GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) and TAGS (Title 1 Alternative Gifted Services) are two programs offered by the Gifted Education department of the Clark County School District. Students qualify for GATE and TAGS based on their NNAT-3 and KBIT-2 test scores.

  • GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) is available at all CCSD elementary schools for students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades. A student can qualify for GATE by scoring at or above the 98th percentile on the NNAT-3 or KBIT-2 or by earning at least 15 points on a multiple criteria matrix.​​

  • TAGS (Title 1 Alternative Gifted Services) is a CCSD program that is only available at Title 1 elementary schools. Students who qualify for TAGS score between the 90th and 97th percentiles on the NNAT-3 or KBIT-2.

Which gifted education websites do you recommend?

  • SENG... Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted

  • Gifted Exchange... ideas from the Davidson Institute for Talent Development about schooling, parenting, and education

  • Byrdseed… creativity, accelerated learning, literature, and more

How can I sign up for GATE?

Since GATE is not a club, you can't just sign up for it. GATE is a program that give students extra academic challenges if they need them.


GATE testing is done throughout the year, August through April. The first part of the GATE test (NNAT-3) is done in groups of 1-4 students and takes about 30 minutes to complete. The second part of the GATE test (KBIT-2) is conducted individually and takes about 20 minutes. When testing is complete, test documents are sent for review. It usually takes a couple of weeks for students to get their test results.

Although anyone can refer a student to be tested for the GATE Program, testing referrals are usually made by a teacher or parent. After receiving a referral, the GATE Specialist reviews the student's cumulative records and current classroom data to determine the appropriateness of the referral. A CCSD student can only be tested twice for GATE, with the second test occurring at least 6 months after the initial test. ​

Since GATE services start in 3rd grade, it is important to identify second grade students who will be in the GATE program at the start of the new school year. At Title 1 schools, all second grade students participate in online GATE screening in January & February. Second grade students who score in the 98th or 99th percentile on the NNAT-3 online screener qualify for GATE services (which begin in third grade). Second grade students who score at or above the 80th percentile on the screener are considered GATE referrals and will be tested by the GATE Specialist.

​GATE and TAGS students do not retest every year. Once a student qualifies for gifted services, they are coded in the CCSD computer system as GATE or TAGS. Gifted coding stays with a student through elementary school. In Clark County, there is no GATE program in middle school. Usually, GATE students enroll in accelerated or advanced classes. 

​The Clark County School District uses two assessments to determine GATE eligibility: the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT-3) and the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (KBIT-2). Depending on their scores, students qualify for GATE, TAGS, or no gifted services. Since GATE testing measures general intellectual ability and intelligence, there's no way to study for the GATE test.

  • ​​Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test - 3rd Edition:  The NNAT-3 uses abstract shapes and designs to assess a student's nonverbal reasoning and general problem solving skills. The NNAT-3 has 48 questions and takes about 30 minutes to complete. The items on this test assess ability without requiring the student to read, write, or speak. Because of its design, the NNAT-3 is fair and appropriate for students with hearing, language, motor, or color vision impairments.​


  • Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test - 2nd Edition: The KBIT-2 is an individually administered measure of intelligence that takes about 20 minutes to complete. The Clark County School District uses two components of the KBIT-2 to determine GATE eligibility: verbal knowledge (receptive vocabulary) and riddles (verbal comprehension, reasoning, and vocabulary knowledge).

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