HiCap Identification

This page is meant to provide an overview of commonly used assessments and additional resources to provide program coordinators information to guide your identification process.

Professional Development on Identification

HiCap PLUS Professional Learning Modules for Educators: Equity and Access

Javits HiCapPLUS Professional Learning Modules place special emphasis on the identification and instruction of children who are consistently under-represented in programs for the Highly Capable across Washington state.

The modules are free and are now housed on the OSPI Moodle LMS. Check them out here.

WAETAG Webinar: Identification: Building Towards Equity

In this webinar, guest speaker Jody Hess, Program Supervisor for Highly Capable Student Programs at OSPI, will provide an overview of WA law, examples of equitable practices, and show where you can access more free training on equitable identification.

WAETAG Webinar: Equitable Identification and Culturally Responsive Teaching

This webinar will look at identification practices in two districts and look at culturally responsive ways to support students with programs and services.

Helpful Tools

Comparison Matrix of Commonly used Assessments

Matrix of Commonly Used Assessments of Gifted Education

The Colorado Department of Education created a Matrix of Commonly Used Assessments for Gifted Education that does a great job of describing and comparing the most commonly used assessments for the purpose of gifted identification.  You can download the full PDF to aid in appropriate instrument selection.

Cognitive Tests

WAETAG does not endorse any one tool over the other, rather seeks to provide resources to aid you in identifying the appropriate tool for your needs.

Below are the most commonly used assessment tools for HiCap identification in Washington state.  We’ve included a brief description and a link to their website for each.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

By measuring students’ learned reasoning and problem-solving abilities in the three areas most linked to success in school, CogAT reveals a valid, broad view of their talents.  With this knowledge, educators can make decisions that elevate each student’s academic experience.


Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test

​The NNAT3 provides a nonverbal, culturally neutral assessment of general ability that is ideal for use with a diverse student population. With the use of progressive matrices for seven grade-based levels, this versatile test is well-suited for identifying gifted and talented students.


Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, Eigth Edition

OLSAT 8 measures cognitive abilities that relate to a student’s academic success in school.  By assessing a student’s verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative ability, OSLAT 8 supplies educators with valuable information to enhance the insights gained from traditional achievement tests.


Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – Fifth Edition (WISC®-V)

Introducing the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children®–Fifth Edition. Available in both a paper-and-pencil format and a digital format on Q-interactive®, the WISC–V delivers more flexibility and more content. It has been redesigned to give you a truly comprehensive picture of a child’s abilities and it includes notable improvements to make identifying the issues—and finding the solutions—faster and easier, without sacrificing the Wechsler gold standard of excellence.

woodcock johnson

Woodcock-Johnson IV (WJIV)

With three independent and co-normed batteries, Woodcock-Johnson® IV offers the ease of use and flexibility that examiners need to accurately evaluate learning problems for children and adults in a way that no other assessment solution can.

WJIV Overview Brochure

Stanford Binet

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SB-5)

SB-5 provides a highly reliable assessment of intellectual and cognitive abilities across the life span, based on a large normative sample. Early SB-5 provides a lower cost version of the SB-5 for preschool assessment

The Early SB-5 offers a more focused and less expensive option for use with very young children. In addition, it covers the full range of abilities for ages 2 to 5.  This version can be used to assess intellectual deficiencies, delays, and disabilities; plan interventions; and refer children for more extensive preacademic and neuropsychological evaluations.

Creativity Tests


The Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking

The highly reliable Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking are the most widely used tests of their kind since testing only requires the examinee to reflect upon their life experiences.  These tests invite examinees to draw and give a title to their drawings (pictures) or to write questions, reasons, consequences, and different uses for objects (words).  These instruments can effectively assist with the identification of creatively gifted and talented students.  The TTCT is used as a part of gifted matrices in districts across the US, especially in multicultural settings, and for special populations around the world.  Published in two equivalent forms, Form A and B, the Figural and Verbal TTCT can be used for pre and post testing.