People can be gifted in many different areas such as art, music, sports, social skills, academic, or intellectual. They may have many exceptional abilities or just a few. Intellectually gifted people have very advanced cognitive abilities.
On standardized tests, IQ scores that are 2 standard deviations above the mean are considered to fall in the intellectually gifted range. This usually translates into IQ scores of 130 or above. About 2 percent of the population reportedly fall in this range, however many professionals believe that this percentage may be higher. Some people who have IQ scores in the 120-129 range may also be gifted or very academically talented and are often also considered for gifted programs or schools. While standardized testing is often used to identify gifted individuals, other methods may include individual interviews, teacher/parent interviews and evaluations, work portfolios, and observations.
Intellectual giftedness is not an all or nothing phenomenon. It falls on a continuum from mildly to profoundly gifted. Being mildly gifted is quite different from being profoundly gifted and so are the corresponding needs. People can be gifted in one area but not in others. They can have asynchronous (uneven) development, cognitive and/or academic relative strengths and weaknesses, or learning disabilities. Variable abilities can impact how people learn best, and their emotional and social development. Identifying degree and type of giftedness is very important in determining specific needs. Some intellectually gifted individuals may have marked cognitive differences, learning disabilities, attentional issues, reflective learning styles, perfectionism, or slower processing speeds, which can make the assessment process more challenging.