Many parents often ask the question "Is my child gifted?"  It is often difficult to answer that question without looking at specific traits of your child. There are many components to being gifted and some may outshine others in different circumstances.  At times, it can be difficult to differentiate between high achieversgifted learners and creative thinkers. Here is a chart that sheds some light on their similarities and differences and may help answer some of your questions.


    A High Achiever…

    A Gifted Learner…

    A Creative Thinker…




    Remembers the answers.

    Poses unforeseen questions.

    Sees exceptions.

    Is interested.

    Is curious.


    Is attentive.

    Is selectively mentally engaged.

    Daydreams; may seem off-task.

    Generates advanced ideas.

    Generates complex, abstract ideas.

    Overflows with ideas, many of which will never be developed.

    Words hard to achieve.

    Knows without working hard.

    Plays with ideas and concepts.

    Answers the questions in detail.

    Ponders with depth and multiple perspectives.

    Injects new possibilities.

    Performs at the top of the group.

    Is beyond the group.

    Is in own group.

    Responds with interest and opinions.

    Exhibits feelings and opinions from multiple perspectives.

    Shares bizarre, sometimes conflicting opinions.

    Learns with ease.

    Already knows.

    Questions: What if…?

    Needs 6-8 repetitions to master

    Needs 1-3 repetitions to master.

    Questions the need for mastery.

    Comprehends at a high level.

    Comprehends in-depth,

    complex ideas.

    Comprehends in-depth,

    complex ideas.

    Enjoys the company

    of age-level peers.

    Prefers the company of intellectual peers.

    Prefers the company of creative peers, but often works alone.

    Understands complex,

    abstract humor.

    Creates complex,

    abstract humor.

    Relishes wild, off-the-wall humor.

    Grasps the meaning.

    Infers and connects concepts.

    Makes mental leaps: Aha!

    Completes assignments on time.

    Initiates projects and extensions of assignments.

    Initiates more projects than will ever be completed.

    Is receptive.

    Is intense.

    Is independent and unconventional.

    Is accurate and complete.

    Is original and continually developing.

    Is original and continually developing.

    Enjoys school often.

    Enjoys self-directed learning.

    Enjoys creating.

    Absorbs information.

    Manipulates information.


    Is a technician with

    expertise in a field.

    Is an expert, abstracting

    beyond the field.

    Is an inventor and an idea generator.

    Memorizes well.

    Guesses and infers well.

    Creates and brainstorms well.

    Is highly alert and observant.

    Anticipates and relates observations.

    Is intuitive.

    Is pleased with own learning.

    Is self-critical.

    Is never finished with possibilities.

    Gets A’s.

    May not be motivated by grades.

    May not be motivated by grades.

    Is able.

    Is intellectual.

    Is idiosyncratic.