Exceptionally Gifted Children

The Ministry of Education (MOE) identifies the academically gifted and caters to the learning needs of the top 1% of the national cohort through the Gifted Education Programme (GEP), beginning at Primary 4. It also supports schools in the identification and development of a very small group of exceptionally gifted students at the primary, secondary and junior college levels in the Singapore school system.

In meeting the needs of the exceptionally gifted, we are mindful that these learners should receive a holistic education. Their cognitive development should not be achieved at the expense of the development in the socio-emotional and physical domains.


  1. Who is an exceptionally gifted child?

    An exceptionally gifted child is one whose intellectual ability is significantly advanced. Some common characteristics of exceptionally gifted children include:

    • Shows exceptional ability in a single domain but not necessarily in others, even at an early age;
    • Is able to relate to a broad range of ideas and synthesise them;
    • Is able to think abstractly at a very young age;
    • Grasps concepts quickly and demonstrates understanding by explaining in simple language or using examples;
    • Has an inquiring mind and always seeks to acquire new knowledge or pick up a new skill;
    • Will explore special interests, frequently in great depth;
    • Has an excellent memory;
    • Is observant;
    • Displays intense concentration when engaged in a task;
    • Reads widely and is fascinated with ideas and words;
    • Has an extensive vocabulary and expresses himself/herself well;
    • Shows a keen awareness of world issues such as global warming and would attempt to find answers or solutions to the problem.

    Each year, only a very small number of children are assessed to be exceptionally gifted.

  2. How many exceptionally gifted children are there in each cohort?

    In a normally distributed population, there are about 3 such exceptionally gifted among 100,000 children.


  1. What are the provisions recommended for an exceptionally gifted child?

    Possible provisions for the exceptionally gifted child include:

    • Enrichment where the student learns topics which are taught in greater depth and breadth;
    • Self-paced instruction through online courses;
    • Subject acceleration where the student is placed at a higher grade level in a specific subject;
    • Level-skipping; and
    • Early school admission for children younger than Primary 1.


  1. How can I apply for these provisions?

    For Pre-schoolers (Early School Admission)

    This provision is available to a child who is at least 5 years old and intends to attend a MOE school. Parents can apply directly to Gifted Education (GE) Branch with the following documents:

    • A letter to request for Early School Admission
    • Samples of work that show your child’s advanced ability
    • Teachers’ Feedback: The feedback should include an assessment of the child’s ability as well as his/her social-emotional behaviour and interactions with his/her classmates and teachers.
    • Psycho-educational report: You may send your child to a registered psychologist for assessment. To engage a suitable psychologist, you may refer to the Singapore Register of Psychologists member directory found under SRP Registration on the Singapore Psychological Society website.
      Your child will be required to sit an individually administered standardised test of intelligence with sound psychometric properties. The instrument used should cover different aspects of cognitive functioning (e.g. verbal and non-verbal functioning, working memory, auditory and/or visual-spatial processing). Tests used must that have established evidence of validity and utility for the gifted population, such as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children.

    For Students Enrolled in a Primary School

    If your child is already in primary school, you must send your request in writing to GEB through your child’s school. GEB will follow up with the school for the required supporting documents.

  2. How long does it take to process the application?

    It takes about 2 to 3 months to process the application. If additional assessment(s) or documents are required, parents will be informed.

  3. Which school should my child attend if my application for early school admission is successful?

    Admission to a primary school is subject to vacancies at the school.

  4. How can an exceptionally gifted child be supported?

    Should a child be identified as exceptionally gifted, a Personalised Education Plan (PEP) will be drawn up for him/her. Each PEP will take into account the child’s readiness for academic progression, as well as his/her social emotional development. The PEP is reviewed at the end of every semester.

  5. How will GE Branch support a child who is found to be not in the exceptionally gifted range?

    GE Branch will advise the parents and the school on educational options that they may wish to explore with the child.

  6. If I have further queries, who should I contact?

    You may write in to
         Gifted Education Branch
         1, North Buona Vista Drive
         Office Tower, Level 13
         Singapore 138675

    OR email: