Gifted & Talented Performance Task Assessments

Purpose of the Performance Tasks Assessment (PTA)

These assessments are used to identify intellectually advanced students for inclusion in gifted education programs. The purpose of the Performance Task Assessment is to identify students on Dimension C of the SBE Regulation 43-220.  Students who meet the criteria for Dimension A (aptitude) or Dimension B (achievement), but not both, must take the primary level in grade 2 and/or 3 and the intermediate level in grade 4 and/or 5.

Types of Test Items

The Performance Task Assessments are designed to measure a student’s ability to solve open-ended problems, and to explain solutions, in both verbal and nonverbal subtests. The PTA has both verbal and nonverbal domains. At the primary level, both the verbal and nonverbal domains have 5 items. On the primary assessment, item types include problem solving, writing, analogies, verbal relationships, and vocabulary. The types of items on the primary nonverbal include arithmetic problem solving, logic, spatial problem solving, spatial manipulation, and spatial transformation. Most of the tasks have a 15 – minute time limit although exceptions for this are noted for each task.


Performance Tasks Assessment provides students with sets of manipulatives to assist them with the problem solving process for many of the items on the test. 


Test administrators provide instructions regarding the demands of the tasks so that students understand what they are expected to do.  The purpose of the pre-teaching is to familiarize inexperienced students with task demands and to clarify performance expectations.


Parents of participating students will be notified in advance of the specific school testing dates. Source: South Carolina Department of Education