Most parents only know about the Gifted Education Programme (GEP) identification exercise when they first receive the letter from MOE regarding the GEP Screening Test, which typically takes place in the third week of August in P3.
The letter contains information regarding the date of the test, the subjects that are tested, and the duration of the tests. It goes on to say that the questions that are tested may be more difficult than those assigned in schools and that students who do well will be shortlisted for the GEP Selection Test in October (typically held mid-month). Finally, it states that the objective of the GEP identification exercise is to identify pupils with high intellectual potential who will benefit from the enriched curriculum provided in the programme.
Parents then have to indicate on a reply slip whether they would like their child to participate in the GEP Screening Test.
For most parents, this would be the first time they have heard of GEP. Those who already have some idea about GEP had probably heard about the programme and how the tests are carried out from friends or relatives.
The letter is usually issued in late July, which leaves the less-well-informed parents about one month to prepare their child (should they wish to do so) for the test. It is at this time that parents start to try and find out as much as they can about the test. Information, however, is hard to come by as there is no published 3 or 10-year-series for the GEP Screening and Selection tests. When parents do come across credible sources of sample questions, there is little time left to react. As a result, many P3 students end up going for the tests with little or no preparation.
It is common to hear parents lament: "If we'd known earlier, we would've done something about it."
Thus, if you have a child who'll be in P3 soon, it's important that you know about the GEP and when and how the identification exercise will be carried out. With that knowledge, you can make your own decision about whether you wish to prepare your child for the tests; as opposed to being left with no choice were you to find out about it late in the year.
What are the kinds of questions that students are tested on then?
We've posted many past year questions on our blog so check them out!
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