This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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Annotated Bibliography

Articles are listed in descending order by year (most recent first), and then by first author's last name.

Grade Skipping and Whole-Grade Acceleration

LeBeau, B. C., Assouline, S. G., Foley-Nicpon, M., Lupkowski-Shoplik, A., & Schabilion, K. (2023). Likelihood of whole-grade or subject acceleration for twice-exceptional students. University of Iowa.

Academic acceleration, which enhances challenges for academically gifted students, can be subject-based or whole-grade. Limited research has explored its application in the twice-exceptional population, where students possess notable cognitive strengths and challenges due to psychological diagnoses. Our clinical study investigates the likelihood of subject or whole-grade acceleration, considering IQ, age, and achievement differences across diagnosis types and demographics. Subject-based acceleration is more likely for students with diagnoses of depression or anxiety, gifted program participation, or medium socioeconomic status. Males with specific learning disabilities (SLD) are less likely to be subject-based accelerated. Whole-grade acceleration was likelier for students diagnosed with anxiety. At the same time, those with medium or low socioeconomic status, and ADHD, ASD, or SLD diagnoses, were less likely to be whole-grade accelerated.

Lupkowski-Shoplik, A., Assouline, S. A., & Lange, R. (2022). Whole-grade acceleration: From student to policy. Gifted Child Today, 45(3), 143–149.

Whole-grade acceleration moves a student up one or more grades in response to that student's academic needs. Although grade-skipping is supported by decades of research, this type of acceleration is not often used. Acceleration policies make whole-grade acceleration available to more students who would benefit, encourage more educators to use the intervention, and result in more equitable access of acceleration to qualified students. Whole-grade acceleration policies detail the entire process of obtaining accelerated placement and services–from the referral of the student through the transition to acceleration. A child-study team (not an individual) makes the decision, addresses academic gaps, and monitors the student's transition to acceleration. Acceleration policies help ensure this intervention is implemented consistently. Utilizing excellent acceleration policies can result in students achieving the developmental goal of competence and engagement in learning.

Alarfaj, A., & Al-Omair, R. A. L. (2020). The whole grade acceleration policy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the state of Massachusetts, USA–An analytical comparative study. International Education Studies, 13(8), 55–67.

The research aims, through a comparative analytical study, to unveil whether there is an actual whole-grade acceleration policy in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) if compared with that applied at Massachusetts, USA. Adopting such a policy secures the right of the gifted student to grow academically in proportion with his peculiar potentials. The research adopts the comparative analytical method (qualitative) using two tools: document analysis and semi-structured interview. The sample of the study comprised two education supervisors in charge of the acceleration system in the department of the gifted in KSA and school principals applying the system in the state of Massachusetts. The foremost result, which the study came up to, was that the Saudi educational system has a comprehensive written acceleration policy based on scientific frameworks, while Massachusetts doesn’t have a specific document for applying a comprehensive acceleration policy. The research concluded with some recommendations among which are: The comprehensive acceleration policy in KSA still needs to develop, especially in the following areas: Classes and study levels on which the acceleration system and guidance services are applied, and The need to review acceleration procedures as they are among the obstacles that hinder an active application of the policy at the present time.

Rimm, S. B., & Lovance, K. J. (1992). The use of subject and grade skipping for the prevention and reversal of underachievement. Gifted Child Quarterly, 36(2), 100–105.

Acceleration, including early entrance to kindergarten, grade skipping, and subject skipping, has been used as a strategy to prevent and reverse underachievement in a selected group of gifted students. Fourteen sets of parents and 11 students were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the effectiveness of the acceleration strategy. All the parents and all the students indicated they would make the same decision again.

Only two of the school administrators and six of the receiving teachers were initially positive about the skipping, but most of them changed their positions with the child's success, at least in regard to the specific accelerated child. There appeared to be a period (between one quarter and a semester) during which teachers expressed concern over the students' adjustment, but students did not perceive themselves as having adjustment difficulties.