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CogAT FAQ - Answers to Your CogAT Questions

Do you have questions about the CogAT? Here at TestPrep-Online, we have the answers. Keep reading for information regarding the test’s validity and reliability, methods of test preparation, score interpretations, and everything else you need to know about the CogAT. Feel free to post more questions in the comment section at the bottom of the page.
 
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About the CogAT

CogAT Prep

What Is on the CogAT?

CogAT Scores

Registering My Child

Related Tests

Ask a Question

About the CogAT

Q: What is the CogAT?

A: The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple choice test is used to measure cognitive development among children and is often used to identify gifted children for admissions into gifted and talented programs across the United States. The CogAT is administered to students in grades K-12 and the testing levels are divided by age group. Click here to learn more about the CogAT.

Q: Why is the CogAT important?

A: The CogAT is an important evaluation for several reasons. This test assesses specific reasoning skills in areas that strongly correlate to academic success. The CogAT provides teachers and parents with information about students’ cognitive development, ability to learn new tasks, and problem solving abilities. Additionally, several gifted and talented programs across the United States may require students to take the CogAT in order to be considered for admissions. Because much of its content is nonverbal, the CogAT is also very useful for testing students who are not native English speakers.

Q: Is the CogAT a valid test?

A: Validity of a test is dependent on how well it measures what it is supposed to measure. The CogAT’s validity has been thoroughly analyzed, revealing that it is, in fact, a useful tool for measuring general and specific cognitive abilities among students.

Q: Is the CogAT a reliable test?

A: The reliability of a test is dependent on the degree to which an assessment tool produces stable and consistent results. Research shows that the CogAT Test can compare the aptitude of a student with his/her achievement reliably.

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CogAT Prep

Q: How do I prepare my child for the CogAT?

A: Familiarize your child with the format and content of the CogAT. Make sure that your child has plenty of time to practice, as this is essential to his/her success on the test. Determining the best way to study can be difficult. TestPrep-Online makes this step easier by offering comprehensive, grade-specific study packs, enabling your child to prepare for the test.


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What Is on the CogAT?

Q: What do the different test levels mean?

A: The CogAT is administered to students in K-12. There are ten CogAT levels, which are based on age. The number attributed to each level corresponds to the age level it is administered to. For example, the Level 9 is designed for students who are 9 years old, and is generally administered to students in 3rd grade. The testing levels for the CogAT Form 7, and the grade they are usually administered for, are as follows:

Level Grade
5/6K
71st
82nd
93rd
104th
115th
126th
13/147th-8th
15/169th-10th
17/1811th-12th

Q: What types of question are on the CogAT?

A: The CogAT Form 7 is made up of three sections, called batteries: the Verbal Battery, the Quantitative Battery, and the Nonverbal Battery. Each battery has three subtests, or question types. You can see the full breakdown in the table below:

Battery Subtests
Verbal Picture/Verbal Analogies*
Sentence Completion
Picture/Verbal Classification*
QuantitativeNumber Analogies
Number Series
Number Puzzles
NonverbalFigure Matrices
Figure Classification
Paper Folding
*Primary levels (5/6-8) contain Picture Analogies and Picture Classification. Higher levels contain Verbal Analogies and Verbal Classification.

Learn more about CogAT questions here.

Q: How many questions are on the test? How much time is given to complete the test?

A: The number of questions on the CogAT Form 7 depends on the CogAT test level. Administration time may vary, depending on how long the proctor takes to administer the test. Students are generally given between 30-45 minutes per battery. With administration time, it takes between two to three hours to complete all three batteries. In total, the CogAT has between 118 and 176 questions, depending on the level. The table in the following section details the number of questions by level. See the table below for the full details on the different lengths of each test:


5/67 8 910-18
CogAT 6120132 144190190
CogAT 7118136 154170176

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CogAT Scores

Q: How is the CogAT scored?

A: The CogAT uses two types of norms when tests are scored: age norms, and grade norms. Age norms compare how a student performed relative to other children of the same age, and grade norms compare how a student performed relative to other children in the same grade. Age norms span from 4 years and 11 months through 18 years old, in which students are grouped in one month intervals. Age and grade scores will often be very similar. However, using age norms can be more accurate when assessing children who are very young or old for their grade level.

Scores for the CogAT are calculated in a number of steps. First, the raw score is calculated by tallying the total number of questions answered correctly. Raw scores are then converted to Universal Scale Scores (USS) for each of the three batteries, which is then used to calculate the Standard Age Score (SAS), percentile rank, and stanine score. Using these scores, along with an analysis of the patterns present in a student's score, a student is given a score profile. Read more about CogAT scores.

Q: What score does my child need to be accepted to a gifted and talented program?

A: In general, gifted and talented program require students to score in the 97th percentile in at least one section or a composite score in the 95th percentile. However, the may vary from program to program. Therefore, it is best to consult with the program your child is applying to to determine the required score.

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Registering My Child

Q: How do I register my child to take the CogAT?

A: The administration of the CogAT Test varies and therefore registration for the test varies. You can find out when your school district will be administering the test. Contact your child’s school to learn more.

Q: Should I send my child to a gifted and talented school?

A: There are many advantages to studying in a school for gifted children, as such children often require a different education than other children. Gifted children might even struggle in regular programs if they are not properly assessed and placed in the right program. However, if your child is happy and intellectually stimulated in a non-gifted program, then it is likely that a gifted program is not necessary. If you feel that your child belongs in a gifted program (or if you are unsure), having him/her tested could be the first step toward a more fulfilling education

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Related Tests

Q: What is the difference between the CogAT Form 6 and the CogAT Form 7?

A: The CogAT Form 6 and CogAT form 7 are simply different versions of the same test. The CogAT Form 7, the current version, is still fairly new. Its predecessor, the CogAT Form 6, may still be administered at certain schools. It is important to know the difference between these two versions of the test, and which one your child will be taking.

One main difference between the Form 6 and Form 7 is the number of questions on each test. For more information on the differences between the two forms, see this page.

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