Looking to better understand what your child's CogAT scores say about their skill level? Check out our CogAT Diagnostic Tests and see how your student compares to others in their grade. Good luck!

CogAT Score Interpretation

  • Raw Score: The raw score is calculated first by tallying the total number of questions correctly answered. Students do not lose points for answering questions incorrectly.
  • Universal Scale Score (USS): The raw score is then converted to a Universal Scale Score, which is a normalized standard score. There are separate USS scores for each of the three batteries. The Composite USS is determined by averaging these three scores.
  • Standard Age Score (SAS): The Standard Age Score is a normalized age score for all Universal Scale Scores. It has a mean of 100, a standard deviation of 16, and a maximum score of 160. For example, a student who receives a score of 100 on the quantitative battery is considered to have a standard rate of development and potential in that area, while a student who receives a score of 125 on the same battery is considered to have a faster rate of development and potential in that area.
  • Percentile Rank (PR): This score is used to compare students to other students in their age and grade. A percentile rank of 80 means that a student scored better than 80% of students who took the test. A percentile rank of 50 is considered average.
  • Stanine (S): A stanine is a very broad, simplified score that ranges from 1-9, with 9 being the highest possible score. This score is also normalized for both age and grade groups. In general, stanine scores provide an overall picture of a student's academic abilities. Stanine scores are generally grouped in the following fashion:


9 Very High
7-8 Above Average
4-6 Average
2-3 Below Average
1 Very Low

Or Try For Free First!

How to Read CogAT Score Profiles

CogAT score types are used in conjunction to determine a student's score profile. Score profiles provide a comprehensive view of a student's overall performance on the CogAT, as well as individual strengths and weaknesses. A sample score profile looks like this:

cogat scores profile interpretation

Median Stanine: This is the median stanine score the student receives for the three batteries. If, for example, a student receives a stanine score of 8 on the verbal battery, a stanine score of 2 on the nonverbal battery, and a stanine score of 9 on the quantitative battery, then the median stanine score will be 8.

Score Pattern Indicator: As the name suggests, the score pattern indicator is there to give parents and educators an idea of the pattern of a student’s academic abilities. The Score Pattern Indicator can be represented by the letters A, B, C, and E, with each letter representing a different pattern of ability.

A The student demonstrates the same ability in all three batteries.
B In one of the batteries, the student has scored above or below the other two, meaning they seem to have a relative strength or weakness.
C Two of the student’s scores seem to contrast with one another, meaning they have both a relative strength and a relative weakness.
E The student demonstrates extreme differences in their scoring, with at least two of their scores differing by 24 or more raw score points.

Relative Strength (+) or Weakness (-): This component is represented by Q, N, and V, which stand for Quantitative, Nonverbal, or Verbal Battery, respectively. A (+) sign indicates a relative strength while a (-) indicates a relative weakness.

Or Try For Free First!

Interpret YOUR Child's CogAT Score Report

Has your child already taken the CogAT? Not sure what their score report means? Houton Mifflin Harcourt gives you the opportunity to plug in your child's scores and find out just where their strengths, weaknesses, and areas of growth lie. Plug in your scores here.

What CogAT Score is Considered Gifted?

What CogAT score is considered high? What CogAT score is considered gifted? These are questions that many parents, teachers, and students are asking.

Let’s start with the first question- what is a high CogAT score? Well, the answer is not so simple. As we can note from the score types and score profile generated from a student’s test results, the answer is layered: some students may appear to perform more poorly due to an overall weaker raw score, but at closer glance are spotted as extraordinarily talented in one area, and less than average in another. This means that the concept of a high score is flexible, and there is unfortunately no definite answer.

When it comes to what CogAT score is considered gifted, however, the answer becomes a bit clearer. Whether or not a CogAT score is considered gifted is often determined by their Standard Age Score (SAS), percentile ranking, or even simply their raw score.

Every gifted program varies in the exact amount of points a student needs to qualify. Here are just a few examples of gifted programs & their CogAT score requirements:

John Hopkins Program for Gifted & Talented Youth Raw Score of 95%
Northwestern University Talent Search Raw Score of 90%
Bellevue School District’s Advanced Learning Services 98th Percentile
Intertel Raw Score of 99%


How to Prepare for the CogAT

The CogAT is a challenging exam. With increasingly high levels of competition for gifted programs, it is important that your child is ready for test day. At TestPrep-Online, we offer comprehensive, age-specific study packs to ensure that your child is as ready as s/he can be. These packs include practice tests, section-specific sample questions, detailed explanations, and study guides.

Or Try For Free First!

The CCAT, CogAT, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.

Back to top