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What Is the CogAT?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple-choice test designed to measure a child’s academic aptitude and gifted abilities.

The CogAT Form 7, the most common version of the test, measures cognitive development and problem-solving skills. The test is made up of three sections, called batteries:

These batteries can be administered separately or together, depending on the school administering the test.

The CogAT is administered to students in grades K-12. There are ten CogAT levels. 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 approximately 9 years old and is generally administered to students in the 3rd grade. The testing levels for the CogAT Form 7 and the grade they are usually administered to are as follows:

CogAT Form 7 Levels

Level Grade
5/6 K
7 1st
8 2nd
9 3rd
10 4th
11 5th
12 6th
13/14 7th-8th
15/16 9th-10th
17/18 11th-12th

CogAT Form 7 Batteries


  • Picture/Verbal Analogies: Grasp relationship between two concepts (represented either through images or words, depending on the age of the student).
  • Sentence Completion: Complete sentences after either hearing or reading them.
  • Picture/Verbal Classification: Classify a given concept based on its relationship to other given concepts (represented either through images or words, depending on the age of the student).


  • Number Analogies: Determine the relationship between two mathematical concepts, based on another given pair of concepts.
  • Number Series: Complete a series of numbers by deducing the underlying pattern.
  • Number Puzzles: Solve a given equation to discover the value of an unknown.


  • Figure Classification: Choose the shape/ figure that most fits a given category.
  • Figure Matrices: In a 2X2 matrix, identify the relationship between the two top squares and apply it to the two bottom squares.
  • Paper Folding: Determine the end result upon folding a hole-punched paper in a specific way.

CogAT Form 7 Sample Questions

 Sample Question: Level 5-6, Kindergarten 

cogat kindergarten level 5-6 practice question

Which picture from the answer choices belongs with the others?

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tip TestPrep-Online Developer's Tip: Think of a rule that describes the similarities among the pictures in the top row. If you find it difficult to think of a rule, go over the answer choices to see if there is a figure among them with special features. For example, you might find out that only one answer choice is colored in a certain way.

 Sample Question: Level 7, Grade 1

cogat level 7 figure classification

Which of the bottom shapes completes the top pattern?

Answer & Explanation|

 Sample Question: Level 8, Grade 2

cogat 2nd grade practice test question

The paper is being folded and punched with holes. Choose the answer choice that depicts the paper after it is unfolded.

Answer & Explanation|

 Sample Question: Level 9, Grade 3

The first pair of words are related in a certain way. Choose the word that completes a second pair of words so that they are related in the same way.

Peach → fruit : lily →

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tip TestPrep-Online Developer's Tip: A good strategy for analogy questions is to start by making up a short, simple sentence to connect the two words in the first analogy. For example: “A parody is satirical.” Then, you can substitute in the words from the second analogy to help you eliminate answer choices. 

 Sample Question: Level 10, Grade 4

The pictures in the boxes on the top belong together in a certain way. Choose the picture that belongs with the bottom picture in the same way the pictures on top belong together.

4th grade cogat practice test question

Answer & Explanation|

 Sample Question: Level 11, Grade 5

What number comes next in the series?

50 54 41 45 32 ?

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tip TestPrep-Online Developer's Tip: Start by thinking of a rule that describes the pattern in the set of numbers and try to express it in words. For example, "each number is bigger by 1 than the number before it." If a simple rule does not work, check out more complicated patterns. For example, the pattern can include addition and subtraction alternately.


  Sample Question: Level 12, Grade 6

parody --> satirical : beverage -->

Answer & Explanation|

CogAT Norms and Scores

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. These norms span from 4 years and 11 months through 18 years. Students are grouped in one month intervals.

Grade norms compare how a student performed relative to other children in the same grade.

CogAT scores are calculated in these 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. 

Learn more about CogAT scoring.

CogAT Form 7 Language Adjustments 

The CogAT Form 7 is accessible to non-English speaking students due to its highly nonverbal format. The main reason for the changes between the Form 6 and Form 7 primary levels was to accommodate English language learner (ELL) students. The Form 7 primary levels (5/6-8) are now made up almost entirely of nonverbal questions.

The only section that requires language skills is the optional Sentence Completion section, which is available in both English and Spanish. Instructions for all levels are offered in English or Spanish.

How is the CogAT Form 7 Administered?

Administration time may vary depending on how long the proctor takes to administer the test. Students are generally provided 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.

How the test is administered depends on your child's grade, school, and the CogAT Form s/he is taking. Here is what we do know about the CogAT Form 7 administration:

  • Your child is likely to take the test with a small group of students (no more than 20)
  • Batteries are often administered together
  • Some schools only administer specific batteries of the CogAT, so it is important to find out exactly what CogAT batteries your child will be taking.
  • The CogAT Test can either be taken online or on paper.

Other CogAT Forms

CogAT Screening Form Test

The CogAT Screening Form is a condensed version of the CogAT Test, consisting of the analogies section of every battery. The test allows for an efficient appraisal of a student's skills, as it only takes 30 minutes to complete. It is perfect for both students whose mother tongue is not English, as well as students who have reading difficulties. Learn more about the CogAT Screening Form.

CogAT Form 8

The CogAT Form 8 is used alongside the CogAT Form 7 to make sure the student is assessed as fairly as possible. It’s important to stress that the CogAT Form 8 is identical to the CogAT Form 7 in both format and topics, so that by preparing for the CogAT Form 7, you are preparing for the CogAT Form 8 as well. Learn more about the CogAT Form 8.

CogAT Form 6

The CogAT Form 6, the CogAT Form 7's predecessor, 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. The following table illustrates the changes in the number of questions on each level of the Form 6 and Form 7: 

  5/6 7 8 9 10-18 
CogAT 6  120 132 144 190 190 
CogAT 7   118 136 154 170 176'

The testing levels on the CogAT Form 7 differ from how the testing levels on the CogAT Form 6 and other previous editions were divided. Similar to the current levels system, levels of the CogAT Form 6 do not match up strictly to a grade level. Levels K–2 are designed for students in kindergarten through second grade, while Levels A–H are designed for students in grades 3–12. However, a high achieving second grader may take the Level A, while a low achieving third grade student may take the Level 2. This fluid system allows for a more specific and focused testing for each student. 

The format also changed from Form 6 to Form 7. In Form 6, the format for the primary levels (K–2) was different from higher levels. On the Form 7, the format is mostly the same across all levels. See the table below for a breakdown of the batteries and sub-tests at each level. 

CogAT Form 6 Batteries (Primary Levels)

Battery Subtests
Verbal Oral Vocabulary
Verbal Reasoning
Quantitative Relational Concepts
Quantitative Concepts
Nonverbal Matrices
Figure Classification

Primary levels are levels K-2 on the Form 6, corresponding to levels 5/6-8 on the Form 7.

How to Prepare for the CogAT

Today, competition for gifted programs is at an all-time high. By properly preparing your child for the upcoming CogAT, you can significantly boost his or chance of attendance to the program both of you have your eyes on. To help you prepare as much as possible, TestPrep-Online offers comprehensive, age-specific study packs to ensure that your child can learn, progress, and excel on every section of the CogAT. Our packs include practice tests as well as additional sample questions, study guides, and explanations. Start your test prep for the CogAT today

Watch this short video that summarizes the most important things you need to know about the CogAT:

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