Cognitive Abilities Test

The CogAT

Is a nationally recognized test to help determine giftedness in students.

Is a group test not an individual test.

Must be given by district teachers/proctors not private psychologists.


Students from kindergarten through grade 12.

Measures the development of both inductive and deductive reasoning abilities that are crucial for success in school.

Appraises general abstract reasoning abilities and a student’s capacity to apply these to verbal and nonverbal cognitive tasks.

Students will be tested one grade level above their current grade.

K-8th Grade Students

Kindergartners and first grade students will have questions read to them. Questions are multiple choice and they will bubble the answer in the test booklet. Second grade students will read questions and also bubble their answers in the test booklet. Third through eighth grade students will read questions and bubble answers on answer sheets.

Verbal Battery

The verbal battery tests a student’s vocabulary, as well as their comprehension of ideas, efficiency and verbal memory, and ability to discover word relationships. Statistics show a high correlation between high verbal ability and success in a variety of school subjects.

Quantitative Battery 

The quantitative battery tests the student’s quantitative reasoning and problem solving ability and provides an appraisal of the student’s general level of abstract reasoning.


Non-Verbal Battery

The non-verbal battery presents the most novel problems to students. The items on these tests use only geometric shapes and figures that have had little direct relationship to school instruction. The test requires no reading. The non-verbal battery is particularly suitable for obtaining an accurate estimate of development for students who have difficulty with reading, who have limited competency in English, or who have had limited opportunities.

Should My Student Study Before Taking the CogAT? 

NO! These tests are not the same as a standardized reading, spelling, and math tests where you know the words or the facts and can get 100%. There is no defined curriculum for the CogAT. Instead it is about how students think, reason, and come to conclusions. The objective of the CogAT is to see if a student qualifies as Gifted or Highly Capable and has the highest need to be in a higher level classroom to succeed.

Having a student practice for a cognitive test might help the student do better on the test, but the student will need to be able to perform at a much higher level in the classroom. We want students who are placed in the Challenge and other highly capable programs to be successful and not struggle to keep up with the advanced curriculum.
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