The Cognitive Abilities Test, otherwise known as the CogAT test, is an aptitude test published and produced by Riverside Publishing Company. The CogAT is generally used to test students from grade levels Kindergarten to 9th grade, or first year high school, to determine whether or not they are qualified for their local Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) programs.

The CogAT attempts to quantify the intelligence of children by testing them in the following categories:

  • verbal
  • quantitative
  • non-verbal

Each section of the test contains three (3) types of questions in which each question will attempt to gauge the intelligence of its test taker.

Depending on the grade level, students will find that the CogAT may either be entirely picture based, word based, or a combination of both. The verbal section of the CogAT contains the verbal classification section, sentence completion section, and verbal analogies section. The verbal classification section will pose questions to students by giving three ideas, objects, or adjectives that all have something in common, and then tasking the student to pick a fourth idea, object, or adjective that fits the pattern of the first three.

Sentence completion is as simple as it sounds. Students are tasked with choosing a word (or picture) to fill in the blank of a sentence in order for it to make the most sense.

Finally, verbal analogies tests a student’s ability to detect relationships between words, such as: “new is to old as wet is to dry”.

In the quantitative section of the CogAT, students will have their mathematical skills and numerical knowledge evaluated. Firstly, the student will be tested on the quantitative relations section. This section merely tests the student’s ability to appraise numbers and determine which number is greater than another.

Next, comes the number series section in which the student is presented with an array of numbers and must choose the answer to match the present underlying pattern. And thus finally, under equation building, the student is tasked with combining numbers based on which numerical operation they are tasked to employ.

Lastly, in the non-verbal section, students will be faced with figure classification, figure analogies, and figure analysis questions. In the figure classification section, the student will be evaluated based on their ability to find a pattern amongst three given objects their ability to apply that pattern to the answers. Next, in the figure analogies section, students are tasked with determining the relationship between two given objects and then applying that same relationship to the third given object and the answer. Finally, in figure analysis, the student is evaluated on their ability to accurately determine where holes would appear in a piece of paper after it has been folded, hole punched, and then unfolded.

With this, the CogAT is a test that aims to see where the child that takes it falls on the spectrum of ability.  This will then help the student move forward by determining which program they would be most suited for.  This test is the tool for them to measure themselves against themselves and see what they can possibly improve on, or what part of their abilities they have advanced in.  It is always a good idea to push oneself further to reach their potential, and this test can help determine the boost your child needs!