Updated on 19 October, 2021
The Cognitive Abilities Test (COGAT) is a multiple choice, hand-held aptitude examination that tests reasoning abilities with various kinds of quantitative, verbal, and non-verbal questions. The CogAT is also a nationally-scored aptitude examination commonly given to high school students entering into gifted programs. It is administered by The College Board, a non-profit association of schools and universities. The CogAT was developed for three specific purposes: to identify giftedness; to help parents and teachers prepare teaching plans for gifted students; and to provide information about the benefits of testing.
The Cognitive Abilities Test is scored in a letter format using a four point scale, consisting of: Speed, Versatility, Coverage, and Time. There are eleven multiple-choice questions on each section, and each multiple choice question is required to be answered in the specific order required for the section. The order of the questions is not important. Any incorrect answer earns a failing mark. There is no right or wrong answer in the Cogat, but the higher the score, the more likely you are to succeed in the program.
Many gifted children and adults do not understand the format or the concept of the Cogat Test. In order to maximize your chances for success with the Cogat, you will want to review it before taking it. You may also want to read through the questions one or two times to get an idea of the thinking behind the questions. If you are scoring high on any section, you may want to start working on strategies for the sections that you are scoring lower than average. If you are scoring poorly, you may want to consider using a Cogat workbook or online practice tests to make it easier to answer the multiple choice sections.
The second section of the Cogat is the reasoning section. Your child will be asked to identify how they judge different situations. They will also have to identify their cognitive abilities. The order of the questions is not as important in this section as it is in the reading section. A strong grasp on the reasoning section will help you judge your child's reasoning abilities during the entire course of the Cogat.
The reasoning skills section requires you to demonstrate your child's basic problem-solving and reasoning abilities using a battery of questions designed by the authors of the Cogat. These questions are constructed in a way that requires your child to select all of the correct answers. Your child will need to answer the entire battery of questions within ten minutes. Be sure that your child takes the time to answer each question accurately and in a timely manner.
The reading comprehension portion of the Cogat is also quite challenging. Your child will be required to read a passage that has appeared on a previous section of the test. These passages were previously identified by the testing center and scored by a qualified examiner. Once again, your child will need to correctly answer every question in order to raise his or her scores. Your child will likely be required to read the entire passage - even when it's covered in more than one paragraph.
Once your child completes the reading portion of the Cogat, he or she will move on to the listening and speaking portions. Again, practice questions will be given to determine your child's readiness to sit for the real exam. As your child gets better at answering these practice questions, you will need to increase the number of correct answers to challenge him or her even more. If you want to ensure your child's maximum grade despite the difficulty of the listening and speaking sections of the Cogat, it is suggested that you allow them to complete the practice questions until they are ready to take the real test.
Once you have given your child all of the necessary materials to review for the Cogat, you can start preparing for the actual exam by making sure your child has all of the necessary workbooks for each level. Workbooks for the reasoning section are designed to prepare your child's critical thinking and analytical skills for the test. You will want to make sure that your child has an active study plan in place. This way, you will know exactly what material to cover and when. And, the workbooks, along with study guides and flashcards, will help your child keep track of their performance throughout the entire test and grade.