Cognitive Abilities Test

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a group-administered K–12 assessment intended to estimate students' learned reasoning and problem solving abilities.

The test purports to assess students' acquired reasoning abilities while also predicting achievement scores when administered with the co-normed Iowa Tests. The author of the test is David F. Lohman, professor emeritus at the University of Iowa. The CogAT is a multiple choice exam that is used to assess cognitive development among children. It is often used to identify gifted children for admission into gifted and talented programs in the United States. [1][2]

Test Information[edit]

The CogAT is composed of three batteries: Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. These batteries may be administered either together or separately, depending on the needs of the administering school. Each battery is designed to evaluate specific reasoning skills in these areas that strongly correlate to academic success. This test assesses cognitive development, the ability to learn new tasks, and problem solving abilities. There are ten CogAT levels, all based on age, and it is administered to students in grades K-12. The following table illustrates which CogAT level is administered for each grade:

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

Administration time may vary depending on how long the proctor takes to administer the test. Students are generally provided between 30-45 minutes for each battery. With administration time, it takes between two to three hours to complete all three batteries. In total, the CogAT contains between 118 and 176 questions, depending on the level. The table in the following section details the number of questions by level.

Test Sections[edit]

The CogAT is made up of three sections[3]

Battery Sub tests
Verbal Picture/Verbal Analogies

Sentence Completion Picture/Verbal Classification

Quantitative Number Analogies

Number Series Number Puzzles

Nonverbal Figure Matrices

Figure Classification Paper Folding


The Verbal section is made up of three types of questions - Sentence Completion, Picture/Verbal Classification, and Picture/Verbal Analogies. In the lower CogAT levels (5/6-8), pictures are used for the analogies and classification questions. This allows the test to assess a student's verbal abilities without requiring the student to use his/her language skills. In these levels, the Sentence Completion section is read aloud to the students, and the students select the picture which best completes the sentence. In CogAT levels 9 and up, students read the test on their own.

This section is used to evaluate a student's vocabulary, verbal memory and efficiency, ability to determine word relationships, and ability to understand ideas.


The Quantitative section consists of three different question types - Number Analogies, Number Puzzles, and Number Series. In Number Analogies questions, students need to determine which answer choice is analogous to the numbers in the questions (levels 5/6-8 determine which picture is analogous). The Number Puzzles questions require students to solve simple equations by choosing the answer that ensures the amounts on both sides of the equal sign are the same. For Number Series questions, students need to determine the number that comes next in the series based on the pattern that is presented.

This section is used to evaluate quantitative reasoning and problem solving abilities, as well as a student's level of abstract reasoning.


The Nonverbal section is composed of three types of questions: Figure Matrices, Paper Folding, and Figure Classification. This section of the test is used to evaluate a student's ability to reason through the use of figural and spatial content. This test is beneficial in the assessment of development among students who have difficulty reading, limited ability in English, or who have limited opportunities.

In Figure Matrices questions, three figures are presented in the form of an analogy, which the student must complete. Figure Classification questions display three figures, and the student needs to choose the answer that should be the fourth figure in the set. For Paper Folding questions, students need to determine how a hole-punched folded paper will appear once it is unfolded.

This section of the test is used to evaluate a student's ability to reason through the use of figural and spatial content. This test is beneficial in the assessment of development among students who have difficulty reading, limited ability in English, or who have limited opportunities, as there is no reading required. Geometric shapes and figures that are unlikely to have been seen by students during their formal schooling are utilized in this section.


The CogAT Form 7 is available for students who do not speak English natively, as its content is primarily nonverbal. The primary levels (5/6-8) are composed almost completely of nonverbal questions. Only the Sentence Completion section (which is optional) requires language skills, and it is available in both English and Spanish. Each level of the CogAT offers instructions in English and Spanish.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, Erin Morris (21 August 2012). "Chapter 6: Being Gifted". In Callahan, Carolyn M.; Hertberg-Davis, Holly L. Fundamentals of Gifted Education: Considering Multiple Perspectives. Routledge. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-136-94643-1. The tests that have been in development the longest, and with the largest research base supporting their reliability and accuracy in predicting school outcomes, are those that measure general intelligence (g) and specific cognitive factors (s) and those that measure achievement in a specific domain of study. Examples include the Wechsler series of intelligence and achievement scales (i.e., Wechsler, 2000, 2009), the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (Roid, 2006), the Woodcock-Johnson series (i.e. Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001a, 2001b), the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) (Lohman & Hagen, 2001), and the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) (Hoover, Dunbar, & Frisbie, 2005). 
  2. ^ Urbina, Susana (2011). "Chapter 2: Tests of Intelligence". In Sternberg, Robert J.; Kaufman, Scott Barry. The Cambridge Handbook of Intelligence. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 20–38, 24. ISBN 9780521739115. Lay summary (9 February 2012). The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, Eighth Edition (OLSAT8), which is the current version of the Group Intelligence Scale, is still widely used to evaluate cognitive abilities related to success in school from kindergarten to 12th grade. Another contemporary group test designed for the same purpose and population is the Cognitive Abilities Test, Form 6 (CogAT-6). 
  3. ^ "Explanations and Sample Questions"

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]