The CogAT Test for Gifted Programs

The CogAT Test for Gifted Programs

Throughout the individual school districts, many gifted coordinators use the CogAT test to identify gifted students in their individual schools. The CogAT test specifically tests three areas of reasoning - verbal, non-verbal, and quantitative. It is mandatory in many states to test children on all verbal, non-verbal, and quantitative skills to identify gifted students.

Many gifted administrators found that students who score high on an ability test such as the CogAT do well in academically rich and creative learning environments. Having an assessment like the CogAT that measures aptitude in more than one area provides a great opportunity to identify students with great academic potential. For example, children with excellent verbal ability are ready to dive into English Language and Arts content and read at a much advanced level than their peers. Similarly, the nonverbal battery helps to find students who excel at reasoning visually and these students show above average abilities in arts and sciences.

The test can be done in session or in multiple sessions. If the administrator is requesting the student to complete the test in one session, then it is important to ensure breaks are planned between test batteries. Testing in one session takes about 2 hours - depending on break time, student doubt clarifications, etc. Of all tests, the CogAT provides a lot of flexibility to identify gifted students. However, schools and gifted coordinators can use other tests too such as the NNAT, CCAT, and OLSAT. Some coordinators use the NNAT specifically to evaluate students on non-verbal skills.

In Grades K-2, students can receive directions in their most comfortable language, which helps remove some of the barriers to identifying children from all backgrounds. Not only can students from multiple grades now test at the same time, but students can test in different languages at the same time too. All of this allows for simpler scheduling for administrators, and comfortable grouping of students. Students can enjoy having less distractions as they’re engaged in the tasks while having their headphones on.  

Getting a test might sound straightforward but unless they are offered by your child’s school or kindergarten, they can be difficult to arrange. Even then, getting the right kind of gifted evaluation can be quite tricky. If your school’s gifted policy isn’t available on their website, make enquiries. It could be that your school doesn’t offer much in the way of such testing. In this case, reaching out to your local education board, teachers association or similar should point you in the right direction. 

Alternatively, you can look for a person qualified to administer the test/assessment nearby. Psychologists are sometimes trained to do these tests. Since the pandemic many online tests have appeared. If you were to select online testing for your child, make sure you check the validity of the results.

Hope this is useful, thank you.

Back to blog