CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test Online Preparation: Study Guide, Free Practice Questions & Tips – 2024

Gifted and Talented Tests Practice

What Is the CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test?

The CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test is a type of assessment that measures each student’s nonverbal abilities. This section is extremely important for children that do not have strong verbal skills, as this section is entirely made up of shapes and figures. The types of questions that your child will be asked will be used to assess their aptitude for spatial and figural visualization through the utilization of geometric figures.

Each CogAT test will have a name based on the grade level it is testing. This means that 6th graders will be taking the CogAT 6th Grade Test, which is also known as the CogAT Level 12, since most 6th graders will be 12 years old. The CogAT test will include three sections, one of which is the Nonverbal Battery. The Nonverbal Battery score is 1/3rd of the entire overall score that is used to potentially place a child into a program for the gifted and talented within their school district.


What Are the CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test Sections?

The Nonverbal Battey for the CogAT test will include three subtests, including a figure matrices section, a paper folding section, and a figure classification section. Depending on your child’s age, the questions can be extremely basic, or could be fairly difficult. Each child will be asked the exact same amount of questions as other students located nationwide.

Figure Matrices

Regardless of your child’s age, they will all be shown an image of a 2×2 matrix with four individual blocks with images. The images will be made up of spatial forms and will follow the same relationship. The relationship that applies to the initial two images in the top row will also apply to the image in the third row and one of the images in the answer section. Students will decipher the relationship and choose the answer that completes the matrix. This is a figure matrices question example:

Gifted and Talented Test Figure Matrices Sample Question

Paper Folding

Students that take the CogAT Level 5/6 – 8 exam will see a piece of paper image. The piece of paper will be folded one or two times. The students will choose a piece of paper from the answers that will show how the paper would look folded. Children that are taking the CogAT Level 9 and up will also see a piece of paper, but it will be folded two or more times and may include several hole punches. Students will determine how the paper would look if it were to be unfolded and choose the correct answer. This is a paper folding question example:

G&T 6th Grade Test Sample Question 1

Figure Classification

Children of all ages will be shown three images of shapes that are similar in either pattern or color. Students will need to choose a fourth shape from the answer options that follows the pattern or color of the first three shapes. Children will need to develop pattern recognition skills in order to answer these questions correctly. This is a figure classification example question for a CogAT Level 8 test:

G&T Figure Classification sample question


How to Read CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test Section Score Report

  • Raw Score: After the completion of the test, each child will have their total number of accurate answers summed up. The score will be shown with the number of right answers over the number of possible responses.
  • Universal Scale Score (USS): The raw score then becomes the USS total through a normalization process. The nonverbal battery will first receive an individual score before being combined with the other battery scores. The averaged score will be written as the Composite USS total.
  • Standard Age Score (SAS): The Composite USS will be compared against other same-age children and will receive a score between 0-160. This is the SAS total.
  • Percentile Rank (PR): Then, the SAS is calculated into a percentage known as the PR. The PR will show how many children your child scored higher than on this test.
  • Stanine (S): A number will be assigned to your child that shows their academic abilities. They could receive a score of 1 (the lowest possible score) to a score of 9 (the highest possible score).


CogAT Nonverbal Battery Tips

  1. Pay attention to the little details in tricky patterns. As the questions grow harder, so will the shapes and patterns. One can easily become overwhelmed if they only pay attention to the shapes as a whole. If your child comes across a shape that has an intricate pattern that is not easily discernable, have them break down the figures in sections. Start by looking for small details that match each other across the matrixes. Then, apply those patterns to the answer options to see if any are a match.
  2. Practice with sample questions as many times as necessary. The best part about online practice exams is the ability to repeat questions as many times as necessary. This is especially useful for children who repeatedly answer the same types of questions wrong. Sometimes it is more useful to focus on certain questions until your child becomes familiar with trouble questions.


How to Prepare for the CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test

The CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test is unlike exams that your child has previously taken. Because this section is entirely nonverbal, it can be tricky to prepare for it. When it comes time for your child to take the actual exam, they may notice that the correct answers are not as obvious as they thought. Prepare for this nonverbal test by repeatedly taking online practice exams. The more times that a practice exam is taken, the higher your child’s chances are for scoring well on the exam. Practice exams allow you to gain in-depth knowledge on the topics at hand as well as identify areas of weakness. Reading and understanding example question explanations is equally as important. Detailed explanations will include additional information that will clarify what the questions are asking and justification for why questions have certain answers. Schools with gifted and talented programs usually have strict requirements for entry. Preparation is essential if you expect your child to score high on the CogAT Nonverbal Battery Test.