CogAT Screening Form Preparation and Tips – 2024

Preparing for G&T Tests

What Is a CogAT Screening Form?

A CogAT Screening Form is a simplified version of the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) that students take to determine eligibility for their school’s gifted and talented program. The CogAT Screening Form will be made up of fewer sections and is usually completed within 30 minutes. Some schools may choose to use the CogAT Screening Form rather than the CogAT test due to its simplicity. The Screening Form is a miniaturized version of the CogAT Form 7 and can still be reliably used to conduct a psychometric assessment on students. The results from this Screening Form are used to determine the learning ability of children. The scores from this exam are compared with other students nationwide, and the final scores will identify which students learn at a faster rate than other students. Receiving high scores on this exam is crucial for entering a gifted and talented program.

Some schools will choose to use the CogAT Screening Form rather than the CogAT test due to the convenience the Screening Form offers. The test can still be administered to a large group of students without taking hours to complete. Furthermore, this test does not include three batteries that are further split into three subsections, which is commonly found on the CogAT test. Instead, children will only be asked questions from one section of the three batteries.


What Are the CogAT Screening Form Sections?

Unlike the CogAT exam, the CogAT Screening Form will only ask students analogy questions. This means that they will not need to conduct sentence completion or paper folding questions. Instead, students will only be asked to complete questions pertaining to figure matrices, picture/verbal analogies, and number analogies. The CogAT Screening Form also offers a fair testing alternative for students who have not yet mastered the English language, as this test does not focus on verbal abilities.

  • Figure Matrices: Each student, regardless of age, will be presented with a 2×2 matrix separated into four cell blocks. The first row of two cell blocks will each contain an image or shape. These images or shapes will hold a specific relationship. Then, the second row of two cell blocks will only include one image or shape. The fourth cell block will be left intentionally empty. Students will need to first look at the top row of shapes and determine their relationship, as that relationship will also apply to the second row. Then, once the relationship has been determined, the students will look through the answer options and find a shape or image that would match the third image and complete the matrix. This section is used to assess each student’s problem-solving skills as well as their ability to identify complex relationships between objects.
  • Picture/Verbal Analogies: Depending on the child’s age, they will be asked to take either the Picture Analogies or Verbal Analogies section. Both of these sections are used to measure each student’s reasoning abilities. Younger students will first see a picture series that are related to each other in some way. Then, they will be presented with several pictures within the answer options. One of the pictures will relate to the initial picture series. Students will need to figure out the relationship between the pictures in order to choose the correct answer. Older children will notice similar questions, except for the pictures will be replaced with words. There will be between two and three words that are related to each other in some way. Students will need to figure out the relation, and then choose a word from the answer options that relate to the first few words.
  • Number Analogies: This section is used to assess each student’s mathematical skills. This is done by showing students shapes, images, and numbers that follow a predetermined mathematical rule. Students will need to solve the mathematical relationship between the shapes or numbers in order to answer these questions correctly. Please keep in mind that younger children will solve equations that include images, while older children will solve equations that include numbers. Regardless of whether or not the mathematical equation uses shapes or numbers, they will all follow some sort of pattern that connects them together, and only one of the answer options will have a shape or number that completes the pattern.


CogAT Screening Form Tips

  1. Make the most of studying sessions by using sample questions. The most straightforward and easiest way to prepare for the CogAT Screening Form is by practicing with sample questions. These questions will help every student become familiarized with the types of questions they will be asked, and will also include detailed explanations that will guide them through their preparation journey.
  2. Practice makes perfect, but it doesn’t always have to be formal. Although practice tests and sample questions are by far the best way to study, that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate other methods. While you aren’t sitting down and studying, try to find ways to keep your child thinking. Have them look around at the grocery store and identify any patterns between fruits or vegetables. They could also look at a rug design to see if they can pick out any patterns within the design. These methods will keep your child thinking about patterns while also not realizing that is it a form of studying.
  3. Don’t let your child study alone. Some children become easily distracted while studying or completing practice exams. Other children may not understand what the questions are asking them. It is imperative that parents sit with their children during the studying process. Make sure your child completely understands what the instructions are asking them to do, and also ensure that they understand the questions. Some parents have found it helpful to ask their child to explain to them out loud their thought processes while answering questions. This method can help you understand where your child may be going wrong if they are consistently answering the same questions wrong. This method can also help you gain an understanding of which sections are your child’s strongest sections and which sections are your child’s weakest.


How to Prepare for the CogAT Screening Form

The CogAT Screening Form may seem similar to the CogAT exam, but the differences between the two are necessary to take into consideration. The CogAT Screening Form is extremely short and to the point. However, this does not mean that your child does not need to study. All of the questions on the CogAT Screening Form will be based on analogies. Sometimes, analogy questions can be worded in a confusing or tricky manner. In order to familiarize your child with the way analogy questions are formulated, you need to consistently practice with online practice exams and/or study guides. These resources also include answers and explanations that will aid your child in understanding how to answer questions correctly and accurately.

It is essential that you take advantage of these online resources at least two weeks in advance. The material that is covered on the CogAT Screening Form will not include information that is typically taught in school. Children that have not studied for this exam will likely be unprepared for the exam and could end up scoring too low. If you hope to enroll your child into your school district’s gifted and talented program, and that school is requiring your child to take the CogAT Screening Form, make sure your child has practiced with online practice exams. This is the easiest way to ensure that your child receives the highest test score possible.