CogAT Test Online Preparation: Free Practice Questions, Samples & Tips – 2024

Gifted and Taletned Tests Practice

The CogAT is an aptitude test that is administered to children in kindergarten through 12th grade who are hoping to join a gifted and talented program. These programs are not only extremely competitive to get into, but also use test formats that may not seem familiar to the students. Continue reading this article to learn how to prepare your child to take the CogAT test.

What Is the CogAT Test?

The Cognitive Abilities Test, also known as the CogAT, is a test that measures the abilities of children and is used to determine eligibility for a gifted and talented program. The CogAT test is administered to children in K-12th grade, meaning that each grade receives their own test. There are ten CogAT levels in total. Therefore, a child who is in 1st grade will be taking the CogAT Level 7 test, because most children will be 7 years old. Additionally, the most common form of this test is the CogAT Form 7, which measures a student’s cognitive development. However, there are older versions of the CogAT test that your child may take. It is important to check with your school to verify which CogAT Form your school is administering. Moreover, children will have their final scores compared with other same-age children nationwide. This means that your child will not only be competing with local children, but also with children in other states. You can make sure your child scores high on this exam by knowing what to prepare for.


CogAT Levels Per Grade

CogAT Testing Level Grade Number of Questions
Level 5/6 Kindergarten 118
Level 7 1st Grade 136
Level 8 2nd Grade 154
Level 9 3rd Grade 170
Level 10 4th Grade 176
Level 11 5th Grade 176
Level 12 6th Grade 176
Level 13/14 7th -8th Grade 176
Level 15/16 9th -10th Grade 176
Level 17/18 11th -12th Grade 176


What Are CogAT’s Test Sections?

The CogAT is made up of three sections, also known as batteries, and includes a verbal battery, a quantitative battery, and a nonverbal battery. Each of the three batteries is then further divided into three subsections with questions relevant to its battery. Some of the sections, such as the verbal battery, may include questions or topics that are familiar to the students. Others, such as the nonverbal battery, could be made up of shapes and figures that require complex problem-solving skills, which is not always taught in every school. The CogAT is made up of the following three batteries:

Verbal Battery

The Verbal Battery is used to test each student’s language aptitude and their ability to determine specific relationships between specific words. The questions in this battery will require critical thinking skills and may require the use of the process of elimination to narrow down confusing answers. Younger children will not be expected to have a developed reading ability, specifically for children taking the CogAT Level 5/6 through the CogAT Level 8. Children taking these levels will instead have the instructions and questions read to them out loud. In total, the CogAT Verbal Battery will include a Picture/Verbal Classification subsection, a Picture/Verbal Analogies subsection, and a Sentence Completion subsection.

  • Picture/Verbal Classification: Children in kindergarten through 2nd grade will be taking the Picture Classification subsection. This section will include three individual pictures that hold a specific similarity. The students will first identify the similarity, and then look through the answers to find a picture that is similar to the first three pictures. Children in 3rd grade or higher will complete the Verbal Classification subsection. This section will have three words rather than three pictures that hold a similarity. The students will identify the similarity and choose one of the provided words that matches the word similarity.
  • Picture/Verbal Analogies: Children in kindergarten through 2nd grade will be taking the Picture Analogies subsection. Once again, three pictures will be provided to the students. However, this time the three pictures will be placed inside a table. The first two images will be placed in the top row and will match each other in some way. The third image will be placed in the second row and will match with one of the pictures in the answer row. The matching rule that applies in the top row will also apply to the picture in the second row. Students in 3rd grade or higher will be completing the Verbal Analogies subsection. Three words are shown to the students. The first two words are related to each other, and the third word relates to one of the words in the answer row. Students will need to figure out the word relation in order to choose the correct answer.
  • Sentence Completion: This section is optional for children in kindergarten through 2nd grade. These children will not be responsible for reading anything on the test. Instead, a teacher will read a sentence to them out loud, but one of the words from the sentence will be removed. The students will then listen to the answer options and choose a word that best completes the sentence. In 3rd grade or higher, children will begin reading the questions and their instructions. For this section, the students will read a sentence with a missing word, and then will read through the answer options. Students will choose one word that best completes the incomplete sentence.

Nonverbal Battery

The Nonverbal Battery will not include any words and will instead use geometric shapes. This test requires students to look at figural or spatial content and then apply their reasoning abilities to answer questions. Many of the questions in this section will include shapes that hold a specific pattern. These questions are extremely beneficial for children that have an underdeveloped language ability, because there will not be any sort of reading requirement. Unlike the Verbal Battery, the Nonverbal Battery will include the same three subsections, regardless of age. The Nonverbal Battery is made up of a Figure Matrices subsection, a Paper Folding subsection, and a Figure Classification subsection.

  • Figure Matrices: Every question within this subsection will include a 2×2 matrix filled with three figures. This section may look similar to the Picture/Verbal Analogies subsection in the Verbal Battery. Two images will be placed in the top row of the matrix, and those two images are related to each other in some way. The third image is placed in the bottom row and is related to one of the images in the answer row. The main difference is that the Figure Matrices uses spatial forms. This means that the images may be more confusing and will not always include obvious relationships. Students will have to study the matrix and discern the figural relationship in order to choose the right answer.
  • Paper Folding: For students that are in kindergarten through 2nd grade, their Paper Folding subsection will be slightly easier. Students will need to figure out how a paper would look once it was folded using the pattern presented on the paper. Students in 3rd grade or higher may require the children to imagine what a piece of paper were to look like if it were folded, filled with hole punches, and then unfolded. They will be provided with several images of potential pieces of paper that include hole punches. Students with the ability to identify the correct answer tend to have a solid analytical aptitude.
  • Figure Classification: Similar to the Picture Classification section in the Verbal Battery, students will be presented with three images of figures. Students will need to choose an answer from the possible choices that includes a fourth image that matches the pattern of the first three images. As the students grow older, the figures will grow harder. In younger ages, the shapes may only include a solid color that follows an obvious pattern. Later, the shapes may transform into uncommon figures with slightly obscure patterns.

Quantitative Battery

The Quantitative Battery typically includes questions that revolve around mathematical relationships and quantitative reasoning. In this section, students will need to apply problem-solving skills and abstract reasoning to identify patterns and accurately answer questions. Many of the questions will include numerical items that follow a certain relationship. Students will need to identify the rules that govern the numerical items. The Quantitative Battery will be made of up three subsections and will include a Number Series subsection, a Number Puzzles subsection, and a Number Analogies subsection.

  • Number Series: For children in kindergarten through 2nd grade, they will be presented with an image of an abacus toy that includes several rods of beads. Each of the bead rods will follow a rule that determines the amount of beads per rod. The last abacus rod will be missing from the toy. Students will discern the rule and identify the answer that includes a rod with the correct amount of beads. For children that are in 3rd grade or higher, the abacus toy will be replaced with a series of numbers.
  • Number Puzzles: Children in kindergarten through 2nd grade will see pictures that are supposed to signify math problems. Children in 3rd grade or higher will have math problems that include numbers rather than pictures. Each of the equations may include a number that has been replaced with a question mark symbol. The students will need to solve the equation and choose the answer that would complete the equation.
  • Number Analogies: Children in kindergarten through 2nd grade will notice a 2×2 matrix with four cell blocks. The top row will have two cells that each contain a picture. The picture will have shapes that represent a mathematical equation between the two images. Students will need to identify the mathematical relationship and apply it to the bottom row that only contains one image. For children in 3rd grade or higher, they will see two number pairs that are related to each other. Then, a third number will be presented that will follow the same pattern as the first number pairs, and will be related to one of the answer options.

How to Read CogAT’s Score Report

The CogAT score report will include five different scores that are all used in conjunction to determine each student’s final score. Some of the scores on the score report are more important than others. Each school district will have their own minimum score requirements for gifted and talented programs. Some schools will use the Percentile Rank to determine a student’s eligibility, while others may only consider the Standard Age Score result. Regardless of the CogAT level, each student’s test scores will go through the following process:

  • Raw Score: The first score listed on the score report is the raw score. This is the most basic score, as it is simply the sum of the correct answers over the total possible answers.
  • Universal Scale Score (USS): After the raw score has been calculated, it is then converted into a Universal Scale Score. This is just a standard score that has been normalized. This is done by assigning each battery their own individual USS score, and then averaging the three scores together to create a Composite USS Score.
  • Standard Age Score (SAS): A Standard Age Score is determined by further normalizing the Universal Scale Score for that age group. The average SAS is a score of 100, with a maximum score possibility of 160. Students that receive a score around 100 are considered to be at a normal rate of development in their age range. Children that score above a 125 are considered to learn at a faster rate than their peers.
  • Percentile Rank (PR): Each child’s normalized scores will be compared with other children in their age range. Depending on their performance, they will be assigned a personalized Percentile Rank shown as a percentage. This percentage represents how each child scored compared to other children nationwide. For example, a child that scored a 90% Percentile Rank actually scored higher than 90% of other children.
  • Stanine (S): The Stanine score is an extremely broad score that ranges on scale from 1 to 9. The score is simply an assessment of each child’s academic abilities, with 1 being the lowest score and 9 being the highest. Stanine scores generally are divided into the following scoring groups:
9 Extremely High
7-8 Above Average
4-6 Average
2-3 Below Average
1 Extremely Low



CogAT Tips

  1. Prepare for time limits. Each test will have its own time limit, and will vary depending on the grade level. Even if your child can answer questions correctly, they will still need to be able to answer questions quickly. Familiarize yourself on the time restraints for your child’s age, and then practice those time constraints with online exams and sample questions. Run through the questions several times, or until your child can easily answer the questions within the provided time limit.
  2. There won’t be a penalty for answering questions wrong. Unlike other exams, your child will not have points docked if they don’t answer a question right. This means that no question should be left unanswered. Every child should answer every question, even if they aren’t completely sure of the answer. Teach your child about the process of elimination, where they remove any answers that are obviously wrong and narrow it down to a few plausible answers.
  3. Give your child plenty of time to study. You should never wait until the last second to start cramming for an aptitude test. This information requires gradual introduction. At the very minimum, children should begin studying for the CogAT at least two weeks in advance. For children that learn at a slower pace, studying should be done at least a month out. Some of the topics can be difficult to learn or understand. Rather than waiting until the night before the exam to start studying, children should be studying a few hours everyday leading up to the exam.
  4. Make studying time fun! Some children have no problem sitting down and studying. Others do not have as long of an attention span. If that is the case, make studying time a game rather than a chore. If your child becomes frustrated while studying, encourage them to look around the room and identify any patterns that they see. Or, provide them with silly words that sound the same but have different meanings, and then ask them to come up with their own. This will distract them from their formal studies while still allowing their brain to think in different ways.

How to Prepare for the CogAT Test

Preparing for the CogAT test can prove to be tricky for some students. Unlike typical exams that children take in school where the information can be memorized, aptitude tests do not work in this manner. Instead, the questions will include information that has likely never been taught to your child. Questions do not always have obvious answers, and occasionally two or more answers may be similar to each other. The best way to start preparing for the CogAT is by studying with online practice exams, study guides, and sample questions. Practice exams typically include questions that mirror real questions asked on the CogAT. Sample questions are a fantastic way to gauge your child’s skills and weaknesses. Moreover, questions can be repeated over and over again. Thus, if your child struggles with a certain subsection, they can repeat the questions until they feel comfortable. Subsequently, if your child has mastered a section, they can skip over it and move onto more difficult questions. Children that receive a high score on aptitude tests will have likely studied and prepared. You can make sure your child has the best odds of gaining entry into a gifted and talented program by completing online practice exams and scoring high on the CogAT test.

What Is the Cognitive Abilities Test?

The CogAT is a test that measures the cognitive abilities among children of the same age. Each child will be asked to answer multiple-choice questions that include verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative topics. The CogAT is just one of several aptitude tests that are used to admit children into gifted and talented programs.

How Many Questions Are On the CogAT Form 7?

The number of questions asked will depend on the child’s age. Each grade will be asked a different number of questions. In general, each grade will be asked the following questions:

Grade 5/6 7 8 9 10-18
Test Questions 118 136 154 170 176


How Do Parents Register and Schedule Their Children to Take the CogAT?

There is not a set date or time that the CogAT is taken. Therefore, it is up to your school to set a testing time. Reach out to your child’s school and request to know more about the administration of the CogAT. They will provide you with registration steps and dates for the test.

Why Should I Send My Child to a Gifted and Talented Program?

Children that are placed in a gifted and talented program generally learn at a different or faster pace than children in their age range. This means that a gifted and talented program will teach your child more information and will stimulate their learning abilities. If you have a child that learns quicker than their peers, their learning abilities may be stunted if they are required to learn at a slower pace.

How Are the CogAT Tests Administered?

Each CogAT test will include multiple choice questions that will be administered either online or using the paper-pencil method. In most cases, all three batteries will be administered together, but it is completely possible to administer each section separately. The test will be administered by a teacher or school counselor that will act as the test proctor.

How Much Time Does My Child Have to Answer Questions?

Each section may have a set time limit, and in general, each CogAT test level will have a predetermined time limit. Make sure to verify with your school to learn more about which test your child will be taking and what the time limit is.

CogAT Test Time Limit
CogAT Kindergarten Test 112 minutes
CogAT 1st Grade Test 112 minutes
CogAT 2nd Grade Test 122 minutes
CogAT 3rd through 12th Grade Test 90 minutes


What Is the Difference Between the CogAT Exam and Traditional Exams?

The CogAT exam is a test that is administered to children that is used to gauge their learning abilities. The information asked on this exam is not information that was taught to your child. This means that the questions will include information that is new to your child. Traditional exams test a child’s ability to memorize and retain information that has already been taught to them.

Are the Results from the CogAT Exam Reliable?

Enough research has been conducted on the validity and reliability of the CogAT exam to prove that it is a reliable test. The CogAT is simply a tool that is used to measure a child’s cognitive abilities. The results from the test do not show if a child is smarter than another child. Instead, it just shows which children learn differently than other children.

How Should My Child Prepare for the CogAT?

Preparing for the CogAT exam can be easily done by taking advantage of online practice exams. Make sure to only use tests that are grade-specific. Do not use tests that are above or below your child’s grade level, as the information may not be relevant or may be obsolete.

How Is a CogAT Profile Determined?

Each battery of the CogAT will receive its own score. Moreover, every test will have some type of error of measurement, where the difference between each test section is measured. All three of the CogAT tests will receive a profile ranging from A, B, C, and E. “A” profiles have scores from all three sections that are fairly close. “B” profiles include one battery score that is higher or lower than the other two battery scores. “C” profiles are for students that have relative strengths and weaknesses. “E” profiles are for children that have extreme score d