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

Gifted and Talented Tests Preparation

What Is the CogAT Verbal Battery Test?

The CogAT Verbal Battery Test is an aptitude test that assesses each student’s vocabulary efficiency as well as their verbal memory ability. Students will need to be able to understand relationships between words and identify word similarities. The test questions will include context clues that will serve as a guide for answering questions. Students may also have to use the process of elimination to identify correct answers and complete vocabulary sentences.

The CogAT tests will be named based off of the grade it is testing. For example, 5th graders will take the CogAT 5th Grade Test. Additionally, the test may be named off of a child’s age. Therefore, a 5th grader would also be taking the CogAT Level 11, because most 5th graders will be 11 years old. The Verbal Battery is just one of three sections on the CogAT exam that will be used to determine a child’s eligibility to enroll into a gifted and talented program.

What Are the CogAT Verbal Battery Test Sections?

The CogAT Verbal Battery will be split into three subtests. Each subtest will ask a predetermined number of questions based on the child’s grade in school. The Verbal Battery will include a picture/verbal analogy section, a sentence completion section, and a picture/verbal classification section.

Picture/Verbal Analogies

Children that are taking the CogAT Level 5/6 through Level 8 exam will be taking the Picture Analogy subsection. Picture analogies will include three images. The first two images will go together in some way, and the third image will go with one of the answer options. The CogAT Level 9 and above will be replaced with a Verbal Analogy subsection. Instead of pictures, there will be three words. The first two words will relate to each other. The third word will relate with one of the answer options. Here is an example of a CogAT Level 12 Verbal Analogy question:

Question: Ate is to eight as bye is to ___

A: buy      B: bee      C: goodbye      D: hello      E: sell

Answer: A: buy

Picture/Verbal Classification

Children that are taking the CogAT Level 5/6 through Level 8 exam will be taking the Picture Classification subsection. This section will include three pictures that are related to each other. They will choose one answer that includes an image that matches the first three pictures. The CogAT Level 9 and above will replace the three pictures with three words that are related to each other. Students will choose one word from the answer choices that match the three words. Here is an example of a CogAT Level 10 Verbal Classification question:

Question: purple   yellow   blue

A: rainbow      B: pink      C: color      D: paint     E: shades

Answer: B: pink

Sentence Completion

For children that are taking the CogAT Level 5/6 through Level 8 exam, the Sentence Completion section is completely optional. Children at this age are not required to read. Instead, a teacher will read a sentence that is missing a word to the children. The children will pick an answer that they believe includes the missing word. The CogAT Level 9 and above will also include a sentence with a missing word, but they will be expected to read the sentence rather than listen to it. Here is an example of a CogAT Level 9 question:

Question: John wanted to go play outside, so he put on his socks and ____.

A: makeup      B: socks      C: shoes      D: umbrella      E: telephone

Answer: C: shoes

How to Read CogAT Verbal Battery Test Section Score Report

  • Raw Score: The total number of correct answers is tallied and placed over the total possible score.
  • Universal Scale Score (USS): Once the raw score is calculated, it is turned into the USS total. The verbal battery will receive its own USS score, which will eventually be averaged together with the other two battery scores to create a Composite USS total.
  • Standard Age Score (SAS): The USS total is normalized and compared with children that are within the same age range. Each child will be assigned a SAS number between 0 and 160.
  • Percentile Rank (PR): The SAS is converted into a percentage that shows each child’s potential. For example, a child who receives a PR of 70% actually means that the child scored better than 70% of other same-age children nationwide. This is the number used to determine gifted and talented program eligibility.
  • Stanine (S): This is a simplified score between 1 and 9 that shows each child’s academic abilities, with 9 as the highest score.

CogAT Verbal Battery Tips

  1. Use the process of elimination. Sometimes the questions asked within the Verbal Battery may not have obvious answers. However, some of the answer choices will be obviously wrong. If your child is not immediately sure of the answer, have them start off by crossing out any answers that do not make sense. This will help them narrow down the possible answers.
  2. There is no penalty for guessing. Sometimes, students will take exams that subtract points for wrong answers. The CogAT exam is not like that. Points are earned through answers that are responded to correctly. If a question is answered wrong, it will not be counted against the students. If your child is not sure, they should always guess.

How to Prepare for the CogAT Verbal Battery Test

Becoming familiar with the material on the CogAT Verbal Battery Test is one of the most important steps in the studying process. Questions will become increasingly difficult, and some answers may look similar to each other. The easiest way to receive high scores on this exam is by preparing with online practice exams. Make sure that your practice exam includes sample questions with explanations. You should also make sure that your child reads through the provided explanations. These will teach your child how to answer questions correctly while also explaining to them why questions have to be answered in a certain way. Gifted and talented programs can be competitive and hard to get into, making the preparation process imperative. The CogAT Verbal Battery is just one section out of the entire CogAT test. Scoring well on this portion of the exam can be done by preparing in advance and familiarizing the material. Help your child study with online practice exams that will undoubtedly assist them in preparing for the CogAT Verbal Battery Test.