CogAT – Is it the Right Test for your Child?


The cognitive abilities of a student play a crucial role in determining his interest and performance in academic life. Prior knowledge about the cognitive abilities can help teachers to understand the students better, and can enable them to devise customised study plans. 

CogAT is a test designed to assess the cognitive abilities of  the students. Its results can  get them a seat in the programs meant for gifted students, at school. The test has an MCQ format and focuses on the verbal, non-verbal, reasoning, and quantitative questions. 

Breakup of the CogAT Test

This test has three major sections-

  • Verbal battery
  • Quantitative battery, and
  • Nonverbal battery 


The Verbal Battery Consists of the Following Key Topics-

  • Picture analogies
  • Picture classification
  • Sentence completion 


The Quantitative Battery Encompasses the Following-

  • Number analogies
  • Number puzzles
  • Number series


The Non-Verbal Battery Comprises the Following-

  • Figure matrices
  • Paper folding
  • Figure classification 

Scoring and measurement

The difference between CogAT and other achievement tests including SATs is that CogAT is focused on exploring a student’s abilities and potential. It is why the questions asked in the test  examine the reasoning and quantitative abilities of a student. Once you clear the test, it will be clear as to what are the strong areas and problem points of the child. 


If you believe your child’s intellect is better than other children of his age, it is highly advisable to take up the CogATtest to figure out if he can qualify for a scholarship. 

Testing Formats

CogAT has three testing formats: –

Complete- The duration for this format is 90-120 minutes which includes a comprehensive assessment, allowing the teacher to understand strengths and weaknesses of the student. 

Screening form- This is a faster yet reliable way to get actual insights into how the student is performing and what program would be best suited for him. 

Post-screener- If you wish to get a complete Ability Profile for your child d, go for the post-screener which contains six subtests that are not a part of CogAT screening form. The duration for the same is 60-90 minutes.. 

Form Selection

There are two forms available for the students who wish to take the CogAT: 

  • Form 7, which is also available for giving the test remotely.
  • Form 8, which is placed securely for invigilation based tests.

To understand CogAT better, contact the school authorities. Get in touch with the school months before the test date to understand the kind of system that will be used at school for conducting CogAT. Ask if they will be using a remote system or the traditional brick and mortar system, whether all the batteries will be provided, and what level of CogAT the child will give. You will need answers to all- these before your child takes the CogAT. 

Another important factor is to make sure that you and the school authorities are on the same page as far as the grading is concerned. Ask your child’s teachers which test they would be administering. At times, the school authorities conduct an above grade test if they are looking for students who are gifted. Other times, they may also conduct a below grade test if the child has just started school. As the grade increases, the duration of the test reduces. 

Preparing for the Test

The CogAT test can open the gates to endless possibilities. Here are some important tips to help your child through cogat test prep

  • Focus on one section at a time, initially. Once you complete the entire syllabus, you can assign a mock test.
  • You will have to teach your child the skill of time management. Young children often do not understand the importance of finishing the test on time. 
  • A healthy schedule and balanced schedule is a must during preparation time

CogAT is an extremely helpful system designed to reward the hardworking students and motivate them to pursue their interest in academics. The test requires honing the verbal and quantitative aspects of the syllabus, while keeping a check on the time. Test guides and sample question papers are extremely handy during practice sessions. Begin the SCAT test preparation now to secure your place in the leading gifted student program!

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