If you just received your child’s Cogat scores, first of all, breathe. There are many parents who take the test scores way too seriously. In most cases they are not going to indicate if your child should be a part of MENSA, nor are they going to mean that your child is going to end up living in your basement forever.
They are, however, good at predicting if there is an area that your child either is experiencing a weakness, or a strength, and can be a guide on how to either help, or to foster either of them.
Your Child’s Cogat Scores
A Cognitive Abilities Test is something that is unlike other tests. It is a learning abilities evaluation that says little about what they actually already know and more about what they are capable of figuring out.
Each of us uses different skills to solve a problem, in fact, no two individuals will usually approach a problem from the same perspective. Although there are natural tendencies, each person is different.
The Cogat test is a way to determine which skills your child is using to reason through a problem and to come to a conclusion.
The cognitive testing that is done measures your child’s ability according to three different areas, quantitative, verbal and non-verbal skills. When a person is confronted with a problem, they have the ability to use any of their reasoning skills to solve it.
For example, if your child encounters a problem that is quantitative in nature, if they have a highly functioning quantitative skill set, they will do better than someone who is functioning higher in verbal reasoning. Therefore, the test really is just a measure of how well a person is able to solve general problems that require either one, two, or all of the reasoning skills that should be at their disposal.
The cognitive test is good for determining if someone has a weakness in one skill set such as verbal reasoning. If you know that your child has a weakness in that area, you are able to teach them the skills to compensate for that weakness with other skills, thereby, making the test worthwhile.
When interpreting the scores, however, it is best to not put too much stake in them for determining their overall capabilities. We all would like to think that tests are the end all, be all, but we also know that there are many other factors at play.
When interpreting your child’s Cogat Scores results, don’t overreact by thinking that they need intervention unless you have noticed a problem yourself, or the educator has noticed one either. If you are concerned, it is best to have them reevaluated to make sure of the validity of the outcome.
Perhaps your child was having a bad day, or misunderstood the directions. It is okay to use the test to make recommendations for your child going forward, but it is not okay to overreact to the results and to label, or to lower, your expectations of what they are capable of going forward.
Click Here for a list of Cognitive Abilities Practice Tests and Books
Here are some additional Resource to Understanding Kid’s CogAT Scores: