The CogAT stands for cognitive abilities test, and one of its main functions is to determine which students can benefit and prosper in advanced educational programs for gifted students. With the right kind of CogAT prep, your child may attain the high score they deserve in order to take advantage of these special educational opportunities.
It’s not easy to practice and review for the CogAT test, since there are no official CogAT practice test samples. These CogAT tests are confidential in nature, only accessible to authorized educators. Nonetheless, it’s still possible to practice for the CogAT, especially for CogAT Form 7
Why Take the CogAT Test Prep?
You prep for a test in order to maximize your chances of getting a high score, and the CogAT is no different. The CogAT is much like an IQ test as it measures the student’s reasoning ability. You can’t really crack open a book and memorize facts for this test.
But CogAT test prep may just mean familiarizing the student with the types of questions used in the test. Children can be very anxious about tests, especially when they’re not sure what to expect.
This is only natural. And that’s actually the point of CogAT practice test examples. They help students become familiar with the format of the tests, and they receive a better idea of what to do.
Reasons for Low Scores on CogAT Test
It’s a known fact that it is very easy to get a lower score than what you actually deserve in these types of tests. A student may not be feeling well on the day of the test, or he/she may not be motivated. Situations to consider with your student:
Did your child have enough sleep leading up to the test and especially the evening before the test? Did he or she have a balanced breakfast? Is the child’s parent/guardian putting too much stress and pressure on the child regarding the test? Was it just a “bad morning?”
With the right CogAT practice test, it is expected at the very least a student won’t be as anxious during the test, and that they have a better understanding of what they have to do.
Examples of CogAT Practice Questions
If you’re a parent or an older student about to take the CogAT, here are some insights about the tests and examples of the types of questions you may expect:
For verbal tests, the vocabulary of the student is tested. The tests also measure how the student understands ideas through words, the range and efficiency of their verbal memory, and their ability to recognize relationships between words.
The three sub-tests for the verbal portion are verbal classification, sentence completion, and verbal analogies. There are about 20 questions for each sub-test, and students have 10 minutes to finish each sub-test. These three tests all combine to provide the verbal score of the student.
- Verbal classification. The student is given three words which are in some way alike. Then the student is asked to choose another word among five choices which is also alike to those first three words.
For example, the first three words may be dog, monkey, and donkey. Among the options (animal, barley, zoo, cat, pet), the right answer is cat, because the first three words are specific animals and so is a cat.
Another example is blue, red, and yellow. Among the choices (rainbow, color, pretty, crayon, yellow) the right answer is yellow, as it is a color just like the first three words.
As you can see, it may be possible that one of the answer choices can denote the relationship among the first three words (animal for the first example, and color for the second). But the right answer is the one that fits the group of three words best, and not the one that describes them.
- Sentence completion. In this type of test, the student is faced with a sentence with a word left out (shown as a blank). They are then asked to pick a word among the choices that best fits the sentence.
For example: The dog began ___ when someone knocked on the door. Among the choices (eating, sleeping, barking, purring, talking) the best answer is barking. Technically, eating and sleeping are possible, but in the sense of the sentence the word barking is the most suitable.
Another example: George was ___ to climb up the ladder because it was flimsy. Among the options (excited, hesitant, going, smart, rise) the best answer is hesitant. Obviously, the option rise is not the right answer because it doesn’t fit the sentence grammatically.
While the other options can technically fit into the sentence, the word flimsy means that hesitant is the best option for the sentence.
Here, the student must be able to understand the meaning of the words “flimsy” and “hesitant.” They then should comprehend the relationship between those words.
They need to understand what a person would feel when climbing on something that seems easily breakable.
- Verbal analogies. The student sees three words in the test item, and the first two words go together. The third word goes together with one of the answer options, in the same manner in which the first two words go together.
Take this example: boy (is to) girl : man (is to) ___. Among the choices (pet, car, job, woman, baby) the best answer is woman as it is the gender counterpart of man just like girl is the gender counterpart of boy.
Here’s another example: big (is to) huge: small (is to) ___. Among the options (cute, nice, petite, large, young) the best answer is petite. Here the word pairs are synonymous to each other—they have similar meanings.
This discounts the answer large right away. And while the words cute, nice, and young may be related to small, it’s only the word petite which is actually a synonym of small. The student, of course, must know the meaning of petite.
For quantitative tests, the tests measure the student’s ability to reason with numbers and solve problems that involve numbers. It is also a measure of the student’s ability to reason in abstract terms. The three sub-tests in this category are quantitative relations, number series, and equation building.
There are about 25 questions for quantitative relations and the student has eight minutes to complete it. For the number series, there are 20 questions with 10 minutes for the student to finish it. In the equation building sub-tests, the student gets 12 minutes of testing time to answer 15 questions.
- Quantitative relations. Here, the student is given 2 equations. The student must then solve for the answer for both equations, and then say whether the answer for equation 1 is equal to, greater than, or less than the answer for equation 2.
Here’s one simple example. Equation 1 is 5 x 8 and equation 2 is 6 x 7. The possible answer options are:
- a) Equation 1 is greater than equation 2
- b) Equation 1 is less than equation 2
- c) Equation 1 is equal to equation 2.
The right answer is b, as 40 in equation 1 is less than 42 in equation 2.
For older age groups, the equations become more complicated.
- Number series. Here the student is given a series of numbers. The student must choose an answer among the options as to what number comes next in the series. For example, in the series (1, 3, 5, 7) the next number is 9, as it’s a series of prime numbers. The series may be a multiple of a number (3, 6, 9, 12) or it may be a series of prime numbers (2, 3, 5, 7, 11). The series of numbers may be about multiplying its number by another number, such as multiplying the numbers by 3 (1, 3, 9, 27, 81). It may even be a bit more complicated, such multiplying by 2 and subtracting 1 (2, 3, 5, 9, 17).
- Equation building. The test items here give some numbers and math symbols, and the student must arrange them in such a way that the answer to the equation equals one of the answers in the choices given. For example, the item may offer (1, 4, 8, +, -) and the answer options are (4, 5, 10, 12, 13). The numbers and symbols can then be arranged as 8+1-4, which equal 5 which is one of the answer options.
As the test becomes more complex (especially for older students), more complicated mathematical symbols may be used. Part of the CogAT prep should be about the math symbols which students in certain age groups are expected to know about.
Finally there is the nonverbal portion. Most students are unfamiliar with these types of tests, which is why taking the CogAT practice test is so important. These tests use only geometric figures, shapes, and shading, and for the most part this is unrelated to school lessons.
There’s basically no reading here, so students who have reading difficulties, who don’t know much English yet, or who have very limited opportunities to read are given an equal chance to score as well as those who grew up reading English at a very young age.
The sub-tests for nonverbal are figure classification, figure analogies, and figure analysis. Students face somewhere between 15 to 25 questions with just 10 minutes for each sub-test.
- Figure classification. The student is given three figures, and these figures are in some way alike. They have something in common. Among the five answer options given, the student is tasked to pick the best figure that belongs among the first three figures.
The trick here is to find the one element that is common among the first three figures. It may be the shape, the number of sides, the color, or the shading.
- Figure analogies. The student gets three figures, and the first two are related to each other in some way. The right answer among the options is the one that also relates to the third figure in the same way.
For example, the first two figures are a red rectangle and a blue rectangle. The third figure is a green triangle. Since the first two figures share the same shape (they are both rectangles), the right answer among options is also a triangle regardless of color.
Another example is a grouping of two triangles and a circle as the first figure, and the second figure is also a grouping of two triangles and a circle arranged in some other way. If the third figure is a grouping of a circle and a square arranged in some way, then the right answer is also a grouping of a circle and a square arranged in some other way.
The one thing these pairs have in common is the shapes in the grouping.
- Figure analysis. This is known as the paper folding part of the tests. It’s part of topology, which is an important branch of math.
Basically, the test items here show how a paper is folded and where the holes are punched while it’s folded. The student must then find the answer among the options which correctly show how the holes are arranged when the paper is unfolded.
This can be very difficult for some students to visualize, and the best kind of CogAT test prep here is to just get pieces of paper and fold them and punch holes in them to see how the holes are arranged when they are unfolded. This can help a student visualize the holes when they are taking the actual CogAT test.
Sometimes a paper may be folded once, or it may be folded more than that. The student should then develop certain guidelines as to how the holes would look, depending on the folds.
Tips about Proper CogAT Practice Test Prep
Here are some useful tips for parents who are helping their children prepare for the CogAT:
- For younger students, test practices should be fun.
- The practice test must be suitable for the age group of the student.
- During the practice test, incorrect answers must be addressed right away. It must be explained why the answer is wrong and why and how the right answer is the best.
- Make sure the student has enough sleep the days leading up to the test.
- Ensure the student has a proper start on test day with a healthy breakfast.
- Encourage the student to do his/her best but do not put extra pressure and stress on the test.
There’s such a thing as too much preparation. It should just be enough that the student does not become anxious or even hateful about the CogAT. With the right preparation, the student may take advantage of opportunities to learn more in school through advance programs for gifted students.
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