When it comes to timed tests like the Cognitive Ability Testing, it’s always a good idea for kindergartners and 1st graders to become familiar with the type of questions they will likely face. How do you begin with CogAT prep for young students? Simply by having them understand the types of sample questions (CogAT Sample Questions for Very Young Students).
It can minimize the intimidation factor and also alleviate any concerns as to what kinds of answers are correct. Children who are in kindergarten or 1st grade may already be familiar with school tests. For the most part, the quizzes and tests they take in class are designed to see what they have learned.
Because of this, a child can review for the test by reading their books and trying to memorize facts, spelling words, or math techniques.
Why CogAt Tests are Different
But the CogAT is a different kind of test. It doesn’t really try to discover how much kids have already learned. Instead, it tries to measure a child’s ability to reason. Because of this distinction, many experts discourage extensive reviews for very young children (kindergarten and first grade level).
It shouldn’t be about the child’s ability to memorize answers to the CogAT sample questions. So should you look into CogAT prep for young students?
There is some value for young children to be exposed to the kind of test they will likely encounter in the CogAT. For one, it can clear up any confusion for the child as to how the test will be given. It can also dispel any sort of anxiety regarding how to answer these tests correctly.
By reading CogAT sample questions and knowing what type of answers are expected, a child can face the test with more confidence. For kindergartners and 1st graders, the CogAT questions are read to them by the teacher, and the entire process is explained to them in a way that they will understand.
As a parent, you may want to read the questions to your child as well.
Choosing a CogAT Sample Test for Kindergartners and First Graders
CogAT Sample Test
Whether you are researching CogAT for young students or older grades, there are some things to consider. If you Google for CogAT prep courses, you will likely find online preparatory courses and CogAT practice books on Amazon.
You need to know how to choose the right one. Above all, when working on CogAT prep for young students, the most basic rule is that you need an age appropriate CogAT sample test. Testing your child at his or her level is the most critical factor, as that is what your student will be tested on in school.
CogAT test questions for older children are much more difficult and complicated.
Be aware that sometimes there are mistakes in certain prep books. For example, the writer of the test questions may not understand the rules about subject verb agreement. Sometimes prepositional phrases can be misplaced, which can change the meaning of a test question that can confuse a child.
There are even times when the foils (the technical term for the wrong answer choices) are so obviously wrong that the right answer can be chosen easily even if the child does not understand the test question. We have seen several examples when the wrong answer has been given for some test questions.
Take some time to review the CogAT sample test and check for mistakes. Do this before you go over the test with your child.
The Importance of CogAT Prep for Young Students
For some people, the idea of prepping kinders and 1st graders for the CogAT may seem excessive. This may be true, in a way. At the same time, the CogAT may determine your child’s academic curriculum. [Many schools these days use tests like CogAT to find out which kids can enter a Gifted and Talented (GT) program.
Depending on the school and district, these scores may only affect your child in a later grade. For example, the test in the fall of 4th grade may affect what track the student is placed in for 5th – 8th grades.] Many intelligent kids will benefit greatly from these types of advanced educational instruction, but there may only be a few slots.
What’s more, your child may be overlooked as unsuitable for these programs because of low CogAT scores when your child is highly intelligent and creative.
So what does CogAT prep for a young student look like? How does a child prepare for the CogAT? There are different ways recommended. But essentially, children should be familiar with the process so that their confusion or anxiety will not affect their CogAT scores.
That’s how the CogAT test sample questions work. They expose the child to the type of questions they will encounter, so that the child can be familiar as to the kind of answer expected. These CogAT test sample questions are not meant to be memorized. The preparation can be fun for children, and it should not interfere with the child’s other normal activities, such as playing, reading, relaxing, sports, and doing their homework.
Above all, CogAT prep for young students should be pleasant and not at all stressful. By getting a good score on the CogAT, your gifted child may be able to take advantage of more creative and more in-depth teaching methods that are more fun and more effective for exceptional children.
CogAT Test Sample Questions
Here are some appropriate CogAT test sample questions for your child to practice. Just remember to read the questions for the child, just as his/her teacher would in the actual CogAT. Remember, CogAT prep for young students is supposed to be a positive, stress-free experience.
- Oral vocabulary. These are the questions which emphasize a word, and then the child needs to pick the picture or pictures which show the meaning of the word.
For example, a question may be: Which of these pictures are identical? If your child knows the meaning of the word “identical” then they would pick the two pictures which look exactly the same among the answer options.
Another possible question is: Which picture shows a peel? The right answer may be the one with the banana peeled halfway. Another example could be the question: Which one is upside down?
And the right answer is a turtle that’s lying upside down on its shell. The right answers here define a key word in the questions. As you can see, it may not be possible to memorize every word that a gifted first grader may be expected to recognize. But by encountering questions like these in their preparations, the child may have a better idea of how to answer the question.
- Verbal reasoning. Some questions may be about how words are related to each other. For example, here is a sample item: Mrs. Smith will walk to the park. It is raining. Among the pictures shown, what should Mrs. Smith bring with her to the park?
The right answer may be the umbrella, if it’s shown among the choices. To answer the question correctly, the child should know what’s needed when someone is about to walk in the rain.
While the other picture options (like a bag) in real life may be important, and it can also be used to cover the head when it rains, the child should know that the umbrella here is the most appropriate answer.
Additional verbal reasoning questions like this should be found in the manuals focusing on CogAT prep for young students.
- Quantitative concepts. Here it is mainly about math. For example, your child may be shown a picture of three stars. They student may be asked to count how many stars there are in that picture. Then they are asked to look at other pictures of stars, and they’re asked to find the picture that has four more stars than the first picture. To answer this correctly, the child should realize that “four more stars” means adding four to three to arrive at seven stars.
It may also be about knowing which number is greater than another. For example, a child may be shown a number like 156. Then other numbers will be introduced, and the child will be asked to pick the number which is greater than the first number.
A good CogAT test book will have additional questions for CogAT prep for young students.
- Figure classification. In this part of the test, a child is asked to look at a group of figures. The first figure may be a bunch of blue triangles of different sizes. The answer options may include another blue triangle, along with a green triangle and a blue rectangle. With this type of CogAT sample test question, your child may understand that a group of figures may be similar in two ways instead of just one. That’s why the correct answer is the blue triangle, instead of just another triangle or another figure that’s blue.
Here’s another example. A square, rectangle, and a triangle are in the same picture, and each one of the figures has a shaded corner. The most appropriate answer is the one which also has a shaded corner and not the figure with shaded area in the middle.
Even for 1st graders, some of the questions may be a bit complicated. You should make your child understand that no one (including you and the teachers) expects any student to get each and every item correct. You can easily ask similar questions for CogAT prep for young students.
- Matrices. This may seem like a rather complicated term, but it just denotes a big square divided into 4 boxes. You then explain to your child that there are pictures in three of the squares, while another square is empty. You should point out the empty box to your child.
Ask the child to describe what he/she sees. Then ask what he thinks should go in the empty box. If the child is unsuccessful in the attempt, you can say something like: “Look at the first little square at the top row.
It has a drawing of a rectangle. Now see the next drawing in the next square at the top row? It also has a rectangle that is the same as the drawing in the first square. This is your clue. The two pictures in the top row are the same.”
Without providing the answer, ask what should be in the empty box. If the student answers incorrectly, ask what he/she sees in the square next to the empty box. As an example, if the third shape is a picture of a shaded circle, you can say, “If the top two boxes have rectangles in them, it seems the bottom two boxes should have _____ in them?” Look at the drawings in the answer choices, and help explain why it is correct to pick the picture that also has the shaded circle.
Tips for CogAT Prep for Young Students
At this age, it’s not always a good idea to prep a child too extensively. Make it fun. Be aware that the time you choose to prep for the CogAT does not conflict with other activities.
If you do buy a book and take some time for CogAT prep for young students, here are a few worthwhile tips.
- Ask the teachers about how long the test takes. You then make sure that each review session does not take longer than the actual CogAT. It should just be the same, or you can make it a shorter review session, dividing it into sections.
At this age, many children can really find it difficult to focus on a single activity for too long. They may get bored or distracted easily. That same principle applies to your review session too.
- Try to make it fun. One way of encouraging children to review for the CogAT is to make a game out of it. Many games, including video games, are all about problem solving, so you can do the same for your review sessions.
- Don’t be tense. Children are very good at assessing the mood of their parents. Remember, you’re reading the test items to your kids. You need to make your tone of voice friendly and cheerful so that your child does not tense up.
Admittedly, some parents may feel a bit of frustration when their children fail to answer questions correctly. However, it is critical that you remain positive and patient. The CogAT measures reasoning ability. It is a fact that some kids are better at this than others.
The point of the review is not to improve your child’s reasoning ability. The point is to familiarize the child with what going to happen in the CogAT, so that they are not intimidated by the questions.
Final Notes on CogAT Prep Young Students
The CogAT is an effective way to measure how your child recognizes, discovers, and uses relationships between words, numbers, and figures. It also tests for how flexible they are in their reasoning.
These abilities are not inborn. These skills can actually be developed, both in school and in your home. As a parent, you can help with that, and CogAT prep for young students is a good start.
The CogAT is also a very good way to predict the academic performance of your child. But again reasoning ability is not the only factor that determines grades. Their work habits and the full support of everyone at home make a huge impact.
As a parent/guardian, you have the ability to start now to instill effective work habits that can help your child all through college. You should also encourage the desire to do well so that it is important to the student. CogAT prep for young students can be an important part of this.