Cognitive Abilities Test Interpretation and Overview


Cognitive abilities test examines a person’s capabilities regarding how he thinks, reacts to challenges, his perception, verbal abilities, mathematical understanding and the abilities required to solve problems.

CogAT tests, though are designed just for children, there are also other tests for adults who are looking to get employed in corporations.

Usually the only thing that is measured through IQ tests and General Tests is the general ability to display knowledge.

Cognitive abilities test provide insight regarding a person’s specific mental capabilities, for example, completing number series, verbal correlations and spatial analysis.

Cognitive Abilities Test – Interpretation and Overview

Here are some important factors that you need to know regarding the cognitive abilities tests for children.

What is a CogAT?

CAT refers to the cognitive abilities test.

As mentioned above, the purpose of this test is to assess your child’s ability to comprehend logic, the ability to reason and the ability to manipulate.

3 types of different evaluation techniques

  1. Using words
  2. Using mathematical quantities
  3. Using visualizations

in forms of different shapes and patterns.

All three of these techniques are considerably useful for the human mind to function in an efficient manner.

There are three different ‘Batteries’ devoted to each technique in the test.

Each ‘Battery’ is then further broken down to form subsets which challenge different perspectives of reasoning.

Kids generally have different preferences when it comes to facing challenges regarding reasoning.

Some kids prefer mathematical challenges, some prefer verbal problems and some prefer using different illustrations and 3D patterns to showcase their level of intelligence.

By evaluating each individual’s score in these different batteries, considerable information can be extracted from their performances, meaning you will be able to know what your kid is better at and in which areas does he/she need help.

cognitive assessment, cognitive abilities test
cognitive assessment, cognitive abilities test

Advantages of Cognitive Abilities Test in School

One great thing about the CogAT test outcome is the fact that it does not in any way correlate to a student’s performance in school.

Schools tests normally challenge the knowledge of each individual pupil while the CogAT evaluates a student’s potential to show his/her capacity to grow mentally.

School experience and knowledge does not factor in the result of a CogAT.

The use of complex reasoning challenges at schools will provide a better understanding of a student’s abilities, talents and the space needed to hone that talent.

It will give teachers an avenue to design more comprehensive and effective ways of teaching and providing students the environment they need to improve themselves substantially.

The cognitive abilities test results provide teachers a guideline to standardize the classroom environment and challenges.

It provides grounds for the children to respect what they learn and to become responsible at learning.

Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Analysis: A Broader Definition

The cognitive abilities test aims to assess and evaluate a child’s ability to reason.

The test itself is composed of nine different tests within a single test and each test has a different ‘battery’ or section.

The first battery is verbal reasoning, the second one quantitative reasoning and the third is non-verbal evaluation.

You can view CogAT preparation questions online

Different word mediums are used to assess the child’s verbal skills in the first battery.

The processes for the second battery are similar but instead of words the child is required solve numbers in the form of symbols.

The third battery deals with analyzing different spatial visualizations including puzzles, 3D imaging and other illustrations.

The third section is considered to provide a fair assessment due to the fact that you do not have to know English in order solves puzzles and other visualizations, thus this is suitable for children who have poor English speaking abilities.

Furthermore the third part provides a great assessment regarding a child’s ability to reason using figures and images rather than displaying intelligence using words or numbers.

Getting a good score in the third battery would mean that your child possesses the ability to perform well in science and technology, mathematics and design.

Does the CAT Evaluate a Child’s Natural Ability?

It is impossible to say that the cognitive abilities test assesses a child’s natural ability.

A child will perform well in all tests if he/she has received good teaching, parental support and is emotionally, mentally and physically healthy.

Having said that, when it comes to testing the kids’ reasoning abilities the CogAT test is not greatly influenced by the factors mentioned above in comparison to tests which are used in schools.

Tests’ curriculum designed by educational institutions such as the SATs and GSCE desire results which are derived by providing teaching and knowledge necessary to attempt such exams.

These tests in no way challenge a student’s cognitive ability.

Can Underachievers Be Identified Through The CAT?

The cognitive abilities test does not depend on a student’s school experience or what scores they have achieve in school tests.

Comparing the CAT results of a student with that of his/her school test results will give you great insight into the areas where the students needs more attention and areas in which he/she is strong.

CAT results help evaluate a child’s potential, for example the results will help in identifying why a student is falling behind in school and yet has average or even above average reasoning skills as displayed in the CAT.

Students not performing well in school are labeled as underachievers.

The cognitive abilities test highlights the fact that these students have a lot of room for improvement and can make considerable progress if guided in the right way.

CogAT Scores
CogAT Scores

Can I Keep Track of my Child’s Progress using CAT?

The result of a cognitive abilities test tends to be stable in comparison to school tests and annual school examinations.

In this regards it is better to view your child’s scorecard after each school examination in order to determine whether he is under-performing, staying average or performing better in relation to what they are being taught.

Determining Improvement and Decline in a Student’s Progress

There are a number of factors which can considerably affect a child’s performance in a performance related test on that specific day.

The pupil could have been tired, he or she could have experienced an unexpected event such as divorce or fighting between parents, he or she could have been bullied the day before, etc.

These factors can influence a test score considerably for an individual.

Moreover, due to the fact that school tests are generally very short, they do not provide an accurate assessment of a pupil’s reasoning abilities.

A cognitive abilities test examines a particular pupil’s progress differently.

As a general criterion, CAT recognizes a pupil’s improvement if he has scored 10 points more than he scored previously in any of the batteries of the test.

If the pupil achieves this, he/she will be said to have improved in the CAT.

Usually standard scores in the cognitive abilities test are derived when scores in all three batteries are similar or close to being similar.

The results in (verbal reasoning, quantitative analysis and non-verbal reasoning) should align with each other for a candidate to have a standard score.

Cognitive abilities test scores are never equal and it is a rare occurrence for anyone to get them.

Any improvement in the CAT will be judged when a particular student achieves 10 points or even more in one of the batteries.

The difference in points will be considered as being substantial.

If the score is lower than before then the student will be considered as being weak.

It is not advisable to make any suggestions based on a student’s school test scores.

Traditional test scores do not display a particular child’s cognitive reasoning skills.

They are merely attainment tests which are targeted at understanding whether or not the student qualifies to advance further.

In order to gauge where a student stands when it comes to problem solving and reasoning abilities it is best that parent or teacher refer to the individual’s cognitive abilities test score.

Differences in IQ and CAT Scores: An explanation

While IQ tests are taken individually, the cognitive abilities test is taken in a group.

Both settings have different benefits.

For example, some students would prefer to take the test individually due to problems associated with paying attention and may not understand the test when attempting in a group setting.

The IQ test involves the examiner reading out the questions to the pupil.

In a CAT, the pupils are required to read the materials given to them on their own.

Moreover, intelligence tests, such as the tests, assess some cognitive tasks which are not evaluated in the CAT, which means that in a way an IQ test can also be a reliable source of assessment regarding an individual’s cognitive abilities and reasoning skills.

Scores in both the tests can considerably differ if you consider factors like a child’s unwillingness to participate, his or her health, poor administration of the tests, etc.

The difference in scores depends on the applicant being assessed.

Is The Accuracy Of The Cognitive Abilities Test In Any Way Affected By Children Suffering From Dyslexia, Dyscalculia Or Other Attention Disorder Disabilities?

One of the factors that make the CAT stand out is the fact that it can be used to diagnose the student’s method of performance in all sections of the CAT.

For instance, if a student has dyslexia then it is likely that he or she will under perform in the verbal section of the test but perform well in the other two.

Students who have other attention disorders tend to score low on all three sections.

If this happens then it is advised that a further one-on-one assessment be done with the pupil(s).

Bear in mind that it is pertinent that you must realize the skills required of your child to attempt the cognitive abilities test or any other test in the first place if you desire accurate results.

For example, if the student is going to attempt the verbal abilities section in the test then it should be presupposed that your child has a normal grasp of basic reading and writing skills.

Without that, your child will not be able to attempt the test.

If a child’s reading abilities are considerably affected by dyslexia then an accurate assessment of his or her level of reasoning ability will not be made.

In such circumstances, the other two batteries (Quantitative Analysis and Non-verbal Analysis) may shed some light on how able the child is but it should be noted that children who have dyscalculia will most certainly be unfairly challenged in the above mentioned sections.

Importance of Proper Supervision and Management during the CAT

The CAT test should always be properly organized and supervised.

It is pertinent that the instructions given to the personnel must be followed correctly.

Each subset of the battery starts with the instructor demonstrating and explaining sample questions.

The instructor should make sure that everybody in the group appearing for the test is familiar with by the format of questioning.

Secondly, timing every individual is also very important and it is advised that instructors use stopwatches and or clock to ensure that time is equally given to each participant.

For example, if a subset has a the time limit of ten minutes, then it is necessary the entire ten minutes be given to the children, not a second more or less.

After the test has commenced, the administrator or instructor should not get involved.

He or she should only address problems which are deemed legitimate.

Can I Help in Reading Out the Questions Pertaining to the Verbal Analysis Out Loud?

It is advised that you should read the questions written on the verbal analysis section in the language that you originally speak, if not English.

But bear in mind that this may affect your child’s score.

Preparing for the CAT

It is important that you encourage your child to practice for a couple of months before the test.

Without preparation, an accurate assessment cannot be made.

Get involved with him/her, look for samples of the cognitive abilities test online and make sure your child understands everything.

There are also several educational games that help prepare for the CogAT