The CogAT Test Guide

CogAT Test Summary
What: The CogAt is a test to evaluate student's general reasoning capabilities.
Who: The test is for students in grades K-12.
Where: Tests are administered in school for students K-12.
When: The test is offered at the school's discretion throughout the year.
How: Students are asked to solve numeric and geometric puzzles as well as verbal exercises such as logically completing sentences.
Type: Paper and pencil.
Why: The exam is used to place students in gifted programs.
Time: The test takes 145 minutes for students in grades 3-12, 138 minutes for students in grades 1-2 and 169 minutes for students in kindergarten.
Language: English
Preparation: Students can prepare by taking practice tests and performing practice problems.
Cost: No cost.

by Giles Howard, Tests.com

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAt) is an evaluation of a student’s verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning skills. Administered to grades K-12, the CogAt is designed as an assessment of pure reasoning skills used to identify gifted students. The test series is developed by Riverside Publishing and has been published since 1954.

CogAt Format
The CogAt is made up of three batteries of tests, each of which consists of two or three subsections that take between 10 and 24 minutes to complete. There are two versions of the CogAt: the Primary Edition tests students in grades K-2 and the Multilevel Edition tests students in grades 3-12.

CogAt Sections
The first battery of the CogAt is the verbal battery. This group of tests evaluates students' verbal memory, vocabulary and comprehension of word relationships. The verbal battery is broken down into a number of subsections based on the age of the student:


  • Oral Vocabulary
  • Verbal Reasoning


  • Verbal Classification
  • Sentence Completion
  • Verbal Analogies

The second battery of the CogAt is the quantitative battery. This group of tests evaluates students' skill level in problem solving and quantitative reasoning. Like the verbal battery, the quantitative battery is broken down into subsections based on the student's age:


  • Relational Concepts
  • Quantitative Concepts


  • Number Series
  • Equation Building
  • Quantitative Relationships

The final test battery is the nonverbal battery that tests students' problem solving ability. It consists of a number of nonverbal problems involving geometric shapes and puzzles. Because this test battery involves no reading, it is an ideal set of tests to evaluate students with low English proficiency or students who have difficulty reading. It is broken down into subsections based on a student's age:


  • Figure Classification
  • Matrices


  • Figure Classification
  • Figure Analysis
  • Figure Analogies
  • Test Preparation

It's possible to prepare for reasoning tests such as the CogAt by taking practice tests and performing practice problems. These practice exams and problems familiarize students with the format of the test and the types of questions that will be on it. Because the test does not evaluate any sort of subject comprehension, it is unnecessary to study any vocabulary, math or science in preparing for the CogAt.

To find test preparation materials, please visit our CogAT Directory. To learn more about the CogAT, read our interview with CogAT expert Tim Sitar.

Sources: Riverpub.com, Issaquah.wednet.edu

CogAT Practice Test

The Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT evaluates a child's problem solving and reasoning skills using quantitative, verbal and non-verbal cues. The group-administered test is given to students in grades K-12 and is often used to select students for Gifted and Talented Education programs. The test can also be used to predict future learning abilities and to place students in advanced classes.   The lead author of the CogAT is Dr. David F. Lohman,  Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Iowa.  Dr. Lohman received his doctorate in educational psychology from Stanford University in 1979.  He has authored numerous papers and presented a large body of influencial ideas including An Aptitude Perspective on Talent Identification and Development.   In 2007, The National Association for Gifted Children named Dr. Lohman as winner of their Distinguished Scholar award.   Learn more about the CogAT from our CogAT Test Guide.

Bookmark Page