CogAT® Question Type: Picture & Verbal Analogies Samples and Tips

In this post, we start with an overview of "Picture/Verbal Analogies" question types. We also provide a sample question, accompanied by tips and strategies that every student can use to perform successfully on "Picture/Verbal Analogies" questions during the official CogAT® exam.

Picture/Verbal analogies questions are part of the verbal battery on the CogAT. Sentence Completions, and Picture/Verbal Classifications are the other two subtests in this battery.

Picture/Verbal Analogies Questions: What To Expect?

In verbal analogies, students are given a pair of words that has a specific relationship, along with a third word. They must then choose the answer choice that is related to the third word in the same way that the provided word pair is related.Students’ ability to correctly uncover these relationships is key to answering these type of questions.

‘Picture Analogies’ questions measure a student’s ability to reason his or her way through non-language based scenarios.

In these types of analogies, K-2 students are provided with two pictures that form a pair, as well as a third picture. From the answer choices, the student must select the picture that goes with the third provided image.

How Many Analogies Questions Are On The Test?

The amount of picture/verbal analogies questions on the test depends on the age of the student and the test level, as shown by the table below.

Picture/Verbal Analogies
Level Number of Questions Grade Level
Approximate Age
Level 5/6 14 Kindergarten 5/6 Years
Level 7 16 1st Grade 7 Years
Level 8 18 2nd Grade 8 Years
Level 9 22 3rd Grade 9 Years
Level 10 24 4th Grade 10 Years
Level 11 24 5th Grade 11 Years
Level 12 24 6th Grade 12 Years
Level 13-18 24 7th-12th Grade 13-18 Years

Picture/Verbal Analogies: Sample Question

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: A tennis racquet is used to hit a tennis ball. A baseball bat is used to hit a baseball.

Picture/Verbal Analogies:Tips and Strategies

  • As often as possible, incorporate discussions about similarities, differences, and relationships between words into your everyday conversation with your student. Help her begin thinking about how different words and concepts are connected to one another.

  • When answering practice questions, teach your student to determine the relationship between the first pair of words before reading the answer choices. Relationships can include synonyms and antonyms, part and whole, or other more specific connections. Once your student determines the relationship between the first pair, she will then read the answer choices to find the pair with the exact same relationship.

  • To master picture analogies, a student needs to have general background knowledge, a good visual vocabulary, and an understanding/recognition of the following relationships:

  • Part/whole (or reverse: whole/part)
  • Object/function (or reverse: function/object)
  • Agent (person or animal)/location, (or reverse: location/agent (person or animal)
  • Agent (person or animal)/object, (or reverse: object/agent (person or animal)
  • Agent (person or animal)/action, (or reverse: action/ agent (person or animal)
  • Change in quantity, size
  • Familial -- having to do with family.
  • Instruct your student to narrow down the answer choices by crossing out answers that are clearly wrong. Tell your student not to panic if she absolutely can’t find the correct answer. Instead, narrow the choices down as much as possible, make an educated guess, take a deep breath, and move on.

  • Encourage your student to carefully consider all the answer options before selecting one. Ask her to eliminate obviously wrong answers to narrow down the answer choices.
  • Ask your student to explain why she chose a specific answer. This will help you identify where your student is stumbling or provide the opportunity to reinforce understanding of a category and the object/s that can “belong” to it.

  • What's Next?

    Help your child become familiar with the questions on this challenging exam by downloading a free CogAT practice test.

    Learn more about other verbal question types on the CoGAT, including Sentence Completion, and Picture/Verbal Classifications.

    Also see critical teaching tips that cover other areas of the CogAT, including the nonverbal battery, and the quantitative battery.

    If you think you need more information and guidance about the CogAT, check out our ultimate guide on the test, and our in-depth article on CogAT scores.

    Also, learn everything you need to know about other tests that measure a child’s potential to learn in school, like the NNAT or the OLSAT.