CogAT® Question Type: Figure Classifications Sample and Tips

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

Figure Classifications are part of the nonverbal battery on the CogAT. Figure Matrices, and Paper Folding are the other two subtests in this battery.

Figure Classification Questions: What To Expect?

Students are given three figures and must select a fourth figure to complete the set.

‘Classification’ questions assess a student’s ability to identify what does not belong among a group of figures. A student has to evaluate differences and similarities among the items in order to correctly answer the question.

These questions test a student’s ability to identify and classify common objects into basic categories by one or more common physical property or attribute.

How Many Figure Classification Questions Are On The Test?

The amount of figure classification questions on the test depends on the age of the student and the test level, as shown by the table below.

Figure Classification
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 20 3rd Grade 9 Years
Level 10 22 4th Grade 10 Years
Level 11 22 5th Grade 11 Years
Level 12 22 6th Grade 12 Years
Level 13-18 22 7th-12th Grade 13-18 Years

The CogAT Form 7 levels reflect the age of the student taking the test, so, for example, Level 5/6 is taken by five and six year olds in Kindergarten, and Level 9 is taken by nine year olds in third grade (and so on). **However, we always recommend asking your school/school district which level of test is used for gifted or classroom assessments.

Figure Classification: Sample Question

The following sample question is a CogAT Level 5/6 figural classification question:

Correct Answer: First shape in second row

The only shape in the second row that fits the category "one triangle" is the first picture in the second row, which shows a triangle.

Figure Classification:Tips and Strategies

  • 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.

  • Encourage your student to expand on his knowledge of a category in a question. Ask him to name or draw other objects that share the same characteristics and belong to a specific category.

    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 nonverbal question types on the CogAT, including Figure Matrices, and Paper Folding.

    Also try some sample questions and see critical teaching tips that cover other areas of the CogAT, including the verbal 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.