CogAT® Question Type: Figure Matrices

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

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

Figure Matrices Questions: What To Expect?

Students are given a 2X2 matrix with the image missing in one cell. Students must determine the relationship between the two spatial forms in the top row and find a fourth image that has the same relationship to the spatial form in the bottom row.

How Many Figure Matrices 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 Matrices
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 Matrices: Sample Question

The following sample question is a CogAT Level 5/6 Figure Analogy question, which is one type of the Figure Matrix problems:

Correct Answer: B

In the top row, there are two figures that go together in a certain way. They go together because the figure on the right is the same shape as the one on the left, but is a different color: black instead of white.

This means that we need to find a figure for the box with a question mark that has the same relationship with the figure on the left on the bottom row.

Option A is a figure that has the same shape as the figure on the left (bottom row) but it is the same color - black - so it is incorrect.

Option C is incorrect because the figure is a different shape than the figure on the left (bottom row).

Option D is incorrect because the figure is a different shape than the figure on the left (bottom row), and it is the same color (black).

Therefore, Option B is the only correct option. The figure is the same shape as the figure on the left, and it is white.

Figure Matrices: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 him 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 Classifications, 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.