The Cognitive Abilities Test, more commonly known as the CogAT, is a test meant to measure cognitive development and gauge a child’s potential for academic success. It is frequently used as an admissions exam for gifted and talented programs around the United States.
The most effective way to prepare for the CogAT is by practicing the question types, so we’ve provided a downloadable CogAT Practice Test PDF, which you can access by clicking the button below.
To ensure that your practice test is as helpful as possible, we’re also explaining the types of questions your child will encounter on the CogAT and discussing how to effectively use your printable CogAT Practice Test PDF to prepare for the assessment.
What to Expect: CogAT Test Content
The CogAT features three independent batteries (or sections): Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. The content in each of the three batteries is closely linked to academic achievement, and each battery is divided into subtests.
Depending on your child’s level, the CogAT has between 118 and 176 questions. Students are typically allowed 30-45 minutes per battery, with the test usually requiring 2-3 hours total. K-2 students complete a picture-based exam.
Let’s take a look at the purpose of each of the three batteries, as well as the questions used to measure cognitive development and reasoning skills in each section.
The verbal battery on the CogAT is designed to measure students’ vocabulary, memory, ability to solve verbal problems, and ability to determine word relationships. This battery has three subtests, which vary depending on age. Lower level subtests (K-2) include Sentence Completion, Picture Classification, and Picture Analogies. Older students are tested on Sentence Completion, Verbal Classification, and Verbal Analogies.
Students must logically complete a sentence by choosing the answer that correctly fills in the blank.
For K-2 students, the teacher reads aloud a sentence with a missing word. Students select the picture that best completes the sentence.
Students are given a list of three words that have something in common, and must choose the answer choice that also belongs in the provided group of words.
K-2 students are given a series of three pictures that are in some way similar. The student then selects a picture from the answer choices that is like the other three.
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.
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.
The quantitative battery measures abstract reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and problem solving skills. The three subtests are the same for all levels: Number Series, Number Puzzles, and Number Analogies.
Students are given a series of numbers following a pattern. They must determine what number should come next in the series.
K-2 students are given images of beads on an abacus. Based on the images, they must determine what the next abacus in the series should look like.
This subtest requires students to solve simple mathematical equations in order to make the amounts on either side of the equal sign the same.
K-2 students are provided with pictures that represent math problems.
Older students must determine which number in the provided answer choices is analogous to the numbers in the question.
K-2 students are given a 2X2 matrix with one empty cell. The student must determine the relationship between the two images in the top row, and then find the picture that has the same relationship with the image on the bottom row.
On the nonverbal battery, students are tested on their ability to reason using geometric shapes and figures. Students must create strategies to solve unique problems that they may never have encountered in school. All ages take the same three subtests: Figure Classification, Figure Matrices, and Paper Folding.
Students of all ages are provided with three figures and must select the fourth figure that completes the group.
These questions basically require students to solve analogies consisting of shapes and figures. 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.
Students must accurately predict how a hole-punched, folded paper will look once it is folded or unfolded.
Hole-punching is not included on the images provided to K-2 students.
We also have an expert guide to the CogAT if you would like to learn more.
How to Use Your CogAT Practice Test PDF
The first step to helping your child perform successfully on the CogAT is understanding the question types he will see on the test. After reading the previous section, you can check Step 1 off of your list.
Next, you’ll want to begin working test concepts into your daily life as much as possible. Ask your child about comparisons or relationships between words, figures, shapes, and numbers. Discuss basic concepts like antonyms, synonyms, more, less, and equal. You can also have your child read a certain amount of minutes or pages each day to improve vocabulary and comprehension, and you can purchase workbooks related to patterns, shapes, and basic number concepts.
While all of this is helpful, the most important step in preparing for the CogAT is to practice, practice, practice. Since the question types are different than what your child normally encounters at school, building familiarity and confidence with the questions is essential.
If you have not started practicing with your child yet, begin by having him complete a few questions from the CogAT Practice Test PDF each day. Ask him to explain his reasoning so you can reinforce correct, logical thinking and correct misconceptions as needed. If he misses the question, discuss how to properly solve it and what he could do differently/better next time.
Once your child is becoming more successful and confident with the question types, we recommend completing at least one full-length practice test. Time the test to more accurately mirror actual test-taking conditions. If your child has already started practicing for the CogAT, the CogAT practice test PDF we’ve provided can serve this purpose. Eventually, your child will be prepared and confident enough to reach his fullest potential on the CogAT.