The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime, and at different rates for different individuals. CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which contribute to school achievement as well.
What is CogAT?
CogAT measures students' learned reasoning abilities in the three cognitive domains most closely related to success in school: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, and nonverbal reasoning.CogAT consists of the following three batteries:
- The Verbal Battery assesses students' abilities to use search, retrieval, and comparison processes that are essential for verbal reasoning.
- The Quantitative Battery assesses students' abilities to reason about patterns and relations using concepts that are essential in quantitative thinking.
- The Nonverbal Battery assesses students' abilities to reason with somewhat more novel questions that use spatial and figural content.
The CogAT is typically administered to Grade 2 students in Loudoun County Public Schools during the month of February. Prior to the first day of testing, students are led through practice activities to familiarize them with the format of the test items. When the testing window begins, students are administered three short subtests each day over three successive school days. Although the subtests are not timed, most students complete each subtest in about 20 minutes.
The LCPS Office of Research, Assessment, and School Improvement is not able to share information about test item content or make any recommendations regarding preparatory activities for the CogAT. Your child’s teacher will lead the class through practice activities prior to the first day of testing. Parents seeking additional information about the CogAT may access the test vendor website.
Student score reports for Grade 2 testers are uploaded into ParentVUE at about the same time as the third quarter report cards are available. Questions about your child's scores may be directed to your child's gifted resource teacher, or to the Gifted Office.
Understanding Your Student’s CogAT Test Results
- Ability Profile: A CogAT ability profile captures both the pattern and the level of a student’s scores on the three CogAT batteries. Parents are encouraged to reference the CogAT Interactive Ability Profile Interpretation System for additional information.
- Raw Score: Raw scores include the total number of questions on the test, the number of questions that were attempted, and the number of questions answered correctly.
- Percentile Rank (PR): A percentile rank of 80 means that student’s score was higher than 80% of all students in the same norm group who took the same test. The average percentile rank is 50.
- Stanine (S): A stanine is a broader way to group student performance from 1 (lowest) to 9 (highest possible).
- The figure below illustrates the relationship between percentile rank and stanine:
- Age Norms compare a student’s performance on the test with that of other students of the same age group. For CogAT, students are grouped by age in one-month intervals.
- Grade norms compare a student’s performance on the test with that of other students in the same grade group (fall, midyear, or spring, depending on when the test is taken).
LCPS reports Age Percentile Rank, Age Stanine, Grade Percentile Rank, Grade Stanine, Raw Score, and Ability Profile.