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What Is the CogAT Test?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple-choice test designed to measure a child’s academic aptitude and gifted abilities. It is owned and published by the major educational resources company Houghton Mifflin Company.

The CogAT Form 7, the most common version of the test, measures cognitive development and problem solving skills. The test is made up of three sections, called batteries. They each have subtests that contain 10-25 questions each.

  • Verbal Battery
  • Quantitative Battery
  • Nonverbal Battery


Verbal Battery Quantitative Battery Non-Verbal Battery
Picture Analogies Number Analogies Figure Matrices
Sentence Completion Number Puzzles Paper Folding
Picture Classification Number Series Figure Classification


CogAT Test (Form 7) Levels

The Cognitive abilities test is administered to students in grades K-12. There are ten CogAT levels. The number attributed to each level corresponds to the age level it is administered to. For example, the Level 9 is designed for students who are approximately 9 years old and is generally administered to students in the 3rd grade. The testing levels for the Cognitive abilities Test and the grade they are usually administered to are as follows:​




















*The age or grade of your child taking the test might vary. Some schools opt to give students a test with grade level higher or lower than the one they are. Make sure to contact your child's school to know exactly what CogAT Test to prepare for.

CogAT Test Sample Questions

 Grade Level 5-6, CogAT Kindergarten: Picture Classification

cogat kindergarten level 5-6 practice question

Which picture from the answer choices belongs with the ones above?

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tipTestPrep-Online Developer's Tip: Think of a rule that describes the similarities among the pictures in the top row. If you find it difficult to think of a rule, go over the answer choices to see if there is a figure among them with special features. For example, you might find out that only one answer choice is colored in a certain way.

More Free CogAT Levels 5-6 Practice Questions

Grade Level 7, CogAT Test 1st Grade: Figure Classification

cogat level 7 figure classification

Whichshape from the answer choices belongs with the ones above?

Answer & Explanation|

More Free CogAT Level 7 Practice Questions

Grade Level 8, CogAT Test 2nd Grade: Paper Folding

cogat 2nd grade practice test question

The paper is being folded and punched with holes. Choose the answer choice that depicts the paper after it is unfolded.

Answer & Explanation|

 More Free CogAT Level 8 Sample Questions

Grade Level 9, CogAT Test Grade 3: Verbal Analogies

The first pair of words are related in a certain way. Choose the word that completes a second pair of words so that they are related in the same way.

Peach → fruit : lily →

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tip TestPrep-Online Developer's Tip: A good strategy for analogy questions is to start by making up a short, simple sentence to connect the two words in the first analogy. For example: “A parody is satirical.” Then, you can substitute in the words from the second analogy to help you eliminate answer choices. 

More Free CogAT Level 9 Sample Questions

Grade Level 10, CogAT Test Grade 4: Figure Matrices

The pictures in the boxes on the top are connected in a certain way. Choose the picture that belongs with the bottom picture in the same way the pictures on top are connected. 

4th grade cogat practice test question

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tipTestPrep-Online Developer's TipYou can view the relationship between the two images in the same row as how the shapes change. Any change that occurs from the left matrix to the right one on top will need to occur in the equivalent manner from the left to the right on bottom.

More Free CogAT Level 10 Sample Questions

Grade Level 11, Cogat Test Grade 5: Number Series

What number comes next in the series?

50 54 41 45 32 ?

Answer & Explanation|

cogat sample question tipTestPrep-Online Developer's TipStart by thinking of a rule that describes the pattern in the set of numbers and try to express it in words. For example, "each number is bigger by 1 than the number before it." If a simple rule does not work, check out more complicated patterns. For example, the pattern can include addition and subtraction alternately.

More Free CogAT Level 11 Sample Questions

Grade Level 12, CogAT Test Grade 6: Verbal Analogies

parody --> satirical : beverage -->

Answer & Explanation|

More Free CogAT Level 12 Sample Questions

CogAT (Form 7) Batteries


  • Picture/Verbal Analogies: Identify corresponding relationships between pairs of items or concepts (represented either with images or words, depending on the age of the student).
  • Sentence Completion: Complete sentences after either hearing or reading them. 
  • Picture/Verbal Classification: Classify given items or concepts based on their relationship to one another(represented either with images or words, depending on the age of the student), by selecting the item that fits with the rest of them. 

         Learn more about the Verbal Battery! 


  • Number Analogies: Identify corresponding relationships between pairs of mathematical concepts or values represented with numbers, expressions, or images.
  • Number Series: Complete a series of numbers (or images representing numbers for younger ages) by deducing the underlying pattern. 
  • Number Puzzles: Solve a given problem using logic and mathematic operations; younger students will be given images that represent numbers and operartions, and older students will solve for an unknown variable.

          Learn more about the Quantitative Battery!



  • Figure Classification: Find a common denominator between a series of shapes, then select the shape that fits with them based on this classification.
  • Figure Matrices: In a 2X2 matrix, identify the changes from thetop left square to the top right one, and apply the same changes to the bottom left square in order to determine what should appear in the bottom right one. 
  • Paper Folding: Determine the end result upon unfolding a hole-punched paper in a specific way. 

         Learn more about the NonVerbal Battery!

CogAT (Cognitive Abilities) Scores and Norms

The CogAT uses two types of norms when tests are scored: age norms and grade norms.

Age norms compare how a student performed relative to other children of the same age. These norms span from 4 years and 11 months through 18 years. Students are grouped in one month intervals.

Grade norms compare how a student performed relative to other children in the same grade.

CogAT scores are calculated in these steps:
  • First, the raw score is calculated by tallying the total number of questions answered correctly.
  • Raw scores are then converted to Universal Scale Scores (USS) for each of the three batteries, which is then used to calculate the Standard Age Score (SAS), percentile rank, and stanine score.
  • Using these scores, along with an analysis of the patterns present in a student's score, a student is given a score profile. 

Learn more about CogAT scoring.

CogAT Form 7 Language Adjustments 

The CogAT Form 7 is accessible to non-English speaking students due to its highly nonverbal format. The main reason for the changes between the Form 6 and Form 7 primary levels was to accommodate English language learner (ELL) students. The Form 7 primary levels (5/6-8) are now made up almost entirely of nonverbal questions.

The only section that requires language skills is the optional Sentence Completion section, which is available in both English and Spanish. Instructions for all levels are offered in English or Spanish.

How is the CogAT Administered?

Administration time may vary depending on how long the proctor takes to administer the test. Students are generally provided between 30-45 minutes per battery. With administration time, it takes between two to three hours to complete all three batteries. In total, the Test has between 118 and 176 questions, depending on the level.

How the test is administered depends on your child's grade, school, and the CogAT Form s/he is taking. Here is what we do know about the CogAT administration:

  • Your child is likely to take the test with a small group of gifted students (no more than 20)
  • Batteries are often administered together
  • Some schools only administer specific batteries of the CogAT, so it is important to find out exactly what CogAT batteries your child will be taking.
  • The CogAT Test can either be taken online or on paper.

Other CogAT Test Forms

CogAT Screening Form Test

The CogAT Screening Form is a condensed version of the Test, consisting of the analogies section of every battery. The test allows for an efficient appraisal of a student's skills, as it only takes 30 minutes to complete. It is perfect for both students whose mother tongue is not English, as well as students who have reading difficulties. Learn more about the CogAT Screening Form.

CogAT Form 8

The Form 8 is used alongside the Form 7 to make sure the student is assessed as fairly as possible. It’s important to stress that the Form 8 is identical to the Form 7 in both format and topics, so that by preparing for the CogAT Form 7, you are preparing for the Form 8 as well. Learn more about the CogAT Form 8.

CogAT Form 6

This is the Form 7's predecessor, and may still be administered at certain schools. It is important to know the difference between these two versions of the test and which one your child will be taking. 

One main difference between the Form 6 and Form 7 is the number of questions on each test. The following table illustrates the changes in the number of questions on each level og the forms.

  5/6 7 8 9 10-18 
CogAT 6  120 132 144 190 190 
CogAT 7   118 136 154 170 176'

The testing levels on the Form 7 differ from how the testing levels on the Form 6 and other previous editions were divided. Similar to the current levels system, levels of the Form 6 do not match up strictly to a grade level. Levels K–2 are designed for students in kindergarten through second grade, while Levels A–H are designed for students in grades 3–12. However, a high achieving second grader may take the Level A, while a low achieving third grade student may take the Level 2. This fluid system allows for a more specific and focused testing for each student. 

The format also changed between forms. In Form 6, the format for the primary levels (K–2) was different from higher levels. On the Form 7, the format is mostly the same across all levels. See the table below for a breakdown of the batteries and sub-tests at each level. 

Form 6 Batteries (Primary Levels)

Battery Subtests
Verbal Oral Vocabulary
Verbal Reasoning
Quantitative Relational Concepts
Quantitative Concepts
Nonverbal Matrices
Figure Classification

Primary levels are levels K-2 on the Form 6, corresponding to levels 5/6-8 on the Form 7.


What is a good CogAT Score?

It's important to note that what is considered a "good" CogAT score can vary depending on several factors, including the specific grade level or age group, and the context in which the scores are being interpreted.

Generally speaking, a score that is in the 90th percentile or above is considered ''good'' but each School and educational institutions often have their own criteria for interpreting CogAT scores.


How Many Questions are on the CogAT?

Typically, the CogAT has a total of 118-176 questions spread across the three batteries. However, the number of questions per battery and the total number can differ based on the grade level or age group being tested.

In the CogAT Form 7, the questions are split between batteries in this manner:

  • Verbal Battery: Approximately 50-55 questions
  • Quantitative Battery: Approximately 40-45 questions
  • Nonverbal Battery: Approximately 28-31 questions

In the CogAT Form 8:

  • Verbal Battery: Approximately 56-60 questions.
  • Quantitative Battery: Approximately 48-52 questions.
  • Nonverbal Battery: Approximately 42-46 questions. 
What does the CogAT test for?

The CogAT assesses cognitive strengths and weaknesses to identify students' individual learning needs.

It helps with identifying gifted students, making placement decisions, and tailoring instruction. The test provides valuable insights for academic planning and interventions.

Is the CogAT related to IQ?

The CogAT and IQ tests assess cognitive abilities but in different ways. The CogAT measures specific cognitive domains, while IQ tests provide an overall measure of general intelligence.

They serve different purposes despite some overlap in the cognitive abilities assessed.

When is the CogAT Test Given?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is typically given in schools either annually, during specific grades (like 2nd, 5th, or 8th grade), for assessing students for gifted programs, or upon special request. The exact timing can vary by school district, so it's best to check with your local school for their specific schedule.

How Do I Prepare My Child for the CogAT?

Today, competition for gifted programs is at an all-time high. By properly preparing your child for the upcoming CogAT, you can significantly boost his or her chances of acceptance to the program you have your eyes on. To help you prepare as much as possible, TestPrep-Online offers comprehensive, age-specific study packs to ensure that your child can learn, progress, and excel on every section of the CogAT. Our packs include practice tests as well as additional sample questions, study guides, and explanations for every answer. Start your test prep for the CogAT today.

In Canada or the UK? Check out our information on the CCAT & CAT4!


The CCAT, CogAT, CogAT Test Prep and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.



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