Universal Screening for Gifted Potential

Dear Families,

The Cognitive Abilities Test, (CogAT-7), will be administered to all second grade students in Cañon City Schools during April. The CogAT measures general reasoning abilities in three domains: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. The universal screening process, facilitated by the Gifted and Talented Department, allows for all 2nd grade students to participate in a cognitive assessment where individual results can help recognize exceptional ability and/or gifted potential. The scores, reported in national percentiles by age using the most current norms, provide a cognitive snapshot helping parents and school staff better understand individual learners. Teachers and administrators will have access to student scores in May. Parents may request this information by contacting the school. Students who complete all three sections of the assessment will receive a score profile. A brief description of the child’s learned reasoning abilities can be found when entering the profile on the following website: http://www.hmhco.com/cogat/cogatprofile

CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) 

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) is a K-12 assessment that is designed to measure students’ learned reasoning abilities. Although its primary goal is to assess students’ reasoning abilities, CogAT can also provide predicted achievement scores when administered with The Iowa Tests. Generally, CogAT is utilized to help educators make important student placement decisions, such as selecting students for Gifted and Talented programs.

What does it test?

CogAT measures students’ learned reasoning abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal.

Verbal Battery

The Verbal Battery tests a student’s vocabulary, as well as his/her comprehension of ideas, efficiency and verbal memory, and ability to discover word relationships. It is made up of three subsections: Verbal Classification, Sentence Completion and Verbal Analogies.

  • Verbal Classification The student is given a list of three words that are alike in some way. The student is asked to choose a word, from a selection of five words, which is also alike in the same way.
    Example: green, orange, blue.
    Choices: color; crayon, paint, yellow, rainbow.
  • Sentence Completion The student is given a sentence with a word left out and is asked to choose a word that makes the best sense in the sentence.
    Example: Pears on trees.
    Choices: fall; grow; rise; bloom; scatter.
  • Verbal Analogies The student is given three words in dark type. The first two words go together. The third word goes with one of the answer choices. The student is asked to choose the word that goes with the third word the same way that the second word goes with the first.
    Example: top (is to) bottom : left (is to)
    Choices: right; turn; hot; wet; dry.

Quantitative Battery

The Quantitative Battery tests the student’s quantitative reasoning and problem solving ability and provides an appraisal of the student’s general level of abstract reasoning. It is made up of three subsections: Quantitative Relations, Number Series and Equation Building.

  • Quantitative Relations The student is given two problems numbered one and two with three answer choices. The student is to solve the two problems and determine if the answer is greater, less than, or equal to.
    Example: 1. 0+5 2. 3+0
    Choices: a) 1 is greater than 2; b) 1 is less than 2; c) 1 is equal to 2.
  • Number Series The student is given a series of numbers and is asked to decide which number should come next in the series.
    Example: 6; 12; 18; 24
    Choices: 25; 30; 36; 38; 54.
  • Equation Building The student is given numbers and signs. The student is asked to combine the numbers and signs to get a solution that is an answer choice.
    Example: 1 2 3 – x
    Choices: 1; 2; 3; 4; 6.

Non-Verbal Battery

The Nonverbal Battery presents the most novel problems to students. The items on these tests use only geometric shapes and figures that have had little direct relationship to formal school instruction. The tests require no reading. The nonverbal battery is especially utilized for obtaining an estimate of development for students who have difficulty with reading, who have limited competency in English, or who have limited opportunities. It is made up of three subsections: Figure Classification, Figure Analogies and Figure Analysis.

  • Figure Classification The student is given three figures that are alike in some way. They are given three answer choices and five pictures to choose from. They are asked to decide which figure goes best with the three answer choices.
    Example: The student is given three items that are odd shaped but each one has 4 sides and is white.
    Choices: a white circle; a white triangle; a 4 sided black object; a white 4 sided object; six-sided black object.
  • Figure Analogies The student is given three figures. The first two figures go together; the third figure goes with one of the answer choices.
    Example: The first two figures are a large square that goes together with a small square. The second pair is to go together the same way that the first two figures go together. For the second pair you are given a small circle.
    Choices: a small triangle; a large circle; a small square; a small circle; and a large rectangle.
  • Figure Analysis The student is shown how a square piece of dark paper is folded and where holes are punched in it. The student is to figure out how the paper will look when it is unfolded.
    Example: If a dark piece of paper is folded in the center from top to bottom and a hole is punched in the bottom right hand corner, what will the piece of paper look like when it is unfolded?
    Choices: A) one hole in the bottom right hand corner; B) one hole in the bottom right hand corner and one in the top right hand corner; C) one hole in the top right hand corner; D) one hole in the bottom right hand corner and one in the bottom left hand corner; E) one hole in the bottom right hand corner and one in the top left hand corner.

It is not possible to study for this type of test. Parent(s)/Guardian(s), however, can help their child come to school prepared by assuring a good night’s sleep and adequate breakfast. Please contact the Gifted & Talented Specialist at your school if you want to opt your child out and not have them take the Cognitive Abilities Test.

*See individual schools for exact days and times.