Why we love the CogAT.

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is one of the best gifted and talented tests out there.

What is the CogAT?

The Cognitive Abilities Test, a registered trademark of Riverside Publishing, is one of the most frequently used Gifted and Talented Tests in public education. Students typically get one shot at the CogAT to enter into a gifted and Talented program. This test is usually administered in grade school though there are common uses for the CogAT up through middle school.

Why We Love the CogAT

Simply said it is one of the best tools in developing critical thinkers. In designing our methods used in Polemics Math work books we put a lot of research into Gifted and Talented testing. The CogAT really stood out and seemed rely less on actual math skills and more on critically examining a problem and arriving to a solution. Indeed the Number and Visual analysis sections are even non-verbal in nature so students speaking English as a second language will not be left out.

Students can Train for the CogAT

…and in so training for the CogAT become more proficient thinkers. One of the big problems facing students is the ability to select a method to solve a problem. The Visual Analysis questions in the CogAT make the student actively try to select a method before solving the problem. Here is an example from one of our training sessions:

The three pictures in the top box are classified in some way. Pick the best answer that can be classified (that fit) with the three pictures in the top box. What do you think? Well HOW can you classify those three pictures? There is a lot going on there. We see a lot of shapes and colors here. Imagine this question is placed front of a student with no prior training. For most students this will go straight over their head. Read on and we’ll get to the right answer!

This isn’t easy. We need a method. We need to know what the realm of possibilities is for a question like this. In our training for a problem like this we will first present the student with a key to understanding.

This key shows that we may want to look at colors, shapes, numbers or a combination of the three as we look at the three pictures to classify.

This key shows that we may want to look at the orientation of the shapes from one picture to the next.

Ok go back and look at the question now. Is the classification shape based? Probably not, there is one picture that is all circles. Is the classification orientation based? Probably not, we don’t see much rotating going on there between the samples and the answer set. Is the classification color based? Well maybe. Each of the samples have five colors (red, green blue, yellow, white) Is the classification number of shapes based? Probably not. We see samples of 4 and 5 shapes. Color looks to be the best indicator. And in the answer set there is only one answer with the sam 5 colors. Answer A is our winner.

If you are interested in training a Student for the CogAT of their grade level or interested in training their critical thinking in general do check out our store. We have a 200 page CoGAT training manual for each grade. We cover questions like the above and show real world methods on how to solve them just as you have seen here.

CogAT is a registered trademark of Riverside Publishing, Riverside Publishing is a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company. Polemics Math is not affiliated, sponsored or endorsed by these organizations.