CogAT Ability Testing

What is the CogAT?  The CogAT is the Cognitive Abilities Test, which measures both general and specific cognitive abilities. The general reasoning abilities measured by the test show the cognitive process and strategies that help a student learn new tasks or solve problems. This test measures developed abilities, not innate abilities.  The CogAT measures learned reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal. The verbal section has three subtests, which focus on reasoning skills, flexibility and fluency. The quantitative section tests the child’s understanding of basic quantitative concepts and relationships that are essential for learning mathematics.  The non-verbal section uses geometric shapes and figures. This section helps us see how students look for shapes and patterns. A separate score is reported for each of these three areas. A composite, or total, abstract reasoning score is also reported. Reasoning abilities have substantial correlations with learning and problem solving, both in and out of school. This is a multiple choice test.

Is the CogAT a measure of achievement?  No. It is a measure of reasoning ability in specific aptitude areas. It is also not an IQ test. 

What does the Verbal CogAT measure?  It is a measure of verbal abilities. It includes sub tests on verbal classification, sentence completion and verbal analogies.
What does the Quantitative CogAT measure?   It is a measure of math abilities. It includes sub tests on quantitative relations, number series, and equation building. The equation-building test looks at a students’ ability to organize, structure and give meaning to an unordered set of numerals and mathematical symbols.
What is an SAS?  SAS stands for Standard Age Score. The CogAT is scored based on the child’s age (Not grade level). The SAS compares your child to other children based on age. The highest SAS that a child can score on the CogAT is 150. 100 is considered to be an average SAS.

Why do we use the CogAT as part of our Gifted Identification Process?  The high ceiling on CogAT, its ability to make reliable discriminations among the top ten percent of scores in all age groups, and its broad sampling of cognitive skills make this a great assessment to use for our Gifted Program Identification.

Is there a sample test that students can take?  Yes.  Examples are listed below and may be viewed at,, or
Will I get the results of this test?  Yes.  The results will be given to you with an explanation sheet of how to understand the scores by your child's classroom teacher.  Any additional questions may be directed to the Differentiation Specialist who currently works with the gifted learners at your child's school (Elementary).  Middle and high school results may be discussed with the AIG School Coordinator for additional explanations or clarifications.  Further information about your child's score may be found at