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September 21st, 2017

Every Day Activities that Help With the CogAT Subtests: Quantitative Battery

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In this post we will be continuing our discussion of the everyday activities that can help your child prepare for the CogAT subtests. Over the past 2 weeks, we discussed how to best practice for the CogAT verbal subtest. Today, the attention will be shifted to the quantitative battery, with the goal being to ensure that the child feels comfortable in identifying critical relationships between numbers. Like any language, mathematics can often appear foreign or intimidating. It comes with its own distinct vocabulary, jargon, and question structure. Fortunately, once this mathematical language is reinforced through practice, the concepts on the CogAT should appear much clearer.

We are going to briefly go over the quantitative subtest content, then give you a few activities that we recommend – in addition to practice questions and tests – that will help reinforce the concepts on the subtest.

What’s on the CogAT Quantiative Subtest Anyway?

Number Analogies– These questions draw parallels to the picture analogies found on the verbal subtest. Instead of identifying relationships or links between verbal concepts, students are presented with quantitative measures. This section contains 14 questions.

Number puzzles – Students are presented with a visual of 2 trains. Their task is to select the option that makes the second train carry the same number of objects as the first train. This section contains 10 questions and takes approximately 11 minutes to complete.

Number Series – Each question displays an abacus with a bead pattern. Students must identify the pattern before choosing the string of beads that follow next in the sequence. This section consists of 14 questions and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Everyday Activities that Help Your Child with the Quantitative Battery

Keep it Visual!

Nobody said that number sequences can’t be exciting! By using colorful, tangible objects you can help your child visualize number sequences (counting by 2’s, 3’s, every other number, etc). Grab your favorite household items such as buttons, beads, or even Skittles. Make sure that your child has access to a flat surface for this particular activity. Lay out all of your fun materials on the table. If your child is younger, you could ask them to count by “two’s” with their materials. If we are using skittles, then your child would start by putting down two skittles. They would progress in the sequence by adding four, six, eight, ten, and twelve.

Encourage them to count out loud. This way, they establish a better awareness of the number progression. Depending on how many materials you have, encourage them to keep going with the series. You could test your child by beginning the first five numbers in the series. Using their chosen materials, they could then continue to finish off the number sequence. This is an effective activity for students who need a foundational grasp of patterning with numbers. Just make sure they don’t eat too much candy.

Roll the Dice!

Investing in a pair of dice can be a highly effective way of practicing addition, subtraction, and multiplication. In our case, dice games can be excellent when it comes to the “number puzzles” section of the CogAT. Have your child start with rolling a single die. When it lands on the number have them write it down in their notebook so that they can remember it. Next, ask them which two numbers add up to the number that they have written down. For example, if they roll a three, then you would be looking for a solution of one and two. As they become more advanced have them roll the die twice or even three times.  They may first roll a five and then a four. Have them write down the different number combinations that add up to nine. The process may look something like this:

  • Your child rolls a 4 and a 5. Ask him what it adds up to.
  • Ask him what other numbers add up to 9.
  • You could also take this one step further and ask which numbers on the dice add up to 9. That way, 7 + 2 and 8 + 1 would not be answers because there are no 7 and 8 on a normal six-sided die.

This activity not only encourages them to write number sentences, but stretches their minds. It encourages them to think of an array of number combinations that satisfy the problem. For older children, you may want to do similar activities with playing cards.

That wraps it up for this week’s post — we hope you find it useful for practicing for the CogAT, in addition to our practice questions. Join us next week when we will go over a few more activities for practicing for the quantitative battery.

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