Arizona Gifted and Talented Program
What is Arizona Gifted and Talented Testing?
The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) offers gifted and talented programs for elementary, middle, and high school students. Advanced learners make up approximately 8% of Arizona’s public school population. The accelerated programs challenge students academically, while also catering to their core strengths.
In the state of Arizona, the definition of giftedness is limited to academic giftedness, or a student’s potential for future success in school. ADE offers gifted programs so that these students may develop and achieve according to their abilities and potential. A gifted student demonstrates superior intellect or advanced learning ability or both. In most cases, this is determined by scores at or above the 97th percentile on nationally normed ability or intelligence tests. However, school districts in Arizona have some discretion. In Maricopa County Regional School District, students qualify for services if they score in the 97th percentile on a state-approved assessment. However, if a student scores between 94-97th percentile, the team (including parents and teachers) can determine eligibility based on other factors. Tempe Schools identify students as gifted if they score in the 94th percentile on a state-approved test.
Check with your school or district to determine which test is given for gifted program identification. Each school district in Arizona has its own process for determining giftedness, can choose among several state-approved tests to administer, can determine the score required to qualify for their program, dates of testing, and gifted program curriculum. For example, the Scottsdale Unified School district uses the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the Naglieri General Ability Tests (NGAT) to assess for gifted qualification. Deer Valley and many other school districts use the CogAT to assess their students. Tucson Unified School District uses CogAT, the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Tests (NNAT) and Raven’s Progressive Matrices to determine GATE eligibility. Some schools, such as Gilbert Public Schools, offer self-contained gifted programs. Other schools offer pull-out or part-time gifted programs.
Universal CogAT Testing for Arizona 2nd Graders
The Arizona Department of Education pledged to screen all students state-wide in Grade 2 for giftedness if they choose to be evaluated. This decision aligns with their vision to support all students and promote equity to help them achieve their full potential. Participation in this new universal screening opportunity is available, and optional, for all Arizona public schools. If your child is in 2nd grade, you may still need to request that your child be tested for giftedness; check your school district’s website for details. Your child will be tested at no cost to you.
In February 2022, the Arizona Department of Education selected the CogAT Form 7 or Form 8 for Arizona public schools who choose to evaluate their 2nd Grade students for Gifted Education programs at no cost during the 2021/2022 school year. Testing is optional for the districts, but aligns with Title 15, which mandates Gifted Testing in Arizona, but does not set a specific test or grade.
Districts have the option to administer the CogAT through pencil and paper (Form 7) or online (Form 8). Contact your district or check their website for testing dates for the CogAT exam to be administered to your child.
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What is the CogAT for 2nd Graders?
There are 14 different levels of the CogAT that vary in difficulty, number of questions, question types, and length. Your child’s grade determines which CogAT level they are tested with. Second graders are given Level 8 of the CogAT test. This test is administered either online or with paper and pencil. Questions are multiple-choice.
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is an assessment that consists of three batteries that measure three reasoning abilities: verbal, quantitative, and non-verbal reasoning.
|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|
The CogAT is a cognitive or “thinking” test that assesses a student’s general reasoning abilities that enable them to learn new tasks and solve problems, especially in the absence of direct instruction. The skills assessed on the CogAT are very different from the academic abilities your child is learning at school. For that reason, the questions on the test may seem a little strange to your child at first. Below are some sample questions to give you an idea of what 2nd grade questions on the CogAT are like.
Do you see how the two pictures on top go together? Choose the picture on the side that goes with the picture on the bottom the same way the pictures on top go together. 3rd picture above the bubble.
Which one of these would break if you dropped it? 3rd picture above the bubble.
Do you see how the pictures on top are the same and go together? Which picture on the bottom is the same as the pictures on top and belongs with them? 1st picture above the bubble.
Do you see how the pictures on top go together mathematically? Choose the picture on the side that belongs with the picture on the bottom in the same way that the pictures on top go together. 1st picture above the bubble.
Do you see how the first tugboat is pulling 4 red boxes? Choose the picture on the bottom that goes where the question mark is so that the second tugboat will also be pulling 4 red boxes. 2nd picture above the bubble.
In the abacus above, do you see how the balls make a pattern or follow a rule? Which rod to the side goes in the last place to continue the pattern or follow the rule? 3rd picture above the bubble.
Do you see how the two figures on top go together? Choose the figure on the side that goes with the figure on the bottom the same way the figures on top go together. 1st figure above the bubble.
Look at the pictures across the top. They show a piece of paper being folded and then a hole is punched into it. Choose the picture on the bottom that shows what the piece of paper will look like when it is unfolded. 3rd picture over the bubble.
Do you see how the first 3 figures are the same and go together? Which figure on the side is the same as the first 3 figures and belongs with them? C
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How to Support Your Student Who Will Be Taking the CogAT in Arizona
If your child will be taking the CogAT in Arizona, we encourage you to join TestingMom.com. As a member, you’ll have access to:
- Over 6,000 practice questions for CogAT – both interactive and printable,
- Online games to build skills for the CogAT test,
- On-demand webinars on how to prepare for each question type on the CogAT,
- One-to-one tutoring for the CogAT,
- Small group classes to master each section on this test,
- Free live webinars about the CogAT where you can ask your own questions,
- Access to over 30 premier learning programs where your child can work on skills needed for CogAT and for school!
Additional CogAT Resources
- What is the CogAT Test?
- Best Methods for CogAT Test Prep
- Sample CogAT Practice Questions
- How is the CogAT Scored?
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