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CogAT® Test (Cognitive Abilities Test™)

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) is a reasoning and problem-solving test commonly used for qualifying kindergarten – 12th grade students for gifted and talented programs. The test is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and consists of 3 sections – the verbal battery, quantitative battery, and nonverbal battery. Each battery is made up of 3 subtests that consist of different types of questions. CogAT Form 7 is the latest edition of the test and reflects the most current testing research in the measurement of reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Lead author Dr. David F. Lohman, an internationally recognized abilities assessment researcher and winner of the National Association of Gifted Children’s Paper of the Decade award, has built on the strengths of CogAT Form 6 by introducing a variety of enhancements – including new question types, reduced language load, expanded instructor support package, and multiple administration modes.


  • Picture Analogies – These use a 2×2 matrix with 3 pictures with 1 empty cell. Students must look at 2 pictures on top and determine how they are related. They look at the picture on the bottom row and then must find the 1 picture in the answer row so that the pictures on the bottom are related to each other in the same way as the picture on top. 14 questions. Approximately 15 minutes.

  • Sentence Completion – Students listen to a sentence or question and select the picture that completes the sentence or answers the question. 14 questions. Approximately 14 minutes.

  • Picture Classification – Students examine 3 pictures on top and determine how they are alike. Then, they must choose the 1 picture on the bottom that belongs in the same group. 14 questions. Approximately 14 minutes.


  • Number Analogies – These require the same thought processes as Picture Analogies except instead of verbal concepts, students must identify relationships between quantitative concepts. 14 questions. Approximately 13 minutes.

  • Number Puzzles – Students see 2 trains. They must select the answer picture that makes the second train carry the same number of objects as the first train. 10 questions. Approximately 11 minutes.

  • Number Series – Each question shows an abacus with a bead pattern. Students must discover the pattern and select the string of beads that comes next in the sequence. 14 questions. Approximately 10 minutes.


  • Figure Matrices – These figure analogies require the same thought processes as Picture and Number Analogies except instead of verbal or quantitative concepts, students must identify relationships between spatial forms. 14 questions. Approximately 11 minutes.

  • Paper Folding – Students must imagine what will happen to a piece of paper that is folded, then cut or hole-punched in some way, and then unfolded. The TestingMom.com website has a fun, animated game to help students with this subtest. 10 questions. Approximately 10 minutes.

  • Figure Classification – These require the same thought process as Picture Classification, except instead of inferring relationships between pictures, students infer relationships between shapes and figures, and then find the answer on the bottom that belongs with the group on top. 14 questions. Approximately 10 minutes.

In 2011, the CogAT was updated from Form 6 to Form 7. The biggest differences between the two forms are the questions for the kindergarten, first grade and second grade levels.  Due to school districts lack of funding some schools are still using the older CogAT Form 6 while some are using the updated CogAT Form 7. If your child is third grade or above there is very little difference between the two forms so practice CogAT Form 7 questions.

Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) is a registered trademark of Riverside Publishing, a Houghton Mifflin Company, or their affiliate(s), or their licensors. TestingMom.com is not affiliated with nor related to Houghton Mifflin Company or its affiliates (“Houghton Mifflin”). Houghton Mifflin does not sponsor or endorse any TestingMom.com product, nor have TestingMom.com products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Houghton Mifflin. Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by TestingMom.com for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.

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