CogAT® Test (Cognitive Abilities Test™)

What is the CogAT?

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) is a reasoning and problem-solving test used for qualifying kindergarten through 12th grade students for gifted and talented programs. The CogAT contains a verbal, quantitative and nonverbal battery. Each battery is further divided into three different sections that focus on specific areas of cognition.

CogAT Forms 7 and 8 are the latest editions of the test and reflect 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. For examples of the types of questions found on the OLSAT, get started with our 100 free practice questions:

100 Free Practice Questions

CogAT Test Quick Facts

Full Name Cognitive Abilities Test
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Creators David F. Lohman and Elizabeth P. Hagen
Latest Version CogAT Form 8
Age Range K – 12
Test Format Multiple choice
Group or individually administered
Amount of Time 2-3 hours
Time per Battery 30-45 minutes
Question Types Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal


  • Picture Analogies – These visual based questions make use of  2×2 matrix with 3 pictures and  1 empty cell. Students are required to examine  the  2 pictures on top so to their point of relation.  The most optimal approach to this question is to start by looking at the picture on the bottom row. The objective is to ensure that the    thee  pictures on the bottom have a parallel relationship to the pictures on top. This section is comprised of 14 questions and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.
  • Sentence Completion – Students are required to listen to a  sentence or question and select the picture that best satisfies the  sentence or answers the question. This section is made up of 14 questions and takes 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. This section is composed of 14 questions and takes approximately 14 minutes to complete.


  • Number Analogies – These require the same thought processes as Picture Analogies except instead of verbal concepts, students must identify relationships between quantitative concepts. Like the verbal battery, this section consists of 14 questions and takes 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. This section includes 10 questions and takes 11 minutes.
  • Number Series – Each question shows an abacus with a bead pattern. Students must rely on their patterning skills 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. Still, instead of verbal or quantitative concepts, students must identify relationships between spatial forms. By studying and identifying distinct points of relation between previous figures, students can asses possible answer choices. This section consists of 14 questions and takes approximately 11 minutes to complete.
  • 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. This section consists of 10 questions and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
  • 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. They then must find the answer on the bottom that belongs with the group on top. This section includes 14 questions and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

In 2011, the CogAT was updated from Form 6 to Form 7. The most significant difference between the two forms are the types of 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. In this case, it is advised that students practice CogAT Form 7 questions.