You are here:Home > CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) > About the CogATŪ (Cognitive Abilities TestŪ)
The CogATŪ (Cognitive Abilities Test™) is published by Riverside Publishing a subsidiary of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It assesses reasoning and problem solving abilities in three areas - verbal, non-verbal and quantitative. Research shows that ability in these three areas is strongly linked to academic success.

The CogATŪ is frequently used in conjunction with the Iowa Test of Basic SkillsŪ (ITBSŪ) to show a more complete picture of a student's abilities. Looking at CogATŪ and ITBSŪ scores together provides an indication as to whether or not children are working up to their ability level and can assist teachers in tailoring instruction to benefit all students. Used in this manner the Cognitive Abilities TestŪ and Iowa Test of Basic SkillsŪ may be given to your child annually.

The Cognitive Abilities Test™ is also widely used as part of the entrance process for students who have been identified as potentially gifted and talented. Each school or district sets their own criteria for admission to their gifted or advanced program.

The current revision of the CogATŪ is Form 7. If your child will be taking the CogATŪ Form 7 this simply means that your school is using the most recent edition of the test. Form 7 refers to the current revision of all levels of the CogATŪ. Form 7 of the CogATŪ was released in 2011 and some schools continue to use Form 6, the previous revision. We have a separate section where we discuss differences between the CogATŪ Form 6 vs CogATŪ Form 7.

The CogATŪ comes in two distinct formats. The Primary/Picture Format version of the CogATŪ is administered orally. This version is used in early elementary classes so that children who are not yet reading fluently are not penalized. Being administered orally means that the instructions and, when needed, the questions are read to the children. Children answer by shading a bubble under a pictorial representation of their answer choice. They do not use a conventional bubble sheet. Very young children may indicate their answer by pointing and the adult may record it.

The Multi-level/Text Based version of the CogATŪ is used with older children. More information on specifics of the format of the CogATŪ can be found in our CogATŪ (Cognitive Abilities TestŪ) Sample Questions section.

Don't worry too much about which level, or which revision, of the test your child will be taking. Each CogATŪ test is designed with questions of varying difficulty levels. A block design is used and to change from the A to the B level of the test, for example, a block of the easiest questions is removed and replaced with a block of more difficult questions. The overlap of items as one moves through levels of the test provides the user with a continuous, ascending scale of difficulty. While there were minor formatting changes in moving from the CogATŪ Form 6 to CogATŪ Form 7 the same core thinking skill areas are tested.

Rather than worrying about the level of test your child will be taking we recommend preparing your child at the highest level they're capable of for the best performance. The CogATŪ is a test of skills rather than of knowledge (in contrast to a spelling test or test of math facts). Having higher skills makes it easier to answer the easy questions as well as the most difficult questions.

You may have been told that this isn't a test that you can prepare for. That's true in that there isn't a defined curriculum (like a list of spelling words) which you can study. The CogATŪ isn't a test of innate abilities though. A child acquires the skills tested both in and out of school. Providing the right resources will help your child to develop the thinking skills which the CogATŪ tests for. In addition because these skills are shown to be highly correlated with academic success any preparation which your child does has the potential to not only improve test scores but to improve overall performance.

Test level is only really important for students in Gr 2 who may be given the Primary 2/Picture Format or the Multi-Level A/Text Format. The test format is different. If you don't know whether your child will be given the picture or text level of the test we recommend working on listening skills in addition to the highest level of material which you think your child can work on without frustration.

Grade/Achievement
Low <
Average
High

Click on Grade for our suggestions for highly capable students

Form 6
Level
Form 7
Level
Form 6 Level
Form 7
Level
Form 6
Level
Form 7
Level

Kindergarten

K

5

K

5

1

6

Grade 1

K/1

6

1

6

2

7

Grade 2

1/2

7

2

7

A

8

Grade 3

2/A

8

A/B

8

B

9

Grade 4

A/B

9

B/C

9

C

10

Grade 5

B/C

10

C/D

10

D

11

Grade 6

C/D

11

D/E

11

E

12

Grade 7

D/E

12

E/F

12

F

13

Grade 8

E/F

13

F

13

F

14

Grade 9

F

14

F

14

G

15

Grade 10

F

15

G

15

G

16

Grade 11

G

16

G

16

H

17

Grade 12

G

17

H

17

H

18


If your intent is to prepare your child to take a test for gifted program entry then we recommend browsing our specific recommendations (click on the grade level link in the table) or browsing our bundles for gifted learners.

Gifted children, by definition, have cognitive abilities two to three years ahead of those of their age peers. The most difficult questions on the test will be at this higher level and you'll want to expose your children to questions they find difficult so that they're prepared for the unknown during testing. When you browse our grade level prep bundles or our suggestions for your child's grade you'll see that we've made this adjustment for you.

In general Building Thinking Skills will always be a good choice. If you've got limited time the appropriate level of Building Thinking Skills is the place to focus. If you've got a bit of time browse choose some titles from our suggestions that your child will enjoy doing and you can't go wrong.

The Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogATŪ) is published by Riverside Publishing (a Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company). CogATŪ and Cognitive Abilities Test™ are registered trademarks of Riverside Publishing.  Riverside Publishing does not endorse any of the information provided here.