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The suggestions below are for a highly capable child taking the CogAT® (Cognitive Abilities Test®) in Grade 1 for entry to Grade 2.

For most able children in Grade 1 Building Thinking Skills Level 1, miniLUK Advance, and Thinking Skills for Tests are all they'll need to prepare to excel on the CogAT.

Building Thinking Skills and miniLUK cover core verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills. The presentation is very different so they complement each other well. miniLUK also has numerical reasoning problems. Thinking Skills for Tests covers the core skill areas tested for in the CogAT. The questions are laid out in a similar to format to those on the CogAT test.

Some children need more. The areas where many parents look more more material are:
  • Logic (Primarily Logic)
  • Listening skills (Dr. Dooriddles, Going Places and Look! Listen! Think!)
  • Quantitative reasoning (Early Patterns in Mathematics, Math Analogies, and Mathematical Reasoning)
  • Non-verbal reasoning (Pattern Block Activity Pack or Tangramables for remediation and Visual Discrimination for extension)
  • Test taking skills (Spectrum Test Prep)

Primarily Logic by the Rules

Your child may have relative strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of testing which will guide your selections. Bilingual children, for example may need to work more on verbal analysis particularly verbal analogies and on listening to spoken English questions. Children who don't enjoy playing with blocks and building may need more non-verbal exercises.

Scroll down for a more comprehensive list of products which will help a child in Grade 1 preparing to take the CogAT. After the products there is more information about the CogAT test and the suggested products.

To understand why we suggest what we do please browse our section about the CogAT test.
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Teach Your Kids to Think Teach Your Kids to Think

For parents of children of all ages
Pages: 108
Author: Maria Fisk

Suggestions and tools to help parents teach their children how to think wisely and well during the time they already spend together.

Our Price: $14.95
Mind Benders Verbal Mind Benders Verbal

Grade(s): K-2
Activities: 78
Pages: 32

Deductive reasoning puzzles teach children logic and improve reading comprehension and test scores. This level differs from the others in the series in that it is designed to be done as a read aloud. The majority of testing of children prior to 3rd grade is done orally. This is a great preparation for the listening and reasoning skills required for test taking.

Our Price: $9.99
Thinking Skills for Tests Thinking Skills for Tests Set

Grade(s): Pre K-2
Pages: 120 (two books with 60 pages each)

Nine core thinking skills form the base of verbal and non-verbal reasoning and logic and are commonly tested in primary level testing for school and gifted program placement. This title presents questions in a format similar to that of many commonly used tests. The Workbook presents the questions without words just as a student will see them during a test. The Instructor/Answer book provides a script for presenting the questions and additional information for building on the skills.

Our Price: $22.98
Dr. DooRiddles A2 Dr. DooRiddles A2

Grade(s): PreK-2
Activities: 120
Pages: 48

Dr. DooRiddles develops students' fluency and understanding of word meanings and associations as it improves their spelling, vocabulary, reading, and problem-solving skills.

Students carefully read through clues in each riddle, analyzing connections within and between clues to figure out what is being described. Solving the riddles requires students to evaluate homonyms, synonyms, homophones, prefixes, roots, and suffixes in order to deduce and spell whole and partial word answers.

Our Price: $10.99
Analogies for Beginners Analogies for Beginners

Grade(s): 1-3
Activities: 238
Pages: 33

Introduce young children to verbal and figural analogies. Each page gives students an example of the type of analogy that is being introduced and then provides visual or verbal problems for them to solve.

Our Price: $14.95
GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 1 GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 1

The GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 1 contains our top picks to use in preparation for Gifted and Talented testing of your highly capable child.  This is also a great selection for all round enrichment.  Skills covered include Verbal Reasoning, Non-Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, Logic, Creativity and Test Taking.

Publisher Price $171.30
Our Price: $152.99
You save $18.31!
Building Thinking Skills Level 1 Building Thinking Skills Level 1

Grade(s): 2-3
Pages: 370

Building Thinking Skills®
teaches non-verbal and verbal reasoning. These skills are rarely explictly taught in the classroom but are essential for academic excellence and success on any assessment test. In print for over 30 years this is a world-wide top seller. Also available in software - a game like presentation of the same exercises.

Our Price: $29.99
Mathematical Reasoning Level C Mathematical Reasoning Level C

Grade(s): 2
Pages: 320

Mathematical Reasoning™ helps your child devise strategies to solve a wide variety of math problems. These books emphasize problem solving and computation to build the math reasoning skills necessary for success in higher level math and math assessments. Complete math curriculum for the typical second grade child. Bright children can use this title at a younger age.

Our Price: $42.99
Math Analogies Level 1 Math Analogies Level 1

Grade(s): 2-3
Pages: 48

Understanding analogies and the ability to reason analogically are important problem-solving skills. There are few resources to assist children in the explict use of analogous reasoning with quantitative and spatial information. This series fills that void.

Our Price: $11.99
Thinking Skills & Key Concepts Thinking Skills & Key Concepts (Second Grade)

Grade: 2
Pages: 160, color

This book uses powerful lessons to develop thinking skills important to academic success while teaching the key kindergarten common core concepts. Enhance cognitive development through discussion and observation. Students develop analytical skills as well as deductive and inferential reasoning skills as they work through the exercises.

Our Price: $21.99
Thinking Skills & Key Concepts Thinking Skills & Key Concepts: Teacher's Manual (Second Grade)

Grade: 2
Pages: 192
Format: paperback, reproducible

Parent/Teacher Resource Manual to accompany student book. Does not contain questions. The Parent/Teacher resource contains teaching notes. It is highly recommended for new parents learn how to work with their child to develop higher order thinking skills.

Our Price: $22.99
Visual Discrimination Visual Discrimination: Exploring and Solving Picture Patterns

Grade: 2-6
Pages: 36
Reproducible for single home or classroom use

Developing the ability to recognize visual patterns builds visual discrimination and critical thinking skills necessary for academic achievement. 30 reproducible worksheets of increasing complexity. Each worksheet provides the student with the task of examining pictures to identify patterns and sequences.

Our Price: $8.95

The CogAT tests for verbal, non-verbal and quantitative reasoning. At this level the questions are read to the children - there are no words printed on the test paper - so listening is very important. In addition, as with any multiple choice test, deductive logic is an important tool.

Add other titles depending on your child's relative strengths and weaknesses in the different areas of testing, what they'd enjoy doing and what you've got time for. For each of the titles below you can get more information including a look inside at sample pages by clicking on "more info" after the brief product description.

If your child has areas of particular strength or weakness then you may wish to adjust up or down a level. If you'd like recommendations for your situation please email or phone with some information about your child and we'd be happy to make suggestions.
The CogAT is a test of reasoning skills. It’s not like a spelling or a math test where if you know the words or the facts you can get 100% and there is little advantage is learning more difficult words or practicing more difficult math problems. There is no defined curriculum for the CogAT. An average child in first grade would not be expected to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the CogAT. That's why the list below includes titles that are notionally for higher grades. Gifted children, by definition, have cognitive abiltiies above those expected in the grade level they're in.

Building Thinking Skills Level 1 is our number one recommendation. This is a Gr 2-3 product covering verbal and nonverbal reasoning. The software covers the same skills, with the same examples, but the presentation is very different. We suggest having a look at the sample activities provided and getting your child to try them. If they have difficulty you may wish to get the software so that they can repeat the areas they find challenging until they master them (once you’ve written in the book it’s difficult to do the same exercise again). If you are concerned about your child's ability to answer a pen and paper test then you may wish to purchase the book instead of or in addition to the software. There are questions in the book formatted very like those on the actual test. Don’t expect your child to be able to provide written answers to the questions that are not presented in a multi-choice format.

For parents who want something that looks like the actual test we recommend the Thinking Skills for Tests Set. This student workbook is laid out just like the test. The accompanying parent book has a script to read to the child and suggestions for things to work on in areas where your child has difficulty.

The LUK Learning System was designed in Germany to build children's cognitive skills through adaptive play. The miniLUK Brain Advance Complete Set is included in the list of recommendations below (together with the controller used with the books which is sold separately). This series of books will be particularly helpful with the nonverbal questions on the CogAT. Unlike many of the other titles recommended here it can be done independently (your child even checks their own answers using the controller). The exercises in the LUK System are presented entirely pictorially making this title suitable for independent use by a pre-reader and great practice in stopping and looking at the detail in pictures for a child who is reading.

Most highly capable children of this age are well advanced in math. The CogAT doesn't test for conventional math but rather an understanding of relationships between numbers and other mathematical concepts. Early Patterns in Mathematics develops conceptual skills like those tested for in the CogAT.

The test will be administered orally with instructions and questions read to the children (they'll indicate their answers by shading a bubble under the picture they choose for each question). Look! Listen! Think! provides applicable exercises in listening comprehension. It also has exercises in visual discrimination and memory. While neither of these skills is explictly tested for in the CogAT a child who is weak in these areas will be disadvantaged. The test is presented in a picture/figure form and your child will have to have the visual strengths to see the differences in the information presented in the pictures. Strong working memory helps too.

Can You Find Me? is a collection of logic riddles in different subject areas. Your child listens to you reading the riddle and then identifies the correct picture. It is great practice for the type of listening required during testing. Your child will find some of the questions very simple. This too is great practice for the test where many of the questions will be very simple. Many gifted children enjoy finding creative answers to easy questions. Your child needs to understand that the correct answer on a multiple choice test is the one that most people who know the correct answer would choose, not one they can dream up a justification for.

Other options for practicing listening skills are Mind Benders Warm Up (deductive logic) and Dr. Dooriddles A2 (associative reasoning). These are designed to be done orally. They are not illustrated and there will not be questions exactly like these on the test. They are very helpful, particularly for a fluent reader who may not listen to instructions as carefully as they could, for practicing listening skills and learning that it is just as important to listen when the questions are easy as when they are hard – if you don’t hear the question you can’t answer it. These are great titles to have in the car to read to your child at traffic lights to practice listening and thinking in less than perfect environments.

Usually the numerical component of the test is less novel for children because if they're good at math they are given extension math activities in the classroom. Mathematical Reasoning B is a complete math curriculum for Grade two integrated with reasoning activities. It teaches the reasoning tested for in the CogAT but has more math than you need. If math is not your child's strong subject you may wish to purchase a grade level math title rather than an above level title. Mathematical Reasoning A is based on 1st grade math standards.

Math Analogies presents figural and quantitative analogies in a format not used in any of the other titles. If analogical reasoning is something your child needs practice with this title could be a good choice. The presentation of some of the questions in Math Analogies is similar to that of the CogAT.

Finally you'll see the Spectrum Test Prep and Spectrum Test Practice books in the list below. The CogAT is frequently administered in conjunction with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). If your child has never done a multiple choice test before it can be helpful to expose them to this type of testing. The Spectrum Test Prep Gr 1-2 is written for parents with information on the skills, strategies and techniques necessary for success in standardized testing. It includes a few questions formatted like those on the CogAT but the series was designed to prepare children for standardized tests of reading and math rather than cognitive ability tests. If you feel the need for more questions than are contained in this title then get the Spectrum Test Practice title as well. We recommend the Gr 2 level for 1st grade students on the assumption that you've got a gifted child. Grade level questions are unlikely to challenge them at all.