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The suggestions below are for a highly capable child taking the CogAT® (Cognitive Abilities Test®) in Grade 2 for entry to Grade 3.

The format of the CogAT changes between CogAT Form 6 Primary 2 and Multi-level A and CogAT Form 7 Level 7 and Level 8. If you are in a school district which uses an above level test (as recommended by the test publisher) then the suggestions below which focus primarily on listening skills and the Thinking Skills for Tests Set are not relevant.

For most able second graders Building Thinking Skills Level 1, Thinking Skills for Tests Set, Math Analogies, miniLUK Advance and Think Analogies are the titles we recommend most frequently.

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

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 I'd be happy to make suggestions.

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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
miniLUK Advance Combo Set miniLUK Advance Combo Set with Controller

Age: 6-8 years
Activities: 1152

miniLUK Advance Series continues on from miniLUK providing more challenging exercises in the areas of higher order thinking, intellectual development, logical thinking, visual perception, abstract thinking, reasoning, concentration, memory and more.

This set includes all 8 titles in the miniLUK Advance Series and the miniLUK controller designed to be used with the books.

List Price: $68.00
Our Price: $54.95
You save $13.05!
Early Patterns in Mathematics Early Patterns in Mathematics

Grade: 1-3
Pages: 48

Diverse reproducible activity pages range from completing simple patterns to data sorting and classification. The activities develop conceptual skills that will be important to success in more abstract math subjects.

Our Price: $7.95
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: $12.95
Primary Grade Challenge Math Primary Grade Challenge Math

Grade(s): 1-4
Pages: 311

Primary Grade Challenge Math offers material that goes beyond calculation skills for those children who enter the primary grades already knowing basic concepts. This book allows parents and teachers to instill a deeper level of mathematical understanding and thinking skills in young children while nurturing a love of mathematics.

Our Price: $24.95
GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 2 GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 2

The GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 2 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 $158.27
Our Price: $139.99
You save $18.28!
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
Dr. DooRiddles A3 Dr. DooRiddles A3

Grade(s): 2-3
Activities: 120
Pages: 42

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: $9.99
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
Mathematical Reasoning Grades 2-4 Supplement Mathematical Reasoning Grades 2-4 Supplement

Grade(s): 2-4
Pages: 154

Reinforce 2nd to 4th grade math concepts and skills by asking students to apply these skills and concepts to non-routine problems. Applying mathematical knowledge to new problems is the ultimate test of concept mastery and mathematical reasoning. This is the difference between quantitative reasoning and math. Solutions included.

Our Price: $24.99
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
Look Listen Think Look! Listen! Think! Gr 2-3

Grade: 2-3
Pages: 32

Exercise students' thinking with these well-crafted reproducible activities that develop critical skills in visual discrimination, memory, and listening comprehension. The activities include concentration games, finding the missing item, recalling a series of digits, and visual recall. These activities are especially useful in developing test-taking skills and are a useful tool for assessment and training.

Our Price: $7.95
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
Play by the Rules Play by the Rules

Grade: 2-6
Pages: 109
Activities: 50

Original activities to sharpen listening and direction-following skills. You will encounter all sorts of unexpected challenges, ranging from instructions which will produce extremely sophisticated designs to listening games guaranteed to keep children on the edges of their seats.

Our Price: $15.99
Going Places Going Places

Grade: 2-6
Pages: 109
Activities: 25

Take an imaginary trip to the zoo, to a fair, to the mountains, on an airplane and to City Hall. Students work on activity sheets as you read from a script. Builds attention spans and provides excellent analytical thinking and listening practice.

Our Price: $16.99
Spectrum Test Practice Grade 2 Spectrum Test Practice Grade 2

Grade 2
Pages: 160, reproducible

Practice with both content and format on standardized tests. Common Core aligned. Free online resources include language arts and math practice tests for your individual state’s alignments.

Our Price: $15.99
Primarily Logic Primarily Logic

Grade(s): 2-3

Seven different thinking skills—relationships, analogies, sequences, deduction, inference, pattern decoding, and critical analysis—are presented in a format designed to appeal to an early elementary child.

Our Price: $12.95
Mathematical Reasoning Level D Mathematical Reasoning Level D

Grade(s): 3
Pages: 384

Grade level math presented in a way which bridges the gap between computation and mathematical reasoning. Use for variety, fun and understanding.

Our Price: $42.99
Think Analogies A1 Think Analogies A1

Grade(s): 3-5
Activities: 48
Pages: 56

Think Analogies® clearly, easily, and effectively teaches students how to analyze and classify analogies by relationship, category, and structure. Also available in a software format as Think Analogy Puzzles A1

Our Price: $11.99
Logic Countdown Logic Countdown

Grade(s): 3-4
Pages: 32

Challenging and instructional, these thought-provoking books present sequential exercises in logical reasoning that include relationships, analogies, syllogisms, sequences, deductive reasoning, inference, truth-values, and logical notation.

Our Price: $12.95
Patterns in Mathematics Patterns in Mathematics

Grade: 3-6
Pages: 88

Diverse reproducible activity pages range from completing simple patterns to data sorting and classification. The activities develop conceptual skills that will be important to success in more abstract math subjects.

Our Price: $12.95
Building Thinking Skills Level 2 Building Thinking Skills Level 2

Grade(s): 4-6
Activities: 1374
Pages: 416

Building Thinking Skills® provides highly effective verbal and nonverbal reasoning activities to improve vocabulary, reading, writing, math, logic, and figural-spatial skills, as well as visual and auditory processing. This exceptional skill set provides a solid foundation for academic excellence and success on any assessment test.Also available in software - a game like presentation of the same exercises.

Our Price: $29.99

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 second 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.A child who has prepared at this higher level is more likely to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the test.

An important thing to remember is that the CogAT Primary Levels are administered orally. The test instructions and questions will be read to the children. They will indicate their answers by shading a bubble under the picture or figure they select on the question paper. The question paper they see has no words. Many of the questions will be easy and helping your child to develop the ability to stay attentive so that they don't miss important information may be important.

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. The choice of book or software is up to you.The presentation of the book is more like that of the test but the software is more engaging and can be used more independently.The book is portable.Many of our customers choose to purchase both.

If your child is bright they are likely to be working at a higher level than Building Thinking Skills Level 1 in at least some areas.If some of the sample activities look very simple you might like to get Level 1 in book format and Level 2 in software.This will enable them to practice and advance in those areas where they are particularly able in the software and master the skill areas they are not as confident in using the book.

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 D is a complete math curriculum for Grade three 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 C is based on 2nd 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.

The LUK Learning System was designed in Germany to build children's cognitive skills through adaptive play. The miniLUK 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 particulary 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).

Think Analogies is an excellent title for learning how analogies work and practising with verbal analogy pairs. The lowest level in the Think Analogy series is recommended for children in Gr 3-5. Your second grader is unlikely to be able to use it as a workbook for independent study as it was written. Think Analogies is recommended here because it has pages at the end with simple illustrations and instructions for a game to be played with them matching analogy pairs. The art work is not dissimilar to that on the CogAT and the game provides plenty of opportunity to discuss the language your child will need to be familar with.

The test will be administered orally with instructions and questions read to the children.Mind Benders Verbal is a collection of deductive logic puzzles. Dr. Dooriddles A3 is a collection of associative reasoning activities. These are both 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.

Finally we've included atraditional test preparation titles in the list below. If your child hasn't had a lot of experience taking standardized tests it can be helpful to expose them to this prior to testing. Spectrum Test Prep is a traditional test preparation book written for parents. Spectrum Test Practice contains additional practice tests. Spectrum Test Prep has less background information (like get a good night sleep and eat breakfast) and more practice tests. Remember that these are traditional test preparation books. The questions test areas like reading comprehension and mathematics skills. They were not written for the CogAT. There are some questions that look like questions on the CogAT and others that don't. The CogAT is commonly admnistered in conjunction with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS). The Spectrum titles provide excellent review of what is needed for ITBS testing.