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The suggestions below are for a highly capable child taking the CogAT® (Cognitive Abilities Test®) in Grade 4 for entry to Grade 5.

For most able 4th Graders Building Thinking Skills Level 2, Visual Discrimination, Think Analogies, Logic Countdown and Patterns in Mathematics are the titles we recommend most frequently. This may seem like a lot but, apart from Building Thinking Skills, they're small books and your child will not need to complete every exercise.

For most able fourth graders Building Thinking Skills Level 2 and a math title will be the place to start. 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.

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.

The CogAT is a test of reasoning skills. With conventional spelling or a math tests, for example, there is a defined curriculum. If you study and learn you can get 100%. With traditional tests there is little advantage is learning more difficult words or practicing more difficult math problems. The CogAT is a different type of test. It is designed to identify ability levels so questions on the test range from those expected to be very easy for the group of children being tested to those expected to be very difficult. There is no defined curriculum for the CogAT and an average child in fourth 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.

Verbal and Non-Verbal Reasoning
Building Thinking Skills Level 2 is our number one recommendation. This is a Gr 4-6 product covering verbal and nonverbal reasoning.

More Verbal Reasoning
If your child needs more work in the verbal reasoning area and particularly if they are bilingual we recommend some additional titles.

One area many children find challenging are the verbal analogies. Verbal Analogies are covered in the last chapter of Building Thinking Skills. Think Analogies (book) or Thinkanalogy Puzzles (software) provide more information on how analogies work and more examples. Think Analogies explains how different types of analogies work in detail and provides more examples. Thinkanalogy Puzzles has less explanation of how analogies work and more examples with 300 analogy pairs in 20 exercises.

Vocabulary is also important in general. Your able fourth grader is ready to tackle Word Roots A1. They'll extend their vocabulary and learn word associations as they construct words from Latin prefixes, suffixes and root words. There are additional titles in the Word Roots Series and if you've got time it's worth continuing through the series.

More Non-Verbal Reasoning
If you'd like further resources to work on your child's non-verbal reasoning ability you'll find a number of other suggestions under our NNAT recommendations.

Quantitative Reasoning
The quantitative analysis battery in the CogAT is not about math per se but rather about understanding relationships between numerical concepts and how numbers can be manipulated. The three sub-tests cover quantitative relations, number series and equation building.

Scratch Your Brain has a selection of math problems which will ensure that your child has the expected grade level knowledge of concepts like place value, units of measurement, time, fractions etc and provide them with an opportunity to apply that knowledge in a variety of problems. One strength of this title is that your child will not know what is coming next. Being able to brainstorm and think around a problem to arrive at a solution is a characteristic of gifted children which they'll be expected to use during testing.

The highest level in the series Math Analogies is recommended for Gr 4-5. From the quantitative reasoning perspective your child will get exposure to grade level appropriate concepts of measurement and calculation. They'll also learn how to identify the "expected" answer. It may be easy for your able fourth grader.

Mathematical Reasoning through Verbal Analysis takes a different approach. This is a complete compressed math curriculum. It has more math than you need but it teaches the type of reasoning that the test is looking for. Book 2 is for Gr 4-8. Don’t expect your child to be ready to do everything in this book. Remember that is the reasoning behind the problems which is important, not the computation. Mathematical Reasoning through Verbal Analysis has a separate instructor/answer guide. You won’t need this for the answers but it has all the discussion points. For the CogAT it is this reasoning that is important and for busy parents it’s nice to have discussion points and vocabulary laid out.

Deductive Logic - Which Answer Should I Choose?
We always recommend Mind Benders for any multi-choice test. These are deductive logic puzzles. This is the skill you use in multi-choice testing to eliminate (a) and (b) as impossible even though you don’t know the answer thereby improving the chance of guessing correctly. They are also great for practicing the type of reading required for multi-choice testing where every word matters. Many able children skim read. For testing they need to practice slowing down and taking account of every word. A2 would be a good place to start but we have titles above and below this in difficulty. There are 14 titles in the Mind Benders series.

Conventional Test Preparation
Finally we've included two traditional 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. The format of the practice tests in the Test Prep title is more that of real tests including bubble sheets. 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.
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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
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: $12.99
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
Upper Elementary Challenge Math Upper Elementary Challenge Math

Grade(s): 3-5
Pages: 380

Designed for students who need more challenging material than they typically encounter in most math curricula. Each chapter contains instruction and problems at 4 levels of difficulty. In addition, each chapter includes multiple “problem sets” in which a single problem type is presented in increasingly complex steps, illustrating how a simpler problem can progress from one step to multistep problem solving.

Our Price: $24.95
GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 4 GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 4

The GATE Test Prep Bundle for Grade 4 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 $152.15
Our Price: $134.99
You save $17.16!
Math Analogies Level 2 Math Analogies Level 2

Grade(s): 4-5
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 4-6 Supplement Mathematical Reasoning Grades 4-6 Supplement

Grade(s): 4-6
Pages: 320

Reinforce 4th to 6th 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
Challenge Math Challenge Math

Grade(s): 4-9
Pages: 429

Challenge Math provides enrichment math activities and develops student problem solving skills. Over 1000 problems at three levels of difficulty to challenge even the brightest students.

Our Price: $24.95
Pattern Explorer Pattern Explorer

Grades: 5-7
Pages: 96, perforated, reproducible

Rich and diverse collections of pattern problems for students to explore, investigate, discover, and create. Forty activity sets in each book are divided into five themes that appear in rotating order:

Our Price: $14.99
Pattern Explorer Pattern Explorer Level 2

Grades: 7-9
Pages: 96, perforated, reproducible

Rich and diverse collections of pattern problems for students to explore, investigate, discover, and create. Forty activity sets in each book are divided into five themes that appear in rotating order:

Our Price: $14.99