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

(Level 5 is the lowest level of the CogAT test. In some situations it is used with pre-K children. If you are in this situation and you have a very bright child the material below may be suitable. If it looks too difficult for your child please contact Helen for suggestions.)

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


Building Thinking SkillsminiLUK Combo SetThinking Skills for Tests


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 (Lollipop Logic for remediation or Primarily Logic for extension)
  • Listening skills (Can You Find Me? and Listen! Hear!)
  • Quantitative reasoning (Early Patterns in Mathematics, Math Analogies, and Mathematical Reasoning)
  • Non-verbal reasoning (Pattern Block Activity Pack, Tangramables for remediation or Visual Discrimination for extension)
  • Test taking skills (Spectrum Test Prep)
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 listing of products which will help a child in kindergarten preparing to take the CogAT. After the product listing 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
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
Lollipop Logic: Critical Thinking Activities Lollipop Logic Book 3

Grade(s): Pre K-2
Pages: 64

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

Our Price: $11.95
Pattern Block Activity Pack Pattern Block Activity Pack

Age: 5-11
Contents: 124 plastic pattern blocks and 36 design cards.

Pattern blocks are made in six bright colors and six shapes, and each side is calibrated so all the pieces fit together. Young learners can explore geometry and measurement concepts such as shapes, area, and symmetry. Also can be used for patterning, sorting, classifying and attribute recognition.

Our Price: $22.99
miniLUK Combo Set miniLUK Combo Set with Controller

Age: 5-7 years
Activities: 2352

MiniLUK is a complete intellectual development system to reinforce early childhood developmental skills such as visual perception, memory and concentration, critical thinking, beginning math, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination, self-esteem, and everyday knowledge. We will beat any competitor price on this item by 5%.

List Price: $104.00
Our Price: $88.40
You save $15.60!
GATE Test Prep Bundle for Kindergarten GATE Test Prep Bundle for Kindergarten

The GATE Test Prep Bundle for Kindergarten 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 $169.25
Our Price: $152.99
You save $16.26!
Can You Find Me K-1 Can You Find Me K-1

Grade(s): K-1
Activities: 80
Pages: 101

Can You Find Me? develops skills in reading readiness, science, math, and social studies using five basic thinking skills: similarities and differences, sequences, classifications, analogies, and logic. Each riddle requires identification of two or more clues to deduce the answer. Activities may be enhanced by teaching additional information about the animals, objects, shapes, letters, and numbers used in the riddles.

Our Price: $14.99
Math Analogies Beginning Math Analogies Beginning

Grade(s): K-1
Activities: 48
Pages: 42

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
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
Spectrum Test Prep Grade 1 Spectrum Test Prep Grade 1

Boosts confidence and helps learners improve test scores by offering children the preparation they need for standardized tests.

Our Price: $9.99
Mathematical Reasoning Level B Mathematical Reasoning Level B

Grade(s): 1
Pages: 272

Age appropriate problem solving and computation build the math reasoning skills necessary for success in higher level math and math assessments. Complete math curriculum for the typical first grade child. Bright children can use this title at a younger age.

Our Price: $39.99
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
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
   
 
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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 K 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 grades higher than K. A child who has prepared at this higher level is more likely to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the test.

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. For a K child I recommend the software in preference to the book. A K child is likely to be learning these skills and will benefit from the opportunity to repeat difficult exercises in the software. If you are concerned about your child's ability to answer a pen and paper test then you may wish to purchase the book as well. 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 multiple-choice format.

If Building Thinking Skills Level 1 looks too difficult for your child then Building Thinking Skills Primary is the place to start. Building Thinking Skills Primary uses manipulative blocks to teach nonverbal reasoning. The verbal section uses illustrations of everyday objects to teach verbal reasoning. If your child is bilingual it may be important to expose them to additional examples of the language they will be expected to be familiar with.

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 is a national standards based full math curriculum. It teaches the reasoning tested for in the CogAT but has more math than you need. Level B, which is a Grade 1 book, is recommended below. 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 first grade math standards.

The test will be administered orally with instructions and questions read to the children. 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. Most adults find at least a few of the questions challenging. This too is great practice for the test.

Other options for practicing listening skills are Mind Benders Warm Up (deductive logic) and Dr. Dooriddles A1 (associative reasoning). These are designed to be done orally. They are not illustrated.

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 Challenger Complete Set 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).

Finally you'll see the Spectrum Test Prep and Spectrum Test Practice books in the list below. 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 1 level for kindergarten students on the assumption that you've got a gifted child. Grade level questions are unlikely to challenge them at all.