CogAt FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions About CogAT 

What type of test is the CogAT? 

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a nationally standardized, norm-referenced test. The CogAT is administered on a computer. Questions are all multiple choice. 

What does the CogAT measure?  

The CogAT measures reasoning and problem-solving skills in three different areas: Verbal, Quantitative, and Nonverbal. Reasoning skills develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime and at different rates for different individuals. 

The CogAT does not measure such factors as effort, attention, motivation, and work habits, which also contribute importantly to school achievement. The CogAT measures both general and specific cognitive abilities. The general reasoning abilities measured by the test show the cognitive process and strategies that help a student learn new tasks or solve problems. 

Is the CogAT a measure of achievement? 

No. It is a measure of learned reasoning ability. 

How do the three sections of the CogAT differ? 

  • The Verbal Battery measures flexibility, fluency, and adaptability in reasoning with verbal materials and in solving verbal problems. These reasoning abilities play an important role in reading comprehension, critical thinking, writing, and virtually all verbal learning tasks. 
  • The Quantitative Battery measures quantitative reasoning skills; flexibility and fluency in working with quantitative symbols and concepts; and the ability to organize, structure, and give meaning to an unordered set of numerals and mathematical symbols. These reasoning skills are significantly related to problem solving in mathematics and other disciplines. 
  • The Nonverbal Battery measures reasoning using geometric shapes and figures. To perform successfully, students must invent strategies for solving novel problems. They must be flexible in using these strategies and accurate in implementing them. 

What type of results does the CogAT provide? 

The CogAT provides Raw scores, Standard Age and/or Grade scores, Percentile Rank scores and Stanine scores. Percentile Rank and Stanine scores can be shared based on Age, Grade and Local. The Local scores are a comparison to students in Northbrook 28 at the same grade level, who also took the test during the same testing window.  

What are the Raw Scores? 

The raw scores are simply the number of questions asked in a particular section, the number of questions the student answered, and the number of questions the student answered correctly. 

What is the Standard Age Score (SAS)? 

The standard age score is a number that compares the rate and level of a student’s learned reasoning skills with other students the same age. It has a mean of 100, so if a student has a SAS of 100 s/he is typical of students for her/his age.

Is the SAS the same as an IQ score? 

No. The CogAT measures a student’s reasoning ability developed through experiences within and outside of school. This reasoning ability begins to develop soon after birth and continues through early adulthood. IQ tests measure what is generally considered to be a person’s innate ability or aptitude. 

What does the Percentile Rank score mean? 

A percentile rank indicates the percentage of students in the same age or grade group whose scores fall below the score obtained by a particular student. 

For example, if a 5th grade student receives a Grade Percentile Rank of 90 on the Quantitative Battery, it means that 90% of the 5th grade students in the norming sample received scores lower than the one received by the student. 

What is a stanine score? 

The Stanine score is a normalized standard score ranging from 1-9 and are closely correlated to percentile rankings. 

Stanines are grouped as follows: 

  • Stanine 9: Very High 
  • Stanines 7-8: Above Average 
  • Stanines 4-6: Average 
  • Stanines 2-3: Below Average 
  • Stanine 1: Very Low 

Do parents receive a copy of their student’s CogAT scores? 

Yes. Parents will receive a copy of their student’s CogAT Student Profile Narrative. The Profile lists all scores from their child’s CogAT. As part of the Student Profile Narrative, an ability profile can provide other information about your child’s learning style. View a sample form with explanations.