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CogAT Grade 1- Tips and How to Prepare

In the field of education, testing is an important way for schools to assess the level, individual needs, and academic potential of a large group of students. Despite the benefits of these types of tests, educators are aware any type of assessment can be stressful and overwhelming, especially for younger students who don’t have much experience with testing.

The more information students have and the more they are able to prepare for these types of tests, the more successful they will be. The CogAT is just one example of an assessment that students can prepare for in order to do well and have an overall pleasant experience. The CogAT is a test that focuses on cognitive abilities in order to assess the academic potential and gifted abilities of students all across the country. The CogAT Level 7 is the most common version of the test and is typically given to students at age 7 in the first grade.

Many people are under the impression that the CogAT is an IQ test, when in fact it is a gifted assessment and is something that students can prepare for in order to improve their score. Additionally, the CogAT is an aptitude test, which means it focuses on analytical and problem-solving skills instead of previous knowledge. There are many ways to help your child prepare for the CogAT Level 7, including test prep materials that can be found online. Even though the CogAT is not based on previous knowledge attained by the students, sample questions will give your child an idea of what they can expect on the test, as well as give them valuable practice to help them improve their score.

Like many primary school assessments, the CogAT Level 7 is divided into three batteries, or sections, with each battery testing for a different ability. Each section on the CogAT has three subsections, or different parts. The three batteries of the test are the verbal battery, nonverbal battery, and the quantitative battery. The entire test is made up of 136 total questions.

Here is a breakdown of each section with some information about what your child can expect on the CogAT Level 7.

Verbal Battery

The verbal battery of the test will include three parts: picture/verbal analogies, sentence completion, and picture/verbal classification. Despite the first battery of the test being the verbal battery, at this level, many of the questions in the first battery are given in picture format instead of verbal format. More verbal questions are present in Level 8 of the CogAT and the higher levels of the test that follow. 

An analogy is a comparison between two items, which is given in picture or verbal format during the CogAT, depending on the age and level of the students testing. In Level 7, the analogies are given in picture format during the first section of the test and students will be tested on their ability to grasp the relationship between two items. Familiarizing your child with the concept of analogies will give them a head start and help them build the skills they need to make connections during this portion of the test.

In the section focused on sentence completion, students will be asked to finish sentences after either hearing them or reading them on their paper. In most cases, the sentences will be read aloud by the instructor and the student will then select an answer for each question. The sentence completion section is not always a part of the test, depending on the school where the test is administered, but preparing your child for this section in case it is presented on their assessment will greatly benefit them.

The final section of the verbal battery is picture/verbal classification, where students will be asked to assign a given concept to a specific category based on its relationship to the other ideas given. Much like the other subsections in the first battery, the concepts may be presented in either word or picture format, depending on the level of the students.

Nonverbal Battery 

The nonverbal battery of the test will include three parts: figure classification, figure matrices, and paper folding.

Much like the picture/verbal classification of the previous battery, figure classification requires students to assign shapes or figures to a specific category. The figure classification section will test each student’s ability to recognize patterns and to then apply their skills in order to assign shapes and figures to the correct category.

In the figure matrices section, students will identify the relationship between figures based on their arrangement in a 2×2 matrix. Similar to the picture and number analogy sections, students will be asked to identify relationships between picture patterns, however, in the figure matrices section, the questions will also involve spatial forms. 

Paper folding will assess the student’s ability to determine the end result of what a piece will look like after it is folded in a specific pattern. Similar to the figure matrices section, this section assesses the spatial abilities of each student. The paperfolding section is similar in Levels 5-8 of the CogAT, and hole-punching is often added in Level 9.

Quantitative Battery

The quantitative battery of the test will include three parts: number analogies, number series, and number puzzles.

Similar to the analogy section in the verbal battery, the number analogy section will assess each student’s ability to determine the relationship between numerical concepts. The 2×2 matrix will appear once again in this section, and the students will be given the first three matrices for a pattern and will be asked to complete the pattern. The students will need to determine the relationship between the first three boxes in order to make an informed decision about the last matrix.

The number series sections will assess the student’s ability to complete a numerical pattern. On Level 5-8 of the CogAT, students are presented with a numerical pattern in the form of multiple images of beads on an abacus. The students will be required to choose the correct image that completes the pattern.

In the number puzzles section, students will be shown pictures that represent math problems. The students will need to apply their understanding of mathematical concepts as well as their problem-solving skills in order to answer the questions in this section.

How to Help Your Child Prepare for the Test

Knowing what to expect is one of the main ways you can help your child prepare for the test. Even though the CogAT is an aptitude test, there are many ways you can help your child know what to look for and understand the types of questions they will be asked.

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Unlike an achievement test, an aptitude test assesses a student based on questions and information they may not already know. Many parents wonder if it’s possible to prepare their child for a test that is based on knowledge they may not have. However, if your child practices sample questions that are specifically modeled after the CogAT Level 7, they will better understand what is being asked of them during the test and be able to focus more on the questions and less on the directions.

Feeling overwhelmed and anxious about a test is normal for a child of any age but taking  time to help your child understand the types of questions on the test will help to ease their anxiety.

Therefore, the best way to help prepare your child for the test is with test prep materials! Test prep materials can help your child understand the types of questions they will be asked and help them feel more comfortable in the weeks leading up to the test.

Another important part of preparing is making sure you have enough time to do so. Since there are so many sections on the CogAt Level 7, it is best to give yourself at least a couple weeks to explain each section to your child.

As your child begins to prepare for the assessment, some of the types of questions may be more challenging for them than others. Giving them enough time and space to work out some of the more challenging problems will deepen their understanding of the questions and help keep their stress levels low on test day.  

It’s important that you make sure you give your child breaks during studying as well. Having a stressful time studying for two to three weeks will only lead to a more stressful test. If you are able to pace out the studying with appropriate breaks and rest for your child, it will lead to a more pleasant experience. 

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How the test will be administered to your child depends on the school they attend but generally students are given between 30 to 45 minutes for each battery, and it takes between two to three hours to complete all three batteries of the CogAT. The atmosphere will also be dependent upon your child’s school; however, most students will be tested in small groups with other students.

Helping your child understand what the test will like and what to expect on the day of the test are great ways to ease their fear and anxiety. Gentle reminders such as taking brain breaks when needed and taking deep breaths if they are feeling particularly overwhelmed can also help students who become nervous during the test.

Remember the best tool you have in the process of practicing for the CogAT is giving yourself and your child enough time to effectively prepare. With your support, encouragement, and effective test prep materials, your child can approach the CogAT Level 7 with ease and confidence.

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