The CogAT exam, which stands for Cognitive Abilities Test, is a K-12 assessment. That simply means that this particular assessment is offered to various students from kindergarten to 12th grade. The exam is always multiple-choice and can be administered on paper or through a computer.
The examination tests you on a wide variety of skills. However, it’s generally regarded as a cognitive test, as it’s used as a metric to determine whether a student qualifies for gifted or talented programs.
However, understanding the fundamentals of the exam might be a little tricky to grasp. Hence, in this article, we have compiled all the details you would require to fully comprehend the weight of the examination.
What Does the CogAT Measure?
The CogAT works on testing the same cognitive elements throughout all years of school. However, the difficulty of the exam and the experience do advance with the years.
So, what is CogAT test for 9th grade, and what does it measure? It measures the development and the pattern of cognitive abilities in students. The primary purpose of doing so is to evaluate whether the cognitive functions of a student shift. At the same time, they grow, and whether they’re where they’re supposed to be.
Cognitive functioning can be affected by numerous factors. That includes experiences in and out of school, nutrition, and environment. Hence, such assessments are critical to ensure the students are on the right path.
The cognitive abilities tested and measured throughout the CogAT exam consist of three sections. Those sectors are known as batteries and are as follows:
- Verbal: picture analogies, completing sentences, and picture classification
- Quantitative:number puzzles, series, and analogies
- Nonverbal:paper folding, figure matrices, and figure classification
Unlike many standardized tests, this assessment evaluates research’s cognitive abilities associated with academic success. Hence, you’re not going to be tested on your intelligence, nor will it be on your knowledge. It’s more of an exam that tests your problem-solving skills and reasoning ability.
When is CogAT Test Given?
You might be wondering if the CogAT test for middle school is the only examination out there. Well, there are actually 14 distinct levels of the CogAT. The one you’ll be taking depends on your age. In other words, the CogAT test can be administered throughout grades K to 12th.
Remember that within those 14 levels, each one varies in length, time, and several questions. You’ll also face different question types in each one, so your preparation should be set accordingly. However, some consistencies in all levels include:
- All questions are multiple-choice
- Each consists of the three batteries mentioned above and are often given together
- The test proctor is usually someone from your school, such as a teacher or a counselor
- You have two examination options: paper-based or computer-based
- The amount of students in one room is usually around 20, all tested at the same time
As the main focus is on the CogAT exam given for 9th graders, the number of questions you’ll face is 176 multiple-choice ones. As for the time limit, you’ll only have 90 minutes to complete the assessment. The level you’ll be tested on is the second before last, level 15/16, given to 9th and 10th graders.
You’ll have approximately 20-30 minutes per battery to complete the assessment. If you’re confused about the exam, check out the free CogAT practice test for 9th grade from Test Prep Express.
Who Should Take CogAT?
Think of the CogAT examination as an IQ exam. While incredibly similar in their questions, they test each student’s quick thinking and cognitive side. Hence, while some parents might resist letting their children be assessed, it’s actually a good idea sometimes.
For instance, if you’re a student who believes their mental abilities are beyond your current grade, taking the exam to figure out where you stand is a good idea. The CogAT scores allow you to figure out whether you or your kid are gifted and have potential beyond the current level you’re put in.
But how can you know if you’re gifted? Sometimes, tests are administered as early as kindergarten to make life easier for talented kids. You might be referred to receive proficient services early on during your academic career. However, this is evaluated through the MAO (Measures of Academic Progress) as well as the score from the CogAT.
Hence, if you want to test any of the below abilities related to cognitive functioning, taking the CogAT exam is a good idea:
- Processing of information efficiency
- Problem-solving skills
- Ability to retain information
- Simultaneous ability to process mass information
Understanding CogAT Scores
Once you get your result, you’ll acquire a few different scales. To understand what each signifies, read on:
- Raw Score: you won’t be deducted grades for any incorrect answers. Hence, a raw score is simply the number of questions you’ve answered correctly.
- Universal Scale Score (USS):after obtaining the raw score, it’s converted to a Universal Scale Score. Each battery has its own USS, which is all done to make the scores normalized. The Composite USS is simply the average of all three scores.
- Standard Age Score (SAS):this score is out of 160, with an average of around 100.
- Percentile Rank (PR):the average percentile, of course, is 50. The PR simply tells you where you stand compared to others your age and your level who took the examination. If you’ve received a 90th percentile, you scored better than 90% of the students.
- Stanine (S):this is a normalized score that depends on the age and level of the student. It spans the range of 1 to 9, 9 being the highest score.
More often than not, the most critical CogAT score is the stanine. It’s equivalent to the percentile rank and states where the student falls on the cognitive scale:
- Stanine 9: 96th – 99th percentile, very high
- Stanine 8:89th – 95th percentile, above average
- Stanine 7:77th – 88th percentile, above average
- Stanine 6:60th – 76th percentile, average
- Stanine 5:40th – 59th percentile, average
- Stanine 4:23rd – 39th percentile, average
- Stanine 3:11th – 22nd percentile, below average
- Stanine 2:4th – 10th percentile, below average
- Stanine 1:1st – 3rd percentile, very low
3 Tips for CogAT Test Preparation for 9th Grade
There really is no proper way to prepare for the CogAT examination. This exam is not a test of your academic performance or knowledge. Instead, it tests your ability to retain information, process various stuff, and reason. However, here are a few tips to help you with your 9th grade CogAT test prep.
Familiarize Yourself with the Questions
One of the most surprising factors in the assessment is how different it is compared to other school exams.
Solve Many Practice Tests
The more CogAT practice tests you go through, the better prepared you are for the assessment itself. Keep in mind that you won’t easily find a free CogAT practice test, but you can check out the practice book for levels 15-16 offered by Mercer Publishing.
Take It Easy
While this might sound a little cliché, the only way to do your best is to be relaxed before the exam. You won’t have much time to slowly go through the assessment, so put your mind to rest before you go in.
Wrapping Things Up: What is CogAT Test for 9th Grade?
All things said the CogAT exam should not be stressing you out. It’s used to simply assess whether you’re a distinctive student or not. Overall, it’s for your own good. It allows your school to determine the best level for you.
However, some preparation might be beneficial. That’s because putting your mind at ease before the assessment will go a long way. Hence, find a way to relax and unwind, so you have ample time to go through the evaluation. If you’re calm and rested, you won’t feel as anxious through the exam.