Are you the parent of a fifth-grader who is thinking about taking the CogAT? If so, you’ve come to the right place! We are here to help answer some of your burning questions and clear up any confusion you might have surrounding your child’s upcoming CogAT exam. We’ll go over the structure of the test as well as our favorite tips to help you and your child both feel prepared when the CogAT comes around.
What is the CogAT Test for 5th Grade?
The CogAT, or cognitive abilities test, is an exam designed to test a student’s problem-solving and reasoning skills. While other tests, like the PSAT, the SAT, or the ACT, focus more on a student’s ability to learn and understand academic concepts, such as high-level math or language skills, the CogAT is different.
The CogAT uses shapes and figures to determine a child’s relative cognitive ability. The test determines this by testing a child’s ability to reason through challenges, visualize situations, and solve problems. It also relies heavily on a student’s ability to see the relationships between different things.
Since the CogAT can be given to students from kindergarten all the way through the end of high school, it only makes sense that the test is offered at different levels. For fifth-graders, like many other grades, one level of the CogAT is recommended. Fifth-grade students will take level 11 of the CogAT.
How is the CogAT Test for 5th Grade Structured?
The CogAT test for fifth grade is structured like all the other CogAT tests. The general structure consists of three parts, called three batteries, with each battery being subdivided into three smaller sections. The three batteries and their sections are listed below.
The verbal battery is designed to test skills associated with verbal communication and language use while not directly testing your language skills. One reason the CogAT is so popular is that it is great for students who speak English, but it is equally as good for students who speak English as a second or third language.
Picture or verbal analogies
These analogies will give the child words or show them pictures, depending on what form of the CogAT they are taking, and ask them to finish the analogy by selecting from one of the options.
In the sentence completion part of the CogAT, students will be asked to pick the word from the options that best completes the sentence provided. These are simple sentences and are not designed to be tricky. This is the only part of the test that might feel similar to other language tests.
Picture or verbal classification
This section asks children to pick the word from the provided options that best fit the three words or pictures.
The quantitative battery is the closest to a math section that the CogAT has. This section does include some basic math, like addition and subtraction, but it is more about seeing the relationship between different numbers.
Like all the other analogy questions on the CogAT, the number analogies show students analogy of numbers and ask them to pick which number completes the analogy.
Think of number series as finding the pattern, and you’ll do great! This section asks students to see the relationship between a series of numbers and complete the series from the choices provided.
Number puzzles are basic math equations with a number missing. It is up to the student to pick the missing number out of the selection provided.
The nonverbal battery is the battery that is best for students with language difficulties or those who don’t speak English as a native language. This battery is based on shape relationships and the ability to visualize changes.
In the figure matrices section, students will be asked to pick the shape that best completes the relationships expressed through the shapes pictured in a 2×2 grid.
Figure classification is as simple as correctly identifying which figure in the response options best expresses the commonality between the figures shown in the question.
The paper folding section of the CogAT is famous amongst CogAT takers. This section will show children a picture that illustrates how a paper is being folded, shows them some change happening to the folded paper, and then asks them to pick which picture shows what the paper would look like unfolded.
Make sure you know which level or form of the CogAT your child is taking as you help them prepare because this will have some impact on the type of questions they see. The most recent forms of the CogAT, form 7 and form 8, are designed to be very approachable to children whose native language might not be English. Previous forms, such as form 6, rely more on English.
The main differences you will see are on the verbal battery. Form 6 or earlier CogAT exams will include verbal analogies and verbal classification. On the other hand, form 7 and form 8 CogAT exams will include picture analogies and picture classification.
How to Pass the CogAT 5th Grade?
There are tons of ways to help your student with CogAT test prep to help ensure the best CogAT scores possible. Here are some of our favorite ways.
Playing games that will help keep your child’s brain sharp and working quickly is a great way to help them prepare for the CogAT. Sections like the paper folding can easily be turned into a game on their own, but many test prep companies publish CogAT learning games. Games can be a fun way to keep your child engaged.
Understand the test
Know if your child is taking the CogAT with a pencil and paper or on a computer. Make sure that you inform your child of what they should expect the day of the test. This will likely be their first large test, so you’ll want to make them as comfortable as possible, as this will help them feel less overwhelmed and perform better.
Take practice tests
Finding 5th-grade CogAT practice tests is a must! Having your child take a few practice tests throughout the course of your preparation is the key to helping them build up their mental endurance. Remember that focusing for 90 minutes will be a skill that they will need to master in order to crush the CogAT.
CogAT Practice Test for 5th Grade
You can buy CogAT practice tests online or in a book, but there are also free CogAT practice tests everywhere on the internet. It is important that you make sure you are getting your free tests from reputable sources, though, since not all practice tests are created equal.
Try looking for free CogAT practice tests for grade 5 and level 11, as both will bring up different tests. Some companies will give you a handful of free CogAT practice questions which you can then use as a guide to see how well you feel the free CogAT practice tests really line up.
Make sure you are using a practice test designed for the correct grade level and the same form your child will be taking. Taking a CogAT test for middle schoolers won’t be much help to your fifth grader, considering the material covered on the tests will be different.
Wrapping Things Up: What is CogAT Test for 5th Grade?
Although the CogAT exam for 5th grade is the same general structure as every other CogAT exam, it is important to shape your child’s CogAT test prep around the level 11 exam. Make sure you are doing your research so you know what form of the test your child will be taking so you can provide your child with the best support possible as they launch straight into the CogAT preparations.