If you have never heard of the CogAT, you might be confused. If your eighth grader has come home from school and announced that they will be taking the CogAT, chances are, you might be feeling pretty overwhelmed. In this article, we’ll be helping to clear up any confusion you might have about the CogAT, as well as give you some tips to help your child be as prepared as possible for their upcoming CogAT test.
What is the CogAT Test for 8th Grade?
The CogAT test is designed to determine a student’s general problem-solving and reasoning abilities. It is typically used by gifted and talented programs or accelerated academic programs as a test for potential students.
CogAT is given in numerous levels depending on your student’s grade. If your student is in eighth grade, they will either take level 13 or level 14. Since the test can be given to any student from kindergarten through the end of high school, it only makes sense that there are many different levels.
Level 13 and level 14 are the two CogAT tests for middle school, and either can be taken by seventh-grade or eighth-grade students, depending on the student, school district, and the program they are trying to get into. Middle school is the first time that students taking the CogAT will have any choice in which level of the exam they take.
On top of the CogAT levels, the test is also differentiated by its forms. Think of forms like what edition of the test you will be taking. In forms six and earlier, the test utilizes a good amount of language-based skills. In the most recent forms, both form 7 and form 8, the language sections are changed to test the same skills but by using pictures. This change makes the test accessible to students with language difficulties or who don’t speak English as their first language.
The CogAT 8th grade test is the same structure as all other CogAT tests and requires a similar amount of preparation to the other levels as well. If your eighth grader is considering taking the CogAT, make sure you keep reading to find out how you can best help them feel prepared when they sit down for their CogAT.
What Types of Tests are Included in the 8th Grade CogAT Test?
The 8th-grade CogAT test includes all the same types of test sections or batteries as all other CogAT tests. This includes a verbal battery, a nonverbal battery, and a quantitative battery. Questions will include many relationship-based analogies that students will be asked to complete using the given options.
One of the most well-known sections of the CogAT is the paper folding section. Students will be shown an image of a paper and arrows to show how it is folded. They will then see a photo of holes being punched in the paper and asked to pick what the paper would look like unfolded.
Another large portion of the CogAT utilizes matrices or 2×2 grids. These grids are similar to analogies and ask students to recognize relationships between images, shapes, or numbers and then to complete the grid from the given options.
Is CogAT Test Mandatory for 8th Grade?
The CogAT test is never mandatory for all students. Since the CogAT test is designed as a test to determine admission into selective academic programs, not all students will ever feel the need to take the CogAT or any other similarly designed test.
On the other hand, if your child is applying to a gifted and talented program, an accelerated academic program, or even sometimes an advanced high school or high school program, there is a chance that the CogAT will be mandatory for them. Each school and program has its own rules and regulations, so check with your program to find out if the CogAT is compulsory for your child.
How to Prepare for the CogAT Test?
CogAT test prep doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re going to break it down into three main questions you should ask your child’s school or program and three tips to help you support your child’s test prep.
Three questions to ask:
What level of CogAT will my child be taking?
It is essential to know what level of CogAT test your child will be taking, as this will help you pick the practice questions that will be the best fit for your child’s test.
What form of CogAT will my child be taking?
Knowing if your child will take form 6 or form 7, or 8 will be essential when it comes to studying for the verbal battery or verbal section of the exam.
Will my child take the CogAT with pencil and paper or on a computer?
CogAT exams can be taken either in print or on a computer, so make sure you know and have your child practice using that medium.
Three ways to help support your child
Get a good practice test and practice questions
Providing your child with a good practice test and lots of good practice questions is the easiest thing you can do to help set them up for success. There are a lot of CogAT practice tests that you can purchase, but there are also lots of free CogAT practice tests that are available online. Try finding a few that you like and either having your child take them on the computer or print out the questions for them to go through.
Using a CogAT sample test for 8th graders can be super helpful. By eighth grade, your child will already be familiar with taking tests, but showing them lots of CogAT sample tests will help familiarize them with the CogAT specifically. This will help them build their confidence with the test.
Make sure your child knows what to expect from test day
Helping your child understand what will happen on the testing day will help minimize any stress that might come from that unknown. Drive to the testing location together, especially if it is a new location, and make sure your child has all the necessary information and identification ready and in one place.
Having a simulated test environment at home for your child to take a few practice tests can help them get more comfortable in that environment. This can help minimize test-day stress and allow your child to focus on the task.
Make sure they are taking care of themselves.
Teaching your child how to take care of their body and mind is essential to their success on the CogAT and beyond. Make sure they understand how to eat well and know why they should exercise, hydrate, and sleep well.
Eighth graders are old enough to understand the importance of these things, so you’ll be setting them up for lifelong success by teaching them these skills. These are skills they will use for the rest of their schooling.
Wrapping Things Up: What is CogAT Test for 8th Grade?
From understanding what the CogAT is to answer some specific questions about the level and form of the test for eighth-graders, we hope you feel less overwhelmed by the CogAT than before. Just remember that this is your child’s first significant test and an excellent opportunity for you to help teach them how to take tests well without developing too much stress. With the help of our tips, your child should be well on their way to crushing the CogAT!