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CogAT Test Grade 1 – A Definitive Prep Guide For Parents + Practice Questions

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a multiple-choice assessment that measures how well a child is performing in school and how they are reacting to a school’s teaching methods.

A CogAT test specifically looks at a child’s reasoning skills by challenging them with different types of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal questions.  The CogAT is a group-administered aptitude test that is commonly used as a benchmark for a school’s gifted and talented programs.

Take the CogAT Grade 1 Practice Test to improve your score.

CogAT test prep starts by familiarizing your child with the process of taking the test. It is also essential to have your child work with CogAT practice questions similar to what they will encounter during the CogAT. There are many practice tests online and talented test preparation books available. Prepare your child with the correct grade or level when you start a practice test.

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About The CogAT Grade 1 Test

The Cognitive Abilities test assesses a student’s growing comprehension and reasoning skills. It also tests their critical thinking skills, quantitative reasoning, and ability to detect relationships between figures and images.

The CogAT does not measure how much a student has learned, the same way achievement tests like the SATs do. CogAT instead focuses on a student’s ability to display cognitive skills that have shown to be crucial to academic success. At a 1st grade level, these abilities include reasoning and problem solving through verbal, quantitative, and spatial methods to find the answers.

Cognitive Ability Tests vary in difficulty, the number of questions, question types, and length based on what level they are tested in. Your child’s age will determine what CogAT level they are tested with. The test’s sections and the characteristics thereof are consistent across all levels.

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The CogAT Test Section Layout

The questions are given in a multiple-choice format, with answer choices presented as words, numbers, or pictures depending on the test section. The test taker will have four options for each question and they must pick the correct answer by coloring in one or more holes, depending on the question.

CogAT Grade 1 tests can be administered online or with paper-and-pencil tests in groups of around 20 students.

The test is presented in three sections called batteries. There is the verbal battery, the non-verbal battery, and the quantitative battery. The three batteries are usually given together, but with special permission from the educational body administering the test, whether a teacher or a counselor, these sections can be administered individually.

Each battery is broken into three sub-sections with nine sub-sections in total:

The Verbal battery:

  • Picture analogy
  • Sentence completion
  • Picture classification

The Quantitative battery:

  • Number analogies
  • Number puzzles
  • Number series

The Non-Verbal battery:

  • Figure matrices
  • Paper folding
  • Figure classification

Early Test Preparation

Before you go out shopping for a standardized test prep workbook and work through practice tests, you need to make sure of a few things about your first grade students from your examination venue.

Contact your child’s school first and ask them what testing methods they will be using. The three most important questions to ask are:

1. Will the test be given online or in-person with paper-and-pencil?

Remember to adhere to Covid Rules and regulations in your area. If your child has any issues with working in one of the testing situations, remember to bring this up with their teacher.

2. Will all three batteries be given?

As stated earlier, students can write the three sections of the actual test separately. This can help students avoid mistakes if they have trouble concentrating for a long stretch of time. The Cognitive abilities test can take between two to three hours to complete, with each battery being allocated a 30-45 minute window to answer.

3. Which CogAT level will my child be taking?

In this case, your 1st Grade student will be writing at CogAT test level 7. The difficulty can ramp up rather steeply between levels, so it is crucial that you don’t sign your child up for the incorrect difficulty level.

To reiterate, it’s essential to ask your child’s school which CogAT level they will be subjected to. Your school can choose to administer a test that is above your child’s grade level if they are looking for highly gifted and talented students. They may also choose to give a below grade level test if students are being tested at the beginning of the year.

The first grade CogAT test is similar to the Kindergarten CogAT exam. It also assesses your child’s developing comprehension and reasoning skills, critical thinking skills, quantitative reasoning, and the ability to detect relationships between figures and images.

A first grade student will face questions of a similar nature to the kindergartener test, but the content will be slightly more advanced. This is because a 1st grade student is expected to have developed the visual-spatial reasoning and fine motor skills needed to use the multiple-choice bubble sheet.

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Essential Test Prep Strategies

Gifted and talented programs require a lot of test prep material. Practice tests and CogAT test prep books are widely available on websites such as TestPrepOnline.

The best way to effectively prepare students is to help them hone cognitive skills through various test prep books providing enough good practice material for your child. This is because no two CogAT tests reflect the same question or content. So it will not help to cram the same questions over and over again.

CogAT test prep starts by familiarizing your child with the test-taking process and how a multiple-choice test works. It is likely their first experience with it after the similarly structured Kindergarten test. The only difference is the method of how to provide the correct answer for the test.

When you and your child start to work through CogAT practice questions, the types of questions must be similar to what they will encounter during the actual test. This is another reason why you should be sure of what level your child will be writing. Using the wrong CogAt test prep materials will be a detriment to their talented CogAT test preparation.

CogAT Test Preparation Tips

Here are a few short examples of the questions your child can expect in the Cognitive abilities test. A CogAT practice test will have more detailed descriptions in the questions. These are intended to give you an idea of what each section will revolve around and an example of how to prepare for the test.

students and teacher in the classroom

Verbal Battery

Picture / Verbal Analogies

These questions are based on visual pictures and make use of a two-by-two square matrix with three pictures and one empty cell. Students need to examine the top two images and identify how they are related to themselves. The student is given four other images in a list to choose from.

The objective is to pick a picture from the list that has a parallel relationship to the images in the square matrix. An excellent way to approach this question is by first looking at the picture on the bottom row. First grade students should be able to complete this section in about 15 minutes.

Learners can prepare for analogy questions by practicing how to sort out a selection of items. Have your child pack away groceries after a shopping trip or take them along to a convenient store to help identify where certain products might be shelved. You can use this game with similar items, such as packing away laundry or toys.

Sentence Completion

In this section, the student will listen to a sentence or question from the exam proctor. They are offered a set of pictures to choose from. The student must select the image matching the sentence or answer the question. This section takes approximately 14 minutes to complete.

Flashcard games are an excellent way to prep for this section. Have your child pick out items from a picture book by asking them to find a specific item on a page or ask them what tools are needed for a job.

Picture Classification

This test gives the student a set of 3 pictures that are similar in one way. They must examine these pictures and determine how they are all alike on their own. To answer the question, they are given another list of images from which they must choose the one picture that belongs in the same group as those shown first. This section also takes around 14 minutes to complete.

Once again, having your child sort out a toy box or having them pack away dishes and crockery in the kitchen is an excellent way to have them recognize categories. Word games are another way to practice. Name a category and “compete” with them to see who can name the most items under the category.

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Quantitative Battery

Number Analogies

This is a similar testing process as the Picture Analogies section, especially in presenting it as a question. The significant difference is that instead of dealing with verbal concepts and similarities, the student must identify relationships on a numerical level.

Number patterns and values are what are being tested in this case. This section is as long as the verbal battery and should take about as long to complete.

Learners can practice analogies through grouping items in this section. Having your child split something equally can be a good way for them to recognize number patterns. Ask your school teacher for an abacus to help practice the questions at home.

Number Series questions

Your child’s ability to recognize numerical patterns is tested in this section. The way this is done in each question, an abacus is shown with a bead pattern on an abacus.

The test taker must rely on their pattern recognition skills to select the correct string of beads that should follow the sequence. Your child must choose the number of beads for the final string on the abacus. This section should take your child around 10 minutes to finish.

A simple exercise for practicing number series is to set out playing cards in a series and offer your child a choice of four other cards that they can use to finish the pattern.

Number Puzzles

For this section, the child must recognize numbers of an equal value. The exam will display two trains. Each train must be pulling the same number of red boxes or whatever item the train is carrying. Your child must select the answer picture that makes the second train carry the exact same number of objects as the first train. A student must be able to answer this section in around 11 minutes.

This test can be perfectly recreated in the real world by using a toy train set. This can also help to simulate actual testing conditions and make your child feel more comfortable in the exam with a recognizable situation. You can even use candy as an excellent way to practice and keep your child’s attention.

a boy practicing for the test

Non-Verbal Battery

Paper Folding

In this subtest, your child is shown a series of pictures that describe the process of a piece of paper being folded and then having a shape cut into it or having holes punched into it. Students must imagine what the end result will be when the piece of paper has been unfolded after it was cut up. The child must choose the answer among a list of pictures of where the holes in the paper will be when the paper unfolds.

This is another question you can recreate in the real world. An excellent way to practice this with your child is to visually demonstrate the question they are answering by following the steps that are presented in the question. You can even have your child express themselves creatively by having them cut out the patterns and drawing what they think the outcome will be. This section takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.

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Figure Matrices

This section is the same as the Verbal/Picture and Number Analogies sections from earlier, and it requires the same thought process that was used there. The difference this time is that instead of concepts based on verbal or quantitative measures, your child must now identify the relationships between different shapes and spatial forms.

The student is once again given a group of images in a square matrix and must then identify the relationship between these images. This time you focus on relationships in shapes and different figures. This section should take 11 minutes to complete.

Try to practice this section with building blocks and cut-out shapes. Asking your child to group different types of triangles together by having them recognize the fact that not all triangles look the same is an excellent way to practice this section.

Figure Classification

For this section of the non-verbal battery, your child is shown two rows of figures. The top figures all have something in common. The student has to choose one figure from the row at the bottom that matches or is similar to the top figures. The selected picture has to reflect the first row of images in the same way that the figures on top go together.

This section requires the same thought process as the Picture Classification portion of the exam. Instead of identifying the relationships between different pictures, your child has to infer the relationships between shapes and figures. They then must find the answer that belongs to the example group. A student should be able to complete this section in 10 minutes.

The lucky thing about this section is that many of its questions are similar to each other. This means that they can be prepared for the same way. If you are running out of ideas on how to represent the questions in real life, try to work off different exams or ask your child’s teacher for ideas on a practice test.

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Final Thoughts

Preparing for the CogAT is trickier than simply memorizing the facts that are represented in the test. Luckily, learners can practice these gifted and talented tests with the proper CogAT test prep book.