Preparing for Gifted Testing
Students are labeled gifted and qualify for services using Cognitive Ability Tests. Testing determines how they process information, how quickly, and what strategies they use to learn, especially with abstract concepts. The primary test used by WESD, the CogAT, measures for giftedness in all three areas (verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal). It can be administered to K-12 grade students and can be taken only one time per school year. It measures how students learn, not what they know through word, number, and picture puzzles. Students can qualify for gifted in one, two, or all three areas with a score in the 97th percentile or higher. The 50th percentile is average. Students cannot study for the CogAT, but taking the test more than once or using practice materials to understand the type of test questions can increase students' scores slightly and reduce test anxiety.
Students can be gifted in one or more areas by score in the 97th percentile or above on a Cognitive Abilities Test. They are:
- Quantitative (Math)
- Nonvertal (Spatial) Reasoning
Cogative Ability Test Sample Types
Here are examples of test questions from the CogAT 7. The first are verbal questions, then quantitative (math) questions, and finally nonverbal (spatial) questions)
Kinder-2nd grade CogAT
9 tests (3 verbal, 3 quantitative, 3 nonverbal) Untimed
3rd-8th grade CogAT
9 tests (3 verbal, 3 quantitative, 3 nonverbal). Each section is timed (Appx. 10 min per test)
* WESD uses th4e CogAT 7 for Cognitive abilities testing along with the NNAT (nonverbal) and DAS (PreK).
You cannot study for a Cognitive Abilities Test but research has shown that the "practice effect" can make a difference in scores for students who take the test more than once. In addition, students can use practice sample tests, books, worksheets, and websites which familarize them with the format of the test questions. Students in grades 3rd-8th have a time limit per section, so understanding the question types beforehand can help them work more quickly and reduce test anxiety.