Preparing for Gifted Testing

  • Gifted Areas

    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 95th 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 95th percentile or above on a Cognitive Abilities Test. They are:

    • Verbal
    • Quantitative (Math)
    • Nonvertal (Spatial) Reasoning

    Qualification for gifted services requires a score in one of the three areas (verbal, quantitative, or nonverbal)  in the 95th percentile or above. Students who score close to qualification (80th-94th percentile in K-2 and 87-94th percentile in 3rd-6th) may receive enrichment services at their school as a temporary gifted student and retest the next school year. Students who score lower than the temporary scores will need to wait two school years to test again.

    *WESD also uses the Naglieri General Abilities Test, the NNAT (nonverbal) assessment, and the Differentiated Abilities Scale (DAS) Early Years for qualification for gifted services in certain cases. Students can qualify for gifted services on any state-approved gifted assessment. 

  • 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)

  • TEST Format

    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)


  • Practice websites

    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.