How to Pass the CogAT 4th Grade Test in 2022
Updated July 27, 2022
It’s normal for parents to want their children to be high achievers. A good score on the CogAT test can give your child access to talented or gifted programs that can help accelerate their learning and development.
This article goes into detail about the CogAT 4th grade test, including:
- How it is structured
- How it is scored
- Tips for passing
CogAT stands for the Cognitive Aptitude Test. The test is different from the regular vocabulary or numerical tests that your child will do at school.
It is in a multiple-choice format and it measures the level and pattern of cognitive development of a student compared to other students in their age group or grade.
There are 14 levels (5 to 18) for all age groups from kindergarten to 12th grade.
Each level of the test corresponds to the age of the children sitting it. So, if your child is in 4th grade, they will probably be sitting the Level 10.
Some schools may administer the Level 11 test for gifted students at that age. However, this is not the norm and it will only be done in very special circumstances.
The test will usually be administered by the class teacher. Some schools may have a specialist or administer proctor to give the test. However, it can only be administered by authorized teachers or administrators; it won’t be given by short-term substitute teachers.
The test contains 176 questions and has a time limit of 90 minutes. The CogAT tests reasoning skills and has three parts:
- Verbal battery
- Non-verbal battery
- Quantitive battery
These same three skills are tested at every level.
This section of the test assesses:
- Vocabulary, efficiency and verbal memory
- Ability to work out word relationships
- Ability to comprehend ideas
Which word is the best fit for this group of words?
football | basketball | golf
What is the next number in the sequence?
1, 2, 4, 8, 16, ?
Each subsection is split into three subcategories. These are as follows:
Picture/verbal analogies – Three words will be provided to the student. The first two words will be connected in some way and the third word will be paired with one of the other words under the multiple-choice section.
Sentence completion – The student is provided with a sentence with one word missing. They need to choose what the missing word should be from one of the four multiple-choice options.
Picture/verbal classification – The student is given three words that are similar in some way. They need to select the word that fits in with the other words in the best way.
Number analogies – The student is shown a square with four boxes. The top two boxes have a mathematical connection which the student will need to work out. Then they must pair the bottom left box with the corresponding box with the same mathematical connection from the multiple-choice options.
Number series – Students are presented with a number series and they are required to fill in the next number of the series correctly.
Number puzzles – Students are expected to solve math equations by choosing the correct multiple-choice answer to make the equations on one side equate to the same answer as the equation on the other side.
Figure matrices – Students are presented with a 2x2 square box. Similar to the Number Analogies section, the student must work out the relationship between the two top boxes and choose the correct box for the missing square that has the same relationship to the box on the bottom-left square. However, the Figure Matrices use spatial forms. Developing the skill to work out the relationship is vital to solving these types of questions.
Figure classification – Students are given three shapes or figures. The task is to choose the figure that fits in with the others from the multiple-choice answers. This section aims to develop the skill of recognizing patterns and applying them.
Paper folding – Students will need to work out how a piece of paper will look when unfolded. The folded pieces of paper will have hole punchings and the students will need to work out how the paper will look when it’s unfolded. This section measures the spatial capabilities of the student. The ability to foresee how the unfolded paper will look can be an indication of a strong analytical mind.
CogAT scores come in the form of a raw score and the stanine score (percentile group) that measures students’ abilities compared to their peers. The raw score and the stanine score are mediated through the age of the student to make the measurement of their relative ability more accurate and relevant.
To calculate scores, the CogAT test uses both age norms and grade norms. This means that the scores are compared to students in the same grade or the same age group across the nation.
The test scores are displayed through a score report.
Under the Age Sections category of the score report, there are three columns:
- Standard Age Score
- Stanine Test Score
- Age Percentile Rank
The scores are also displayed on the APR Graph.
The Standard Age Score section of the grade report shows students’ age scores. The report groups students by age in one-month groupings, from 4 years 11 months to 18 years old.
The Standard Age Score shows a normalized score for each battery tested and a composite score. This score has an average of 100 and a standard deviation of 16. Educators use this to compare the student’s scores and level of cognitive development to their peers in the same age or grade group.
For example, a student who scores a Standard Age Score of 100 on the Quantitive Battery has a typical level of cognitive development of numerical skills for their age group.
Students who have a Standard Age Score of 145 on the Quantitative Battery have a higher level of development of numerical skills than typical students in the same age group.
The second column in the Age Scores section displays the Stanine Age Score. This is a normalized standard score scale with nine levels. The score is represented from a low of 1 to a high of 9.
Stanines are groupings of percentile ranks. A student obtaining a stanine of 9 has a higher level of cognitive abilities and development than a student with a stanine of 6.
The third column in the Age Scores shows the Age Percentile Rank for each section and the composite. A percentile rank tells you the percentage of students in the same age group who scored lower than that student.
For example, if a student obtains a percentile rank of 80 on the verbal battery, this means that 80% of students in the standardized sample scored below that student. An average age percentile rank is considered to be 50.
The next section on the score report is the APR graph. This also correlates to the student’s age scores. It graphically represents the student’s scores for each of the batteries as well as the composite score.
Next comes the Raw Score, which contains three sections. The Raw Scores part shows the total number of items on the test, how many questions the student attempted, and the number they scored correctly in each section.
The Grade Scores relate to the National Percentile Rank of students in the same grade across the US. The Local Scores relate to the Local Stanine and Percentile Rank which are students’ scores in the same school system.
The Composite Score is a percentile score for all sections of the test. This number puts all three scores together and tells you where your child stands in comparison to other students. So, a composite percentile score of 92 indicates that your child did better on all three sections combined than 92% of other students in their age group.
A good score for the 4th-grade CogAT depends on your child’s abilities. Generally, a stanine score of 4–6 is considered average, 7–8 is above average and 9 is very high.
A sustainable studying strategy is the best way to prepare your child for the CogAT exam and will be the best way to ensure your child gets a good grade.
At the 4th-grade level, children can do some concentrated study, but this would need to be broken up into short periods, varied and balanced against sleep, rest and exercise.
Some of the most effective proven ways to prepare for the CogAT test are:
This point cannot be stressed enough. Getting your child comfortable with the type of questions that will come up in the test is the best way to prepare them for the CogAT test.
A steady study schedule is crucial for studying for the CogAT test. Make sure that it is well-paced and you’re not trying to cram too much material into a small space of time.
Number puzzles are another great way to develop their problem-solving and numerical skills. It will improve their cognitive abilities and prepare them for the questions in the test.
Set your child some reading activities that they can do in their own time. It’s better to not give them anything too difficult so that they are not discouraged but to work up the difficulty over time to help them develop their language acquisition.
You should also set aside some time to read with your child. These books can be more difficult than those they read by themselves, and you can explain the difficult words or concepts with them.
Sacrificing sleeping, exercising or eating well for studying is a bad idea. Several studies have proven that a balanced lifestyle with a steady, structured study timetable is the best way to ensure that your child performs well on tests.
Mindfulness is proven to help children focus, which is crucial for them while studying. Just taking a few minutes out to focus on breathing or doing a full body scan can have a truly positive effect on your child’s learning.
Tests are a nerve-racking time for anyone. However, you must remember to show your child that preparation is key and not let the stress of sitting a test take over.
The key thing to remember is that being well rested, getting exercise and having a healthy diet helps to keep energy levels high, and also helps your child to stay focused for a successful study session.