Franklin Lakes School District

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Cognitive Abilities Test [CogAT] Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the CogAT?

The Cognitive Abilities Test, or CogAT is a nationally-normed test published by Riverside Insights that measures students’ learned reasoning abilities in the three areas most linked to academic success in school: Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal. There is no defined curriculum for this assessment; it is NOT an assessment of grade level content and skills like the NJSLA standardized achievement tests or the types of assessments teachers use to diagnose, inform, and/ or evaluate learning, which are intended to assess the extent to which students have learned and can transfer/ apply grade-level content and skills. 


The CogAT is typically administered in a group setting, proctored either by the student’s teacher or guidance counselor.

2. What does the CogAT measure?

Unlike a math or spelling test following a unit of study, this assessment is not a test of academic achievement or of grade level content.  


The CogAT seeks to assess students’ learned reasoning abilities as they relate to student learning and problem solving via three batteries of tests:

  • Verbal Battery - assesses students' abilities to use search, retrieval, and comparison processes that are essential in verbal reasoning. 
    • Verbal Analogies
    • Sentence Completion*
    • Verbal Classification
  • Quantitative Battery - assesses students' abilities to reason about patterns and relations using concepts that are essential to quantitative thinking.  
    • Number Analogies
    • Number Puzzles
    • Number Series
  • Nonverbal Battery - assesses students' abilities to reason with somewhat more novel questions that use spatial and figural content. 
    • Figure Matrices
    • Paper Folding
    • Figure Classification


These abilities are developed through students’ experiences BOTH within and outside of school.


3. Which students are eligible to take the CogAT?

All students in grades 3 and 5 are provided the opportunity to be assessed via the CogAT during the course of the school year. Official communiqués regarding CogAT testing dates will be provided in advance of the coordinated testing dates and placed on the FLPS web site’s calendar. Additionally, students new to the District in grades 4 and above are provided the opportunity to take the CogAT during the summer [FAMS]/ at the beginning of each new academic year [elementary schools].


Testing accommodations/ modifications will be implemented as prescribed by IEP, Section 504, or English Language Learning plans.


4. How does FLPS use the CogAT?

The information provided via CogAT testing informs our efforts to adapt instruction to the needs and abilities of students using a measure of cognitive development not typically represented in report cards.  Additionally, CogAT results are utilized, among other student assessment information, to support identification of student needs with supplemental programming such as gifted & talented services and middle school mathematics course placements. 


5. How is the CogAT utilized as part of identification for supplemental Gifted & Talented Services?

January 2022 FLPS update:

FLPS is presently conducting an evaluation of our practices and continuum of services for students exhibiting giftedness to support improvements in matching student needs with services, and to ensure compliance with the spirit and intent of the new Strengthening Gifted & Talented Education Act [SGTEA].  As such, the district anticipates that changes to our current identification processes will be forthcoming.  Proposed recommendations will be presented at a future Board of Education meeting prior to the conclusion of school year 2021-22. 


6. What is the CogAT scoring process?

FLPS utilizes the publisher’s scoring service and thus, is dependent upon the vendor’s turnaround time with respect to score reporting.  Once scored reports are received in the district, they are reviewed and Individual score reports are mailed home via U.S. Postal Service.


7. How do I Interpret the CogAT Score Report?

Parents, guardians and teachers can utilize CogAT results to produce very detailed information about an individual student's learning profile via the CogAT Interactive Ability Profile Interpretation System: To produce this student profile, simply click the provided link and refer to the student’s Score Report to populate the required fields.


8. Which CogAT form is used in Franklin Lakes Public Schools?  Which level will my child take?

Students in Franklin Lakes Public Schools are assessed using the most recently normed (2017) versions of the CogAT.   The publishers of CogAT provide guidance to school districts regarding appropriate test levels for specific grade levels. The District tests students in grade 3 at level 9, grade 4 at level 10, grade 5 at level 11, etc.   


January 2022