The term CogAT implies to Cognitive Abilities Test that is used for assessing the reasoning and problem-solving skills of students. The results of CogAT are generally used to predict the success of students in school, as though reasoning abilities tend to develop gradually throughout a person’s lifetime, it develops at different rates. CogAT results of students of the same age indicate the level of understanding, reasoning and problem-solving abilities in chiefly three different areas – verbal, quantitative and non-verbal. However CogAT does not gauge other factors like motivation, effort and work habits that are also vital for school achievement.
All the three sections in Cogat are referred to as batteries and each battery consists of a set of questions that test different reasoning and problem solving abilities of a student. In the CogAT verbal battery, a student is tested for his/her flexibility, adaptability and reasoning with spoken materials and in solving verbal questions. These reasoning skills play a major role in nearly all verbal learning tasks, reading knowledge, critical thinking and writing.
In the CogAT quantitative battery, the quantitative reasoning skills, flexibility and ease while working with quantitative figures and concepts and the ability to establish, structure and define a meaning to an unordered set of numerals and arithmetic symbols are checked. This type of reasoning abilities is related to problem-solving skills in mathematics and other disciplines.
The non-verbal battery in CogAT evaluates the reasoning abilities of the student using some geometric figures and shapes. This section contains a set of novel problems and the student has to devise strategies to successfully and effectively solve the problem. For solving these types of unusual problems, a student has to not only be flexible while inventing ideas but also be accurate to implement on them.
CogAT is generally considered as an aptitude test of sorts that is given from kindergarten to grade 12. The most important goal for which CogAT was administered was to help teachers understand and adapt to their student’s needs, which will help the student learn effectively. For example if a student has shown an irregular pattern of comparative strength and weaknesses, then the teacher will be clearly able to assess the strengths and weakness of the student’s reasoning abilities.
By giving more complex opportunities to a student on his/her strengths, a teacher will be actually helping the student to build on his/her strength. It is only after establishing a strong foundation on his/her strengths that a teacher can now focus on a student’s weakness. By guiding the student to develop on his/her weaker reasoning abilities, the teacher can gradually start building the student’s weaker reasoning skill into his/her strength.
Besides helping students learn effectively, Cogat also helps teachers in knowing whether the student is not able to perform to his/her potential due to some other hindrances, like he/she has poor vision, poor hearing abilities or learning disabilities. CogAT is also used to help recognize academically gifted students and also otherwise talented students.
CogAT is a nationally normed test and hence it is very useful in comparing a student’s test performance with the test performances of other students of the same age. This helps both teachers and parents to know about the child’s school accomplishment.
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