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Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) - Highly Gifted Child

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I have 8 year old triplets born 06/09/2004. They are in 3rd grade. My one son Joey has always been an advanced learner. He was reading in preschool and has been doing Math in his head as long as I can remember.

He has an exceptional ability to remember facts. While in second grade the school administered the CogAT test. His results were as follows:

          Age Scores     Grade Scores  
Tests #of items No. att Raw Score USS SAS PR S PR S
Verbal 54 54 48 212 127 95 8 94 8
Quantitative 50 50 49 254 143 99 9 99 9
Non Verbal 52 51 45 220 127 95 8 94 8
Composite VQN       229 140 99 9 99 9

His profile is 8B (Q+)

I have looked up the results on the CogAt website but am curious as to your analysis on his scores. I have been told by the school psychologist that 109 SAS age score is average for a 2nd grader. My other 2 children scored a 112 and a 114 SAS age score, which is considered above average. Joey scored a 140. I asked the psychologist where this fell on the graph. He told me that the chart ended at 130 and that was considered superior. So where does Joey fit in?

This son of mine confuses me with his intelligence. I am not sure what avenues to pursue with him. He was moved up to 4th grade math 5 weeks into this school year and is excelling in the class. The school has no gifted and talented program until 5th grade. I find Joey to be disorganized and distracted in his classes. (except for his 4th grade math) He tends to amuse himself with things that are not so amusing to the teachers.

I am hoping that you may be able to shed some light or point me in a direction to keep my son academically challenged. Thank you for your time.

A: From his scores alone, it is clear that Joey is in the highly gifted range. Briefly, The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a test administered to K-12 students to assess their abilities in three areas; verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning and quantitative reasoning. This test is most commonly used by schools to determine placement for gifted and talented programs. CogAT scores are reported in terms of percentiles and stanines rather than IQ, which compares students to their peers. The score report lists four percentiles (one for each section, and one for all three combined), ranging from 1 to 100, as well as four stanines, which are a normalized standard score scale, ranging from 1 to 9, with 5 being the average. The areas tested here is considered important in determining future academic success. This is seen in the scores that you presented.

His percentiles indicates very high scores in the high 90s range, with statines between 8 and 9 (9 being the maximum). A stanine of 9 corresponds to a percentile range of 96 to 99 and a stanine of 8 corresponds to a percentile range of 89 to 95. A score of 100 is average and his score is 140 which is more than 2 standard deviation away from the norms. The fact that his school has a gifted and talented programme, they would have teachers trained to do exactly what is required so I would not worry. Unless there is a cause of concern in terms of this behaviour or performance, he appears to be given the right stimulation.

He surely needs to be challenged based on his performance. The following may be suitable for him – though meant for teachers, I believe you could read and do similar activities at home. Please go through the following site by the publishers itself for a very comprehensive view on the test:

I believe that would help you understand his needs better. Good luck!

[Note: Click here to find Online CogAT Practice Tests!]


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