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Low Verbal Classification Score on CogAT

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: I just used the CogAT to assess a student and got back an interesting result of an extremely low verbal classification score when all other sub-tests were up in the 8th and 9th stanines. Please help me understand how to help this student with building on strength and building that verbal cognition to better match the quantitative and non-verbal strength.

A: The verbal score reveals the student's ability to perceive the meaning of and relationships between words and word combinations. Since the evaluation of verbal reasoning depends on effective reading, the reasoning ability of poor readers may not be fully revealed. Students are tested in this area by performing sentence completion, solving verbal analogies, and figuring out the relationships between the meanings of words.

Stanine scores range from a low of 1 to a high of 9. Stanines are groupings of percentile ranks. A higher stanine equates with a higher level of cognitive abilities development. Since his scores are almost in the 8th and 9th stanines, it is rather unusual to have extremely low score in verbal classification if the child does not have any learning disability.

Therefore, this child may have a verbal learning disability which needs attention. You may want to get help to further diagnose the problem before intervening in the learning process. This should be done as soon as possible because the other scores are in the high extreme, which, as you mention is rather interesting. Furthermore, there is no indication of age which makes it hard to suggest activities. My advice is to consider testing his verbal skills to rule out any verbal concerns before attempting remedy to improve his verbal skills. Good luck!

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


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