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High Ability: Extended Learning, Honors, Advanced Placement

CogAT Testing for Elementary Students

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) measures students’ learned reasoning abilities and provides a norm-referenced score, which compares a child’s ability to learn with his/her age group.  

An important point to consider when reviewing your child’s CogAT scores is that it is not an achievement test; therefore, it does not directly correlate to how well students may be mastering grade level skills and concepts. The score ranges for your child on CogAT may differ from those you have seen on content achievement tests such as NWEA, ILEARN, or classroom assessments. If a CogAT score is lower than you expect, it is not cause for alarm. The purpose of a reasoning abilities test is to gather information that will provide parents and teachers with information on how best to meet the learning needs of the student. 

The CogAT provides just one piece of the picture of how your child learns. Parents and teachers have experiences that further inform our understanding of how each individual child learns. When reviewing the information for your child’s CogAT score report, please notice the sentences just below the graphs that state, “(Your child’s) ability profile is 5A. Visit for more detailed information on profile 5A.” If you enter the profile on the bottom of the CogAT website, you may view detailed information about the learning styles of your child.  

Finally, the CogAT assessment is one component of the CGCSC comprehensive assessment plan for high ability screening.  Depending on results, subsequent achievement and qualitative measures will be collected and considered in the identification process.  The achievement measures are listed below for each grade level.  The NWEA provides achievement scores (national percentiles) in the area(s) of Reading and Mathematics.

The chart below provides additional high ability screening steps:   

 your child scored...
the next assessment in the screening process is...
Date(s) of Administration

K, 2nd, and 5th

Between the 80th - 95th Age Percentile Rank on the Verbal and/or Quantitative subtest


(All Gr. 2-5 students take this assessment; the scores will only be used as part of the screening process if students scored in the 80th-95th percentile on CogAT.)

Both Fall and Winter scores will be reviewed.


Below 80th percentile Age Percentile Rank on Verbal and/or Quantitative subtest

No further screening



 Between 98th – 99th Age Percentile Rank on Verbal and/or Quantitative subtest

Parents contacted later regarding academic programming considerations


2nd and 5th

Between 96th -99th Age Percentile Rank on Verbal and/or Quantitative subtest

Parents contacted later regarding academic programming considerations


The screening process will occur throughout the Spring semester; you will be notified in May or June if your child’s scores elicit a need for further academic programming considerations (Honors, High Ability, etc.).  For more information about the process, please visit the High Ability handbook.