Psychology: High School and Cognitive Ability Test Essay

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Cognitive Ability Test

Brandy Allen

Saint Mary’s University-Minnesota

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a test of reasoning skills (Issaquah School District). The CogAT assess both general and specific reasoning skills. General reasoning skills reflect the individuals ability to cognitively process and strategize when learning new tasks and solving problems, especially when there is a loss of instruction. The test that is used to identify academically gifted/talented individuals from all ethical backgrounds from kindergarten through 12th grade (Lohman, 2006). Another two purposes of the Cognitive Ability Test is (1) “to guide the efforts to adapt instruction to the needs and abilities” and (2) “to provide an alternative measure of cognitive development”. Overall, this test can assist teachers in developing and adapting goals, methods, and materials to the individual needs of the individuals in their classroom (Lohman, 2006). It is believed that if teachers adapt to an individuals strengths, they will be assisting the individual to learn effectively. If a teacher can give an individual more complex opportunities in the classroom based on their strengths, the teacher will be assisting the student build their strengths. Once this relationship is built, the teacher then can focus on building the individual’s weaknesses as well (cogat, 2012). The CogAT can be administered in whole or in part. Generally individuals complete the test in three batteries (Lohman, 2007). The three batteries within the CogAT are the Verbal Battery, Quantitative Battery, and Non-Verbal Battery (Issaquah School District). The Verbal Battery section is assessing an individual’s vocabulary, along with their comprehension, efficiency and verbal memory, and their ability to discover word relationships. A high correlation is shown between verbal ability and success in a variety of subjects within the school system. There are three subtests included in the Verbal Battery section: 1. Verbal Classification, 2. Sentence Completion, and 3. Verbal Analogies (Issaquah School District). The Quantitative Battery tests the individuals quantitative reasoning and problem solving ability. This test, also, provides the administrator an idea of the individual’s level of abstract reasoning. This section of the test provides three subtests as well: Quantitative Relations, Number Series, and Equation Building. Each of these three subtests are timed, and the times vary from 8-12 minutes each to complete (Issaquah School District). Finally, the third section of tests is the Non-Verbal Battery. In this area of the test, the items are primarily geometric shapes and figures. There is no reading required in this section of the test. Non-Verbal Battery is measuring an estimate of development for individuals that have a difficulty with reading, do not show a strength in English, or those who have had a limited opportunities. There are three subtests in the Non-Verbal Battery as well, and each test is given 10 minutes to complete: Figure Classification, Figure Analogies, and Figure Analysis (Issaquah School District). When administrators are formulating results from each of the tests, if one rating is considered high then the administrator is to consider all the ratings high (Lohman, 2006). When a school system is deciding to utilize the CogAT to identify the talented students, it is suggested that the school system test all the students in that particular grade, not just the students that are suspected gifted or talented. The school system is then to identify the individuals that score above the 97th percentile rank, or between the 80th and 97th percentile rank on either the Verbal Composite or the Non-Verbal Composite. The teacher is then to rate the academic ability, creativity, and motivation for those individuals who have scored high. It is beneficial for more than one…