NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


What is the CogAT test?
October 11, 2013, 2:11 pm
Filed under: cogat test, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

Many New York City parents want to know “What is the CogAT test?”  Although the OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test are the two tests for gifted and talented admissions the CogAT is actually much more popular and widely used across the US. The CogAT, standing for Cognitive Abilities Test, is absolutely not an IQ test. Instead, it’s a test designed to assess a student’s cognitive capabilities like the OLSAT and NNAT exams. These capabilities are not traditional learned knowledge like reading and math. Rather, they’re natural skills which can be shaped and sharpened, but not taught in school.

The purpose of the CogAT test is to assess how cognitively developed a student is at different points during their academic career. While the CogAT does not test intelligence, experts believe that there is a strong link between highly developed cognitive abilities, high academic performance and high intelligence.

Here’s an sample question that a child can expect on the CogAT test. As you can tell, it’s very difficult!

cogat test practice questions

The CogAT test has three main portions:

  1. verbal
  2. quantitative
  3. non-verbal reasoning

These are believed to be the areas of cognitive thinking which relate most closely to academic performance. The above example of CogAT practice questions are from Testing Mom (the site with 100 free practice questions).

Since cognitive abilities are a natural gift, the CogAT has been designed in several versions. This makes it applicable to students of every age, from kindergarten and 1st grade all the way through senior year of high school. Read more about CogAT



Time to register for NYC gifted and talented testing

Well folks, it’s time to register for NYC gifted and talented testing for this coming January and February! The deadline to register is November 8, 2013 so make sure you sign-up soon. Is your talented tot ready for the upcoming OLSAT test and NNAT test? If not, make sure you visit Testing Mom for 100 free practice questions to get started. Let’s see….the major changes (or not changes) for this year:

  • The OLSAT test (Otis-Lennon School Abilities test) now accounts for 50% of the test score and the NNAT-2 test accounts for the other 50%. Last year, the OLSAT was 35% while the Naglieri Non-verbal Test was 65%.
  • It looks like the Dept. of Ed. will continue to use the NNAT and the OLSAT test for admissions even with the huge debacle last year from Pearson (the publisher of the test) and the scoring errors of the thousands of tests. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the DOE “losing” over 400 tests that caused these children to retake the test. Makes you wonder what drama will unfold this year!
  • The sibling policy remains the same as previous years so no change there. Great news for parents with more than one child and not-so-great news for those parents with only one child.  It’s all based upon your personal circumstances on which side you fall on this argument of sibling policy.
  • The gifted and talented information sessions for parents are in new locations and also Manhattan and Brooklyn have their information sessions on the same night and same time. I appreciate the DOE efforts on these G&T information sessions but it’s basically a regurgitation of the handbook so there’s really no need attend if you think you’re going to get additional questions answered beyond the handbook. Here’s a breakdown of the information session for parents hosted by the NYC Dept of Ed.:

nyc gifted and talented information sessions