NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

HISD reports test errors on gifted and talented exam

Well, New York City is not alone when it comes to scoring errors. Thousands of talented tots along with their parents have fallen victim to scoring errors on the gifted and talented test for entry in the Vanguard Program in Houston. HISD reports test errors on the gifted and talented exam were reported by the test publishers of the ITBS test (also known as the Iowa Test) which is quite surprising since this test has been around for decades. Although the ITBS test is only one of several factors for admissions into this competitive program there are other factors that include teacher recommendations, report cards and the CogAT test.

If you happen to live live in a suburb near Houston, there are different tests given throughout the Houston metro area.  For example,

  • Katy Independent School District uses the Otis Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT test).
  • Spring Independent School District uses the Kingore Screener for Grades K – 3 and the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT test) for grades 4 – 5.
  • Pasadena Independent School district uses multiple measures of qualification during the admissions process including achievement test scores, the CogAT test, Raven’s Progressive Matrices and other IQ or ability tests that have been approved by the Gifted and Talented Instructional Specialist

IF you need practice questions for any of the tests mentioned above go to our friends at Testing Mom to start with 100 free questions.

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

Free Test Prep Questions for the CogAT
June 25, 2012, 9:48 pm
Filed under: cogat test | Tags: ,

Although New York City doesn’t use the CogAT test it’s interesting to note the similarities of the CogAT and the NNAT-2 and OLSAT which are both given for the NYC gifted and talented program admissions

CogAT® – Cognitive Abilities Test

  •  What is the CogAT test? The CogAT test is an exam that measures your child’s reasoning abilities. It is used by many public school districts to screen children for gifted and talented programs; some private schools also use the exam in the admissions process. Rather than test your child’s achievement or intelligence, the CogAT tests your child’s reasoning abilities, specifically in the areas of spatial (non-verbal), verbal, and quantitative reasoning. At, you can find thousands of practice questions for the CogAT. These questions can also be used to help prepare your child for the NNAT-2.

Here are some other commonly asked questions about the CogAT exam:

  • What is the best way to prepare for the CogAT? We recommend that you spend as much time as possible practicing with your child. While every child’s schedule is different, it’s important to fit test preparation into your daily schedule so that your child goes into the test feeling comfortable.
  • Does the CogAT measure achievement? Many standardized tests measure your child’s intelligence or his achievement. By contrast, the CogAT measures your child’s ability to reason, especially in the areas of spatial, mathematical, and verbal.
  • What is the difference between the CogAT Form 6 and the CogAT Form 7? The CogAT Form 7 – the newest version – is different from the Form 6 in several respects. First and foremost, the picture analogy and picture classification sections for K through 2nd grade will be completely visual-oriented, meaning that a teacher or other person won’t have to read the questions to your child. The only section of the test that will still require a question to be read aloud is the sentence completion subsection.

Free Test Prep Questions for the CogAT from our friends at! The site with 100 free practice questions!

1. Kindergarten and First Grade Test Prep Question for CogAT Test

Point to nine ice cream cones.

2. Second Grade Test Practice Question for CogAT Form 6 and Form 7

Point to the picture that that does not show a root vegetable.

3. Third Grade CogAT Test Practice Questions

  1. 5 + 5 – 4
  2. 6 + 6 – 5

A. I is less than II.
B. II is less than I.
C. I and II are equal.

4. Fourth Grade Test Prep Question for CogAT

Arrange the numbers and signs below to come up with an equation that will give you a solution that is one of the answer choices.  Circle the answer to the equation you built. 

5              12           16           +             +


A. 30                      B. 31                      C. 32                      D. 33                      E. 34

5. Fifth and Sixth Grade CogAT Test Prep Questions

Do you see these 4 boxes?  In the top row the pictures go together in a certain way.  Now look at the bottom row.  Do you see the empty box?  Which of the 4 pictures on the side goes with the picture in the bottom box the same way the 2 pictures in the top row go together?


  1. 4
  2. 2
  3. A
  4. D 16+5+12=33
  5.  3

These questions were provided by!  The Cognitive Abilities Test™ (CogAT®) is a registered trademark of Houghton Mifflin Company or its affiliate(s), or their licensors. is not affiliated with nor related to Houghton Mifflin Company or its affiliates (“Houghton Mifflin”).  Houghton Mifflin does not sponsor or endorse any product, nor have products or services been reviewed, certified, or approved by Houghton Mifflin.  Trademarks referring to specific test providers are used by for nominative purposes only and such trademarks are solely the property of their respective owners.