One of the primary tools for measuring a student’s ability to enter the gifted program is the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT®*) published by Riverside Publishing. This test is made up of tests in three areas: Verbal, Quantitative and Nonverbal. Your child’s score on this test is likely the sole predictor of their inclusion, or non-inclusion, into the gifted program.
Most resources (including your school) state that there are really no ways to prepare for this test - that your child should only get a good night’s sleep before taking the test. An official practice test with sample questions does exist, but it is only available to licensed test administrators. It is guaranteed that if your child is not familiar with some of the symbols used in the test or if they have never done some of the types of problems before, that they will not do as well as they could on this test – perhaps jeopardizing their admission into the gifted program. So what should the average parent do?
Mercer Publishing has full-length practice tests for the CogAT exam that mimic the exam that your child will take. These can be found at: www.mercerpublishing.com/cogat.html
Although some parents want to drill their children with questions before the exam, most just want to show their children the types of questions that are on the exam to ensure they understand what each test area is asking so that they do not miss entire sections because they didn't understand the directions. Also, familiarizing your child with the types of questions that are on the exam will lower their test anxiety so that they can focus and do their best on the day of the exam.