What is the CogAT? - Cogat introduction?? When I first signed up for the webinar presentation by Dr. David Lohman, I was not really sure what to expect. I had heard of the CogAT as a test that my third grade sons had taken the year before. Until I was taking a class on the identification of gifted, did I even know that CogAT stood for Cognitive Abilities Tests. Therefore, I have had a steep learning curve. The aim of this paper is to consider the benefits of this group ability test specifically and when used in combination with other norm-referenced tests such as the Iowa Assessments in the identification of gifted students.
The Cognitive Abilities Tests The Cognitive Abilities Tests(CogAT) are a battery of norm based intelligence test that assesses a student’s ability in reasoning and problem solving using three main content areas of verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative. This battery of tests assesses the level and pattern of cognitive development of students age 5-18. The collective of experiences that a child is exposed to from birth develops their unique cognitive abilities. On the CogAT, each individual receives an ability profile score that translates into the level and pattern of a student’s ability.
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The test is a group-administered test, given in part or as a whole, with the whole test providing the most complete view of the students’ abilities. The scores are well-suited for use in helping educators determine placement of students in gifted and talented programs, while still offering ability profiles that can be used for all students. The CogAT is divided into three main content areas. Each battery of tests consists of three subtests. The first area is the Verbal Battery, which is comprised of the following three subtests: Picture (Verbal) Analogies, Picture (Verbal) Classification, and Sentence Completion.
(Lohman D. D. , 2013) These tests will determine what level the student is at for verbal reasoning processes. The second content area is Nonverbal battery; it is comprised of three subtests on Figure Matrices, Paper Folding, and Figure Classification. These tests are similar throughout the age levels, testing for the students ability to follow analogies. The last battery is the Quantitative Battery, which is comprised of three subtests: Number Analogies, Number Puzzles, and Number Series. (Lohman D. D. , 2013) Using pictures at the primary level and numbers on the upper level
tests, these test for the student quantitative level. Dr. Lohman’s Webinar The main focus of the webinar was to introduce the latest form of the CogAT, Form7. The new update encompassed the last nine years of many people’s lives, the group went through 20,000 drawings, 4192 new items, 4 tryout forms, and nine doctoral theses were produced in conjunction to the development of the new Form 7. This was a major undertaking, which was deemed necessary to improve the quality and standard of the test. There have been many updates to the test with the new Form 7.
One of the resources Dr. Lohman mentioned was his newsletter Cognitively Speaking. From his newsletter, he describes the main changes in Form 7 (Lohman D. D. , 2011): * The test levels are designated by age, which is changed from a grade designation on past forms. This change allows for closer age comparisons over the grade comparisons where the age range can vary significantly. * The form 7 age level 5/6-8 has been revised to be a bilingual/ELL friendly primary battery. The primary battery now contains three subtests that match the upper level tests.
With one exception, language is only used in the directions. The one exception is the Sentence Completion subtest where students listen to a sentence read aloud. * The Form 7 test offers the ability to be administered completely in Spanish for those students whose native language is Spanish. For other ELL students, the Sentence Completion test can be omitted from the battery. * The primary-level tests now contain three subtests in each battery, which is comparable to the upper level tests, allowing for consistency without an increase in administrative time.
* The CogAT 7 Screening Form has been created for use as a preliminary screening for talent-development programs. * Two new quantitative subtests for age levels 9-17/18 to better measure the level of students. * Age level 9-17/18 have new figure matrices subtest with an increased ceiling to better measure the abilities of the highest level students. * Level-to-level item overlap has been reduced from five to two levels. Every other test level contains a new set of items. * Enhanced data management and score-reporting services are being offered, especially for those with electronic score reports.
This allows for the readily availability of each student’s ability profile. * An online edition of the test is available, this allows for more flexibility in administering the test. * In order for each student to be prepared for testing, free practice activities with teacher guides are available and can be downloaded from the Riverside website. * The Standard Age Scores on Form7 now extend up to 160. This allows for better discrimination among the highest ability students. Combining the CogAT and the Iowa Assessments
To properly create or develop a talent pool for identification purposes, it is necessary to use more than one test to accurately represent the gifted populations within a group. Each test has benefits and drawbacks to accurately identifying gifted students. The use of the CogAT along with the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), now renamed the Iowa Assessments, allows for better coverage of student test scores. The ITBS is a very good normed test of academic achievement. For the purposes of identifying the gifted population by itself, it does have drawbacks.
The main drawback for the identification of gifted is that the test does not differentiate the top 3-5% of the scores well enough. It does tell who has tested in the top percentiles of the test, but it does not discriminate among those to tell which student has cognitively high ability. This is one reason to use multiple testing methods for the use of identification. CogAt form 7 has increased the ceiling to better distinguish those students that test in the high ability profile.
One article I found that describes an easy way to combine test scores is A Simple Procedure for Combining Ability Test Scores, Achievement Test Scores, and Teacher Ratings to Identify Academically Talented Children (Lohman & Renzulli, 2007). In this article, Lohman and Renzulli describe two useful matrixes that combine the CogAT with the Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (SRBCSS) and a second option that combines the first two with the addition of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
Each test gives scores for different categories; these scores are put into a worksheet to determine the test score for the student. The score is then used along with the teacher rating to fall into one of four groups. One of the main advantages of using both ability and achievement test scores is that there will be considerably less regression to the mean – especially out of groups I and II — when students are retested the following year (Lohman & Korb, 2006). CogAT and the Identification of Gifted During the webinar, Dr.
Lohman made several statements on how he would suggest using the CogAT as a gifted identification tool. Dr. Lohman recommended the use of the Form 7 screening tool if the identification of the gifted was the only reason for testing. He expressed that he would still rather everyone take the full version of the CogAT for all the added value it produces. However, for schools that are using the CogAT for use to screen for further testing and cost savings, the use of the screening form will still give valuable information. The Screening form is a new resource being offered with Form 7.
The CogAT 7 Screening Form provides a fast, reliable and valid data point for determining eligibility for gifted and talented programs. Built according to the same high standards of quality as the full form CogAT, the Screening Form consists of the analogies portion of each Battery from the full form including: Verbal/Picture Analogies, Number Analogies, and Figure Matrices (CogAT Form 7 Screening Information sheet, 2011). The short, 30 minute screening provides a data point for determining eligibility in a gifted program. A composite score is provided but the screening does not offer predicted achievement like the full Form 7 provides.
Dr. Lohman commented on the screening form, since it is only one composite score, he would recommend taking the top 25% for the purpose of giving the complete CogAT battery. He also said he would also recommend taking the top 20% on Math and 25% on reading from the ITBS and give them all the full version of the CogAT to have the best data comparisons of the students. In general, his rule of thumb is to be three times more liberal on screening test then on what the actual identification cutoffs are. When giving the full Form 7 battery, the results will include a student profile.
In the profile, information on how each child learns and what can be done with them to increase their learning. The profile will supply for each student, general characteristics of learners with this profile, instructional strategies tailored to the individual profile, and additional lists of resources and support materials (Lohman D. D. , CogAT, 2013) that can be used by teachers and administrators. Conclusion In the brief intense learning stage I have recently received about the CogAT test, I have gained research-based knowledge of the stability of CogAT and why it has risen substantially compared to other standardized testing.
The test not only contains a measurement of academic Ability profiles for each test taker, but the test also has warnings if something is amiss. The test can predict success in school from the student ability scores. As with any ability test, it can help in the identification of a child with gifts and talents, but cannot provide opportunity for talent development. I have learned the basic functions of the CogAT, what improvements have been made for the new Form 7, what kind or relationship it can have with the ITBS, and how it can be used in the identification of gifted students.
References CogAT Form 7 Screening Information sheet. (2011, August). Retrieved from Riverside Publishing: http://www. riversidepublishing. com/products/cogAT7/pdf/CogATScreener_SellSheet. pdf Lohman, D. D. (2011, August). Cognitively Speaking Introducing CogAT Form 7. Retrieved from Riverside Publishing: http://www. riversidepublishing. com/products/cogAt/pdf/CogSpe_v59-28-11. pdf Lohman, D. D. (2013, March 4). CogAT. Retrieved from Riverside Publishing: http://www. riversidepublishing. com/products/cogAT7/learnmore.
html Lohman, D. D. , & Renzulli, J. (2007, April 18). A Simple Procedure for Combining Ability Test SCores, Achievement Scores, and Teacher Ratings to Identify Academically Talented Children. Retrieved from University of Iowa Education: http://faculty. education. uiowa. edu/dlohman/pdf/Lohman_Renzulli_ID_system. pdf Lohman, D. F. , & Korb, K. A. (2006). Gifted today but not tomorrow? Longitudinal changes in ITBS and CogAT scores during elementary school. Jornal for the Education of the Gifted(29), 451-484.