he three primary uses of CogAT are (1) to guide efforts to adapt instruction to the needs and abilities of students, (2) to provide a measure of cognitive development, and (3) to identify students whose predicted levels of achievement are markedly discrepant from their observed levels of achievement.

The first and most important use of CogAT scores is to help teachers adapt instructional goals, methods, and materials to the individual needs of students.

The second use of CogAT is to provide a measure of each student’s level of cognitive measures of school achievement.  For example, CogAT scores help identify academically gifted students.  Less than half of the students who score in the top 3 percent on the Iowa Assessments® also score in the top 3 percent on CogAT.  This means that CogAT will identify many students as academically gifted who would not be identified on the basis of academic achievement alone.  Conversely, the profile of CogAT scores show that most low-achieving students are able to reason at higher levels than their academic performance suggests.  In fact, the lower the students’ scores on an achievement test, the greater the probability that their CogAT scores will be at significantly higher levels.

The third use of CogAT scores is to identify students whose levels of academic achievement are substantially lower or higher than expected given their CogAT scores.  Students whose achievement is markedly below expectations should be checked for other problems such as learning disabilities, poor vision or hearing, the need for more assistance in completing school lessons, or the need for a different instructional program.  On the other hand, students whose academic performance is better than would be expected from their CogAT scores should also be looked at more carefully.  These students have learned well the specific skills taught in school but are less successful in solving unfamiliar problems.  Such students might profit from tasks that emphasize transfer and innovation.

NOTE:  For more information on using the CogAT test results, see the CogAT Short Guide for Teachers in the DataManager Digital Resources.


Using CogAT
Test Results


Dr. Carol Campbell



CogAT On-demand Webinars

There are three CogAT on-demand webinars, between 20 and 25 minutes each, that are available at the following web address:


  1. You will need to scroll down a bit to find them. They are titled:
  2. Using CogAT Ability Profiles to Differentiate Instruction
  3. Best Practices in Identifying Gifted and Talented English Learners
  4. Getting Valid Results from your CogAT Administration

Summer 2017