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Above-Grade-Level Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT)

Assessment for Measuring Academic Ability and Readiness for Advanced Instruction

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Online (small group, remote administration)

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Test dates are being added throughout the year. See the Events calendar for currently available test dates.

Fees:

CogAT Remote Testing: $100

Purpose of Assessment

To help create the best match between a student's academic abilities and the learning environment, some Center for Talent Development (CTD) courses have admission requirements. Standardized test scores are one method families can use to demonstrate readiness to succeed in the selected course. Above-grade-level assessment also helps determine a student's readiness for advanced instruction in school, including acceleration.

CTD's above-grade-level assessments give you insights into your student's academic abilities and compares their performance to other high-achieving students who have taken the same assessment. The testing done by CTD is not a general psychological evaluation. It provides a "snapshot" of a student's academic ability and readiness for advanced instruction.

Eligibility

Students in grades 2 through 9 may register for the CogAT administered above grade level. The test will be administered using the version one-grade-level above the student's enrolled grade in school.

  • Students who are most likely to benefit from above-grade-level assessment are those in grades 2 through 9 who meet at least one of the criteria listed below:
  • Participation in a school gifted program or advanced academic services;
  • Recommendation from a parent or teacher because they demonstrate advanced aptitude in verbal or mathematical reasoning, demonstrate a high level of performance on academically demanding course work, or request more challenging experiences;
  • Receive a score at the 90th percentile or above on either verbal/reasoning or math on a nationally normed achievement, ability, or aptitude test or score at the advanced level on a state achievement test; or
  • Previously participated in above-grade-level testing through Northwestern University's Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) or similar Talent Search program (DukeTIP, CTY, CBK, Asset).

For remote testing details, see the Technology Requirements section.

Deciding When to Test

If you are looking for information about your student's abilities that go beyond grade-level measures and that compare your child's performance to other high-achieving peers, above-grade-level assessment is an appropriate choice. Above-grade-level testing is also the preferred method for demonstrating eligibility for CTD's accelerated, credit-bearing courses.

If you are testing for CTD course eligibility, CTD does offer some courses during the academic year and during the summer that that do not require test scores for participation or that accept grade-level test scores, so please check the course description for the course to which you are applying for any eligibility requirements.

Please note that successful completion of an open-enrollment course, such as the Online Family Program, does not qualify a student to enroll in future CTD courses as a pre-qualified participant. Students who complete a CTD open-enrollment course will be required to apply as a new student with test scores or an admission portfolio applicant when applying for courses with eligibility criteria.

Registration Process, Dates, and Fees

Because of the requirements of remote testing and the number of assessments that CTD administers, there are limited days and times available. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Please check the CTD Events calendar for test dates.

If you cannot find a date that meets your needs, please contact ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu to discuss options.

Cost for Testing

Cost is $100, which is paid via credit card during the registration process.

Important Information Before You Register

Please note the following before registering for a remote CogAT test:

  • To participate in remote CogAT assessment, the student must have a parent or guardian present at all times during the testing session. 
  • Two devices are required for testing: one for the test platform, and one for Zoom.
  • Families must provide headphones for the student to use during the test. 
  • This test experience is designed for students who can work independently on the technology with minimal guidance or assistance.  Because of the virtual environment, the proctor from CTD will have limited ability to assist students and families with technology issues.
  • If the student is not technology proficient or has never participated  in an organized school or class environment, this format for testing may not be optimal.

To register for CogAT testing, you will need to create a new account in MyCTD, which is CTD's online system, or login to your existing account. After you create a student profile or select a currently existing student profile, click "Register for Testing".

If you need to change or cancel your appointment, you will need to call 847/467-1575 or e-mail ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu and a CTD staff member will assist you. Please see the section below on Changes, Cancellations, and Refunds for related policies.

Accommodations

If your child has an identified disability that requires accommodation or if you have questions about the test environment and your child's needs, contact CTD for assistance. Please call 847/467-1575 or e-mail ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu to speak with a staff member. 

Technology Requirements

Please read the following information regarding technology requirements for remote CogAT testing:

  • Testing requires
    • an iPad that runs iOS 12 or 13 (9 minimum) OR
    • a Chromebook that runs Chrome OS 65 minimum, 78+ suggested OR
    • a Mac that runs OS 10.12 minimum, 10.13 suggested OR
    • a Windows PC that runs Windows 7, 8.1, or 10.
  • A second device (phone, laptop, tablet, etc.) needs to be available to host the Zoom session.
  • Families must provide headphones for the student to use during the test. 

This test experience is designed for students who can work independently on the technology with minimal guidance or assistance.  Because of the virtual environment, the proctor from CTD will have limited ability to assist students and families with technology issues.

If the student is not technology proficient or has never participated in an organized school or class environment, this format for testing may not be optimal.

Changes, Cancellations, and Refund Policies

If you need to change a test registration, you will need to call 847/467-1575 or e-mail ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu to change your registration. Once a test session has been confirmed, a $25 change fee will apply.

If CTD needs to change or cancel a test date or time (tester illness, system maintenance, etc.), you will be contacted as soon as possible via phone or email. A CTD staff member will work with you to reschedule the test. If a test cannot be rescheduled, a refund will be provided.  

Any request to cancel a registration and receive a full refund must be made in writing a minimum of 72 hours prior to the scheduled test date. E-mail the request to ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu. Cancellations made within 72 hours of a test date, but before the date of testing, are subject to a processing fee of $25.

No shows and test day cancellations are not eligible for any refund.

Refunds may take up to eight weeks to process.

Contact CTD Assessment

For more information and assistance with selecting the correct test for your child, contact the CTD admissions and pathways advising office at ctd-assessment@northwestern.edu.

What is the CogAT Test?

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