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Old 09-15-2011, 11:06 PM
 
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Yesterday my son's school called parents in for a presentation of testing-related aspects. We were told, among others, that first graders will be given the CogAt test sometimes in January.

My son is in K now so we will not deal with this test until January 2013 - but, out of curiosity... could anyone explain to me in more detail how exactly does the actual administration of this test happen?
More specifically, are first graders expected to read their own instructions and content of questions?
For example, I know that sections like the "verbal reasoning" can have pretty complex text. If the question is not understood correctly due to less than perfect fluency and comprehension, the student cannot choose the correct answer.

Are first graders just given a workbook and expected to read everything on their own, in silence? If it is a person that administers the test, does she read the instructions and questions for the entire group, at once? Is the entire group tested expected to keep up with the information the person reads?

Or is every child tested one-on-one? (I would not expect so).

I am just not sure how exactly the process unfolds. Thanks.
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Old 09-16-2011, 05:37 AM
 
Location: Connecticut
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I used to administer the CogAt for 3rd grade. It was a standardized bubble-in test. The teacher would read the scripted instructions to the entire class verbatim before each section of the test began, but after that the students were on their own. I do not know if the first grade one differs in any aspects.
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Old 09-16-2011, 06:22 AM
 
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I don't remember it well, but I used to give it to 2nd graders and I don't remember there being that much that was a problem to read. I think they had picture instructions or something.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:33 AM
 
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From this website, it looks like the questions would be read orally and the kids would bubble in their answers

Grade 1

Quote:
The CogAT is a test of reasoning skills. It’s not like a spelling or a math test where if you know the words or the facts you can get 100% and there is little advantage is learning more difficult words or practicing more difficult math problems. There is no defined curriculum for the CogAT. An average child in first grade would not be expected to be able to answer the most difficult questions on the CogAT. That's why the list below includes titles that are notionally for higher grades. Gifted children, by definition, have cognitive abilties above those expected in the grade level they're in.
Quote:
Building Thinking Skills Level 1 is our number one recommendation. This is a Gr 2-3 product covering verbal and nonverbal reasoning. The software covers the same skills, with the same examples, but the presentation is very different. We suggest having a look at the sample activities provided and getting your child to try them. If they have difficulty you may wish to get the software so that they can repeat the areas they find challenging until they master them (once you’ve written in the book it’s difficult to do the same exercise again). If you are concerned about your child's ability to answer a pen and paper test then you may wish to purchase the book instead or in addition to the software. There are questions in the book formatted very like those on the actual test. Don’t expect your child to be able to provide written answers to the questions that are not presented in a multi-choice format.



The test will be administered orally with instructions and questions read to the children (they'll indicate their answers by shading a bubble under the picture they choose for each question). Can You Find Me? is our number two recommendation. It is a collection of logic riddles in different subject areas. Your child listens to you reading the riddle and then identifies the correct picture. It is great practice for the type of listening required during testing. Your child will find some of the questions very simple. This too is great practice for the test where many of the questions will be very simple. Many gifted children enjoy finding creative answers to easy questions. Your child needs to understand that the correct answer on a multiple choice test is the one that most people who know the correct answer would choose, not one they can dream up a justifcation for.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
From this website, it looks like the questions would be read orally and the kids would bubble in their answers

Grade 1
So I assume the children will be allowed a certain amount of time between each question so they can think and bubble in the answer accordingly.
I wonder how long this time is - granted some kids have lower processing speed than others.

My son was administered a cognitive test as part of a private evaluation he went through (referred by his ped) and he scored in the superior range (95%) on the verbal reasoning part and quite high on spatial verbal too though not quite in the superior range there.

However, he was also given another test that measures processing speed/ability to stay on task - and he scored very low on that one (5%).

We were told he is a highly intelligent child, possibly in the gifted category but he has weaknesses with processing speed, listening to instructions, staying focused. Such issues would definitely impact negatively his test taking abilities.

It was not clear at the meeting what type of accommodations would a child with such issues (and with an IEP) receive when taking the Cogat test.
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Old 09-16-2011, 07:27 PM
 
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You know, I think you worry too much about these things. He's in kindergarten. You have time. If he does have an IEP, there may or may not be accommodations made depending on what is on the IEP for first grade. He sounds bright. A truly gifted child does not need to be *prepared* for these tests at all. They do well because they *are* gifted. A bright child may or may not make the gifted *cutoff* in a particular school district. My granddaughter is very bright, but she doesn't make that cutoff. She's creative and artistic, not academic.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
You know, I think you worry too much about these things. He's in kindergarten. You have time. If he does have an IEP, there may or may not be accommodations made depending on what is on the IEP for first grade. He sounds bright. A truly gifted child does not need to be *prepared* for these tests at all. They do well because they *are* gifted. A bright child may or may not make the gifted *cutoff* in a particular school district. My granddaughter is very bright, but she doesn't make that cutoff. She's creative and artistic, not academic.
Most probably this is where my son will end up. From what I gathered so far, he is quite close to the "gifted" cut off, but I don't think he will make it because he does not necessarily excel in the spatial-visual area.

To be perfectly honest with you...there IS a reason why I ... so-to-speak "worry"; or at least, ask questions that indicate I may have some concerns in this department.

I would be a complete hypocrite to say that I don't care one way or the other whether my child will get into the gifted program or not. The reason why I do care is because I have reviewed samples of GT curricula and I understood that in this type of program children are encouraged to tune in to more sophisticated approaches to learning, including vocabulary, higher-order thinking skills, more insightful/contemplative questions, etc.
I also know my son would 100% enjoy, benefit from and be perfectly capable of handling such a curriculum - yet I doubt he will make the overall 96% cut-off.

I may or may not be right, but I, for one, feel uncomfortable with the way the system is set up. Some children are allowed the privilege to be exposed to a type of curriculum based on higher-order thinking, more creativity, more stimulating discussions etc. simply because they made it through a very high cut-off. Those who didn't quite make it don't even get the chance to be exposed to such curriculum in the first place. They stay largely with "rote".
While I have nothing against rote and I believe that acquiring a good foundation involves quite a bit of rote learning - I also strongly believe that ALL children should be exposed to the COMPLETE range of difficulty levels when it comes to schooling. From basic rote to very sophisticated, gifted-worthy approaches - everyone should have a right to AT LEAST BE EXPOSED to all levels of learning.

Everyone will ABSOLUTELY NOT be successful at the highest levels of learning; but many will still benefit immensely from being exposed to it even if they are not in the 96%+ percentile, IQ wise. How about a kid in the 85th percentile? Or simply average? The material I have seen for GT programs is NOTHING a student with regular intelligence could not benefit from. They may not shine at that level, but they will still walk away with something that is otherwise simply NOT OFFERED to them at all.

Why can't this 1 day-a-week GT material be included in a regular class? For example, I saw one GT activity for elementary school (can't remember the grade exactly) that centered on analyzing Dr. Seuss' Bartholomew and the Oobleck. I know for sure my son would not only enjoy tremendously this type of material but he would also be quite good at discussing the more philosophical and ethical aspects of the book.

Yet, he stands a very serious chance of not making the cut-off and not ever receiving such higher-level education in class.
Of course, I can always do it with him at home - but it still bothers me that the school would refuse him (and other perfectly intelligent kids) the opportunity to do it in class.

When I first heard about this "gifted" obsession in the US I attributed it all to parents' narcissism; looks like it's true when they say "'live and learn". Today I know narcissism is not even by far the only factor that explains the obsession (though it can be part of it for some parents).

If I knew my kid will be exposed to more sophisticated levels of education in X program, I certainly would want him in the program. I would be glad to call that program the most humble of names - completely stripped of any status-related connotations, as "bragging rights" IS NOT why I want him in there. Instead of calling it "gifted" program, call it "Friday School" - but DO give all kids a chance to hear what you have to say at that level.

Now I am not surprised many parents fight tooth and nail to get their kids into these GT programs. After all, such programs do offer a higher quality, non-dumbed down curriculum and experiences which ALL children in other countries are exposed to, whether they are genetically endowed or not with phenomenal intelligence.

I was quite shocked when I realized an entire "testing materials" industry has developed in the US because of this early educational segregation. Naturally some caught on quickly that there is money to be made off of parents' understandable anxiety, particularly those parents who hope to be able to move their kid from "very intelligent" percentiles to "OMG-it's-coming-this-way" percentiles... with a bit (or more) prepping.
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Old 09-16-2011, 08:50 PM
 
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Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Now I am not surprised many parents fight tooth and nail to get their kids into these GT programs. After all, such programs do offer a higher quality, non-dumbed down curriculum and experiences which ALL children in other countries are exposed to, whether they are genetically endowed or not with phenomenal intelligence.
Go for an International Baccalaureate school near you instead of worrying about gifted programs. IB does an excellent job of teaching critical thinking and problem solving.
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Old 09-16-2011, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
Go for an International Baccalaureate school near you instead of worrying about gifted programs. IB does an excellent job of teaching critical thinking and problem solving.
High-school, right? Or do they start earlier...
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Old 09-17-2011, 12:38 AM
 
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They start earlier.

International Baccalaureate
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