The Lyceum

Aristotle Circle's blog covering topics in private and public school admissions, and college and graduate admissions.

Aug
09
2011

Understanding two common gifted and talented assessments (OLSAT vs. COGAT)

Public school systems use different assessments to measure a child’s cognitive aptitude and place them in gifted and talented programs. While the OLSAT or Otis-Lennon School Ability Test used in New York and other areas, the COGAT or the Cognitive Abilities Test are often used in Washington state and California among others. Always check with your specific school district or school to find out which assessment is being used.

How different are the two tests? Here’s how the Kindergarten levels of each assessment compare to one another.

The COGAT test consists of 3 sections: the verbal, non-verbal and the quantitative. Each COGAT section has 3 subsections each. See the table below.

Verbal: Verbal Classification Sentence Completion Verbal Analogies
Quantitative: Quantitative Relations Number Series Equation Building
Nonverbal: Figure Classification Figure Analogies Figure Analysis

The OLSAT consists of 2 sections: the verbal and non verbal. There are 3 subsections in the verbal and 7 subsections in the nonverbal. Consult the table below to understand the overlap or similarities with the COGAT.

Verbal: Following directions Not similar to any COGAT section. Focuses on following directions.
Verbal: Aural reasoning Similar to picture analogies with verbal cues instead of images
Verbal: Arithmetic reasoning Similar to quantitative section on COGAT
Nonverbal: Picture Classification Similar to figure classification but using pictures of items
Nonverbal: Figure Classification Matches a section on COGAT
Nonverbal: Picture Analogies Similar to figure analogies but using pictures of items
Nonverbal: Figure Analogies Matches a section on COGAT
Nonverbal: Picture Series Not similar to any COGAT section. Focuses on pattern completion.
Nonverbal: Figure Series Not similar to any COGAT section. Focuses on pattern completion.
Nonverbal: Pattern Matrix Not similar to any COGAT section. Focuses on pattern analysis.