Let us be honest; are school grades and report cards the right measure of our child’s abilities? Well no. We firmly believe that among the many flaws our education system is holding, one big flaw is, that it measures a student’s ability by the amount of the matter he/she can memorize and not what he has learned or is capable of. That’s how it is.
There is a given curriculum or syllabus to all the students of the same age/standard. Next, dates are assigned for tests which are directly from the syllabus and the ward just needs to mug up and sit for the exam. All of this is fine until we want to know a child’s capabilities or his or her giftedness and talents.
Albert Einstein once said, ‘Education is not the learning of the facts, but the training of the mind to think,’ and this could not be more meaningful than now. What all we said now, seriously question the education system. But, for the good, all of this has already been considered, and for the sake of discovering gifted and talented children, there is a completely different path you need to take.
Knowing whether your child is gifted and talented is important because it qualifies them for certain benefits that are not ordinary. And to do so, your child has to ace the CogAT Test!
If we had to simply put it, CogAT is one form of standardization, which came into being to measure a child’s giftedness and talents. You see, giftedness in a student is the integration of talent, potential, comparative performance against peers, and accomplishment. But there cannot be set standards for the same. Thus, we reckoned a checklist and characteristics to identify the hidden potential of a child.
There is no set curriculum, however, the tests are subjective in nature, for instance, behavioral signs and indications for the ability of complex thinking. The idea behind CogAT is, intellectual ability and cognitive skills, to a certain extent can be measured through testing. Of course, arguments have been raised in the past that this test does not consider a holistic view of a child’s potential or talent, but we here firmly believe that this test generates a real picture of the capability of the child.
Like people have raised questions on this test’s credibility, questions have also been raised on the fact that different programs for gifted and talented children need not exist. However, there are reasons that strongly advocate that they need to exist. In fact, studies have shown that such students need challenges beyond what they are facing in regular classrooms, or else it would be a waste of potential. Such programs will have long term benefits in such children, preparing them for the pursuit of higher degrees in the future and a brighter future ahead. Otherwise, we have seen cases when such students just lose out of motivation and interest.
All about the CogAT test
CogAT stands for the Cognitive Abilities Test and your child would be considered for the same if he/she is seen as gifted or talented. It is a multiple-choice examination that aims to measure a candidate’s academic aptitude and cognitive development. As we said, the result of this test will decide the child’s admission into talented and gifted programs.
You see, the CogAT is divided into three sections called batteries. The verbal battery, quantitative battery, and nonverbal battery. Further, each battery would consist of 3 types of questions. Now, as the name suggests, the verbal battery consists of questions dealing with sentence completion. Similarly, altogether the nine sections of the test measure different cognitive abilities of the child. The difficulty of this examination fairly depends on the age of the applicant and the total duration is dependent on the complexity of the test. It is usually between one and a half hours to two hours. The best part about this test is, it maintains equality by being accessible to non-English speaking students as well.
This was all about CogAT from our side and we believe you must motivate your child to appear for the test if you think he/she is gifted. If he/she fails to clear the test, do not be disheartened as Albert Einstein once said, “Everyone is a genius but if you judge a fish’s ability to climb a tree, it would live the rest of its life as a fool.”