When thinking about how to best implement your CogAT testing program, consider time needed to administer the test, the number of students being tested, and available computer lab resources. Most CogAT testing programs are implemented in one of the two ways described below.

Event-based Testing Programs

Event-based testing programs are characterized by a testing start date and end date no longer than one month apart. These programs are the most common and assume your school system has the computer lab resources needed to complete testing in 30 days.

Rolling Testing Programs

Rolling testing programs are characterized by ongoing testing that spans several months and may even span the entire school year. These programs are common with state-level programs or large school systems testing tens of thousands of students, or any district where computer lab resources are constrained.

Scheduling Guidelines

All subtests for Levels 5/6–8 are untimed. Refer to testing times for approximate working times for each subtest. Actual testing times vary widely: some classes finish sooner than the time shown and some finish later.

Levels 5/6–8 include at least one practice question at the start of each subtest to give students practice with the content and format of the subtest.

For Level 5/6, it is recommended that only one subtest from each battery be given per session, especially for fall testing. For example, the Picture Analogies, Sentence Completion, and Picture Classification subtests should each be given in a different testing session. However, more than one testing session can be conducted in a day if students are allowed breaks between subtests in which they engage in other activities. 

For Levels 7 and 8, it is recommended that no more than three subtests be administered per day. It is generally best to schedule both morning and afternoon testing sessions and include short breaks between tests given in the same session.

When determining the number of sessions to schedule per day, consider the learning characteristics of your class. Students in kindergarten through second grade show considerable differences in their attention spans, their ability to work independently, and their persistence in staying on task. Some classes can comfortably take two subtests per day. Some classes will do better taking one subtest each day.

Batteries may be administered out of order to accommodate school scheduling requirements, but the subtests within each battery should be administered in the prescribed order.

Allow additional time per testing period to distribute test taker tickets with login credentials (if not using single sign-on) =, to log students in to the system, to explain test taking tasks, and to answer any questions.

Scheduling Implications on Normative and Guidelines for Assignments

CogAT age norms are based on one-month intervals and are therefore sensitive to each students’ age in years and months (e.g., 8 years, 5 months). To maximize the accuracy of age-based norms, Riverside recommends the following as best practices for setting up test assignment start and end dates.

For event-based testing programs, select an assignment start date and end date that are no more than 30 days apart.

For rolling testing programs, create monthly test assignments with a start date corresponding to the first day of the month and an end date corresponding to the last date of the month.