Top positive review
A level more complex than the Kindergarten edition yet thorough and professional
Reviewed in the United States on June 4, 2018
I am new to CogAT testing, which some organizations use to identify gifted and talented students who would be candidates for accelerated programs and highly competitive schools. The publisher, Origins Publications, offers professional, appealing products for those who wish to prepare children for CogAT testing. This is just one of a series for different ages. This book is for Grade 1 students.
This book does a thorough job preparing 1st Grade students for CogAT testing.
The book first introduces CogAT testing to newbies like myself by explaining what it is, how it is offered and whom to contact if you are interested in CogAt testing where you live, then discusses how to best use the book to prepare your child/student. The book also offers no-nonsense test prep tips and strategies and a few sample questions. The book proper offers a complete practice test and a complete set of practice test sheets which uses fill-in-the-bubbles similar to the sheets used during the actual CogAt test. Parents and teachers will find answers and (some) explanations to the practice test in the back of the book, too.
Pages are 8.5x11 (standard U.S. letter size) and thus can be easily copied if needed for multiple practice test sessions. The publisher, Origins Publications, also provides bonus challenge questions via email through the company's web site (the URL for the form is provided in the book), which are also 8.5x11.
The book is professionally printed and bound. The cover is full color, as one would expect from a professional publication. The interior pages are black and white, like the actual CogAT test. I believe this better prepares students for the actual test. The images in the book are clear with sufficient contrast to properly test the skills of the child rather than their abilities to see color. We must remember that even some gifted children are color blind, and if color images do not have sufficient contrast without color, children with any form of color blindness may not be able to adequately distinguish the elements in the test questions and thus be properly tested. They may, in fact, "fail" for their inability to distinguish color, rather than their true cognitive gifts. (Surprisingly, the additional challenge questions are provided in color, but when printed on a laser printer, for example, still have sufficient b/w contrast.)
The purpose of this series of books is to accustom students to the CogAT test and its conditions, which include verbal, quantitative and non-verbal skills, stress management, time management, test format, test content, and most of all provide confidence through familiarity. This book succeeds on all counts.
Compared to the Kindergarten book of the same series, this book offers greater difficulty with number analogies and the figure classifications are generally more complex, demonstrating changes in two elements rather than a single element, as in the Kindergarten book.
This book prepares students for Form 7, which interestingly enough uses pictures to better test non-English speaking students.
It is also interesting to note that, although for 1st graders, some of the questions in this test may be challenging for adults, too. As an adult, I found the questions sufficiently challenging, particularly the matrices, to check my answers against the answers in the back. As with the Kindergarten book, my choice was not always correct. LOL
Even if your student is not taking the CogAT test, this series of books contains good exercises to help young students develop problem solving and logical reasoning skills, and to categorize and departmentalize as they develop these skills.
The only weakness that I have found in this book in particular is that none of the answers on the answer sheet provide any explanation to understand why the correct answer is correct. While the Kindergarten book provides a few explanations (though not enough), this book surprisingly does not provide any. Perhaps future releases will address this concern. As a proud adult, I would like to know why I could not identify the correct answer in a first grader's test booklet. :D