CogAT®: English Language Learners FAQ
Modified on: Tue, 25 Oct, 2022 at 7:05 PM
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CogAT® can be administered to English Language Learners(ELLS).
The purpose of using testing accommodations with English language learners is to reduce the impact that their limited experience with English has on the measurement of their reasoning abilities. CogAT was designed to be accessible to English language learners.
There are several options for administering CogAT to English Language Learners.
- A Spanish Directions for Administration booklet is available for each test level in the paper and pencil version of CogAT. In these guides, everything the test administrator says to the students is written in Spanish. For students whose home language is Spanish and who have been in an English-only classroom for a limited time, the test may be administered using the Spanish Directions for Administration for the appropriate level of CogAT.
- Directions for the tests may be administered in a language other than English if care is taken to use common words and simple sentences. Test questions may be translated except in the following cases: Sentence Completion subtest at Levels 5/6–8 or item prompts in Verbal Analogies, Sentence Completion, or Verbal Classification subtests at Levels 9–17/18.
- For Spanish-speaking students who are taking the paper and pencil version of CogAT, questions for the Sentence Completion subtest may be presented in English (using the scripts provided in the English version of the Directions for Administration) or in Spanish (using the scripts provided in the Spanish Directions for Administration).
- For students whose home language is Spanish and who have been in an English-only classroom for a limited time, the online test with Spanish audio is available for all levels.
- For ELL students taking Levels 5/6–8, the Sentence Completion subtest can be omitted if it will not be administered in their home language. Any students receiving this modification will be given an alternative score for the Verbal Battery that does not include a score for the Sentence Completion test, even if the student was administered this test.
- For ELL students who do not speak Spanish and are taking Levels 9–17/18, the Verbal Battery can be omitted, administered in English but not scored, or scored. You can obtain a more meaningful interpretation of these scores by comparing the scores of ELL students within the same grade.
Grades K-2 (Levels 5/6-8)
- The most dramatic changes in Form 7 and Form 8 were made for students in kindergarten through grade 2, primarily to make the Verbal and Quantitative test batteries as fair to ELL students as the Nonverbal Battery.
- This allows the same comprehensive assessment of reasoning abilities for ELL students as for their non +ELL classmates. The new Level 5/6–8 tests use picture-based items similar to the text-based items that are used with older students. To ensure that the test items are fair, we developed items that accurately measured the ability assessed by the battery within different cultural groups of students and then selected only those items that worked well in all groups. This required much more time and effort than simply translating an English-language test. We relied on the cooperation of many school administrators, teachers, professional item reviewers, and hundreds of students who diligently worked on the “puzzles” we asked them to solve. Our statistical analyses of the picture-based verbal subtests show they require the same verbal reasoning skills as the text-based verbal subtests used in higher grades, but the language-free in picture-based subtests do not measure verbal abilities quite as well as the text-based verbal subtests used in grades 3 and higher.
- For the kindergarten through grade 2 student sample, the average Verbal Battery standard age score for ELL students was only 2.2 SAS points lower than the average Verbal Battery SAS for non-ELL students when the Sentence Completion subtest was omitted. The average Quantitative Battery score for ELL students was 1.4 SAS points lower than the scores of non-ELL students on the Quantitative Battery. Both of these differences were smaller than the 2.7 SAS point difference between ELL and non-ELL students on the Nonverbal Battery. Taken together, the Form 7 and Form 8 picture-based subtests for young students proved remarkably effective in reducing the impact of language on test scores
Grades 3-12 (Levels 9-17/18)
- The number of students classified as ELL declines across grades. Therefore, our analyses have been restricted to those grades with sufficiently large numbers of students. In grades 3–6, differences between ELL and non-ELL students on the Quantitative Battery (3.3 SAS points) were similar to the differences on the Nonverbal Battery (2.7 SAS points). Combining the quantitative and nonverbal scores into a quantitative-nonverbal partial composite often provides a better estimate of ability for ELL students than either battery alone. If ELL students in grades 3–6 take the Verbal Battery, it is usually best to compare their scores to those of other ELL students at their school. This can provide important information on the ELL students’ verbal reasoning abilities that is not apparent when national or even local norms are used.
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