Big Brains is the undisputed ITBS/CogAT Prep expert, having put, literally, hundreds of candidates in the Gifted programs in the Bellevue (PRISM, GHSP), Issaquah and Nortshore Districts. If your son or daughter is in the top of their class, needs extra challenge and/or has been recommended, all of these programs are excellent and Big Brains can help your student qualify!
According to Riverside Publishing., the ITBS is designed to measure student achievement. Much like the SAT, the ITBS also measures how good a student is at taking standardized tests. For the most part the ITBS is just like most of the other tests your student has ever taken: Read the passage, answer the question; read the sentence, fill in the blank.
The CogAT, on the other hand, is a cognitive abilities test that attempts to assess students’ reasoning and problem solving abilities and is easily the most widespread screening tool for Gifted and Talented programs.
It is comprised of 9 sections which measure verbal, quantitative and nonverbal thinking abilities (to the degree that it is possible to measure such things). It is a unique test with question types that are unlike anything your student is likely to have seen before. For example, one section shows a square of paper undergoing a series of folds, then having holes punched in it. The answer choices show four different options for what it will look like when it is unfolded. If your child has made paper snowflakes, then he’ll do great. If not, it’s a tall order to expect near perfection.
Another section of the test shows a “group” of words (ie. Almond, Cashew, Walnut, Brazil Nut), then shows potential answers (Filbert, Nuts, Allergies, Shells). The task is to find the the MEMBER of the group, a tough task if you were raised in another country and don’t know that a Filbert is a nut. Inevitably, kids will also miss these problems by carelessly choosing the name of the group, Nuts, rather than the member.
Obviously, these type of unique questions are rife with opportunities for kids to lose focus, misunderstand or simply not consider their answers adequately. Big Brains pioneered CogAT test prep: developing our own customized materials to help students understand each type of question, develop a comfort zone and maximize their scores.
We will build a program specifically for your student, work with them individually and give them their best possible chance at qualifying.
Call 425-653-1222 to get started today!