Approximately half of the students who take CogAT show a relative strength or a relative weakness in one of the three test batteries. Understanding this provides the opportunity to adapt instruction to build on the student’s strengths and shore up any weakness.

Ability profiles with a V+, Q+, or N+ indicate a relative strength on the Verbal, Quantitative, or Nonverbal Battery, respectively. 

Profiles that show a relative strength are more common for low scores (median age stanines of 1, 2, or 3) than for high scores (median age stanines of 7, 8, or 9). 

Profiles are especially important for understanding the abilities of the least-able students. Profiles that show an extreme strength (E+) are most common for students with a median stanine of 1. In fact, for students with a median age stanine of 1, profiles that show a significant or extreme strength are almost as common as profiles that show a relatively flat (A) profile. Both occur for about 45 percent of students nationally. The information that follows offers suggestions on adapting instruction to build on a relative strength indicated by a student’s CogAT ability profile.

Relative Strength

Cognitive Domain











Click the links below for guidance on building relative strengths:

Relative Strength in Verbal Reasoning (V+)

Relative Strength in Quantitative Reasoning (Q+)

Relative Strength in Nonverbal Reasoning (N+)

Ability profiles with a V–, Q–, or N– indicate a relative weakness on one of the three CogAT batteries. Click here for more information.