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CogAT K-12 Ability Assessments

Cognitively Speaking: Why and How to Use Local Norms

Dr. Joni M. Lakin
Written By Dr. Joni M. Lakin
On Oct 13, 2021
1 minute read

Why do schools need local norms?

Case #1 EWS

An extremely wealthy suburb (EWS) in the Northeast has a problem. They have “too many gifted students” in their second-grade screening. A fourth of their school meets the 95th national age percentile (APR) cutoff, which they expected to use to identify a much smaller pool of students for gifted and talented services. Their average CogAT Standard Age Score (SAS) on Quantitative Reasoning is 116 (Figure 1), a full standard deviation above the national mean (nationally, M = 100, SD =16). In this neighborhood, parents are highly involved and have access to enrichment for their students as well as high quality preschool programs. Even preschool placement is competitive and test coaching for young kids is not uncommon.



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