In this CAT Practice Tips Intro, we will discuss all details surrounding the CAT4 and it’s uses.
The Cognitive Ability Test: Fourth Edition (CAT4) is a standardised cognitive test. It provides insights into children’s’ ability to reason across 4 fields: verbal, non-verbal, mathematical and spatial as compared to the national average. The content of these tests is not curriculum-based. Instead of testing a child’s knowledge, they are meant to highlight strengths and weaknesses and gauge potential, to use in the teaching process.
The CAT4 is used by a large number of UK secondary schools and an increasing number of primary schools, both in the state and independent sector.
The CAT4 is developed by GL Assessment. This CAT4 introductory video explains more.
Levels of Assessment
Cat4 is available in 9 levels. The different levels of assessment are X (Year 2), Y(Year3) and Level A (Year 4) to Level G (Years 11 & 12). This includes children between the ages of 6 and 17.
Why use the CAT4?
Although there are no formal assessments required between Year 2 (KS1 SAT) and Year 6 (KS2 SAT), some schools use the CAT4 as a standardised form of testing. They then use these results to not only set the pace but also identify possible learning difficulties. This can be very helpful in supporting learners to reach their full potential. It also gives the school a lot more information to work with.
Schools deny that they use these results to put children in sets. Many, however, acknowledge that they use it to get a clearer individual picture of a child in addition to other results available to them.
What do the CAT4 tests look like
The CAT4 does not assess knowledge previously learnt in school. Instead, it rather assesses the reasoning ability of a child in the areas of:
Verbal: involving words (verbal classifications & analogies)
Non-verbal: involving shapes and patterns (figure classification & matrices)
Mathematical: involving numbers (Number analogies & series)
Spatial: involving mentally generating and transforming visual images (figure analysis & recognition)
GL Assessments present a very informative video on the CAT4 tests
Administration and reporting of the CAT4
Teachers receive the results. They also receive guidance on how to help children reach their full potential. Some schools also invest in individual reports for parents. These give an overview of the results. They give an explanation of the tests. They also give guidance on learning at home by looking at their strengths and weaknesses.
To practice or not to practice – CAT Practice tips
GL Assessments discourage any practice for these tests.
Subsequently have a look at our page 11 Plus Non-Verbal Reasoning Practice for more information on non-verbal reasoning tests. Also, visit our 11+ Verbal Reasoning examples and our 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning examples to have a look at some past papers on these subjects.
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