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CAT4 help!

Discussion in 'Private tutors' started by lydiarose, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. lydiarose

    lydiarose New commenter

    The lady I tutor for has asked me to find out what the CAT4 will look like and source necessary materials. Can anyone help me with this? I’ve come from State Primary and not heard of them before today.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

  3. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter


    CAT is a Cognitive Abilities Test. It is designed to assess a student's strengths and weaknesses in terms of verbal/non-verbal/spatial reasoning, and uses this to determine likely future attainment in various curriculum subjects. The questions are like those encountered in IQ tests.
    I'm not sure what the tutee might be taking the CAT for, but I can only assume it might be being used as an entry assessment similar to the 11+.
    Although these types of assessment might get easier and less confusing by having encountered similar types of questions previously, CATs are not something that can/should be coached for!
  4. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    You're right, of course, but parents don't care that their child will be placed in a set that has work that's too hard for them, leading them to struggle and ultimately get demoralised. They just need to make sure they are in the TOP SET because they have PAID for this to happen.
  5. ogover

    ogover New commenter

    Year 7 often sit them soon after starting in September and the results are used to place the pupils in sets as some secondary schools do not trust the Year 6 SAT results to give them an accurate picture of a pupil's ability due to hothousing in Year 6.
  6. alsoamum

    alsoamum Occasional commenter

    If it's for year 7 then I'd do year 6 maths and English with them and dip into some 11+ or 12/12+ verbal and non verbal reasoning.

    Make sure they are fast and confident with times tables and related facts, fractions, decals percentages and place value. Working on vocabulary helps too.
  7. never_expect_anything

    never_expect_anything Occasional commenter

    Ah, yes, of course, I hadn't thought of parents simply wanting their child to be in the top sets!

    And the reference to knowing times tables etc... Most of the test is time limited by section - so the more time you spend answering questions, the fewer you will be able to complete in the given time, like most formal assessments. However, I forgot to mention that some elements of the test are timed per question (as I recall - though I've not administered one in a while, so could be getting mixed up!), so being able to do things like times tables and simple mental arithmetic calculations at speed can be an advantage. Other than that, I'm not sure that Y6 English and Maths (curriculum content or SATs-style preparation) would be particularly relevant to this situation.
  8. enquiry12

    enquiry12 New commenter

    My son just passed his CAT4 to get into a school - I'm out of the UK at the moment and most international schools want you to do a CAT4 Test. I was told you can't practice for the tests but found a site which at least gets you familiar www.schoolentranceexam.com - its cheap but the questions were difficult - so my son found the real thing easy peasy... I think it was money well spent getting him to do a CAT4 practice test
  9. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    This is the misuse of CAT4 I'm talking about. You don't "pass" it. It's not something you "pass".
    Your score puts you on a scale, which is age adjusted, so 100 is the mean and 115 is the 85th percentile. 130 is the 98th percentile. It shows a school how you compare to a norm-referenced sample of students of the same age.
    Sensible schools use it to identify possible support issues, but not to decide what set a student goes into. Non-verbal does correlate quite well with GCSE Maths score, but it's still no way to accept or reject students from a school.
  10. bramblesarah

    bramblesarah Occasional commenter

    I think a lot of schools use them to set students.
  11. adamcreen

    adamcreen Occasional commenter

    Which is a shame, because they are not content-specific. I suppose if you want broad ability groups, fine, but even then it's a big risk to take. When I set 280 students for Maths in Year 7 I use something a lot better - the SATs.

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