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The Cognitive Abilities Test: Fourth Edition (CAT4) is a suite of diagnostic assessments of developed ability and likely academic potential. By measuring a student’s ability to reason with different types of material, CAT4 allows you to assess the way a student thinks and how they will learn best, and in turn, enables you to adapt teaching accordingly.
The test is not based on any curriculum or dependent on prior learning, offering a fair assessment of ability regardless of a student’s prior schooling. Because three of the four batteries are not reliant on knowledge of the English language, the test is ideal for assessing EAL students.
CAT4 provides a unique profile of students’ strengths and weaknesses across four batteries: Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative and Spatial Reasoning. The data can be used to identify specific groups of students including special educational needs and gifted and talented. Students with a high spatial score are likely to be strong in STEM subjects.
The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is a diagnostic assessment that is designed to help students and their teachers understand how they learn and what their academic potential might be. It assesses how students think in areas that are known to make a difference to learning.
While many tests focus on a child’s attainment in core subjects, CAT4 is designed to give schools a much broader, more rounded view of each child, their potential and how they learn. Results help teachers decide about the pace of learning that is right for a student and whether additional support or challenge is needed.
Tasks involve thinking about shapes and patterns (Non-Verbal Reasoning), words (Verbal Reasoning), numbers (Quantitative Reasoning) and some questions are answered by mentally generating and transforming visual images (Spatial Ability).
CAT4 is based on years of research and development. The current edition took five years to develop and the involvement of 25,000 students across the UK. It is a well-known assessment in schools; teachers value its ability to provide an understanding of what a child is capable of rather than defining them by their understanding of a body of knowledge in particular subjects.
Provides a rounded profile of pupil ability so you can target support, provide the right level of challenge and make informed decisions about pupils’ progress. It provides a unique profile of strengths and weaknesses across four batteries:
Verbal Reasoning – the ability to express ideas and reason through words is essential to subjects with a high language content, and the most obvious skill picked up by traditional assessment.
Non-verbal Reasoning – problem-solving using pictures and diagrams; skills which are important in a wide range of school subjects, including maths and science-based subjects.
Spatial Reasoning – the capacity to think and draw conclusions in three dimensions, needed for many STEM subjects, but not easily measured by other datasets.
Quantitative Reasoning – the ability to use numerical skills to solve problems, applicable well beyond mathematics.
It’s statistically reliable. CAT4 was standardised on 25,000 pupils and it’s verified every year based on analysis from a quarter of a million pupils.
The true potential of pupils, flagging where hidden factors are affecting performance. A range of easy-to-follow individual and group reports provide a more complete picture than curriculum tests can provide by themselves. They’re benchmarked against national performance and include KS2, GCSE and A-level indicators.
CAT4 can be taken online or on paper at any point in the academic year. And because the data is robust it supports feedback and planning discussions with senior leaders, pupils and parents.
CAT4 Young Learners (a shorter, paper-based version of CAT4 adapted for young children) is available for children aged 6 - 8 years.
CAT4 is available for children aged 7:06 – 17+ years and comes in seven different levels of difficulty. Each comprises three tests of 45 minutes each; 2 hours 15 minutes in total.
Over three quarters of a million pupils take CAT4 each year.