CATs – Cognitive Abilities Tests

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) assesses a student’s ability to reason with and manipulate different types of material.

The CAT4 tests comprise of 4 batteries of tests that assess the main types of mental processing which play a substantial role in human thought. These results of these tests provide us with information about a student’s ability which helps teachers effectively plan.

The CAT4 batteries assess…

reasoning with words

reasoning with numbers

reasoning with shapes and designs

thinking with and mentally manipulating precise shapes

The tests are designed specifically to minimise the role of prior learning – there is no requirement to review or prepare for the tests and it is possible to view the results as an indication of future potential

When are these tests taken?

Students take the CAT4 tests in September of Year 7.

How are results scores reported?

CAT4 results show students’ scores in each of these areas. The raw scores are converted into Standard Ages Scores (SAS), which means they are weighted to take into account the student’s age when they sat the test. The average SAS score is 100. Around two-thirds of pupils in the national age group will score between 85 and 115.

How do the scores fit a description?

Using your child’s mean SAS score, you can interpret them as follows:

Cognitive Abilities Tests - table

Very high ability127 or above
Above average ability112 – 126
Average ability
Below average ability
Very low ability
Below 74