Frequently Asked Questions
If I read out the CAT Verbal Battery questions to students, will this invalidate the test?
Second, to isolate a specific problem with reading, you could read some of the verbal questions to the student. If their response to these questions is markedly better than on the first occasion this might isolate reading as the problem. This would suggest that the student's 'true' reasoning score is obscured by reading difficulties. In CAT4 it is recommended that students with a stanine score of 3 or below on the Verbal tests should be administered a reading test as a follow up.
How reliant is CAT on the quality of the administrator explaining and supervising the test?
It is important that the administrator follows the text set out in the administration instructions very closely. Each sub-test starts with example and practice questions; the administrator must use these to ensure that students are familiar with the test layout and question formats before they start the test. CAT is a timed test and it is vital that a stopwatch or watch or clock with a second is used to ensure the correct amount of time is given for each sub-test: for example, ten minutes for the Figure Matrices test means exactly 10 minutes, not 9.5 minutes or 10.5 minutes. Providing the administration instructions are followed accurately by the administrator, the influence of the particular administrator should be minimal.
If the digital edition is being taken, the administration instructions are given through the voiceover and the timer is part of the test so there is no need for the administrator to present the question types or time the test. However, it is still important that the administrator ensures that the testing environment is appropriate and answers any queries as necessary.
Can I spread the administration of CAT4 across a cohort over the same academic year?
No. It’s advisable for the same cohort to take CAT4 as close together as possible and at least within the same term. This ensures that student results can be compared with one another with confidence and teachers and administrators can obtain as accurate results as possible.
Can I administer just one or two batteries?
No. The CAT4 standardisation was conducted on the completion of four batteries and the reports will therefore provide the most accurate data when all four batteries are taken.
The exception to this guidance is when it is considered inappropriate to administer the verbal tests to students for whom English is an additional language.
If you’re looking for a stand-alone Verbal or Non-verbal assessment, GL Assessment offers a number of alternatives which you should consider. Tests in our reasoning series may be used with students from age 5.
Can the CAT4 batteries be taken in any order?
No. The batteries must be taken in the order in which they were standardised. This is how they are presented in both the paper and digital editions of CAT4. The sequence is:
- Non-verbal Reasoning
- Verbal Reasoning
- Quantitative Reasoning
- Spatial Ability
It is recommended that when administering the paper tests, two or three sessions should be scheduled and a break taken between each battery.
The digital tests are in a set order and administered in three parts:
- Part 1 – Non-verbal Reasoning
- Part 2 – Verbal Reasoning and the first Quantitative test
- Part 3 – the second Quantitative test and Spatial Ability
Does CAT4 have new indicators?
Yes, the indicators for KS2, GCSE and AS/A Levels have all been updated for CAT4.
I am a new user and need guidance on which reports I need.
- Individual report for teachers – this gives a more detailed analysis of an individual student with the full range of scores, indicators and a narrative description of their profile and its implications for teaching and learning.
- Individual report for students – a student-friendly version of the teacher report explaining performance and offering advice of how the student can learn most effectively.
- Individual report for parents – a parent-friendly version of the teacher report explaining their child’s performance and offering advice on how parents can support learning at home.
- Summary report for senior leaders – an overview of the group’s performance that is tailored for school’s management team and Board of Governors.
- Summary presentation for senior leaders(PowerPoint® format) – this extracts information from the Summary report for senior leaders and presents it in a short but detailed presentation that is suitable for use at management and Board meetings and for any whole school sessions relating to CAT4.
- Excel report – exported raw/core data to facilitate further in-school analysis and uploading to the school’s management system
- Cluster report – a version of the Summary report for senior leaders but covering several schools.
I have the Group report for teachers for my Year 7 cohort but I need to generate further versions by Tutor Group. How do I do this and is there a charge?
If you need to re-run the Group report for teachers in order to produce a series of reports for small groups of students such as tutor groups or you need to add in late arrivals, there is no charge.
What should I do if some students in my class cannot complete all parts of the test within the sitting timescale?
When setting up a sitting, only do so when you are relatively confident that all students will be able to take the test. Given the current circumstances, we recommend increasing the duration of the sitting timescale from the default 14 days to up to 30 day.
If an individual student is unable to take Part 1 of the test (for example, due to absence), please remove them from the sitting before starting the test
If students cannot complete the sitting you have created, you have 30 days from the start date of the sitting for all students to complete the remaining parts. This is assuming that all students have completed Part 1
Return any unused credits when a sitting expires
What happens when a sitting expires?
When a sitting expires, one of two things will happen for each student individually:
- If they have not started the test at all, you will be reallocated that credit which you can then use on another sitting.
- If they have partially completed the test, they will be given an extra 30 days to complete the sitting using the same access code even though the sitting is listed as ‘expired’.