How do I choose a test level?

CAT4 has 12 levels available to choose from. The levels are aimed at different age groups and the test content of each level is developed in an overlapping format of progression difficulty.

The target year group and age range covered by the norms for each test level are shown in the table below.

Recommended year groups

Note: only levels D to G have Irish norms.


There are a few exceptional circumstances in which a school may choose to use a lower or higher level of CAT4 with a group of students than recommended in the table. Examples of such situations might be:

  • a school testing Year 6 students at the end of the summer term to provide results to the children’s intended secondary schools, where Level D may be more appropriate;
  • a selective school testing a year group composed of highly able students where the next level up may be used, or a non-selective school in a selective area where the next level down may be appropriate.

It must be emphasised that such cases are the exception rather than the rule. On the rare occasion when individual students fall outside the age range, their scores will be based on the upper or lower end of the age range of the level of CAT4 they have taken. So, a student taking CAT4 Level B who is 11:06 will receive scores based on the upper age limit of 10:11.