CAT4 Trialling

Pre-trials

Small-scale trials were conducted in autumn 2009 to check some of the new questions being developed for the CAT4 Spatial Ability Battery. Three versions of the new spatial test were created and were trialled with approximately 850 students in Years 4, 6, 8 and 9. Results from this study were used to develop further spatial questions for the main trials.

Main trials

The main trials of all the questions in all four batteries of CAT4 were carried out in autumn 2010.

The numbers of students taking part in the trials were as follows:

For the trials, 24 test booklets were created, that is six test booklets for each year group. All students took Verbal Classification and Figure Recognition plus two of the remaining six test types, so that all items were taken by at least 300 students. Some of the questions were duplicated in booklets across year groups.

The data from the trials were analysed to provide information on the difficulty level of each question, its ability to discriminate between high and low scorers, and the extent to which it proved equally difficult for both sexes, once each sex’s general level of performance was taken into account. This information was then used to select and order the sequences of questions for the final standardisation version of CAT4.