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How to Pass the CAT4 Level A Test in 2022 (Guide and Tips)

How to Pass the CAT4 Level A Test in 2022 (Guide and Tips)

Updated August 9, 2022

By Melissa Reynolds
Melissa Reynolds

What Is the CAT4?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is similar to an IQ test and is given to students throughout the UK and Ireland between the ages of 6 and 17. The test is used by more than 50% of UK secondary schools.

The test was developed by GL Assessment and is often used as an entrance exam to private and public schools. Its aim is to identify the abilities and learning potential in students.

While the test can highlight weaknesses, it also identifies how students best understand and learn. This allows teachers and staff to offer better support as well as tailor some of their teaching to the needs of their students.

The CAT4 Level A exam is based on the work done in Year 4 in the UK, or Primary 5 in Scotland, aimed at children aged seven to nine.

What Does the CAT4 Level A Exam Contain?

There are several sections and subsections on the CAT4 Level A test.

Four types of questions are separated into three parts:

  • Part one looks at figure classification and figure matrices and consists of 24 questions to be answered in 10-minute blocks, totalling 20 minutes.
  • Part two consists of three sections: verbal classification, verbal analogies and number analogies. The verbal sections take eight minutes each and contain 24 questions for each section. The number analogies part has 18 questions to be answered in 10 minutes.
  • Part three includes number series, figure analysis and figure recognition, with each section to be answered in eight, nine and nine minutes respectively.

The test includes four 'batteries' that are simply different subject areas.

Verbal Reasoning

This battery aims to measure:

  • Verbal comprehension
  • Logic
  • Reasoning
  • General vocabulary

The battery also examines connections between words.

Example Question

1. Please choose the word that best fits the relationship:

'Feet' are to 'running' as 'hands' are to:

a) eating
b) clapping
c) tapping
d) rubbing
e) clenching

Example Question

2. Which word describes the three words listed?

Ants, butterflies, bee, grasshopper

a) Bugs
b) Insects
c) Things that are small
d) Arachnids

Non-Verbal Reasoning

This battery examines problem-solving skills as well as pattern recognition using shapes. Both of these skills are used in mathematics and science.

Example Question

The four shapes at the top all relate to each other. Figure out the relationship and choose the image that fits in this group.

Quantitative Reasoning

Quantitative reasoning focuses on numbers and basic math. It examines simple problem-solving that uses basic calculations.

Example Question

1. Please choose the next number in the sequence:

14.5, 13, 11.5, 10, 8.5, ___

a) 7.5
b) 7
c) 6.5
d) 9

Example Question

2. Please choose the number to make the equations equal.

(3 x 4) + 5 = (2 x ?) + 7

a) 10
b) 5
c) 3
d) 6

Spatial Reasoning

Mental rotation, recognition of shapes within larger figures and more are all tested here. The ability to carry out tasks and think in three dimensions is tested.

Example Question

1. Please find the hidden shape.

Example Question

2. Take a small square piece of paper and fold it. Punch a hole in the paper. What will the paper look like when unfolded?

How to Pass the CAT4 Level A Test
How to Pass the CAT4 Level A Test

How Is the CAT4 Scored?

Knowing how the CAT4 is scored can be important to passing it. The tests are marked as a raw score and moderated into a final score using a comparison with a national percentile score. It is then grouped into a stanine score.

The raw score reflects the number of questions that are correctly answered. The scores are then compared to the scores of other students who are the same age. Three normative scores are calculated to look at how the student performed:

  • Standard age scores (SAS). For each age group, the average is set to 100 and the standard deviation is set to 2. If two students from different age groups receive the same SAS score, they have done equally well compared to students of the same age. A student has also done equally well on both if receiving the same score on two different batteries.
  • National percentile rank (NPR). An NPR score shows the percentage of students who scored less than they did. If a student scores an NPR of 80%, they scored better than 80% of students in their age group and 20% of students scored higher than they did.
  • Stanines (ST). The stanine score is a division of scores into nine bands. Each band equals a different SAS score and illustrates a different level of performance.

How to Pass the CAT4 Level A

Taking any type of test can be stressful for children. Taking an entrance exam such as the CAT4 could be even more nerve-racking. There are some ways you can help your child to prepare.

Step 1. Practice Timed Tests

Not knowing what to expect can cause anxiety. Having your child sit a practice test, under the same time constraints as the real test, can help your child in a few ways.

It can give them an idea of what to expect on the day of the test, and it can identify areas of strength and weakness in the questions. This can help pinpoint areas to study further.

Step 2. Read the Questions

Encourage your child to read the questions as many times as they need to understand what is being asked. Taking the extra time in practice to gain an understanding will help your child move quicker when taking the actual test.

Step 3. Integrate Study Into Everyday Life

Try to work some study into things your child may already do. Instead of looking through YouTube, have them play some educational games, put some educational apps on their phone or iPad and provide them with more educational reading material.

Step 4. Move Steadily

Don’t spend more time than needed on any one question. Remember that the test is timed and any extra minutes spent on a question or section will take time away from the rest of the test.

Tackle the easier questions first and then move on to the harder ones, which you can devote a bit more time to.

Step 5. Sleep Well Before the Test

A good night’s sleep will help your child feel well rested, less anxious and more prepared to focus.

Step 6. Be as Prepared as Possible

Fill out any necessary forms well in advance so you do not need to take care of it on the test day. Eat a healthy breakfast and have clothing set out ready to wear to start the day off as stress-free as possible.

Final Thoughts

The CAT4 test is more than simply an aptitude test; it can assess areas of strength and weakness. This can be helpful for students looking for areas to improve upon and it can be helpful for teachers to know which students need help in which areas.

Knowing what the test contains, how long it is and how long to spend on each section, as well as practicing some sample questions, can all help a student feel more prepared.

A prepared student is a successful student, not only on the CAT4 Level A test, but on future tests as well.