CAT4 is the new edition of the Cognitive Abilities Test and is the UK’s most widely used assessment of ability. It’s available on demand throughout the year.

It provides teachers with essential data to help personalise learning, engage with parents, and monitor progress. It supports measuring student abilities and the admissions process into selective schools. There are 4 areas of reasoning which are measured; quantitative, verbal, non-verbal and spatial. The last skills is extremely important for science, technology, engineering, and maths. This is an ability not measured by other tests at school such as the 11+ or SATs.

Individualised Learning

By understanding a child’s strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences teaching can be adapted accordingly and talented pupils can be pushed ahead while pupils with low ability can be provided learning support or screened for learning difficulties.

Identifying Learning Styles

From a child’s ability profile it becomes clear if they have a bias towards spatial skills and will learn better through flow charts and diagrams but may struggle with verbal based subjects. Pupils with an extreme verbal bias will learn well through written texts, writing and discussion but may struggle with STEM subjects. Pupils with a balanced profile will respond to all types of teaching styles.

Helping Students

Underachieving pupils can be provided with targeted measures to remove barriers to learning. Appropriate goals can be set and monitored, with progress indicators. The results are good indicators to GCSE, A-level and IB course success and the individual student report for teachers provides data that helps to understand a pupils learning profile. The implications for teaching and learning arre profound and base deicisions on objective not subjective opinion.

Summary

CAT4 supports personalized learning and improves parental engagement, provides direction for informed intervention strategies. Specialized reports are available for senior school leaders to help provide strategic direction to areas where the school or class as a whole can improve. The CAT4 is not about knowledge recall and requires no preparation, although I argue that familiarity of the question format and online delivery helps. There are three ability batteries that are not dependent on language so it is highly suitable for second language students too. CAT4 is available throughout the year and results are available immediately. The CAT4 tests attempt to offer all pupils the same opportunity to show their underlying ability – at least that’s the theory!

CAT4 love it or hate it let me know in the comments section below.

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