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CAT4 – Overview

What is the CAT4 Test?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is a standardized assessment of cognitive abilities.  When we talk about “cognitive” skills, we are referring to the ability to think, process information, analyze, reason through problems, learn, and evaluate or make judgment calls.  Developed by GL Assessment, CAT4 is used primarily in educational settings to measure students’ strengths and weaknesses in areas such as reasoning, problem-solving, spatial awareness, and verbal skills. The CAT4 test provides an in-depth understanding of a child’s cognitive strengths and areas for development. It’s not a test that can be passed or failed; rather, it helps identify a child’s learning style and potential. By using the information gathered from the test, teachers can personalize learning for each child to ensure they are challenged and supported appropriately. It can also identify potential exam performance and future academic achievement, giving a chance for early interventions if needed.

CAT4 is designed to provide a broad picture of a student’s cognitive profile, helping educators identify areas where they may need extra support or enrichment. The CAT4 is typically administered to students between the ages of 6 and 17, although it can be used with individuals of any age. The test consists of a series of subtests that measure different cognitive abilities, and results are presented in a report that can be used to inform educational planning and intervention.

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How is the CAT4 Test Structured?

The CAT4 test is a series of eight subtests, each designed to measure a specific cognitive ability. The test can be administered pencil-to-paper or interactively.  When given interactively, each subtest becomes adaptive, meaning that the difficulty level of the questions adjusts based on the student’s responses. This helps to ensure that the test is appropriately challenging for each student, regardless of their ability level. The CAT4 test is not based on the school curriculum or acquired knowledge. Instead, it measures a child’s reasoning (thinking) ability in four key areas below. The CAT4 test comprises multiple-choice questions and is delivered online. The duration of the test varies according to the level (ranging from approximately 45 minutes to 2 hours). Each test level is age-standardized to ensure accuracy and fairness.

Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4)
   Verbal Reasoning Battery
  1. Verbal Classification
  2. Verbal Analogies
   Quantitative Reasoning Battery
  1. Number Analogies
  2. Number Series
   Nonverbal Reasoning Battery
  1. Figure Classification
  2. Figure Matrices
   Spatial Ability Battery
  1. Figure Analysis
  2. Figure Recognition

The CAT4 test consists of four main sections, each with two different subtests:

    1. Verbal Reasoning – This section includes questions that measure a student’s ability to reason with words and use language effectively. It is designed to assess a child’s verbal comprehension, thinking, logic, as well as vocabulary. Since so much of education is presented through spoken, written or read language, this part of the test helps educators understand your child’s general verbal understanding, word knowledge and language development. The questions involved in this section test a student’s verbal comprehension, thinking, logic, as well as vocabulary. This includes understanding relationships between words, inferring the meaning of complex sentences, and understanding analogies. Children who excel in this area may have strong reading comprehension skills, a high verbal memory and a knack for learning languages. This section is crucial in helping educators understand your child’s language development, general verbal understanding, and word knowledge. It could inform teaching strategies in subjects such as English Literature and Language.
    2. Quantitative Reasoning – This section includes questions that measure a student’s ability to understand and work with numbers. This reasoning skill can indicate how well a child can solve problems using numerical data. Children who excel in quantitative reasoning are typically strong in subjects such as mathematics, technology, and sciences, and may be adept at tasks involving data analysis and numerical problem-solving.
    3. Nonverbal Reasoning – This section includes questions that measure a student’s ability to think logically and analytically using shapes and figures, without relying on language skills. It assesses a student’s problem-solving pattern recognition skills using various designs and shapes. Non-verbal reasoning is important to students when it comes to interpreting diagrams, charts, numbers, and letters.  The problems presented require the student to understand and extrapolate patterns, sequences, or relationships using abstract shapes and designs. Children who excel in this area can be good at interpreting diagrams, charts, numbers, and letters, and they often do well in subjects like geography, mathematics, technology, and science, where these skills are frequently applied.
    4. Spatial Ability Reasoning – This section includes questions that measure a student’s ability to understand and interpret spatial relationships.  This involves visualizing and manipulating two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes. Tasks might include mentally rotating or reflecting an object, understanding the impact of folding or unfolding shapes, or predicting the outcome of transforming shapes. Spatial ability is crucial in subjects like geometry, architecture, engineering, and design. Students with strong spatial abilities may also excel in fields like technology, mathematics, and science, where these skills are regularly utilized.

Most often, the four main sections are taken in separately timed sessions that are not consecutive.  Usually, the sessions are given on different days within in a 2 – 3-week period but check with your school for details.

Tips for Practice

The CAT4 assesses cognitive or thinking abilities, which have little relationship to math, spelling, reading, science, or other formal education instruction.  For this reason, students may be able to answer questions at higher or lower difficulty levels than you would expect given their age.  If questions at your child’s level are too difficult for them, back up and practice easier questions.  Alternatively, if questions at your child’s level are too easy, you can move ahead and practice more challenging questions.  If you work with practice materials at, your child will have access to questions at every level of difficulty, allowing them to access harder or easier questions based on their abilities.

What are the ages and levels on the CAT4 Test?

The CAT4 test is available in several levels, each of which is designed for a specific age group or academic level. The levels of the CAT4 are as follows:

Age (years:months)CAT4 LevelYear (UK)Grade (US)
6:00 – 7:11X21st
6:06 – 8:11Pre-A32nd
7:06 – 9:11A43rd
8:06 – 10:11B54th
9:06 – 11:11C65th
10:06 – 12:11D76th
11:06 – 13:11E87th
12:06 – 15:11F9 & 108th & 9th

The levels of the CAT4 are designed to provide educators and researchers with a comprehensive assessment of a student’s cognitive abilities, regardless of their age or academic level. By administering the test at the appropriate level, educators can gain insights into a student’s strengths and weaknesses and develop targeted interventions and educational plans to help them reach their full potential.

How is the CAT4 Test Administered?

CAT4 can be taken via paper-and-pencil or online via PC or tablet. It can be administered at any point during the academic year.  Check with your child’s school to find out how the test will be administered and when.

Here’s a detailed overview of how the test is usually administered:

  • Test Environment: The CAT4 is administered in a comfortable and quiet environment, typically a classroom or computer lab, where distractions are minimal. This allows children to focus on the test without any undue stress or interruptions.
  • Online Delivery: The test is primarily delivered online. Children interact with the test using a computer or a tablet. They respond to the multiple-choice questions using the mouse or touch screen to select their answers. All necessary instructions are provided on-screen before the start of each section.
  • Test Levels: The CAT4 has several different levels (A-G), which are chosen based on the age and year group of the child. Each level has a different number of questions and varies in duration.
  • Test Structure: The test is divided into four sections, each corresponding to one of the four types of reasoning it measures: Verbal, Non-Verbal, Quantitative, and Spatial. Each section is untimed, but the overall test typically lasts between 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Test Administration: Trained professionals, often teachers or school administrators, oversee the administration of the test. They provide instructions, ensure the test runs smoothly, and manage any technical issues that might arise.
  • Breaks: Breaks are usually given between sections to ensure that the children do not become overly tired. During these breaks, children can stand up, stretch, or have a drink of water before moving on to the next section.
  • Test Follow-up: After the test is completed, it’s scored, and the results are compiled into a report. This report provides detailed information about the child’s abilities in the four measured areas. It’s then shared with teachers, and sometimes parents, to guide future learning strategies.

Remember, the

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How many questions are on the CAT4 Test? How long do I have to answer each subset?

When administered, the test is separated into parts. Your child will sit for the test in two or three sessions depending on which level of the CAT4 test they are taking.

Level X:

  CAT Component  Duration
  Part 1:
  Figures  12 minutes
  Words  10 minutes
  Part 2:
  Numbers  10 minutes
  Shapes  11 minutes

Level Pre-A:

  CAT Component  Duration  No. of Questions
  Part 1:
  Figural Classification  10 minutes  6 questions
  Verbal Classification  10 minutes  6 questions
  Part 2:
  Number Series  8 minutes  6 questions
  Figure Recognition  9 minutes  4 questions

Level A – F:

  CAT Component  Duration  No. of Questions
  Part 1:
  Figure Classification  10 minutes  24 questions
  Figure Matrices  10 minutes  24 questions
  Part 2:
  Verbal Classification  8 minutes  24 questions
  Verbal Analogies  8 minutes  24 questions
  Number Analogies  10 minutes  18 questions
  Part 3:
  Number Series  8 minutes  18 questions
  Figure Analysis  9 minutes  18 questions
  Figure Recognition  9 minutes  18 questions

Who takes the CAT4 Test?

The test is available for children ages 6 – 17+ years old.

What countries use the CAT4 Test?

The CAT4 test is used in many countries around the world, particularly in the education sector. The test was developed by GL Assessment, a UK-based company, and is widely used in the UK education system. In addition to the UK, the CAT4 test is also used in other countries, including:

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • India
  • Malaysia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • United Arab Emirates

The test has been translated into multiple languages, including Mandarin, Malay, and Arabic, to accommodate students who speak different languages. The CAT4 test is used in a variety of educational settings, including primary and secondary schools, as well as higher education institutions. It is often used to inform instructional planning and identify students who may benefit from additional support or advanced academic opportunities.

Does offer tutoring for the CAT4 Test?

Yes, we do!  Call us at 877-609-6203 or email us at for information or to get started.

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Can you practice for the CAT4 on 

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Tell us about your experiences

4 Responses

Ishaq Ibrahim

I have to work out CAT4 praatice

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Nikita Sahu

We are moving schools from US to Dubai for our daughter 11 years old and The new school requested us to do a CAT4 assessment test. Does does that for us and generate a report to send it across to the new school in Dubai. My daughter is now in 5th Grade and ready to go to 6th grade in an American Curriculum. please do let us know if your center could perform that test for us virtually.

TestingMom is a test PREP company and does not proctor any exams. You can google “test centers near me” and hopefully find a source for the test. Good luck and Safe Travels!

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