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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.

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.

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.
    2. Quantitative Reasoning – This section includes questions that measure a student’s ability to understand and work with numbers. Students with strong quantitative reasoning skills may excel in math, technology, and sciences.
    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.  Having strong non-verbal skills helps students in subjects like geography, mathematics, technology, and science.
    4. Spatial Ability Reasoning – This section includes questions that measure a student’s ability to understand and interpret spatial relationships. Students with strong spatial abilities can interpret graphs and charts, solve geometric problems, and do well with geography, engineering, mathematics, technology, design, and science.

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.

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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 813-544-3833 or email us at for information or to get started.

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Can you practice for the CAT4 on 

Yes! Join today and as part of your membership, you will have access to an in-depth library of interactive practice questions, detailed lessons, and printable worksheets for every subtest on the CAT4 Test.

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