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CATS (Collaborative Academic Testing Service) Overview

Established in 2004, the CATS (Collaborative Academic Testing Service) is a test administered to students for admission to certain private schools in the Dallas and Houston Areas. This standardized test plays a crucial role in the school admissions process. It serves as a cognitive assessment that provides valuable insights into a student’s intellectual functioning.

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For the 2023 – 2024 school year, schools requiring the CATS testing are:

Dallas Area Private Schools that Give the CATS Test for Admissions



Grades The CATS Test is Given


The Covenant SchoolK-4In a Christian environment, young minds are nurtured through a strong academic program. Additionally, there is an emphasis on character development and community service.
The Episcopal School of DallasPK-4A coeducational preparatory school promotes academic excellence, character development, and leadership. It does so within a nurturing and diverse community.
Good Shepherd Episcopal SchoolK-1Offers a foundation in essential learning concepts and prioritizes academic rigor and spiritual growth, following an Episcopal tradition.
Greenhill SchoolPK-1Integrates a challenging curriculum with the development of personal and social responsibility. This educational approach emphasizes diversity, inclusivity, and robust co-curricular activities.
LamplighterPK-4Offers an innovative educational program in a nurturing environment with a curriculum focused on intellectual growth and practical life skills.
Parish Episcopal SchoolK-1Promotes a love of learning in its students. Additionally, it embraces Christian values, fostering a close-knit community and a strong commitment to academic excellence.
St. Mark’s School of Texas1-4A boys’ school focused on academic excellence, integrity, a sense of responsibility, extracurricular activities, and character building.
The Hockaday SchoolPK-1An all-girls institution providing a rigorous, college-preparatory education with strong arts, academics, and athletics programs in a supportive, inclusive environment.
Trinity Christian AcademyPK-4A Christian academy nurturing students’ academic and spiritual growth, promoting community, character building, and leadership skills development.
Wesley PrepK-4Provides an academically challenging and spiritually enriching curriculum, prioritizing a nurturing learning environment and strong moral values.

Houston Area Private Schools that Give the CATS Test for Admissions



Grades The CATS Test is Given


Annunciation Orthodox SchoolPK-6Rooted in Greek Orthodox values, it provides a holistic education that includes a strong focus on academics, arts, and athletics.
Awty International SchoolPK-5An international school offers either a dual program of study in French and English or a Spanish-immersion program. Furthermore, the school places a strong emphasis on promoting global learning and fostering cultural understanding.
Duchesne Academy of the Sacred HeartPK-4An all-girls school, serving preschool to fourth graders, follows the Sacred Heart tradition, emphasizing academics and character development.
First Baptist Academy1-4A Christian school that emphasizes academic excellence, moral values, and spiritual growth from first to fourth grade.
The John Cooper SchoolPK-4An independent, non-sectarian school provides a challenging curriculum for preschool to fourth-grade students. This curriculum is designed to promote both intellectual growth and character development.
Regis SchoolK-4A Catholic boys’ school that focuses on moral and academic development, service learning, and leadership skills.
River Oaks Baptist SchoolPK-4A Christian school that integrates a challenging curriculum with character development and spiritual growth for preschool to fourth grade students.
St. John’s SchoolK-4Known for its challenging academics, comprehensive arts program, and commitment to character development from kindergarten to fourth grade.
St. Mark’s Episcopal SchoolK-4Fosters an environment of inclusivity and respect, promoting a love of learning, spiritual growth, and a commitment to community service.

CATS overview

The CATS test plays a crucial role in the school admissions process. Serving as a cognitive assessment, it offers valuable insights into a student’s intellectual functioning. Typically, this assessment is administered by a licensed psychologist with expertise in working with preschool and school-aged children.

The tests administered by CATS are the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI)(ages 2:6 – 7:7) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)(ages 6:0 – 16:11). These cognitive tests assess thinking skills rather than academic skills.

The Collaborative Academic Testing Service (CATS) is a comprehensive testing program designed to assess students’ academic skills and knowledge across various subject areas. Additionally, the CATS test is intended to aid educators in evaluating and comparing students’ academic performance. This assessment also serves as a valuable tool for identifying both strengths and weaknesses in student learning. Consequently, educators can utilize the results to guide instructional strategies more effectively, ensuring they meet the specific needs of each student.

Subject Areas Covered by the CATS Test

The CATS test covers several subject areas, with questions designed to evaluate students’ abilities in each of these domains:

  • Reading Comprehension: This section primarily centers on evaluating a student’s capacity to comprehend and interpret written passages. It involves tasks such as identifying main ideas, making inferences, drawing conclusions, and understanding the author’s purpose.
  • Mathematics: In this section, students’ math skills are assessed, covering arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. They solve problems, perform calculations, and interpret graphs.
  • Science: In this section, students’ comprehension of scientific concepts and their ability to apply scientific reasoning are gauged. This encompasses questions that span across various science fields, including biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science.
  • Social Studies: This section assesses a student’s knowledge of history, geography, government, and economics. Questions may require students to analyze maps, charts, and graphs, as well as understand historical events and interpret social science data.
  • Language Arts: In this section, a student’s grasp of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and vocabulary is assessed. Questions may encompass tasks such as identifying errors, correcting sentences, and selecting the most appropriate words or phrases.
  • Writing: This section focuses on evaluating a student’s capacity to convey ideas effectively through written language. Students may be tasked with writing essays, providing short answers, or crafting other written responses in response to prompts or topics.

Overall, the CATS testing aims to provide educators with a comprehensive understanding of a student’s academic abilities, thus allowing them to better support each student’s educational journey.

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Free WPPSI Sample Practice Test Questions that May Appear on the CATS

Matrix Reasoning

Parents Say: “Look at the pictures in the four boxes. Do you see how the pictures on top go together in some way? Now, look at the picture in the box on the bottom next to the empty box. Choose the picture from the last row that goes in the empty box so that the pictures on the bottom go together in the same way as the pictures on top.”CATS Matrix Reasoning

Answer: 1st bubble


(Read the question out loud. Have your child point to the answer.)
Which person is telling a secret?CATS Information

Answer: bottom left

Free WISC Sample Practice Test Questions:


Jenny bought the pizza you see in the first box and ate half of it. Which picture shows how much pizza remained after she ate it?CATS Arithmetic

Answer: 1st bubble

Visual Puzzles

Parent, say to your child: “Look at the shape on top. That is a completed puzzle. Choose the 3 pieces below that combine to complete the puzzle.”Visual Puzzle

Answer: 2, 4, 5

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