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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.

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

Dallas Area Private Schools the Give the CATS Test for Admissions



Grades The CATS Test is Given


The Covenant SchoolK-4A Christian environment nurturing young minds with a strong academic program and emphasis on character development and community service.
The Episcopal School of DallasPK-4A coeducational preparatory school that promotes academic excellence, character development, and leadership in 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, emphasizing 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 while embracing Christian values, fostering a close-knit community and 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 the 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 offering a dual program of study in French and English or a Spanish-immersion program. It prioritizes global learning and cultural understanding.
Duchesne Academy of the Sacred HeartPK-4An all-girls institution serving preschool to fourth grade students. It follows the Sacred Heart tradition of academic excellence 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 that offers a challenging curriculum for preschool to fourth grade students, promoting 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 is one part of the school admissions process. It is a cognitive test and gives the school information about the student’s level of intellectual functioning. The test is administered by a licensed psychologist who enjoys 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 in various subject areas. The CATS test is designed to help educators evaluate and compare students’ academic performance, identify strengths and weaknesses, and guide instruction to better meet students’ needs.

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

  • Reading Comprehension: This section focuses on assessing a student’s ability to understand and interpret written passages. Questions may include identifying main ideas, making inferences, drawing conclusions, and understanding the author’s purpose.
  • Mathematics: This section evaluates a student’s mathematical knowledge and problem-solving skills. Questions cover topics such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis. Students are required to solve problems, perform calculations, and interpret graphical representations.
  • Science: This section measures a student’s understanding of scientific concepts and their ability to apply scientific reasoning to solve problems. Questions cover topics from various fields of science, 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: This section evaluates a student’s understanding of grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and vocabulary. Questions may involve identifying errors, correcting sentences, and choosing the most appropriate words or phrases.
  • Writing: This section assesses a student’s ability to effectively communicate ideas through written language. Students may be asked to write essays, short answers, or other forms of written responses 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.”

Answer: 1st bubble


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

Answer: bottom left

Free WISC Sample Practice Test Questions:


Jenny bought the pizza you see in the first box. She ate half of it. Which picture shows how much pizza was left after she ate it?

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.”

Answer: 2, 4, 5

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