What do these C.A.T. scores mean?

(17 Posts)
Checkmate Thu 17-Mar-11 09:18:13

Parents evening last night about DD1, who is August birthday and in year 4 at a good school.

She's been suffering with a bit of low confidence, which her teachers seemed surprised at. (She's in 2nd out of 4 maths streams, and lowest of 3 spelling streams, but apart from that in top streams and doing well. Her spellings and times tables are denting her confidence.) They said she's scored "highest in the year" on some recent C.A.T. tests - what are these? I asked for the scores and just received an email saying:

VR 131

Non VR 141

Quant 123

= Mean 132

Not terribly helpful without a context!

Any ideas?Just wondering if anything in there sheds any light on her problems with spelling really, or if I should be talking to the SENCO.

Minx179 Thu 17-Mar-11 10:12:54

You may find this site useful for explaining what CAT tests are, why they are done etc

www.satsguide.co.uk/help__other_exams_and_subjects/cats__cognitive_abilities_tests.htm

Checkmate Thu 17-Mar-11 10:48:27

Thanks!

lovecheese Thu 17-Mar-11 12:29:11

Checkmate, just wondering if you or anyone else knows whether these CAT tests are done on all children in all schools? Is it a private school thing? Neither DD nor school have ever mentioned them. Thanks.

Checkmate Thu 17-Mar-11 15:09:36

I've been googling a bit this afternoon, thanks to the info supplied by Minx. IT seems to be an optional thing. So my DC's school does SATS and CATS (a private school as you guessed), but state school may not do CATS I guess.

adamschic Thu 17-Mar-11 15:18:24

Mine did them in year 7, state school. They were used to predict GCSE grades and to compile the G&T list (few years ago now). The scores your DD got are very high, seems like you have a very bright girl on your hands.

inspireddance Thu 17-Mar-11 17:30:56

Almost all state schools do CATS early in year 7 in order to gauge the ability of the students.

Your DD scores are very high.

VR = Verbal Reasoning (English based)
Non VR = Non Verbal Reasoning (Logic based)
Quant = Quantitative (Maths based)

I seem to remember 141 being the highest possible score but can't find the booklet I have that tells me.

The tests don't really test spelling, the verbal one is more about relationships and reasoning using words. But I would have thought that a student with such high CATS scores (in the gifted and talented range at our school) and poor spelling would have been assessed for a SpLD.

eatyourveg Thu 17-Mar-11 17:53:37

What it means is that you have a bright child who should go far. If you were in 11+ area you would be expected to pass with those scores.

adamschic Thu 17-Mar-11 18:04:02

These scores would put her in at least the top 5% (possibly top 2%) nationally. Mine didn't get as high as these but was in the top 5%.

Not sure about spelling problems, I would wait and see. Mine cannot spell great and although did as predicted at GCSE has just realised that not everything is a breeze since flunking AS level modules.

Checkmate Thu 17-Mar-11 21:08:49

Thanks everyone.

eatyourveg - Oh, how I wish we lived in an 11+ area! (Well for her, at least; don't think all my DC would get in.)

I think I'll ask for a meeting with the SENCO.

Checkmate Tue 22-Mar-11 10:48:26

Quick update in case anyone is wondering.

SENCO think she's dyslexic. She said although her reading is fantastic, her spelling is so far behind her age group that considering her very high IQ (her words not mine) it just doesn't make sense. Apparently those CAT scored were the highest in the year shock

I've never heard of dyslexia where a child has learned to read with no problems, and loves reading, before. But been googling, and does look like its possible.

adamschic Tue 22-Mar-11 11:17:23

I think it is possible. Mine had a reading age well above her actual age but her spelling lagged behind considerably. Wish we had looked into it as even now I despair when I see easy words misspelt.

Hope it all goes well and enjoy grin.

daphnedill Thu 24-Mar-11 01:36:49

One of the problems with very bright children who are good readers is that they sometimes don't go through all the "steps" needed to become good spellers. They learn very early to recognise the "shape" of words and to deduce meaning, without looking closely at every syllable. This is quite different from dyslexia. A good SENCO should be able to advise you on strategies. Unfortunately, some SENCOs don't have that much experience of very bright children, so you might have to research yourself. Word games, such as crosswords, might help to focus on exact spellings.

bruffin Thu 24-Mar-11 08:49:53

Dyslexics don't learn from the shape of the word, that is why look and say was so disasterous for so many.
DS 15 had high cat scores (top 5%) and learnt to read well, although it didn't click until he was in year 2 and he caught up a lot of children who were reading fluently in reception. His Senco said it was because he was taught synthetic phonics well and from nursery.
His problem is spelling, he can spell the same word three different ways on the same page. He often doesn't spell words correctly if they are printed on the page. However, interestingly, he often can spell words out loud . He also had problems reading music, as although he could tell you what a not was but could not process it fast enough to follow a sheet of music. He played from memory or ear.

He is doing really well in secondary and is forcast A and A* for gcse, although his organisational skills are getting in the way a bit.

Michaelahpurple Thu 24-Mar-11 10:09:31

Daphnedill - interesting point about strong readers and spelling. This was the case for me - I learnt to read over my mother's shoulder around 3, so never did any phonic work and tend not to read into the detail of words, so had disasterous spelling (and still do really!). May not be a dys thing at all.

adamschic Thu 24-Mar-11 10:41:36

Mine didn't read fluently until aged 8 when she caught up then overtook her reading age significantly, she read many books but spelling is still poor.

Checkmate Thu 24-Mar-11 11:14:46

Interesting everyone, thanks.

Seeing Ed Psych in mid-May; quite interested now to see what outcome is for DD1.

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