Can anybody explain to me about CAT scores?

(7 Posts)
emkana Thu 15-Jul-10 14:05:55

dd did a CAT test recently (Yr 4) and apparently had a score of 132, but no explanation was given as to what it means? Can anybody enlighten me?

emkana Thu 15-Jul-10 14:41:21

don't want to go back and ask teacher because she is highly pregnant and I'd rather leave her alone when it's not really life and death

Dysgu Thu 15-Jul-10 16:31:01

CATs are Cognitive Assessment Tests.

There are different ones:

Quantitative - this covers numbers skills and maths reasoning.

Verbal - this covers language and vocabulary

Non-Verbal - this covers reasoning, patterns and other aspects that require no knowledge of language or number skills.

These tests are standardised so take age into account (if that is unclear, a simple idea is to imagine the children were all tested on their 9th birthday - which is, of course, impossible so everyone takes the tests on the same day and then they are standardised to account for the age differences.)

Generally, the 'average' score is between 85 and 115. Anything outside of those limits is highlighted, so a score of 132 is well above average.

In most cases CATs simply give an idea of current cognitive ability. As a SENCo I used to analyse the tests, paying attention to any children who had particularly spread scores. For example, if your DC has all scores in the above average range then she is a bright child who is working to her ability. If her non-verbal score is the 132, then it is interesting to see whether her others are also in this range - if not, she may not be working to her ability so may be under achieving or there may be specific learning difficulties that are hindering her learning. If her non-verbal is lower and this 132 is for verbal or quantitative then she is working hard and achieving very well.

Please note, all of this is simply indicative and will be taken into consideration alongside a huge number of other formal and teacher assessments.

I hope this makes sense - I am sure the teacher will be happy to answer any queries you have, even in her pregnant state (I have recently been there!)or feel free to ask me.

Well done to your DD anyway!

emkana Thu 15-Jul-10 18:25:02

Thank you very much for your answer!

snorkie Thu 15-Jul-10 23:18:54

dysgu's answer was most informative, but to quantify 'well above average' you might also like to know that around 2% of children will score above 130 in such standardised tests.

emkana Thu 15-Jul-10 23:22:15

Thank you. Have looked around on the net a bit and found that in children who have done some practice in verbal reasoning (which dd has, by choice, because she is very very keen to get into the local grammar) a high score does not mean that much. Not sure if that is true?

snorkie Thu 15-Jul-10 23:34:18

I don't really know emkana, but it makes a certain amount of sense. I imagine that the tests are similar to 11+ entry tests in style as those are usually ment to test raw ability and potential rather than learned knowledge which is the same idea as CATs. In a perfect world practicing the papers shouldn't give an advantage but everyone knows that coaching does work to an extent, so I guess practising 11+ style verbal reasoning tests would probably raise the results for verbal reasoning CATs too.

On the positive side, it sounds as though she will have a good chance for the 11+ though (unless you are in a super-selective area when it often seems to be a bit of a lottery)

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