Can you improve CAT scores? What influences them?

(9 Posts)
MellowYellowWag Sun 19-Jan-14 13:31:42

Ds scored fairly average CAT scores in year 4 - 110 or thereabouts for all except spacial which was 125. He had recently started at prep school after a disastrous time at the local state school.
Could these scores be indicative of the poor schooling he experienced for a couple of years?
Is there anything we can do to improve his CAT scores? Sorry to sound like a pushy parent, I'm not really. It's just the local private secondary we have set our hearts on ask for CAT scores of 125. It's not even a top academic school!

wellgetthere Sun 19-Jan-14 20:11:20

They are supposedly as near as you can get to natural ability irrespective of previous schooling. However, all of these tests are to some extent influenced by experiences to date.

Research suggests NVR is the easiest to improve and there has been a study that indicates you can double a raw score with tuition (sounds a bit suspect to me). But the scores you have been given are not raw scores.

Some aspects of verbal reasoning may be improved by lots of reading and vocabulary.

Can your current school not advise? Children in Yr 4 are not used to taking timed exams, so yr 5 CATS may be more predictive.

Suttonmum1 Sun 19-Jan-14 20:34:39

I do not know much about CAT scores, but the Grammar scholls round my way are removing verbal reasoning tests from their exams to make them less "tutorable". So that suggests practice and tuition make a difference. In my experience that is true, but only up to a certain level, and then you're down to actual child (knowledge of words and actual ability).

MellowYellowWag Sun 19-Jan-14 22:56:27

Thanks for the replies. I might get a Bond NVR practice book & see if he can improve on that score. I'm not sure if there is a VR equivalent or not.
Interesting point about changing things to become non tutorable too. Gives me a bit of food for thought.

Moggy72 Sun 19-Jan-14 23:20:52

Bonds verbal and non verbal do help improve CATs scores. I did these with my DS. Also a number of online programs exist and maybe more appropriate (cats is online). Try "a testing time" for NvR.

richmal Mon 20-Jan-14 07:48:13

Quite a lot of grammar schools do VR and NVR as part of their entrance tests so there is a lot of advice on how to improve on these on www.elevenplusexams.co.uk/

ReallyTired Mon 20-Jan-14 09:57:44

CAT scores are designed to measure potential rather than quality of tutition. Lots of children in failing primary schools get good results in CAT tests without tutoring because they are NATURALLY bright.

Tutoring can improve CATs test results within limits, but I doult it possible to make child who scored 110 score 125. Do you really want to put your child in a school where he will be bottom of the class and struggle to keep up?

Have you talked to the head of your son's prep school for advice on his next steps. Many private schools are nowhere near as selective as they claim.

MellowYellowWag Tue 21-Jan-14 13:48:30

Sorry, had relatives staying so only just seen the new replies. Thanks for those links, they look v useful.
Really I know what you mean about ds struggling in the potential new school. I certainly wouldn't want to send him somewhere he would struggle but just want to see what might be possible with a little persuasion. I don't have any plans to make the poor kid do extra work every day & all day at weekends like many kids have to do for grammer school tuition. Maybe an extra hour per week of VR & NVR. Fortunately he really enjoys NVR & asked me to get him the Bonds book.

MellowYellowWag Tue 21-Jan-14 13:49:43

Ps it was his current head who said the school I want is an 'outside chance' for him due to CAT scores.

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