CATS Test in First Week of Grammar School?(22 Posts)
My feeling on any sort of test is tutoring no (because its against the interests of the child to perform better than their true ability); familiarization yes (because its also not in their interests to underperform). DD did CATs at her primary; she did a lot better in yr5 than in 4 which I think was because in yr4 she wasn't used to the style of some of the questions.
Really I think the schools should give them all a set of practice papers the previous week so that they all have some familiarity whether or not some have been tutored. Can't remember if DDs secondary did this or not (they didn't do the CATs till a bit later in yr7 term as they don't set or stream anything till yr9 so they let them get settled in first). I've heard some schools throw the kids into CATs early because if they get lower scores to start with their apparent improvement is greater...not sure if that's true.
She will have probably done a CAT already - moat schools do one towards the end of year 5.
Most schools do them online- she may not have actually noticed doing it!
So op, if you are only 'quite bright' a comprehensive will do.
Some preps prepare children for CAT tests - in some cases for considerable time. Children are set against the clock and on the computer in innumerable practice sessions. I've seen intellect seem to grow in children through lots of exposure to these sorts of tests and enrichment outside of school through tutors or classes etc.
There's one prep I know very well that feeds into a school that have a cognitive ability test a bit like Eton's. It is apparent not coachable for and the questions adjust to each candidate depending on answers given.
It almost feels like chess - practice enough and you begin to get a better sense of logic. You can apply your intellect to puzzles with increasing speed and agility. Few seem to see it like this. Jury out for me. Perhaps if you are bright enough you can build intellect and ace CAT tests ahead of more intrinsically able others? The key is perhaps being bright enough? - Isn't there some research somewhere that says all you need is an IQ of 120 to do as well as anyone with a higher IQ (or something like that)?
There seem to be many schools that are moving to these uncoachable CAT tests at 11 plus. Some familiarisation at least strikes me as sensible.
My DD did CAT tests in the first couple of weeks of year 7. By then she had already been streamed based on her SAT scores. I do however think they use both scores to predict GCSE results.
At my DD's school I can see no advantage to having tutoring for the CAT tests.
CATs are not meant to be revised for and as a non teacher questions are impossible to get.
They have caused huge trouble in this house, as DD1 messed up her numeracy one.
Partly she was bursting to go to the loo, partly I think the style of the questions.
I can only find a couple of examples, but they look very unfriendly to her form of dyslexia.
Thus she ended up in the wrong maths set and redoing Y6.
She has worked very hard in every test to get back where she should be, but it had knock on effects for science that are still, in Y10, not fixed.
If the OPs tutor has a set of questions, it would do no harm to let her DD have a go. All exams are nicer if you know what to expect.
As CATs are very similar to 11+ it won't be time waisted.
As to wether practicing is immoral, everything we do as MC parents is to a degree unfair.
Simply living in a house with science graduate parents and being exposed to their choice of conversation and TV is unfair. Never mind books, computers and things.
Like breadandbutterfly has said, if there's a maths component to the 11+ your DD will take, then extra maths can't really do that much harm.
As far as helping for the CAT test in Yr7, here's my approach... DD2 has an 11+ score which strongly suggests that from the last 4 years' average, she'll get a place at GS on March 1st 2013. Will I be tutoring her for the CAT? Absolutely not, there's no need as far as I can see
As I understand it, the tests in the first week are to find baseline levels so that the school can set appropriate targets to monitor progress. If your child is tutored for these tests then she will be given very high targets which will be extremely difficult to achieve. Her reports will then show 'under target' or 'concern' which doesn't exactly fill a child with confidence in their first year at secondary school.
She will need algebra for 11+. It's in KS2. But not pythagoras.
I am confused. Surely the grammar school tests have already been and gone?
I agree with seeker re top sets and comps. If you are very bright you should go to grammar. If you are only 'quite' bright, then a comp will do fine, but you need to get into top set otherwise they will be setting you up to fail (or relatively). High expectations required.
I was answering the op's question about the relevance of CAT tests and which schools do them
They are particularly relevant to high school pupils because they determine what sets they go in.
I made no comment on tutoring.
(Middle-class sharp elbows and all that).
seeker, why do you think it's ok to tutor to get into top sets but not into a school?
I think all schools do CATs. In a wqy it's more important ifnshe doesn't go to a grammar school because you want to be sure she gets into the top sets of the high school.
all high schools and grammar schools, selective or not, seem to do CATs either during the visit days or the first week in September. Partly because teachers and tutors have SATs and 11+ quite well figured out It may be fair to assume that wherever she goes, cats will be used for streaming.
No point tutoring for a CAT test - it's what the schools use to benchmark later progress so you want this to be fairly accurate to give them an idea of her true level. CAT tests are quite similat to the 11=, I think. My dd's were after half term in yr 7, and used for (limited) streaming purposes, along with internal tests.
Doing extra maths work won't 'detract from' the 11+ though, unless there is no maths in your 11+. The more the merrier, unless she hates maths.
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