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How exceptional are these Y7 CAT scores??

(25 Posts)
kitnkaboodle Fri 18-Oct-13 00:34:49

First of all, let me say how great it is to be able to come here and talk about this. I don't feel I can talk to anyone else at all about it without sounding like an arsey show off ...

I knew that my Y7 son was a high flyer, and I asked if I could be told the results of the CAT tests he took after a few weeks of secondary school. NB we won't be sharing these results with him.

We've been told that his scores are 'exceptional' and that he had the highest overall score in the whole year. These are they:

Verbal - 131
Quantitative - 120
Non Verbal - 141
Average - 131

Can anyone let me know where this puts him - genius? wink, normal top end this age range?? or what kind of percentage of kids his age would get this score ... He's obviously excelled in the 'non verbal' which is ...? I'm assuming it's the kind of pattern/sequencing/what-comes-next-in-this-list stuff

I'm asking because I'd like to know if this puts him in some kind of special bracket or not. He's at a normal comp - nice ethos and atmosphere, good (but not super duper) exam results.

So nice to get this off my chest without fear of a hmm reaction

NoComet Fri 18-Oct-13 00:58:42

nice graph

Those are very good marks, DDs 131 for NVR is good.

Her average is only 118 (and I say only as that still puts her in the higher ability group) because she can't do the numeracy one very well. Something about dyslexia and the style of questions and the speed they need to be done. Her actual maths is much better.

I believe grammar school here is 120-125 as a primary CAT score although the actual 11+ is a different mark system with numbers 220 plus, I believe.

kitchendiner Fri 18-Oct-13 06:34:29

I think they are standardised scores which I believe would therefore relate to IQ percentile charts (you can do a search). If this is the case then:

141 is 99.6th percentile or 1 in 319
131 is 98th percentile or 1 in 52

We also got KS3 and GCSE predictions based on CATS so I imagine you are looking at all A*s (there's another thread about this on Secondary Education).

I think at our school it's top 10% that goes into the G&T group so that would be a CAT score of around 120 (90.6th percentile or 1 in 10).

Well done to your DS!

ibizagirl Fri 18-Oct-13 11:58:29

i was told dd's was off the scale in year 6 but it doesn't mean anything. she hasn't done anything extra special being gifted and talented. i wouldn't take much notice of it.

kitnkaboodle Fri 18-Oct-13 16:18:13

OK - the graph is good, thanks. So I guess he's in the top 2-3 percent for his age rather than about to be shipped off to Oxbridge then!

There is only one grammar school in our county and it's quite far away, so there's no option of going there. And as far as I know there's no special gifted and talented group at his comp - so he can hopefully just trundle his way along to those A*s, barring any unforeseen happenings (famous last words ..) I guess the thing is just to make sure that they don't get bored. Aren't I supposed to insist that he be 'stretched'?! (don't tempt me ...)

ibizagirl - wow - what did they mean precisely by 'off the scale' do you know? Isn't there just a top score that you can get, and that's it?

kitchendiner Fri 18-Oct-13 16:39:26

I think that 141 is the highest you can get on a CATS test.

hillian Sat 19-Oct-13 08:50:23

If 141 equates to 99.6th percentile, then he is in the top 0.4% for non verbal reasoning.

and if 131 equates to 99.8th centile then he's in the top 2%

but it depends what test he actually did because as far as I know, there are several makers of IQ tests and they all have slightly different percentages attached to their standardised score.

(Basially they take the average and work out the standard deviation, then its case of how many standard deviations the child is from the mean - 1 is normal, 2 is very good, 3 is exceptional etc)

wearingatinhat Sat 19-Oct-13 10:56:45

Obviously these are brilliant scores. I think the fact that he is highest in the year says it all really!

Was any comment made about the difference between the NVR and Quantitative? Normally, these scores are closer together. I am just curious to know what his maths is like? Does he excel in all aspects of the maths syllabus or does he have a clear preference for shapes etc and maybe trigonometry etc and is a bit closer to average for number?

DS does well on the pattern/sequencing NVR too, but is not quite so exceptional on the quantitative reasoning. Just curious to know how it could all pan out.

LIZS Sat 19-Oct-13 11:04:54

dd got 141 for one of hers in year 5/6, others were well into 120s iirc. Have to say it wasn't deemed exceptional in her prep school nor has it put her in top 5-10% overall of her selective secondary although she excels in certain areas and teachers seem to appreciate her.

Acinonyx Sun 20-Oct-13 17:59:32

141 is the top score - anything higher just gets put at 141 as the scale is statistically unreliable after that point. Nice scores! Dd is also 141 for nvr and I have wondered what that really translates into. It overlaps with maths but only partly. She seems to have a real flair for design - is that something that appeals to your son? I asked her teacher but they clearly had not the slightest idea.

kitnkaboodle Mon 21-Oct-13 00:09:01

He loves not so much design but building/construction/models/robots, so I guess that is the same kind of field.

Anyone know exactly what sort of thing they have to do in the 'quantitative' part of the test? Just pure maths??

Bunbaker Mon 21-Oct-13 00:11:57

I don't even know if DD had CAT tests in year 7. If she did we weren't told what her scores were.

wearingatinhat Mon 21-Oct-13 09:26:45

I believe that the quantitative part of the test is very similar questions to the VR and NVR but rather than reasoning with words or shapes you are reasoning with numbers.

So a question might be:

In verbal: foal is to horse as calf is to ___
In shapes: small square is to large square as small circle is to______
In numbers: 2 is to 6 as 3 is to ____

Obviously these are very easy examples, but the idea of having very similar type questions in the 3 reasoning areas, is so that you can see how a child performs across the different media.


NoComet Mon 21-Oct-13 10:16:51

Also I believe there are sequences and outing +-x and / into lists of numbers to get a certain result.

DD1 hates them with a passion (they need working memory and tables. They are thus stunningly dyslexia unfriendly).

They are responsible for making her waste Y7 in the wrong maths and science set angry

She gets reasonably high VR and very high NVR marks, it's just the stupid numeracy she runs out if time on.

Trouble is, the numeracy CAT no doubt tells you something, unfortunately that something is not how good some one is at proper GCSE type maths.

NoComet Mon 21-Oct-13 10:19:17

And sorry I realise I have repeated myself.

This is a sore subject as DD ended up spending Y7 basicly being the lazy fucker of a science teachers TA

kitnkaboodle Tue 22-Oct-13 12:38:50

bunbaker - I don't think any schools give these results out to kids or parents as a matter of course. They are, in essence, a kind of IQ test which is marked externally, so I guess it would cause all sorts of problems and sensitive issues with kids comparing their scores, etc - imagine! My son, new to Y7, told me that they had done 'some tests' at school (ALL day) and that they would be used to set his targets for the year, so I was curious and found out (here, I think) what they were.

I then emailed the school and asked to have his results. They had no problems about letting me know them, and I presume they can't, legally, withold them. But I have only shared them with my partner and on here, as I think it would be obv be very arsey to go around quoting such high scores to all and sundry.

MrsBranestawm Tue 22-Oct-13 13:07:31

I thought it was normal for schools to give out Y7 CAT scores? Certainly happened for my DCs at their Comprehensive School. We received actual scores for separate elements with explanations of norms etc.

Interestingly I found that the CAT scores under-predicted future GCSE/AS/A2 results. In other words, don't assume the worst from the Y7 CATs. The DCs might well do very well, despite lowish Y7 CAT scores. Though of course, if Y7 CATs predict high scores, then probably all will continue to be well.

In short, imho, eleven-year-olds are too young to be labelled.

NoComet Tue 22-Oct-13 22:54:42

Ours only gives out Y& if you ask.

They do give out Y9

mumdaisy Wed 12-Sep-18 18:31:58

Hi, just found this thread.
My daughter got 141 across the board CATs tests but I don't really know what it means.

MrsPatmore Mon 15-Oct-18 11:57:04

Have you read the full thread? It will tell you those are very good scores and she should be on track to do well at GCSE but anything can happen on the way there!

kitnkaboodle Wed 17-Oct-18 00:14:39

good grief - my thread about DS1 from 5 years ago!! Nice to catch up. Just for your info, he's now in y12 - obv - at good grammar school. He got good gcses - a couple of 6s, four 7s, five 8s and one 9. No longer best in year, then, and plenty did better than he did grin

MrsPatmore Wed 17-Oct-18 09:14:09

Nice to have an update, thanks!

brilliotic Wed 17-Oct-18 11:29:44

Hah, indeed, great update! Thanks!

I think there is a danger that when a child has officially exceptional scores of some kind, that the pressure mounts and anything less than exceptional is seen as 'failure'... (by themselves/their parents) and great (but not exceptional) results are not properly celebrated/acknowledged.

Well done to your DS, OP! I hope he is enjoying his A-level subjects smile

TeenTimesTwo Tue 20-Nov-18 15:39:03

Our school, I believe, uses CATs to:
- assess overall ability of cohort, so they know 5 years in advance whether their GCSE results are expected to be the same, better, or worse than previous years
- flag up pupils with a spikey profile
- flag up able pupils who underperformed in y6 SATs in order to do extra checks they are being set / stretched appropriately

StarfishSandwich Wed 21-Nov-18 20:46:52

Pretty sure my average CATS score was 131 many moons ago. I didn’t really try in GCSEs and got all A’s/A*s. However, I am a remarkably average adult with a very average healthcare job.

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