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Cat test year 8 - can I download one?

(20 Posts)
bkgirl Sun 18-Sep-11 11:34:14

Hi there, we have been told that on Monday my son who is in year 8 (he is 11, 1st year secondary school) will be doing CAT tests. They said you don't have to prepare but he wants to see just an example of one to put his mind to rest. Is there anywhere he can see one online? Much appreciated.

bkgirl Sun 18-Sep-11 12:36:43

It seems to be a level D test.....can't find one though

seeker Sun 18-Sep-11 12:40:17

It's really important not to prepare for CAT tests because they give q really good indicator of ability and will be used for target setting and setting and so on on.

They are usually a non verbal reading test, a verbal reasoning test and a Maths ability test. If you google 11+ papers you'll get an idea of the sort of thing.

rubyrubyruby Sun 18-Sep-11 12:40:51

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Talker2010 Sun 18-Sep-11 12:44:45

no

but you can download a variety of practice psychometric tests

tbh the type that you can download are usually harder than the students need to do as downloadable ones are generally adult/business type

coccyx Sun 18-Sep-11 13:50:07

isn't year 7 first year of secondary? are you not in England

coccyx Sun 18-Sep-11 13:50:29

sorry awful sentence structure!

bkgirl Sun 18-Sep-11 14:06:07

Hi I am in Northern Ireland so I guess it must be a bit different.
Anyway, I found a test online at
http://www.athey-educational.co.uk/pdfs/v1.pdf
so he is doing it now. I checked the first two sheets and all is well so I know he will be reassured when he finishes.He worries so much and frankly this will let him sleep properly tonight.

Talker I saw the adult ones - a bit scary lol.

mumeeee Sun 18-Sep-11 18:37:51

We were always told that you shouldn't prepare for CAT's tests. In fact when my DDs were at high school they didn't tell them until the day of the tests. The school needs to see what the students ability is without having the chance to practice.

startail Sun 18-Sep-11 19:11:49

CATs, I will get deleted for the language I'd like to use about these things.
Schools secretly use them for assessing children's abilities. No practice papers, no results, no appeal.
DD didn't do brilliantly in her maths one partly because she didn't realise they were doing all the tests back to back and she needed the loo. Partly I suspect because she's dyslexic. I say suspect because I can't find any past papers to see how much speed and recall of times tables would affect her mark.
She a year in the wrong maths and science set because of themangry
Again in year 9 she said the Maths was the hardest and I really want to see a paper and talk to her about it.

seeker Sun 18-Sep-11 19:14:09

Where's the secrecy? Schools use them- you can ask for the marks if you want to.

mumeeee Sun 18-Sep-11 21:28:49

Our DDs were given their results . We also knew they would have these CATa tests at some point but they weren't actually told when until the day of the test. There was no secrecy over them.

bkgirl Sun 18-Sep-11 22:04:49

Ok so are you really telling me teachers do not use them on their own kids? Yeah right!

Talker2010 Sun 18-Sep-11 22:08:21

Ok so are you really telling me teachers do not use them on their own kids? Yeah right

I never have ... why would I?

bkgirl Sun 18-Sep-11 22:18:55

he he ...ok sorry - it's a debate I am having in my own head

startail Sun 18-Sep-11 23:48:34

Marks yes, I got Y7 marks waved vaguely at me at parents evening, that's why I know she didn't do very well. What I would love is to see a specimen paper, quietly off the WEB without having the Spanish Inquisition off school.
I don't want to make a fuss (they have sorted out her maths and science set for the moment), but she wants to do triple science and I'd like to posses all the facts if the school raise any objections.

Needmoresleep Mon 19-Sep-11 08:05:37

I agree with Startail. My daughter did the CAT test in Yr 6 in an independent school. The first we knew of a problem was when we were told that she would not be able to cope with an academic secondary. Trouble is that the school suggested would have required her to take three buses, and she would probably have been the only one of her year even applying.

A quick survey of her teachers at parents evening suggested that aside from English (she is mildly dyslexic) they all thought she was doing fine and keeping up with her peers. They had not spotted any problems. The English teacher had not been briefed that she had been assessed and found to have a few problems, but once she knew, was brilliant.

As a parent there seemed something wrong in deciding that though your child is doing well in school with a number of nice and reasonably bright friends, you make a decision, based on a test whose results you have not seen, that your child is not academic and should go to a different school. I would feel the same way if the issue came up over triple science. If a child is doing well despite poor CAT results surely they should be given credit for achieving over expectations.

The whole process was painful and ended up with us saying we would only apply for schools that our daughter wanted to go for, even if none were on the school's recommended list. (Luckily the school went up to 13 so she had a fall back.) At one point we were threatened with a poor school recommendation.

It turned out fine. She got two of the five, and was waitlisted for a couple of others. We then paid for an independent test (expensive) which confirmed that she was very one sided causing her average to be low, and effectively meaningless. We were told not to worry. Once she got to sixth form she would be able to choose her subjects and should make a strong University candidate.

In practice two years into her Secondary she is doing fine, indeed she seems to be considered one of the brighter girls in what is a pretty selective school. She is absolutely happy.

CATs may be useful in suggesting children who may be under-performing, but it is very sad if they are being used as a secret 11+ to determine future academic pathways.

In Starfish's position I might try to find a sensible member of staff (form tutor, head of year, or perhaps the science teacher) to talk through the issues and how the process works. If individual teachers agree that your child is doing fine they might be willing to put the case forward for keeping options open.

(Sorry long post, but using CATs alone to determine setting targets, setting etc is a strange and worrying process. )

Needmoresleep Mon 19-Sep-11 08:06:39

Sorry Startail, I got your name wrong.

chrchrch Mon 19-Sep-11 09:38:35

Unless schools administer CATs at entry, they cannot assess value added at key points. Almost all schools have been doing this for some time, state and independent alike. Sometimes they are called MidYIS/YELLIS. IME it makes no difference whether you've seen the paper beforehand.

Where we are, DCs sit CATs for every school listed in their secondary transfer forms, because that's how the comps ensure they take a quarter of children in each ability band (which is by quartile). Within each quartile, they select again by distance.

We've always assumed parental support is what makes DCs achieve, provided the school is a safe environment. CAT results will not make DC work or learn from mistakes, that's our job. If you suspect the school is not up to it, and have evidence of that, then you can always home school. For us, the tests help the school assess how it's doing, what to change/keep, etc etc, and are of peripheral help to individual DCs. When they leave, they take with them an experience and paper qualifications, not the CAT results with reasons why they worked/failed to predict RL.

bkgirl Mon 19-Sep-11 19:37:11

Thank you - these replies are very informative.

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