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CAT results - what do they actually mean?!

(29 Posts)
EcoLady Fri 09-Nov-12 09:59:26

Letter home with y7 DD's CAT results. It gives her numbers and the average of her year group ... but nothing else about what they actually mean.

Have tried googling but have only come across techy equations that need other data to go in them (ABCD?). Does anyone know of anywhere that explains it all in simple terms please?


eatyourveg Fri 09-Nov-12 10:48:07

Its a bell curve thing where 100 is the score most people would get. Usually done in non verbal reasoning, verbal reasoning and quantative (ie maths) so you should have 3 numbers. Having her year group scores means you can tell where she sits in the cohort.

At our primary school 118+ denoted you were suitable for the 11+ exam. Secondary schools usually use them for setting purposes. My dc had them in Y5 then again in years 7 8 and 9 although they say the scores don't usually change significantly. (ds1's score did change almost 10 points between yr 7 and 8, the dip being in Y7 and reverting back in Y8 to almost exactly the same as it was in Y5) They put it down to the fact the Y7 one was done in the first week of starting at a new school.

The scores can be used to predict how many A* - C grades you are likely to get and somewhere online there is a table with the scores on and the number of A* - C it equates to. No idea where but maybe someone else will come along with a link. I'll dig it out if no-one else does

EcoLady Fri 09-Nov-12 10:54:42

Thank you eatyourveg. Is there any way of finding an example curve to see how long the tails are? The average given for her year is 104 (which seems about right). Her scores are above that but I can't tell whether they are above by a little or a lot without knowing what the range is.

I will hunt for a link that predicts grades - hadn't thought of trying that route.


Ouluckyduck Fri 09-Nov-12 10:59:30

The maximum you can get is 141.

EcoLady Fri 09-Nov-12 11:06:02

Well, that didn't take me long, once I knew what to google for! In case others are wondering:

curve and distribution of scores

GSCE performance stats

Thank you again

EcoLady Fri 09-Nov-12 11:07:59

141 is the max? That's what she got for Verbal!

<slinks out to avoid accusations of steath boasting because I genuinely had no idea ...blush>

greyvix Fri 09-Nov-12 21:36:28

They are used with other data, notably KS2 tests, to work out predicted levels for later on. They are also used, with other data, for setting.

BraaaaaainsButterfield Fri 09-Nov-12 21:39:10

141 is truly an excellent score! Well done to your DD - I'm guessing she's quite the reader/writer/arguer grin

Startail Fri 09-Nov-12 22:20:34

Ecolady thanks I spent ages googling these, those are far better links than the ones I found.

and well done to your DD for her 141, I was pretty chuffed with DD1 getting 131 for NVR. I can't remember the rest I know her average is 118, but it's a bit meaningless because she is dyslexic and weirdly finds the numeracy CAT difficult far harder than the VR. I can only think it's related to working memory and speed of arithmetic because she is good at classroom maths.

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sun 11-Nov-12 10:31:11

If her average is 104, what did she get in the others to have scored 141?

We look at the distribution of marks in each test and come to a conclusion about learning styles etc however, I think it needs to be taken with a pinch of salt and that there are many many other ways to measure potential.

bruffin Sun 11-Nov-12 11:11:50


The year average was 104 not ops daughters average

Funnylittleturkishdelight Sun 11-Nov-12 13:00:21

that will teach me to skim read through the responses! Thanks! My maths isn't amazing, but I couldn't work out how one person could score so highly in one area and have that average!

EcoLady Sun 11-Nov-12 15:25:11

Thank you all :-)

She is one very smart cookie, who devours books avidly, but it's been quite scary to see just where she is compared to the graph.

ibizagirl Mon 12-Nov-12 06:08:19

Did you ask for these results parents or were they given out? I have never heard of any parent being given these results and i would have liked to have known!! At parents evening the form teacher just said that dd was "at the top of the charts". Didn't mean anything to me. Never heard of these tests until then in year 7.

myfavoritedayismonday Mon 12-Nov-12 07:06:41

I was thinking of asking for my daughter's results, she sat them just before half term, does anyone know how long it takes to get the results ?(I presume the school doesn't mark them themelves). Will they think I am a really pushy mother asking for the results? Should I just leave it?

eatyourveg Mon 12-Nov-12 07:13:28

I have always had to ask dc's head of house for them but they have never hesitated. Our school does not routinely share them with parents although in their primary school the Y5 results are sent home so that parents can make the decision whether to put their child forward for the 11+

bruffin Mon 12-Nov-12 08:31:01

My dcs have always been on their eschools or Go4schools page.

mintchocchick Tue 13-Nov-12 21:22:16

The school my Yr7 son goes too gave out CAT results and held a parents evening presentation to explain them last week. The head of school told us that all state children at Yr 7 sit CATs but many schools do not tell parents and do not give out results.

They use them to Predict performance at Yr9 though I didn't quite understand how DS's performance in PE could be predicted by verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning! However despite my cynicism I felt his profile of predicted results closely reflected his interests and abilities.

I would hate not to know the results TBH. Would feel like something was being held back from me. And I suppose you can use them to ensure you pick up on any problems early on, so they don't go far off track without you noticing.

anniesw Thu 15-Nov-12 15:25:15

Our secondary school (state) did a presentation on how to interpret these - without that there isn't much point in the school sharing these results with you

bruffin Thu 15-Nov-12 15:33:37

on go4schools which my dcs school use, the cat results are listed, along with a table of which level they are and what percentage of the population and also whether they are high, above average etc.

birdoscrow Sat 17-Nov-12 19:03:07

I was given marks as percentages i.e.95%. 3 different ones for 3 different tests. Not in numbers like 114 etc. Can anyone help?? Clearly high percentages, but can someone just please tell me is each paper marked up to 141 so I can work out the score in numbers rather than percentages. Thank you

bruffin Sat 17-Nov-12 19:18:41

If it's in percentage, it means that per cent of the population would score below you.
Will see if I can copy from the table on go for school

Busyoldfool Wed 21-Nov-12 11:15:24

MY son's school did a presentation and the "bottom" set were not even mentioned. It was all about how many GCSE's the top sets wd get. In DS's parent's eve they told us his scores were below the "monkey with a pencil" score,( didn't use thse exact words to be fair) and have predicted 2 x grade D GCSEs. He left Primary with level 4 SATS. They have had him for two months!

Thank you for the link. V helpful. But I htink I have to do something about his. Meeting with HT next week. How can you show a parent and child that sort of graph and write a child off after six weeks in a new school?

Niceweather Wed 21-Nov-12 17:33:11

Busyoldfool, my friend's son had similar CAT results and was predicted Es. He just left school with an A* in maths and is doing his A Levels.

Niceweather Wed 21-Nov-12 17:37:34

Birdscrow, I think the scores and percentiles correlate to IQ scores, so, if you look up IQ info, you will see how a score of say 127 would be on the 95th percentile, or also equivalent to 1 in 17 of the population, etc.

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