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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?


yotty Fri 23-Nov-12 13:17:32

I agree with Niceweather. My DS (year 7 at non selective prep), does well in verbal reasoning but nothing special in numerical or non verbal, so his overall average score is not outstanding. However, in his everyday school work and end of year exams he is generally in the top few of the top sets in all subjects. It perhaps shows that because his verbal reasoning is good he can be taught the principles of maths and science and will do well in an exam up to GCSE level. However, I would not say he is a natural scientist and perhaps will go down the arts route after GCSEs. But clearly too early to tell at the moment.
For those of you who have children in schools where they use the CAT scores to set the children I hope the school takes into consideration the ability of the child during lessons, tests and end of year exams. After all, these things are surely more akin to GCSEs than random reasoning tests.

Niceweather Fri 23-Nov-12 06:40:50

My son's CATS predicted a Level 5a in Science at the end of KS3 (Yr 9). He's now in Yr 8, is Level 6a and in top group, so CATS inaccurate. Difficult to overachieve in these tests but not difficult to underachieve.

Busyoldfool Thu 22-Nov-12 21:48:19

Niceweather Thank you for this - it is really encouraging. I can't really explain how I felt when faced with this. Upset, despairing, angry - and my DS just sat there. Good to hear evidence that these predicitons are not as accurate as the school makes them out to be.

Niceweather Wed 21-Nov-12 17:43:10

Birdcrow, I think that should be 1 in 21.

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.

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.

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?

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

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 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.

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

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.

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

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

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+

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?

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.

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.

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!

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


The year average was 104 not ops daughters average

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.

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.

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

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.

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>

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

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