CAT4 X

As part of our commitment to provide schools with data and reporting that help inform and improve teaching and learning, we are pleased to announce that CAT4 is now available as a digital test for pupils in Year 2. CAT4 X is an accessible way to quickly get an early picture of your pupils' underlying abilities and to identify any areas where they may need additional support. The new level has been designed specifically with younger children in mind so is structured to reflect their naturally shorter attention spans. The digital format also makes it more appealing than a sometimes daunting paper test. 

CAT4 X tests are now available to complete on PC and tablet. 

  • Use the extensive CAT4 data to support teaching and learning for pupils in Year 2
  • Get deeper insights into the abilities of your young learners
  • Instant reporting means no delay waiting for tests to be marked and analysed

Testing level age guide

CAT4 level Age England & Wales Scotland Northern Ireland
X 6:00-7;11 Year 2 P3 Primary 3
Pre-A 6;06-8;11 Year 3 P4 Primary 4
A 7;06-9;11 Year 4 P5 Primary 5
B 8;06-10;11 Year 5  P6 Primary 6
C 9;06-11;11  Year 6 P7 Primary 7
D 10;06-12;11 Year 7 S1 Year 8
E 11;06-13;11 Year 8 S2 Year 9
F 12;06-15;11 Year 9/10 S3 & S4 Year 11
G 14;06-17;00+ Year 11/12 S5 & S6 Year 12

CAT4 X Overview

CAT4 X is a shorter assessment than levels A-G to reflect the age of the pupils. It is recommended to schedule 1 hour and 30 minutes for testing, this will include settling in time.

The test is delivered in two parts:

Part 1

Figures 12 minutes 5 minutes
Words 10 minutes 5 minutes

Part 2

Numbers 10 minutes 5 minutes
Shapes 11 minutes 5 minutes

Reports

Group reports are available now, individual reports for parents, teachers and pupils will be available at the end of May in this academic year (2019-20).

 

FAQs

Is there audio on the CAT4 X?

Yes, pupils will require headphones as they do for all other CAT4 levels.

Can CAT4 Level X be used in the same way as other levels of CAT4?

Level X can be used in the same way as CAT4 levels A-G. The scale for the standardised age scores are the same, but the range is restricted to 69 – 131.

The data can be used for triangulation with assessments such as NGRT and PT. However, combination reports are not yet available.

Standardisations – how have these been taken into consideration now the assessment is digital?

Based on an equating study conducted for other CAT4 levels, standardised age scores were slightly lower for tests completed digitally than for tests completed on paper. This adjustment will therefore also be applied to the digital versions of the level X and level Y tests.

How do I compare scores between CAT4 X and other levels of CAT?

The SAS range that is common to the levels (between 70 and 130) functions the same, and the correspondence between SAS and Stanines, and between SAS and NPR is the same across levels.

What is the difference between the level Pre-A test, and level X?

The level Pre-A test was designed for Year 3. The level X test is designed for Year 2; the year group/grade below.

Why is the scale of CAT4 X different to the scale of other levels of CAT4?

CAT4 X is a shorter test designed to test younger pupils who typically have a shorter attention span than older pupils. As a result, the test contains fewer questions and is administered in two parts of 30 minutes rather than in three parts of 40 minutes.

What about children who score in the areas not covered by the CAT4 X scale?

Only the bottom 2% and top 2% of children’s results will have standard age scores that are affected by the different limits. These children will receive the same Stanine and almost all will receive the same National Percentile Rank (NPR).

Will the adjusted SAS scale affect which Stanine a student is in?

Only the bottom 2% and top 2% of children’s results will have standard age scores that are affected by the different limits. Children receiving these scores will be in the same stanine (either 1 or 9 respectively) regardless of which level of CAT4 they are sitting.

When testing with CAT4 X the pupil got 69, now they’re getting 59 in CAT4 Level A-G, what does this mean? Have they lost ability?

If you are confident that a pupil answered both instances of CAT4 to the best of their abilities, then this difference might be due to the shortened scale of SAS reporting in CAT4 Level X. Both test instances agree that the pupil performs well below what one would expect given their age, and in this case specialist testing may be advisable, such as a one to one session using BAS3, which is designed for measuring cognitive abilities well outside the expected range for a given age. It is unlikely that such a change in scores would reflect a change in educational progress.

When testing with CAT4 X the pupil got 131, now they’re getting 141 in CAT levels A-G, what does this mean? Have they gained ability?

If you are confident that a pupil answered both instances of CAT4 to the best of their abilities, then this difference might be due to the shortened scale of SAS reporting in CAT4 Level X. Both test instances agree that the pupil performs well above what one would expect given their age, and in this case specialist testing may be advisable, such as a one to one session using BAS3, which is designed for measuring cognitive abilities well outside the expected range for a given age. It is unlikely that such a change in scores would reflect a change in educational progress.

Support

Understanding the difference between CAT4 Level standard age score reporting and other CAT4 levels

 

When comparing standard age scores (SAS) between CAT4 Level X & Y and the other levels of CAT4 it is important to note that whereas the range of scores from levels A to G is from 59 to 141 the range of scores for levels X & Y is reduced to 69 to 131.

There is a simple explanation for this difference. CAT4 level X is designed to test younger pupils who typically have a shorter attention span than older pupils. As a result, it is administered in two parts of 30 minutes rather than in three parts of 40 minutes. This change in design allows us to create a test that is appropriate for these younger pupils but with fewer questions and less data we cannot reliably differentiate* between extremely strong scores above 131 or extremely weak scores below 69. Note that only the bottom 2% and top 2% of children’s results will have standard age scores that are affected by the different limits. Note also that these children will receive the same Stanine and almost all will receive the same National Percentile Rank (NPR).

The SAS range that is common to the levels (between 70 and 130) functions the same, and the correspondence between SAS and Stanines, and between SAS and NPR is the same across levels.

*Contextual explanation of statistical reliability……

Pupils with very high abilities are likely to get all items of an age appropriate difficulty correct, and so in order to differentiate pupils of very high abilities from each other there needs to be a lot of opportunities for them to demonstrate the limits of their abilities. Conversely, pupils with very low abilities are likely to get all items of an age appropriate difficulty incorrect, and so in order to demonstrate the limits of their abilities there needs to be a lot of opportunities. Statisticians would describe this as less 'test information' in a shorter test (keeping all other things the same), and this reduction in test information affects the extreme values of the ability range more than the less extreme values. For more information, see for example Baker, 1985 The Basics of Item Response Theory chapter 6 "the Information Function" available here http://echo.edres.org:8080/irt/baker/chapter6.pdf