CAT 4 Test Practice for Year 4 Level A – A Complete Guidance Guide with Sample Tests

Last Updated on January 12, 2022

Students aged 8-9 years take the CAT for year 4 Level A. The Cognitive AptitudeTest is designed to test the abilities of students in four ‘batteries’; the Verbal Battery, the Quantitative Battery, the Non-Verbal Battery and the Spatial Ability Battery.

The test results are useful for teachers in assessing their pupils’ strengths and weaknesses. With this information in hand, they can decide how to progress further in teaching the student.

But they are particularly useful for students and parents as they pinpoint the young person’s strengths and weaknesses. The results can also pinpoint exceptionally talented students and are used as entrance exams in some schools.

For further details about CAT for level 4 head to this link.

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The format of the test

The test takes place over two hours and is in the following structure.

  • The 4 batteries, Verbal, Quantitative, Non-Verbal and Spatial Ability each contain two short tests and answering is multi-choice
  • Each subset within a battery consists of 18-24 questions with 8-10 minutes being allowed for 18-24 questions

Some brief examples will give an idea of what the test contains.

The verbal battery tests students’ abilities with words. The aim of this section is to test the student’s vocabulary and understanding of words.

The tests within the verbal battery consist of 2 subsets, a set on verbal classification and a set on verbal analogies. 24 Multiple choice questions have to be answered in each set.

Verbal Classification tests the student’s understanding of which words belong together and which don’t.

For example

Which word does not belong in this list ?

a) inch b) kilometre c) centimetre

Verbal Analogies pose questions on words that bear a relation to one another.

For example –

Tree is to forest what is lion to –

a)herd b) pride c)shoal

To get a clearer idea of how the test is structured please follow this link for a free sample test

Not only does the student have to prepare for the test questions but also for answering the questions in the time allowed.

And all of that requires practice that involves both the student and an adult.

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A challenging test

The young students doing the test, and the adults helping them prepare for it, can find the experience challenging. For the adults, the test format may be different to what they themselves experienced in school. And students find the idea of doing a test both exciting and challenging.

However, access to good preparation materials and sample tests enables adults to help children over this hurdle. It is recommended that the adult sources a test prep pack from a company with experience in CAT Testing testing methods.

The pack supplies the adult with the means to prepare the child for the test and to help with any worries the child may have about the process.

Preparing for the test

A quick look inside the test pack will give an indication of how much time will be required to prepare for the test.

Generally speaking, it is wiser to spread the preparation over no less than three weeks. Learning in small chunks of time is more effective than attempting to spend long sessions over something.

Likewise, attempting to cram everything in the day before the test does not lead to good results.

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Planning your time

Before embarking on preparation it is a good idea to have a timetable in place. Doing this will enable the student to work to a structure. It is a good idea to choose times when the student is less likely to be tired.

Within the study times laid down, it is important that the student doesn’t study for longer than 50 minutes at a time. After 50 minutes the brain begins to tire and it is necessary to take a break. After fresh air or a snack, the student will be able to work effectively again.

Using your time

With study times in place, it is important to use them efficiently.

Once the student has become familiar with the test and spent some time looking over the sample tests it is time to get down to work.

Educators maintain the best form of learning is by actually doing something. The student should start working on the sample papers. As they progress from paper to paper they should try to work within the time allowed for the questions.

This will prove challenging at first but as the student works their way steadily through the papers they will find their time management improving. Growing familiarity with the test will also help here.

Working like this the student is mastering several tasks at once. They are becoming familiar with the test, they are perfecting their test-timing skills and by doing the test they are committing material to memory. And they can track the progress they are making from test paper to test paper.

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Make it enjoyable

Students learn best when they are enjoying themselves. Even an 8-9-year-old test applicant will not refuse to play a game based on the test.

Set up a challenge. Who can find the answer more quickly? (The child!)

Building in word games and arithmetic games will help the child enjoy the session and retain the material being worked on.

Build in rewards

A system where the child is rewarded for a correct answer, making a good effort or even giving up their free time to prepare for a test can make it all so worthwhile for the child.

Encourage the child to talk about why he chose a particular answer. As their reasoning powers are being tested, expressing how they reached a decision will enable them to see the process more clearly.

It will also impress upon them that it is necessary to have good reasons for choosing an answer.

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If stress strikes

Even the most fun-loving of children can be prone to stress and children preparing for tests can fall victim to it. The best stress-busting technique is to prevent it before it happens. The young student’s friends are a healthy regime of:

  • Good nutrition
  • Sleep
  • Exercise
  • Fresh air

The same regime will carry the student through the day of the test and will become something the student may rely on well into adulthood.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

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