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 Post subject: CAT TESTS
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Hi Everyone,

After attending an open evening of a local comp recently they advised that in Yr7 the children sit CAT Tests. Not knowing what Cat tests were I read through some posts on this forum and it would appear that these tests are also sat in Primary schools. I then looked up CAT tests on the internet to understand what these consisited of. Have any of your children sat CAT tests at their primary school (i.e. in Lincolnshire) or are you aware of any children in primary education that have as my son has only recently transferred to Lincolnshire but I am not aware of him sitting any in Cambridgeshire. The only national test that I am aware of him sitting is the sats and the national maths challenge.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 10:39 pm 
My children currently in y4 and y6 have sat CAT tests in January since they were in Y3. Three tests Verbal Reasoning/NVR and Numerical. You get given a score comparable to 11+ with 100 being average. Obviously everyone is looking how close their kids get to the magical 121 in VR. We are given the scores in March Parents Evening. I live in Bucks and children go to Bucks primary school.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:42 am 
Our Bucks Primary school has stopped giving these CATs tests since they said they did not provide a very good guide as to whether a child would pass the Bucks 11+ (my youngest daughter scored 128 in year 3, 126 in year 5, but 116 in 11 Plus!).

I think the school got tired of parents complaining to them: "But she got X in the CAT test. Why didn't she pass the 11 plus?" etc.

My elder daughter did CATs in Year 7 of grammar and was put in the "average to good" band (having been right at the top of primary). She was very disappointed for a time. But she got the highest GCSE results in the school and is now applying to Oxford.

So... treat with caution and don't feel that taking these tests would necessarily help with 11 plus (or anything else!).


Jed


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:22 am 
I agree with Jed on the whole. However, my eldest always scored poorly in the CAT verbal reasoning - scores between 100 and 110 but he always got very high SATS, straight level 5s in Year 6. Therefore it was no surprise despite being in the top set for maths and english that he failed his 11+ with 113. At least the fact that he had done CATS made me aware that despite coaching he was not able to do VR. He is now at a Bucks Upper school and again in top sets and predicted to get A's next year. His favourite subject is english so it proves the 11+ VR can't always get it right. I am sure if he had been tested on Maths and english he would have got a place at Grammer. But I guess that's life!


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:58 am 
Hi SJ,

A lot of secondary schools in Lincolnshire use CATs in year 7 shortly after the children start. Along with heir SATs levels this sometimes decides what sets they are put into where the school sets early (often in Maths, sometimes in other subjects). Some use MidYIS instead (Middle Years Information System, I think!) but this is more expensive for the schools I believe. I know that MidYIS scores can trigger referral to NAGTY (the Government's gifted and talented scheme) - scores over 126 (I think) are accepted as evidence of being G&T. I think high CAT scores probably can be used similarly - the NAGTY website lists all the types of evidence that can be used to register someone.

As for CATs tests in Lincolnshire primary schools, I am not at all sure if they are commonly used. I know that they have not been used in my children's primary school up until this year. When the children went back in September, however, they faced the usual plethora of tests and the two in year 3/4 said they had done tests that were unlike anything they had seen before and from their comments I wondered if they could be CATs. My son in Yr 6 was as vague as he always is so no useful information from him! Shall have to remember to ask at the parent/teacher meetings in November.

Sara


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 9:40 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Thanks Sara I will ask at parents evening.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 5:22 am 
SJ,

My daughter started at the local Grammar school this September. The year seven took CAT tests(verbal, non verbal and quantitative) in the second/third week. She had never done CAT tests in primary at all.
At the open evening we were given the results and they explained that they would be used to highlight our childrens strengths and weaknesses. They use them as a means to tell if your child is underperforming.

Personally I do not hold that much store by them, according to my daughters results you would think she was some sort of child genius(the school has used these results to identify gifted children, but in this case an average score of 119 qualifies- top 10%), but she has to really work hard to grasp the principles of maths. It certainly does not come easily to her. Also, she came in the top 2% nationaly for verbal reasoning, but if you saw her writing and spelling you would not think so.

They cannot measure motivation, determination, perserverance etc which play such a big part in how well a child does. But they are a useful pointer. Overall I'm pleased they sat these tests, if nothing else they have given my daughter a massive boost to her confidence :D
Deb


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 171
Location: Lincolnshire
Can you actually purchase paper tests with the "answers pages" like the 11+ practice papers. I have looked at the NFER website ad am a little confused as to whether individuals can actually purchase these? The reason I ask is that I remember reading another post on this site about CAT tests and they were referred to the NFER website.

Thanks
SJ


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2007 9:56 pm 
Quote:
Can you actually purchase paper tests with the "answers pages" like the 11+ practice papers. I have looked at the NFER website ad am a little confused as to whether individuals can actually purchase these? The reason I ask is that I remember reading another post on this site about CAT tests and they were referred to the NFER website.


I am fairly sure only academic institutions are able to purchase NFER CATS tests. My child (year 5) has just sat CATS in VR, NVR and quantitative reasoning and told me they were rather like the 11+ stuff he has tried out.


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