Go to navigation
It is currently Fri Dec 02, 2016 10:24 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
 Post subject: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 10:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 53
Hi, Can anyone help with some advice?
My Ds is starting his new high school in September and has been asked to spend a morning at the school next Wednesday to take a selection of CATS tests online. The tests are apparently based on Verbal, Non verbal reasoning and Quantitative analogies. So... as we are well accustomed to going through practice papers for verbal, non verbal and maths - I thought we should practise a few of these skills as a 'recap'??
My plan is to go through some of the practice papers again - going over the type of questions I have seen as 'example formats' on the CATs website. I know it's supposed to be a test without preparation...but I don't want his ability to be judged and thereafter put into ability sets at the new school - based on one morning of tests, at a time when the whole class are on a wind down and practising the school play every day! (I think academic tasks have been put to the back of his mind at the moment!)
So - any thoughts? Am I doing the right thing? Is there anything else I/he could be doing?
Thanks!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:40 pm 
Online

Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:41 am
Posts: 4580
Location: Essex
Olliesmum wrote:
Hi, Can anyone help with some advice?
My Ds is starting his new high school in September and has been asked to spend a morning at the school next Wednesday to take a selection of CATS tests online. The tests are apparently based on Verbal, Non verbal reasoning and Quantitative analogies. So... as we are well accustomed to going through practice papers for verbal, non verbal and maths - I thought we should practise a few of these skills as a 'recap'??
My plan is to go through some of the practice papers again - going over the type of questions I have seen as 'example formats' on the CATs website. I know it's supposed to be a test without preparation...but I don't want his ability to be judged and thereafter put into ability sets at the new school - based on one morning of tests, at a time when the whole class are on a wind down and practising the school play every day! (I think academic tasks have been put to the back of his mind at the moment!)
So - any thoughts? Am I doing the right thing? Is there anything else I/he could be doing?
Thanks!


I think that the usual advice is, please don't :) . The tests are for the school to establish it's own baseline, rather than relying on SATs results (or the lack of them, for some children who attend indies), not something to be 'passed'.

_________________
Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.Groucho Marx


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:42 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:58 pm
Posts: 382
I don't think that you would improve the score much if at all if he practiced. Dd's school use them as a prediction for end of Year and GCSE results so that they can check that girls are achieving their potential. It could be disheartening for a young person if they never achieved their expected target. I think this is one test that it is best not to practice for. The school need to know how to help your son. If say he has a really high numerical reasoning score and a low verbal reasoning score they may pick up that he needs help with English. It will help them to determine how to teach him too.

My Dd's CAT score didn't reflect her 11+ score at all.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 9:30 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 9:59 am
Posts: 1656
I thought there wasn't any material available to practise them? I agree that it would be best not to as, otherwise you could be masking difficulties. In any case, people perform differently depending on lots of circumstances. Therefore, teachers would know this and would constantly evaluate the children's needs and targets.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:31 pm
Posts: 1192
Olliesmum wrote:
Am I doing the right thing? Is there anything else I/he could be doing?
Thanks!
You should do nothing. If you do any practice you will remove any value from the result.

_________________
Animis opibusque parati


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:37 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 53
Thank you for your replies. The 'practice material' is just an example of each type of question as a "Digital Demo" on the CAT4 website. My son found them quite easy to do. I just think that it is along time since he attempted this style of questioning (almost a year), so it would be wise just to recap the way to tackle them?
I just don't want him to be put into a low ability class in this very mixed ability high school with 8 sets in year 7!
As a mother, I am just doing the usual..trying to make sure he understands that this test will decide whether he works within a high ability group for the first year of his high school life, at a faster speed, or a slower pace in lower sets.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 8:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
CATs will be used to set targets not arrange groups. CATs are just one part of the target setting process - many schools don't even use them.

Other factors, like KS2 levels, and how well he does in Year 7 will be used for setting.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:41 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jan 11, 2015 6:57 pm
Posts: 53
Hi, I am a high school teacher myself. I have been teaching for 17 years. We DO use the CATs test SAS scores to 'set' for ability when they arrive in year 7. So any school telling you this is not the case may not be telling the truth - or have the luxury of not having an intake of 264 pupils in year 7! to set pupils quickly, we have a majority of the intake at an average 100 SAS score - with children gaining 70-90 ish in lower ability groups. My own class in year 7 are set 3 of 5 sets, with the highest score in my class at 103.
I know very well, sadly, that it is because of my knowledge of this that I am concerned for my own child. I know that if he achieves a score of 110 or above, at this 'non-grammar school' - he will be placed in a class with similar high ability pupils. Performing badly on that day though would mean possibly finding himself in Set 5!

In an ideal world we would have time to use these scores to set individual targets for 264 pupils during the first weeks of September....as you suggest. However, we don't actually have that time in a busy teaching week. As a classroom teacher, I know that we are not party to the information a '100' CATs score actually means. Therefore, classroom teachers don't actually know what targets should be set from the CAT test. I'm sorry, but this is reality in a busy high school of 1,500 pupils.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:58 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 1:21 pm
Posts: 11931
I know many local schools and am a teacher myself - I've never heard of CATs being used for setting - I think your school is in the minority.

CATs are more reliably used to compare cohorts not individuals ... why don't you ask the school what they use the results for?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: CATs Testing?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:03 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:59 am
Posts: 5921
I am not a teacher now but was for a long time and I never heard of them being used to set either so am rather shocked by that, especially if no other factors are taken into account. That would be very ill-advised.

I have also never heard of anyone mounting any useful preparation for them so if you manage it, Olliesmum, you will be in a tiny minority and any advantage you confer on your son will be in that context - the only one who was prepared.

I can't imagine any decent school setting on this basis in Y7 and then not having any flexibility for moving - down or up - depending on many other factors. Surely if a child ends up in set 5 who ought to be in set 1, the school will have the means to deal with this, and the other way round too. If not, I wouldn't have much confidence in the standard of education on offer.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 18 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
CALL 020 8204 5060
   
Privacy Policy | Refund Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright © 2004 – 2016