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What is the CAT4 Test? ||| Verbal Reasoning ||| Quantitative Reasoning ||| Non-Verbal Reasoning

Spatial Ability ||| What is a Good CAT4 Test Score? ||| Is the CAT4 Test Hard? ||| CAT4 Test Levels

CAT4 Preparation ||| Free CAT4 Practice Test PDF

What is the CAT4 Test?

The CAT4 test is the UK & Ireland most widely used reasoning ability assessment test, designed to help schools understand students' abilities and develop them. It is administered throughout the UK and Ireland and by many international schools worldwide to students aged 6 to 17.

Developed and delivered by GL-Assessment, based on years of thorough research, this edition of the CAT4 test helps identify individual students' strengths and weaknesses while also monitoring the performance of groups of students.

It is designed to measure cognitive reasoning skills while demanding little reading comprehension and arithmetical skills, thus making the test less biased towards native speakers. Cronbach's Alpha formula confirmed the CAT4's reliability.

If you are a teacher or tutor, we recommend checking out this page!

Free CAT4 Test Practice Questions 

What is the Verbal Reasoning Battery?

The Verbal Reasoning battery includes two subsections - Verbal Classification and Verbal Analogies.

Verbal Classification

Questions present three words, and five answer choices. The student must choose the word from the answer choices with the same meaning as the three given words.

Verbal Analogy

Questions present students with three words in the format of “A → B : C→ ____”, with A, B and C representing given words.

In each question, the words A and B relate to each other in a specific way. Student must identify this relation, and apply it to word C by selecting the fourth word from five given answer choices that is best suited.

Unlike many other forms of gifted and talented testing, the CAT4 exam does not focus on either reading skills or vocabulary use but rather the student’s ability to demonstrate reasoning skills through the use of words.

Verbal Reasoning - Question 1: Verbal Analogies

cement→ building: wool  

A. sheep
B. sweater
C. silk
D. shoes
E. hair

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is sweater. 

Cement is commonly used to make a building just like wool is commonly used to make a sweater. 

Sheep is incorrect because wool is not used to make a sheep, but rather a sheep produces wool from its body. 

Silkshoes, and hair are incorrect because wool is not commonly used to make them. 

Verbal Reasoning - Question 2: Verbal Classification

Choose the word that belongs in the same group as the first three words. 
author   scribe   poet

A. journalist
B. actor
C. doctor
D. architect
E. mechanic

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is journalist.

These are all jobs that are based around writing. 

What is the Quantitative Reasoning Battery?

The Quantitative Reasoning Battery is comprised of Number Analogy questions and Number Series questions. It requires basic arithmetical skills and relies on minimal mathematical knowledge. This battery aims to assess pupils’ skill to find mathematical relations between numbers, in a similar way as the Verbal Reasoning Battery.

Number Analogy

Questions, like Verbal Analogy questions, are presented in the format of “A → B : C→ ____”. Although, in this case, A, B and C are given numbers. The first two numbers (A and B) share a mathematical connection. The student must deduce that connection and find an answer choice, out of the five given numbers, which shares the same connection with the third number presented (C).

Number Series

Questions present a series of numbers with a certain progression rule. The student must figure out the rule and choose an answer choice, out of five given options, which fits the same rule as the last number of the series.

Quantitative Reasoning - Question 1: Number Analogies

[13 → 52]       [25 → 100]       [16 → ?]

A. 20
B. 55
C. 64
D. 66
E. 91

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is 64. 

The relation is that the number on the left is multiplied by 4.

Quantitative Reasoning - Question 2: Number Series

31     44     37     50     43     56     49     62     55     ?

A. 61
B. 59
C. 68
D. 70
E. 64

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is 68.

In this series, the pattern is as follows: first, 13 is added, then 7 is subtracted; then 13 is added again, then 7 is subtracted, and so on.

The pattern is: +13, -7, +13, -7, ...

The last two numbers in this series are 62 and 55, 55 is smaller than 62 by 7, so the next number in the series should be larger than 55 by 13.

55 + 13 = 68

Therefore, 68 is the correct answer.

What is the Non-verbal Reasoning Battery? 

The Non-Verbal Reasoning Battery questions use shapes, other than words or numbers, to measure students’ ability to reason and think with non-verbal material, such as shapes or matrices. This battery is split into Figure Classification questions and Figure Matrices questions.

Figure Classification

Questions require recognizing a connection among three given shapes and choosing one of the five answer choices that shares that connection. The connection can be a conceptual link or a shared characteristic that the given shapes have in common. 

Figure Matrices

questions present a matrix comprised of four boxes. Each of the two boxes in the top row contains a shape, while only the first box in the bottom row is filled. The fourth is left empty. The boxes in the top row share a connection, which the students are asked to recognize and apply to the in the bottom row by choosing the correct answer choice to fill the empty box.

Non Verbal Reasoning​ - Question 1: Figure Classification


A. A
B. B
C. C
D. D

Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is E.

Each picture includes two shapes; an outer shape patterned with diagonal lines, and another inner shape.

In addition, the inner shape has one side less than the outer shape.

Answer E fits the pattern and therefore it is the correct answer.

Answers A and D are wrong because the backgrounds are white rather than the inner shape.

Answer B is wrong because the inner shape has the same number of edges as the shape on the outside.

Answer C is wrong because the outer shape (the triangle) has one less edge than the inner shape (the parallelogram), instead of the other way around.

Non Verbal Reasoning​​ - Question 2: Figure Matrices


Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is C.

In this question you can see that on the top row the figure on the left is doubled to create the figure on the right.

On the bottom row the figure on the left consists of two triangles – the first is a blue triangle which has its base on the bottom and the second is a white triangle with its base on the top. Therefore, the right figure should consist of two blue triangles with their base on the bottom and two white triangles with their base on the top.
The only answer that meets this criteria is answer C.

Answer choice A is incorrect because the bases of the blue triangles are on top and not on the bottom, and the bases of the white triangles are on the bottom instead of on top.
Answer choice B is incorrect because the figure was not doubled. In addition, the base of the blue triangle is on the top and the base of the white triangle is on the bottom and it should be just the opposite.
Answer choice D is incorrect because all the triangles are white.
Answer choice E is incorrect because the doubled figure is separated.

What is the Spatial Ability Battery?

The Spatial Ability Battery assesses the pupils’ ability to hold an image in their mind and manipulate it. It has Figure Analysis and Figure Recognition questions.

Figure Analysis

Questions show pictures depicting paper folded several times and then punched with holes. The five answer choices contain unfolded papers with punched holes. The student is asked to determine which of the answer choices is the final product of the folding in the pictures.

Figure Recognition

Questions present a singular shape. The answer choices are five complex designs. The students must identify which answer choice contains the presented shape (the same size and features). 

Spatial Ability - Question 1: Figure Analysis


Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is A.

  • First, the rectangular paper is folded in half lengthwise and then folded in half widthwise.
  • Then, a heart is cut out of the folded paper. Consequently, when the paper is unfolded widthwise the paper will have two heart cut-outs.
  • When the paper is then unfolded lengthwise the paper will have four heart cut-outs which eliminates answer choice E.
  • Since the paper is folded lengthwise and then widthwise, the second heart must mirror vertically the cut heart, and then the last two hearts must mirror horizontally the first two hearts. This eliminates answer choices B, C, and D.
  • Therefore, we are left with the 1st choice, which is the correct answer.
Spatial Ability​ - ​Question 2: Figure Analysis



Answer & Explanation

The correct answer is D.

What is a Good CAT4 Test Score?

A "good" Cognitive Abilities Test CAT4 score is subjective and depends on the context in which the test is being used, including the specific goals for assessment and the benchmarks set by the school or educational authority. The CAT4 test results are typically reported as Standard Age Scores (SAS), percentile ranks, and stanines, providing a comprehensive view of a student ability relative to others of the same age.

Here's a brief overview of how to interpret these scores:

  • Standard Age Scores (SAS): The average score is set at 100, with most students scoring between 85 and 115. Scores above 115 are considered above average, and scores below 85 are considered below average.
  • Percentile Ranks: These indicate the percentage of students in the norm group who scored below a particular student. For example, a percentile rank of 70 means the student scored better than 70% of students in the norm group.
  • Stanines: These are derived from percentile ranks and range from 1 to 9, with 5 being average. Scores of 7 to 9 are considered above average, 4 to 6 are average, and 1 to 3 are below average.

In general, a "good" CAT4 test score might be considered one that falls within the above-average range (SAS above 115, percentile ranks above 75, stanines 7-9). 

Is the CAT4 Test Hard?

The Cognitive Abilities Test CAT4 is designed to measure cognitive abilities, not academic achievement, so it's challenging in the sense that it tests reasoning skills in various areas. However, since it assesses inherent abilities rather than learned knowledge, it's not "hard" in the traditional sense of requiring study or memorization. Some students might find certain sections more difficult based on their individual strengths and weaknesses.

What Age Does the CAT4 Test for?

The CAT4 test is designed for children and young people aged from about 6 to 17+ years. It is typically administered to students in primary through to secondary education. The test is structured to assess a wide range of cognitive abilities across different age groups, ensuring that the content and difficulty level are appropriate for the age and educational level of the students being tested.

CAT4 Test Levels

GL-Assessment administers the CAT4 test in 10 different test levels, with each level aimed at other age groups. The following table presents all test levels and their matching target year group and age range:

CAT4 Level

England & Wales


Northern Ireland


Age Range


Year 2

Primary 3

Y3 (P3)

1st class

6 – 8


Year 3

Primary 4

Y4 (P4)

2nd class

7 – 9


Year 3

Primary 4

Y4 (P4)

2nd class

6.5 – 9


Year 4

Primary 5

Y5 (P5)

3rd class

7.5 – 10


Year 5

Primary 6

Y6 (P6)

4th class

8.5 – 11


Year 6

Primary 7

Y7 (P7)

5th class

9.5 – 12


Year 7

Secondary 1

Y8 (F1)

End of 5th class/6th class

10.5 – 13


Year 8

Secondary 2

Y9 (F2)

End of 6th class/1st Year

11.5 – 14


Year 9 & 10

Secondary 3 & 4

Y10 & Y11 (F3 & F4)

2nd and 3rd Year

12.5 – 16


Year 11+

Secondary 5 & 6

Y12+ (F5+)

4th/TY/5th class

14.5 – 17+

Except for the three lowest test levels (X, Y, & Pre-A), which are designed for very young children and thus administered in a different format and structure, the content of each of the higher levels (A to G) is similar in terms of format and question types. The main distinction between them is in their increasing difficulty level, which corresponds to the overlapping configuration of target year groups.

CAT4 Test Levels A-G Format & Structure

GL Assessment's CAT4 test has both paper-based and computer-based versions; each takes approximately two hours to complete. The primary test levels (A-G) have four different batteries, with each containing two subsections​.

The test is administered in three parts, each divided into two or three short tests:


Number of Questions

Test Time

Part 1

Figure Classification

24 questions

10 minutes

Figure Matrices

24 questions

10 minutes

Part 2

Verbal Classification

24 questions

8 minutes

Verbal Analogies

24 questions

8 minutes

Number Analogies

18 questions

10 minutes

Part 3

Number Series

18 questions

8 minutes

Figure Analysis

18 questions

9 minutes

Figure Recognition

18 questions

9 minutes

Students are allowed to solve the questions from the same battery in any order they'd like but can only answer questions from one battery at a time.

Benefits of Taking the CAT4 Test

Schools use the CAT4 to adjust the learning experience to student-group and individual needs. As a result, teachers gain insight into subjects that students find difficult and can adequately support them. Moreover, CAT4 exam questions require reasoning skills other than relying on mathematical or verbal solid skills, thus allowing students with a language barrier or dyslexia to do well.

CAT4, as the name suggests, is a cognitive test, and as such, it measures skills that are also being tested in gifted children's programs. The informative reports help teachers identify those talented children and support their studying in an environment that will further foster their abilities.

An additional value the CAT4 has is identifying students who are having difficulties. Due to its unique structure, students who receive low scores in the CAT4 reports often do so for a reason. For example, the reports allow the teachers to check if the child randomly guessed questions or had difficulty with a specific subject.  

Can You Prepare for the CAT4?

As in many cognitive assessments, the CAT4 Test has specific recurring patterns, and getting familiar with these patterns increases the chances to score higher.

In addition to getting familiar with the test's patterns, enriching vocabulary can help score high on the verbal analogies and verbal classification sections. Moreover, enriching your vocabulary is possible within a relatively short time and can even be fun.

Lastly, remember that the test day is usually accompanied by anxiety, impacting the student's performance on the test. Getting familiar with the CAT4's content and format and practicing under the same time limit as in the real test is likely to reduce anxiety and impact the student's performance. Hence, the results of the test will more accurately reflect the ability of the student.

CAT4 Test Practice Online

This Cognitive Ability Test has a unique question format and strict time limitation, making it seem daunting to many students. However, proper preparation before the exam can help the student feel more comfortable and at ease with CAT4's testing format and expectations.

Practicing with CAT4 Practice Tests and explanations allows students to familiarize themselves with the test and gives them the confidence to succeed. Properly preparing also has the advantage of recognizing strengths and weaknesses and functioning without stress under time constraints.

Boost Your CAT4 Scores!
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Free CAT4 Practice Test PDF 

View and download free CAT4 Sample Papers. This printable practice test includes sample questions from all the various question types in the actual CAT4 (Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Non Verbal Reasoning and Spatial Reasoning) along with elaborated solutions and thorough explanations. Solving this sample test is an excellent starting point for preparing for the upcoming CAT4 exam.


Watch this short video to learn everything you need to know about the CAT4 exam:


The CAT4 test is the UK's most widely used reasoning ability assessment test, designed to help schools

​Are you looking for other levels? Have a look at our CogAT Packs, containing a thorough preparation process for the US popularly used cognitive ability test, which features many similar materials to the ones used on the CAT4.  Although the CogAT has slightly different and some missing components compared to the CAT4, if you are missing the required CAT4 level, practicing with CogAT materials, alongside some basic CAT4 materials, can make for a great combination that can give your child the edge.

Contact us at  ask_eitan@testprep-online.com if you are having trouble deciding which practice packs are right for you, and we will help you get the materials you need.

The CAT4, CogAT, Quantitative Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, Non Verbal Reasoning, Spatial Reasoning, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders is affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.

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