What is the CAT4 Test?

The Cognitive Abilities Test: Fourth Edition (CAT4) is a standardized assessment tool administered by GL Assessment and used to measure student ability in four main areas: non verbal, verbal, quantitative and spatial reasoning

The test is designed to evaluate the way children think and how they can use reasoning to solve problems, rather than what they know. It is commonly used in schools to identify students' strengths and weaknesses in these areas, to help teachers understand their learning preferences, and to support academic guidance and placement decisions, and it also serves as reliable indicators for national tests.

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CAT4 Scores Gifted and Talented Testing

The Cognitive Abilities Test’s fourth edition (CAT4) aims to measure academic needs and potential.

The CAT4 is comprised of four batteries: verbal, non-verbal, quantitative, and spatial ability. The CAT4 results are used to aid individual and group teaching. Therefore, the CAT4 offers individual and group reports, as well as reports for teachers, parents, and students. Find out more about CAT4 Score reports.

What are the CAT4 Test Batteries?

Verbal Reasoning Battery: Focuses on the ability to reason with words representing either objects or concepts, rather than focusing on the physical properties of the words (for example, the alphabetical order of the letters). Two subsections: Verbal Classification and Verbal Analogies.
Quantitative Reasoning Battery: Measures reasoning with numbers which have a numerical value/concept. Two subsections: Number Analogies and Number Series.
Non-verbal Reasoning Battery: Focuses on shapes and appearance (outline, shape etc.). Two subsections: Figure Classification and Figure Matrices.
Spatial Ability Battery: Similar to previous battery, measures 3-dimensional perception. Two subsections: Figure Analysis and Figure Recognition

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 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.

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. 


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.

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 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. 


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 Nonverbal 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.

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.


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). 

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.


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 Practice with TestPrep Online

CAT4 has unique types of questions that are different from the regular curriculum-based questions. Practicing with similar questions is the best way to get ready. To help your child prepare, TestPrep-Online offers CAT4 practice packs for the CAT4 Level X, CAT4 Level A, Level B, Level C, Level D, Level E, Level F, and Level G, all including study guides, tutorials, and hundreds of practice questions. 

Or try our free CAT4 Practice Test PDF!

Need CAT4 practice for another level? Explore our CogAT Practice Packs.

The CAT4, CogAT, CAT4 practice and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with TestPrep-Online or this website.


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