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About the CAT4

The CAT4, or Cognitive Abilities Test Edition 4, is a collection of tests used by schools throughout the United Kingdom. The CAT4 is designed to help parents and teachers understand and assess a student’s academic abilities and potential. The CAT4 is comprised of the following sections: 

  • Quantitative Reasoning-Number Series and Number Analogies 
  • Verbal Reasoning-Verbal Classification and Verbal Analogies
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning-Figure Classification and Figure Matrices
  • Spatial Ability-Figure Analysis and Figure Recognition

Click here for information on the structure of the test. 


CAT4 Level E Sample Questions

CAT4 Level E Test Practice Question-Quantitative Reasoning #1 

[12 → 2]    [84 → 14]    [66 → ?]

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is 11. Look at the numbers in the first pair and try to find the rule they follow. How do we get from 12 to 2? We see that if we divide the first number by 6, we get the second number: 12 ÷ 6 = 2. Does this rule work for the second pair, as well? When we divide 84 by 6, we get 14: 84 ÷ 6 = 14. The rule "divide the first number by 6 to get the second" works in both pairs, so in the next pair we should also divide by 6: 66 ÷ 6 = 11. Therefore, 11 is the correct answer.

#Note that additional practice questions for the Quantitative Reasoning battery (number analogies + number series) can be found on our CAT4 Level E practice packs.

CAT4 Level E Test Practice Question-Verbal Reasoning #1 

nibble → bite : sip →

Answer & Explanation|

The correct answer is: gulp. A nibble is a small bite like a sip is a small gulp.

#Note that additional practice questions for the Verbal Reasoning battery (Verbal analogies + Verbal classification) can be found on our CAT4 Level E practice packs.


CAT4 Level E Test Practice Question-Non Verbal Reasoning #1

Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is C.

In this question, the three figures above all contain two inner lines that intersect inside the shape. Notice that the inner lines divide each figure into four parts (not necessarily equal).

The third answer choice is a pentagon which contains two inner lines that intersect inside it. In addition, these lines divide the pentagon into four parts. Therefore, this is the correct answer.

The first and the second answer choices are incorrect as the two inner lines in these figures do not intersect.
The fourth answer choice is incorrect as this figure contains three inner lines instead of two.
The fifth answer choice is incorrect as although this figure is divided into four parts, it contains three inner lines instead of two.

#Note that additional practice questions for the Non-Verbal Reasoning battery (Figure analogies + Figure classification) can be found on our CAT4 Level E practice packs.


CAT4 Level E Test Practice Question-Spatial Ability #1


Answer and Explanation

The correct answer is (C).

The top and bottom edges of the papers are folded inward, then three holes are punched in.

As folding of the paper creates a symmetry line, punching-in holes in a folded paper makes a mirror image along that same symmetry line (after unfolding). This question has two symmetry lines and, as they are horizontal, the holes also would be mirrored horizontally. The top two holes would have a pair of two holes above them, as the appropriate symmetry line is above them:

The lower hole has a symmetry line underneath it, and therefore it would have a mirrored hole below it:

The only answer which follows this rule is answer (C), which is the correct answer.

Answer (A) and (B) are incorrect, as there are a holes above the bottom hole, instead of below it.

Answer (D) is incorrect, as the hole in the bottom is diagonal, rather than directly below the original hole.

Answer (E) is incorrect as its missing two holes in its top part.

#Note that additional practice questions for the Spatial Ability battery (Paper folding + Figure recognition) can be found on our CAT4 Level E practice packs.

CAT4 Format & Sections

There are both online and digital versions of the exam. The test itself contains four batteries, with each battery containing two subsections.

Verbal Reasoning Verbal Classification (24 Questions)
Verbal Analogies (24 Questions)
Quantitative Reasoning Number Analogies (18 Questions)
Number Series (18 Questions)
Non-verbal Reasoning Figure Classification (24 Questions)
Figure Matrices (24 Questions)
Spatial Ability Figure Analysis (18 Questions)
Figure recognition (18 Questions)

With each section being about 8-10 minutes long, each battery should take no longer than 45 minutes to complete. Learn more about the CAT4 sections.

What makes the CAT4 unique is that every section and subsection of the test is designed to test a child’s scholastic ability and potential, regardless of past knowledge accumulated in his or her studies. Additionally, studies have shown that high scores achieved on the nonverbal and spatial sections of the exam indicate a higher chance of academic success in the future. Find out more about CAT4 scoring.

CAT Test Year 8 Practice Tips

Don’t know where to start in your studying process? Check out our CAT Test Year 8 Practice Tips.

  • Practice with CAT Test Grade 8 Sample Questions. Since the CAT4 is not based on past experience or previous academic knowledge, the best prepping tactic is arguably the use of practice tests. 
  • Find out your student’s learning style. Is your student a visual, auditory, and/or kinaesthetic learner? We strongly recommend taking the time to find out. You can do this through a quick online quiz and/or through simply asking your students a few questions on how they learn best.
  • Plan, schedule, commit. Once you know strengths, weaknesses, and learning style, it will be much easier for you to figure out how to map out your student’s study plan. Once that’s done, it will also be easier to schedule: Remember to prioritize what is most challenging for your student to the earliest time slot of the day, and what is easiest for your student to the latest time slot of the day.
  • Don’t over schedule. Be careful not to over schedule studying. It is important that you don’t bite off more than you can chew, so that you can make sure that you cover everything at an appropriate and healthy pace.
  • Keep your student healthy. Diet and exercise play an imperative role in brain power and focus skills. Without the right nutrients and the right amount of daily exercise your student will simply not be able to perform to the highest degree, so make sure to include nutritious snacks for studying fuel and regular exercise for optimal brain focus.
  • Contact instructors. Your student’s instructors are a wealth of information regarding academic strengths and weaknesses. Not only can you gain insight through their own personal take on your student, but you can also get your hands on past academic work to get a better feel of where it’s best to prioritize your studying.
  • Stay strict with sleep. Sleep plays a valuable role in focusing and getting in as much information as possible. A tired mind can only process so much, so make sure your student gets at least eight hours of solid sleep before delving into your studying regime.
  • Start early, end early. Once your student has had their dinner, their focus abilities go way down. We recommend getting an early start to the day (if 5 AM sounds horrifying, then aim for 6). That way you can finish early, and your student will still have time to rest before embarking on the next day’s work (plus you can more easily get those 8 hours in)
  • Take regular breaks. Breaks are a crucial part to giving your brain a chance to recharge; we recommend a 5-10 minutes’ break for every 30-40 minutes’ studying.
  • Reach out to others. Finding other people preparing for the exam can be incredibly helpful in gathering information and tips. Contact other parents preparing their child, or search for some useful question forums online (there are plenty of them).


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CAT4 Level E (Year 8)

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