Cognitive Abilities Test 4 (CAT4)

Athena Tuition can support candidates with the CAT4, just email us at, call us on 0208 133 6284, or have a read below for more information about the test.

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The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is used to assess both pupils’ progress and their academic potential. This guide will help to better understood the purpose and format of the test, and how best to help your child prepare for it.


Essential Information


  • The CAT4 is used by some schools as part of the entry process into Year 7, however the questions can be scaled to be suited to assess children up to 17 years old. Due to this, CAT4 may be used for foreign students looking to join a secondary school later than the standard admissions intake.
  • It may also be used to decide on which set or stream a pupil will join.
  • Each individual test takes 8 to 10 minutes to complete. The CAT4 is made up of 8 individual tests.
  • The tests are designed to assess reasoning and spatial awareness.


Purpose of the CAT4


The CAT4 is used to identify a pupil’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing teachers and parents to help personalize their learning. It assesses reasoning and spatial awareness, rather than memory, so as to better understand how a pupil thinks and learns.


The CAT4 is useful for identifying children with a high level of ability who may otherwise be overlooked. This allows teachers and parents to provide further support and motivation to ensure they are reaching their full potential. Similarly, children who are having difficulties in some areas can be given the personalized help that they need.


CAT4 Exam Breakdown


  • The CAT4 contains four sections: Verbal Reasoning (VR), Non-verbal Reasoning (NVR), Quantitative Reasoning (QR) and Spatial Awareness (SA). Each section contains two different types of question.
  • All questions have five answers to choose from, which are labelled A to E.



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