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What is the CAT 4 test?


"Used by over 50% of UK secondary schools, CAT 4 is designed to support schools in understanding pupils’ developed abilities, likely academic potential and learning preferences.

It does this by assessing a pupil’s ability to reason with and manipulate different types of material through a series of Verbal, Non-verbal, Quantitative and Spatial Reasoning tasks."

— GL Assessment Paper

Why do Kings use it?

We use CAT 4 assessments for two distinct reasons:

  • To provide insights into how we can maximise the attainment for each student with tailored teaching and learning strategies.
  • To measure the value Kings add to the students’ attainment during their time with us. We can do this by comparing a students’ CAT 4 predicted grade with the actual result.

The test is not based on any prior knowledge. It is therefore suitable for both UK and international students who have had different educational careers and assessments.

Predicted grades are given for each subject a student takes.

When is the test taken?

Students will take the test within the first two weeks of their arrival at Kings.

What will students receive following the test?

Students will have a report showing their results, strengths and weaknesses. This is used to develop future study plans.

Students will also have predicted grades, based on their CAT 4 scores.

How can students see predicted grades?

There is a positive correlation between CAT 4 scores and national exams (such as GCSE and A-levels).

Results from CAT 4 tests have historically been compared to national examinations, with amendments made to the tests to ensure they reflect changes in these examinations.

As such we can ensure that predicted grades are a solid prediction of what a student, unchallenged, would achieve.

English levels and CAT 4 testing

The level of a student’s English will influence their mark in the CAT 4 test.

The predicted grades will be given based on the level of English a student has when they take the test.

One of the reasons many of our international students score much higher than predicted grades is the extensive support given to them in their English studies. When they are taught as ESL (English as a Second Language) students, they will be able to develop their learning — and grades — at a much faster pace, allowing them to exceed previous predictions.

​Case study

At Kings we add value to a student’s learning by supporting them in their academic and linguistic studies. Very small classes and customised programmes ensure every student is given the best possible support.

Zhou Peiyi started at Kings with IELTS 5.5. After taking the CAT 4 test was predicted CCC for A-levels.

She eventually left Kings with A-level grades AAA. Her English level rose to IELTS 7.5 (with 9.0 in Listening, up from 6.5, as well as 7.0 in Speaking).

She is now studying Law at The University of Manchester.

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The Kings Admissions Team