CAT4 UK Test Preparation

What is CAT4?

CAT4 is a Cognitive Abilities Test used by many UK schools to help them assess pupils’ (current) developed abilities and (future) academic potential. This allows schools to support pupils in the right way to ensure that they achieve their highest potential. The CAT4 test is used to predict student success through the evaluation of verbal, non-verbal, mathematical, and spatial reasoning.



Online Mock Tests: Receive 10% off by using the discount code: AMPLAEDUCATION on Atom Learning.


CAT4 Test Format

  • Online test with multiple-choice questions 
  • For each question, there are five answers to choose from, labelled A-E.
  • The CAT4 consists of 4 batteries:
    • Verbal Reasoning (VR),
    • Non Verbal Reasoning (NVR),
    • Quantitative Reasoning (QR),
    • Spatial Awareness (SA).

  • The above abilities are tested across a range of three different 45 minute sections
  • Duration: 2 hours and 15 minutes including breaks, instructions, practice questions etc
  • For Levels X and Y, there are four modules in total, one for each battery. For Levels A to G, there are eight modules in total, two for each battery.
  • There are seven levels of the CAT4, all with its own corresponding age group:

    Year 2: Level X (6–7 years old)

    Year 3: Level Y (7–8 years old)

    Year 4: Level A (8–9 years old)

    Year 5: Level B (9–10 years old)

    Year 6: Level C (10–11 years old)

    Year 7: Level D (11–12 years old)

    Year 8: Level E (12–13 years old)

    Years 9 + 10: Level F (13–15 years old)

    Years 11+: Level G (15–17+ years old)

CAT4 Question Types & Details

Question Types

  1. Figure Classification (10 mins)
  2. Figure Matrices (10 mins)
  3. Verbal Classification (8 mins)
  4. Verbal Analogies (8 mins)
  5. Number Analogies (10 mins)
  6. Number Series (8 mins)
  7. Figure Analysis (9 mins)
  8. Figure Recognition (9 mins)

Question Details

1. Figure Classification

Three designs are presented which are similar in some way or ways. For example, they may all be coloured in black. From a selection of five possible answers, the student must identify a fourth design with similar properties.

The answer is E because it is the only answer choice that is a striped semi-circle, like the first three figures.

2. Figure Matrices

Designs are presented in a grid with one empty square and, from a selection of five possible answers, the student must identify the missing design. The answer is C because in the top pair ‘one arrow up’ goes to ‘two arrows up’, so in the second pair ‘one arrow down’ must go to ‘two arrows down’.

3. Verbal Classification

Three words are presented which are similar in some way or ways. From a selection of five possible answers, the student must identify a fourth word with similar properties. The answer is snow because rain, fog and sunshine are all types of weather and snow is also a type of weather.

4. Verbal Analogies

A pair of connected words is presented alongside a single word. From a selection of five possible answers, the student must select a word to complete the second pair in the same way.

The answer is window, because a carpet goes on a floor and a curtain hangs at a window.

5. Number Analogies

There will be two pairs of numbers connected by some kind of operation eg add, subtract, multiply or divide. The extra number will pair up with one of the answer choices using the same rule.

From a selection of five possible answers, the student must select a number to complete a third pair. The answer is 8. Here 1 add 1 makes 2, but that doesn’t work for the second pair because 5 add 1 is 6, not 10. Instead, you have to multiply by 2 to get the second part of each pair, so 4 times 2 is 8.

6. Number Series

A sequence of numbers created by a transformation rule is presented. From a selection of five possible answers, the student must identify the rule and continue the sequence. The answer is 15. There are two number patterns in this series. The first, third and fifth numbers go down by 1 at a time – 18, 17 then 16. The numbers in between them go up by two at a time – 5, 7 then 9. This means the next number must be 16 minus 1, giving 15.

7. Figure Analysis

This type is related to symmetry. For example the given diagram is an image of a folded piece paper with holes cut through it. The student will have to work out what the piece of paper would look like when laid out unfolded.

The answer is D. The hole is punched through both layers of paper, so as it is unfolded the holes will be a mirror image of each other, with the crease being the mirror line.

8. Figure Recognition

Several complex designs are presented along with a single target shape. From a selection of five possible answers, the student must identify the target shape within one of the complex designs.

The answer is E. It isn’t A because that shows the target flipped over. It isn’t B or C because they have shapes that are the wrong size.

CAT4 Test Prep Course Highlights

  • 24/7 on-demand tutoring with our experienced team of UK boarding school specialists
  • Flexible scheduling: online/ face-to-face lessons available
  • Tailor-made lesson plan complemented by weekly timed quizzes and progress reports
  • Familiarise children with the computer interface and answer questions under timed conditions
  • Supported by Atom Learning, an adaptive mock test platform that allows our tutors to track students’ learning progress at home [Receive 10% off by using the discount code: AMPLAEDUCATION]

Strategic Plan

A week-by-week study plan specifically designed for you by our UK consultants.

Targeted Approach

Review each topic with a focus on weaker areas, with condensed notes and study materials provided.

Practical Skills

Cover test-taking strategies including time management, making informed guesses and how to handle stress.

Exam Drill

Familiarise with different exam styles/ techniques/ mark schemes through practice papers.

UK Schools Admissions

Ampla's UK Boarding School Admissions Services range from consultation, school selection, applications essays guidance to exam preparation, interview coaching and extra support.

Consulting Services

Admissions Success

Our consultants have helped students gain admission to Badminton, Benenden, Cheltenham Ladies’, Eton, Harrow, Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Wellington, Westminster​, Winchester, Wycombe Abbey and more.

UK Boarding School Applications

Entrance Exams

Designed and delivered by Ampla's Oxbridge tutors, our customised courses provide excellent preparation for students taking ISEB pre-test, Common Entrance 11+/ 13+/ 16+ and UKiset.

Exam Prep

Complimentary Consultation

Contact us now to schedule a mock test and arrange a complimentary meeting with our dedicated UK boarding school specialists.