The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT) in China | How it’s Used and How to Prepare



The UK isn’t the only nation that uses the Cognitive Abilities Test in schools. Recently, China has introduced the CAT as a way of assessing the performance of its schools and their pupils.


The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) is used in the UK to provide schools with an indication of a student’s academic potential. Many schools use the test as part of their assessment process on an annual basis. The CAT helps schools monitor pupils’ progress throughout the year and enables them to make decisions about which class children should be placed in.


Typically, the CAT assesses students in four areas:


– Verbal Reasoning – Thinking and problem solving with words

– Non-Verbal Reasoning – Thinking and problem solving with shapes and space

– Quantitative Reasoning – Thinking and problem solving with numbers

– Spatial Reasoning – Visualising, picturing and moving shapes around


Unlike other assessments (like SATs), that follow the Key Stage 2 curriculum, and place emphasis on acquiring knowledge, the CAT aims to measure a child’s developed abilities.


Rather than focus on a child’s current knowledge, the CAT looks at academic potential, to provide schools with an insight into how pupils could perform with the correct teaching approach. CATs can also be used to help schools identify students with additional support needs.

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT4) in China


The Cognitive Abilities Test is used in China by the National Institute of Education Sciences (NIES), which is a part of the Chinese Ministry of Education. The test is used specifically by their Future School Lab branch.


China’s education system is renowned for producing high test scores and pupils are known to study long hours during and after school. Extra-curricular activities are usually taken at weekends, and the country has a booming private tutoring industry. With a lot of emphasis placed on ‘scoring’, the introduction of the CAT in Chinese state schools will help teachers gain a holistic understanding of each individual pupil’s needs.


The test was introduced in Beijing schools in September 2017, prior to a nationwide trial in November, which involved 25,000 children.

Our CAT4 Practice Tests and Courses


Pretest Plus is an independent publisher of high quality online practice tests and courses to help children succeed in CAT, PRETEST and UKISET examinations. We believe that focused practice and smart preparation are vital for exam success.


Our online CAT practice tests are used by students worldwide. Each test contains 8 modules that cover the four elements: verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial reasoning. They aim to familiarise students with the format and style of the CAT.


Our detailed explanations of each answer and rankings statistics also helps parents monitor their child’s progress and improvement.


Our practice tests and courses can be taken online immediately after purchase. Click the links below to learn more about each:



Practice Tests

You can learn more about our highly accurate online CAT4 practice tests by clicking on the links below. These CAT Practice Tests are available to take online immediately after purchase. Each module is marked automatically and is then available for review with answers and explanations provided for every question. We also provide comparative ranking statistics on a per module basis so you can quickly identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses.


CAT4 Practice Test 1

CAT4 Practice Test 2

CAT4 Practice Test 3

CAT4 Practice Test 4



Video Courses

The following online video courses cover everything your child needs to know for each section of the CAT4 assessment. Each course consists of a series of lessons that go through each question type in great detail, providing step-by-step explanations and techniques to help your child recognise the underlying patterns to look out for. They cover every possible question type that could come up in the CAT4 test.


CAT4 Quantitative Reasoning Video Course

CAT4 Non-Verbal Reasoning Video Course

CAT4 Spatial Reasoning Video Course

CAT4 Verbal Reasoning Video Course


Special Offer!

Get 10% off orders of two products or more. Use the code ppdiscount at checkout.


Please note that Pretest Plus is an independent publisher of practice tests and not affiliated with or endorsed by any other test publisher.


Related posts:

Year 7 CATs: Everything Parents Need to Know

How to Improve CAT Scores


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