CAT·4 is the newest version of the Canadian Achievement Tests (CAT) available Fall 2008. Modeled to fit Canadian curricula, the CAT is a testing system that assesses the essential learning outcomes of the following basic skill areas: reading, language, spelling, and mathematics. CAT·4 is both versatile and user-friendly; it can be administered individually or in small and large groups. Essentially, as well as being a tracker of learning abilities, the CAT also evaluates how well students perform in comparison to other students across the district, region, or in Canada as a whole.
Though the CAT test has had a long history with educators in Canada, each successive version of the test has improved and expanded upon previous versions. The CAT·4 is no exception: major improvements and steps have been taken to build on the success of CAT·3 (you can read more about the improvements here). The CAT·4 is truly a test like no other in Canada, built to suit Canadian schools’ various educational testing needs.
Norming is the process by which national standards are compiled for the statistical comparison of a standardized test. Having a strong norming study is thus essential to the success of CAT·4, as it provides the national data needed for benchmarking the performance of a student or a group of students to same-grade peers across the nation. In the development of CAT·4, the test was administered to over 60 000 students from over 300 schools across Canada throughout 2007. This sample of data collected from the study allows student performance to be compared to the performances of same-grade or -level students across Canada. The stratified random sample included students from kindergarten through 12, from every province, from rural and urban areas and from public, private and First Nations schools, ensuring a representative Canadian sample.
Canadian Test Centre would like to acknowledge the contributions of schools across Canada that participated in this study.They are listed here
Improvements from CAT·3
CAT·4 takes standardized testing up a notch. Here are 10 ways that CAT·4 builds on the previous success of CAT·3:
Raising the Bar
- More closely matched to your curriculum—call CTC to receive tables mapping CAT·4 objectives to your provincial curriculum.
- More comprehensive coverage of your curriculum—integrated Constructed Response assessments in Writing, Response to Text, Math Processes and Research Strategies; separate assessments in Pre-Algebra and Algebra, as well as Informational Reading and Literary Reading.
- More precise measurement with the use of Item Response Theory (IRT) technology.
- More Levels—from Kindergarten (Level 10) through postsecondary (Levels 20-22).
- More up-to-date norms and standards.
- More choice of reports that can be used to improve learning.
- More seamless integration of Multiple-Choice and Constructed Response materials.
- More relevant Norm Group access—2007 National norms, 2007 Provincial or Regional norms, and "always-fresh" local norms.
- More seamless transition from the previous edition—CAT·4 is linked to CAT·3.
- More attractive and engaging appearance.
Improvements from CAT·3
CTC accepts orders from school boards, public and private registered day schools, provincial departments of education and colleges and universities when accompanied by an official purchase order. CTC may accept orders from registered day schools outside Canada. Please contact CTC directly regarding eligibility. To ensure that the integrity of CAT·4 is not compromised, CTC shall restrict the distribution of CAT·4. This test series will not be available to tutoring centres, night schools and homeschoolers until the release of CAT·5.
The CAT·4 Constructed Response Tasks complement and add another dimension to our CAT·4 multiple choice tests. These tasks focus on writing and reading skills. There are a variety of tasks from which to choose, each task targeting a different genre, skill, and/or objective. Constructed Response Tasks offer educators a comprehensive profile of student achievement.
Several CAT4 curriculum match tables have now been posted online. These tables, compiled by provincial curriculum experts, will directly show how CAT·4 closely matches curriculums by province. Please be patient as we finish uploading the tables for all provinces to our website.
CTC offers a wide array of reporting services for CAT·4. Individual, group and summary reports are available to meet the needs of your classrooms, schools and district. You can learn more about our different reports or see samples here.