# Are CAT4 Tests Hard? An Inside Look + Sample Questions

The CAT4 is considered a hard exam since it includes unique question types that students are usually unfamiliar with, such as paper-folding and matrices. Additionally, as the exam level rises (from X to G), the difficulty level increases as well, when Level G is the hardest test version.

On this guide, we’ll closely examine the most difficult question types, allowing you and your child to start to get a feel for the difficulty level.

After reading this guide, you’ll not only gain a better understanding of the challenging aspects of the test but also acquire valuable insights into effective strategies for tackling its toughest questions.

So, without further ado, let’s get started.

**Understanding the Challenges of the CAT4 Test**

Let’s delve into why the CAT4 is often regarded as a demanding assessment. Here’s a breakdown of the key factors contributing to its difficulty:

**Unconventional Question Types:** The CAT4 likes to keep things interesting with some out-of-the-box question types. Take, for example, the paper-folding exercises, where students must mentally manipulate a folded piece of paper to predict its appearance when unfolded. This challenges spatial reasoning and visualization skills, often catching students off guard, especially those unfamiliar with such tasks.

**Diverse Cognitive Demands:** Unlike standardized tests with a singular focus, the CAT4 evaluates a broad spectrum of cognitive abilities. From verbal reasoning to quantitative reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, each section demands a unique set of skills. For instance, the quantitative reasoning section may present students with tricky mathematical problems, requiring not only mathematical proficiency but also the ability to apply those skills under time pressure.

**Progressive Difficulty Levels:** The CAT4 adopts an adaptive approach rather than a one-size-fits-all methodology. As students progress through the levels (X to G), the complexity of the questions escalates.

**Time Constraints:** The CAT4 includes 168 questions with a time frame of 72 minutes (a little over an hour). Effective time management is a critical aspect of the CAT4. The limited time allocated for each section adds an additional layer of pressure. Students are not only required to solve problems accurately but also swiftly. Consider the non-verbal reasoning section, where matrices are involved – the ticking clock intensifies the challenge, demanding quick decision-making and sharp problem-solving skills.

**Lack of Practice Resources Provided by the School:** A potential hurdle lies in the availability of practice resources. Many students may find themselves without sufficient preparation materials offered by their educational institutions, potentially impacting their readiness for the diverse challenges posed by the CAT4.

Now, let’s go over the most challenging CAT4 question types and solve them one by one.

## Examples of the Most Difficult Question Types (+ Full Solutions)

### Figure Matrices (Part of the Non-Verbal Reasoning Battery)

Choose the answer choice that follows the pattern and completes the matrix.

Correct Answer & Explanation:

The correct answer is C.

In each row, the shape in the second column is formed by adding two lines crossing each other over the shape in the first column.

The shape in the third column is formed by removing the lines from the second shape and adding dots at each end of these lines. The dost will be outside of the shape if the lines’ ends are outside, and they will be inside if the lines’ ends are inside of the shape. So, the shape in option C meets the given criteria.

**What Makes This Question Type Difficult?**

Recognizing the pattern in the matrix can be tricky, as it often involves complex spatial relationships. Test-takers need to identify the sequence or transformation between figures, which may not always follow straightforward logic.

### Figure Classification (Part of the Non-Verbal Reasoning Battery)

Choose the answer that shares the same connection/characteristic as the three given images.

Correct Answer & Explanation:

**The correct answer is 4**.

In this question, the three figures are all shapes with the following common features: They contain four small shapes inside, and one is a diminished replica of it. The color of this replica corresponds to that of the outer shape. The only answer choice that is like this is the 4th choice.

The 2nd and 3rd choices are incorrect because they contain three inner shapes, not four. The 5th choice is also incorrect as it contains two identical small shapes, while the 1^{st} choice is incorrect as the color of the original shape and that of its replica do not correspond.

Therefore, the **4 ^{th} **choice is the correct answer.

**What Makes This Question Type Tricky?**

The challenge lies in identifying the subtle connections or characteristics shared by the given images. Sometimes, the commonality may not be immediately apparent, requiring a keen eye for detail and the ability to discern nuanced similarities.

### Figure Analysis (Part of the Spatial Ability Battery)

Choose the answer choice that shows the final product of the unfolded punched-in paper.

Correct Answer & Explanation:

The correct answer is (A).

A paper is cut into a circle, folded into its quarter and its one side is again folded inwards. When a whole is punched into it, it will cut the paper, and when it is unfolded, it will have eight holes as shown in option A.

**What Makes This Question Type Challenging?**

Understanding the transformation from a punched-in paper to its unfolded form demands strong spatial reasoning skills. The mental manipulation required to visualize the final product can be challenging, especially when dealing with intricate patterns.

### Number Analogy (Part of the Quantitative Reasoning Battery)

Choose the number that completes the third pair so that it demonstrates the same relationship as the first two pairs.

[27 → 7] [36 → 10] [63 → ?]

A. 22

B. 21

C. 19

D. 25

E. 23

Correct Answer & Explanation:

The correct answer is (C) – 19.

Look for the pattern in the first series of numbers. We get from 27 to 7 by subtracting 20 (-20) or by dividing by 3 and then subtracting 2 (÷3 – 2).

We get from 36 to 10 by subtracting 26 (-26) or by dividing by 3 and then subtracting 2 (÷3 – 2). Since the pattern must be the same, we also get (÷3 – 2) as the pattern for the third pair. Therefore, the next series of numbers should follow the same pattern, meaning that the rule between 63 and **?** should be (÷3 – 2): **63 ÷3 – 2 = 21 – 2 = 19**, meaning that the correct answer will be 19.

**What Makes This Question Type Hard?**

Interpreting the relationship between numbers in the pairs can be challenging. The relationships might involve mathematical operations, patterns, or rules that require careful analysis. Missing these underlying rules can make selecting the correct analogy difficult.

### Verbal Analogy (Part of the Verbal Reasoning Battery)

The first pair of words go together in a certain way. Choose the word that goes together with the third word in the same way.

locomotor → action : stationary →

A. mobile

B. immobilized

C. stuck

D. planned

E. ground

Correct Answer & Explanation:

The correct answer is (B) – immobilized. Locomotor refers to an action or physical movement. Stationary refers to something or someone who is immobilized. It may or may not be stuck.

**What Makes This Question Type Hard?**

Recognizing the relationship between words in the given pairs demands a solid understanding of language nuances. The challenge often involves identifying synonyms, antonyms, or other semantic relationships, which can be subtle and context-dependent.

### Figure Recognition Question (Part of the Spatial Ability Battery)

This question shows a shape alongside five answer choices containing complex designs. You must choose the design that contains the target shape in the same size, including each side in full.

Correct Answer & Explanation:

The correct answer is (B).

The shape is visible on the left side of option B.

**What Makes This Question Type Tricky?**

This question adds complexity by presenting the target shape among complex designs. Identifying the target shape in terms of size and orientation within complicated patterns requires attention to detail. Test-takers must navigate through distractions to select the correct design.

## Helpful Practice Resources to Master All Question Types

Unlocking success in the CAT4 test requires more than just textbook knowledge – it demands strategic and targeted practice.

That’s where these carefully curated practice resources come in. Developed by experts in cognitive assessments, these tools provide a comprehensive and structured approach to tackle each question type systematically. Sharpen your child’s analytical skills, enhance their spatial reasoning, and refine their ability to discern subtle patterns – all crucial components for scoring high on the CAT4.

Choose the desired practice resource according to the test level your child is about to take: