Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The online CAT test review.

Or as I like to call it.....
Hurry up you're running out of time!!! OMG! Are you seriously still reading the same question?!?! Hurry up!

I wish I was joking.

Apparently my kids have no concept of time and how it moves....

OK enough freaking out here's the review.....

When you go to they have a tab for on-line CAT testing. It links you to a page full of words that I chose not to read.
I should have read the words.
I thought I was going to click the link buy the test (The tests cost $25 each)
and administer it......that's not how it works.
You click the link, buy the test and wait for them to get back to you with a code for each test purchased.

Once you have the code you go to and enter it which brings you to the main test page.

They list each sub-group test within the test and you just need to select one to start. We started at the top and worked our way down.

Devlin began no problem.

Ava however who has extremely restricted internet access wasn't able to take the test on her computer. We didn't discover this till we had already started and I had to quickly log her out and then log her back in on my laptop. Thank goodness you have that option otherwise we would have been sunk. It seems windows wasn't able to run the spoken portion of the test because she didn't have the software downloaded to do it...or so the computer claimed.

Both tests started with Language Arts, moved onto Math and then went back to Language Arts.

Remember that pesky original page full of words?? When I went back to read that I discovered not only that I had to wait for the magic code I also discovered that they are selling an older version of the CAT that's harder. DO NOT LET THAT SCARE YOU! I found that yes SOME of the questions were more difficult. By difficult I mean some of the questions are actually at grade level. How refreshing.
The only issue my two had was time management. They both did not have enough time to complete the portion where you had to copy the math questions down onto scratch paper and figure them out and then select the answer on the computer and hit next. I would estimate there were 25-28 questions to complete in approx. 30 min. I was extremely freaked out when they both timed out with questions left unanswered. Once you time out that section of the test is  automatically closed and graded and you have to move the kid on without doing something unpleasant to them because they have more test to take. Happily they both tested 'average' when their scores were revealed.  This is probably because other kids don't know how to MOVE IT either...OMG! Soooo slow!
Also worth noting about time is that the clock in the corner of the test does NOT count down. Whatever time you have left when you click on the next question appears in the top right corner and does NOT refresh until you move onto the next question. I will be purchasing a timer (or 2) for next year.

Overall they both did extremely well.

Devlin went up another level in Language Mechanics! He tested in the 6th stanine which is a huge improvement over the 4th he got a couple of years ago. His math concepts and problems section was his top scorer. YAY boy!!

....everything else was above average. (except for the afore mentioned math fiasco in which they got 5 and 6 respectively-or basically tested at exactly grade level.)

Ava did amazing in all of the Language Arts sections even though she scared the ever-lovin' out of me by taking her sweet time and BARELY completing the sections within the allotted time.

So would I do it again???

Actually I think I would. I liked that the test was harder. I loved getting immediate results. I disliked the time limits but I think I can overcome that by a.) giving them the test during the school year and b.) giving them some timed drill sheets for practice before the test next year.

*I need to add that a friend told me that you cannot go back and change you answer....this is only true after you have submitted the sub-test for grading. While the test is open(for example -punctuation) and you are answering questions you can skip a question and go back to it.

Once the entire test has been submitted you click on the report tab and viola you have your grades.

I don't think it will come as a surprise that I am glad to have that behind us. Now I have to hurry up and sort my books so I can get my schedule started for next year....more on that later.

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