How the CAT4 is used in schools

Welcome to School Entrance Tests’ CAT4 practice tests, including our introduction to how the CAT4 is used in UAE schools.

We offer many free CAT4 resources – as well as premium CAT4 practice at all levels here:

ALL CAT4 test practice (by age)

How the CAT4 is used in UAE schools

Firstly, School Entrance Tests recommends that you use the online international school database to check for affordable UAE schools near where you are living. Please note that all of The Emirates (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah) have a similar school entry admissions process. Certainly in terms of using the CAT4. Next check these two CAT4 questions:

  • Firstly, is the CAT4 one of the UAE school entrance exams your child must pass?
  • Secondly, what is the UAE school curriculum since some follow th3 European IB system.

UAE CAT4 usage

CAT4 tests in Dubai and Abu Dhabi work as an excellent tool for schools to filter out students during the admission process and are also used to identify children with extraordinary talents. In the UAE it is also at times used as a basis to award scholarships.

How do pupils sit the CAT4 in UAE?

Well, the CAT4 can be either paper-based or computerized in UAE schools.

Which skills are tested by the CAT4 in UAE?

These are many student skills which are assessed by the global CAT4 test. Typically, these are classified by these four aptitudes:

  1. The two Verbal Reasoning aptitude test sections of the CAT4. The verbal reasoning section CAT4 questions test how effectively a school pupil can express their ideas and thoughts in words.
  2. Again there are two Non-Verbal Reasoning CAT 4 sections. The non-verbal reasoning CAT4 questions present a variety of different visuals and images. The CAT4 respondent must find which patterns connect these geometric shapes and non-geometric figures.
  3. Spatial Reasoning sections of the CAT4. Each CAT4 pupil must draw conclusions in three-dimensional space by visualising figures and then by manipulating these shapes in their head.
  4. Quantitative Reasoning. The two sets of CAT 4 quantitative reasoning questions require candidates to think fast through numerical problems and work out relationships in a sequence of numbers.

With such a wide testing approach, CAT4 assessments are great at pinpointing the strengths and weaknesses of a potential student.

What are these eight CAT 4 sections?

CAT4 will test your child in several different ways and will consist of questions in various formats such as:

  • In GL’s CAT4; the Verbal Analogies, the Numerical Analogies, and the Figure Matrices sections all deal with pattern recognition.
  • Verbal and Numerical Classification CAT4 questions are based around working out image relations. The inter-relationships between associated words such as antonyms and synonyms.
  • The CAT4 Numerical Series questions are based around figuring out how a short series of numbers are connected in some way. Or ways.
  • Figure Recognition CAT4 shows a specific shape that is hidden in only one of the given multiple choices.
  • The CAT 4 Figure Analysis section’s questions require pupils to recognise the correct orientation of a given object or 3-D shape.


UAE school curricula

  • Before you enroll your child in an international school, it’s important to figure out what curriculum you want your child to study. This depends on several factors such as:
  • Whether or not your child will stay in UAE for higher education. Especially relevant if you are an expatriate and plan to move back to your home country after a few years.
  • If another international curriculum will cover the same subjects as the curriculum of your home country.

International Baccalaureate UAE schools

  • These UAE schools are generally a good choice for those who come from countries which don’t follow a UK type curriculum with GCSE and A-Level assessments.
  • The IB is easy to transfer and offers great flexibility and provides your child with the skills to switch at during later stages.
  • There’s a huge number of both American and British international curricula offered in UAE schools.
  • The American UAE schools predominantly copy a U.S based education pattern accompanied by a credit scoring system, which is conveniently transferable.
  • Their curriculum is much similar to what any IB school would offer.
  • Whereas the British UAE schools are highly valued by expats who are interested in pursuing higher education in world-renowned universities.

Where can I find online ratings of schools in the UAE?

If you live in Dubai, then you must check the KHDA ratings for international schools in your area. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority or KHDA is a regulatory body that oversees matters related to the private education sector in Dubai. Their website rates schools against specific criteria and reports on where these schools rank on their list. KHDA’s rankings are made up of five levels starting at the top with ‘Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Acceptable’, and ending at the bottom with ‘Weak’. The criteria for KHDA ratings are a mix of many important factors, such as the school’s leadership capabilities, the student’s academic performance, quality of progress tracking systems, and reporting on results.

UAE CAT4 usage

However, if you reside in Abu Dhabi, you can use the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) as your go-to website for school searching. This department was recently formed, following in the footsteps of KHDA, and provides the same type of services to the public. Hence, the KHDA and ADEK websites are trustworthy sources to provide you with the exact information you need for your child’s school admission.

Does the School’s fee fit your budget?

Apart from determining ratings, the KHDA and ADEK platforms are also great sources for finding international schools that match your fee criteria. It’s no secret that International Baccalaureate schools are amongst the countries most expensive. These are then followed by American and British schools which have only marginally cheaper.

However, one thing you should keep in mind is that the higher fees are generally indicative of a higher quality of education and the curriculum these schools follow. Of course there is a point at which the extra money in fees does not translate to better learning. There are good international schools in the UAE that are affordable and may be covered within your education allowances provided by your employer.

Our practice for each of the eight CAT4 sections

In addition to providing CAT4 Figure Recognition section-specific sample questions, here’s other targeted CAT 4 test practice for each of the separate CAT4 sections:

Each of these CAT4 sections practice will effectively prepare your child for the CAT4 exam.

Our other free CAT4 test practice resources

Who are School Entrance Tests?

We speak as expert test developers ourselves. Infact you can contact our Founder, Rob Williams, at

Rob Williams

An Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Rob Williams is a Chartered Psychologist with over 25 years of experience working and designing tests.
He is also the author of five psychometric test design books and has worked for the  school entrance test publishers ISEB, Hodder and GL Assessment.

We hope you found our latest CAT4 feature useful.