Cognitive Ability Test – FAQs

  1. How does the application process work?
    Each potential learner sits the CAT to identify their cognitive ability.  Learners are then placed into one of four bands based on their mean score across the three tests. A random allocation of places will then take place for learners within each band.
  2. What is the purpose of the Cognitive Ability Test (CAT)?
    To ensure The JCB Academy takes learners across the ability range.
  3. What if I don’t pass the CAT?
    There is no pass or fail.  The CAT is only used to allocate learners to the relevant band.
  4. When will the CAT take place?
    You will be notified of the date and time of the CAT.
  5. Where will I take the CAT?
    All CATs will be sat at The JCB Academy.
  6. What is the duration of the CAT?
    The CAT comprises three separate tests:

    • verbal reasoning (45 minutes);
    • non-verbal reasoning (45 minutes);
    • quantitative (45 minutes).
  7. What is the content of the CAT?
    For further information on the CAT, please visit
  8. How can I prepare for the CAT?
    The CAT is a test of cognitive processing and it is not something learners can prepare for. However, to ensure we get a true impression of your son/daughter, it is helpful if they are relaxed and know that the test is not pass/fail.
  9. What if I can’t make the date of the CAT?
    It is possible for us to look at an alternative date. However, due to the demand we may not be able to offer you an alternative date and this may jeopardise your application. We have to complete the process well before the national offer date of 1 March 2020.  Therefore we will not be able to reschedule the February dates.
  10. Can I get extra time in my CAT?
    No additional time will be allocated as the aim is to allocate a learner to the band.  Headphones will be provided to ensure all can access the questions.
  11. Will the CAT be paper based or completed on a computer?
    The test is computer-based.
  12. Who marks the CAT?
    The test is marked online.
  13. When will we find out the results?
    Should you wish to know the test score, we will email you the mean and individual scores.
  14. Will I be offered a place without taking the CAT?
    It will be impossible for us to allocate a place unless a learner has sat the CAT.
  15. Do I drop my child off and wait around?
    We do not have the facilities for parents to wait at the academy, however Uttoxeter town centre is approximately 1 mile away and Denstone Farm Shop is approximately 0.5 miles away.