What is CATS?
Collaborative Academic Testing Service, P.A. (CATS) is a professional association that helps independent schools administer and coordinate admissions testing for young applicants. Our organization’s doctoral-level licensed psychologists administer the highest-quality individual cognitive abilities testing for children applying to participating schools. After testing, the CATS office distributes evaluative reports to the families’ chosen participating institutions. CATS has been serving schools and parents since 2004.
Value of CATS
The value of Collaborative Academic Testing Service lies in the coordination we facilitate among participating schools and in the high quality of our assessments. By coordinating testing information, young applicants are protected from over-testing and schools are assured of authentic assessment results. And because testing is our business, we make sure that only the best psychologists perform our assessments. CATS psychologists are highly qualified, personable professionals who enjoy working with preschool and school-aged children. Parents and schools can rest assured that we make every effort to provide a professional yet enjoyable testing experience for children.
The goal of CATS and all participating schools is to ensure that appropriate placement decisions can be made for every applicant. We look forward to treating your child with the respect and professionalism that he or she deserves. Thank you for your cooperation during the admission process.
Many parents wonder how best to prepare their child for the testing experience. CATS evaluations are based on the assumption that all tasks are novel when presented to the child. The purpose of the testing is to assess problem-solving skills and natural cognitive abilities. Unlike achievement tests such as the S.A.T. or A.C.T., no preparation is expected beyond the typical environmental stimulation offered to growing youngsters. In fact, previous exposure to any components of the evaluation or tutoring with similar tasks invalidates the results.
Parents will be asked at the time of registration and again at the testing appointment to verify that no test preparation or test exposure occurred prior to the CATS appointment. Applicants who have been tutored for the evaluation are at risk of disqualification from the applicant pool since the invalid cognitive abilities component will not be considered as admission decisions are made.
Testing is solely for admission to participating schools. Students may not be tested for practice or for parents’ information only, and they may be tested only once during a given admission season. Reports will only be mailed to schools using this testing for admission purposes; reports will not be mailed to preschool programs.
MerriLee Anderson, Ph.D., President
Pamela Woodiel, Office Coordinator
Please note that email is the most efficient method of communication with the CATS office as email is monitored very frequently. Phone calls will be returned within 2 business days in most cases.