Acing your PAT!

In each of your 3 years of CAT you will complete a Practical Assessment Task – or PAT. When you first receive the Learner Guide – a 30-plus page document – your heart might sink a little. “How will I ever complete this thing?” you might think (I know it’s what I was thinking driving back from my first PAT training session as a teacher).

Your “Project Manager”

Your Educator is your Project Manager, or PM. The PM’s task is to make certain you understand what is required of you, to keep you on track, to guide and assist you where necessary. Your PM should be constantly evaluating your progress and giving you constructive feedback.

Show off!

This is your opportunity to show all the skills you have acquired during your CAT studies. There are even marks for showing skills you have picked up that are not covered by the curriculum. The minimum requirements are exactly that: the least amount of work you need to do to fulfil the PAT requirements. Minimum requirements = minimum marks!

The list below is aimed at highlighting the path to success with your PAT:

  1. Read your Learner Guide carefully
  2. Create a concise Focus Question
  3. Write a power Task Definition based on your Focus Question
  4. Always make sure that the work you are doing now will allow you to fulfil the later requirements of the PAT

The Learner Guide

You will receive a copy of the Learner Guide. It details every single step and requirement and provides examples for you to follow. It is your PAT “Bible”. It also includes a copy of the assessment tool. Read it carefully. Read it again!


Do you think you have completed a section? Take the assessment tool and mark yourself! Not sure you ticked a box? Ask your PM for guidance! 100%: here I come!

Below is a list of links to additional posts dealing with specific sections of the PAT:

  1. Folder Structure
  2. Report outline
  3. Page numbering
  4. Report cover page
  5. Focus Question
  6. Task Definition
  7. Research questions
  8. Evaluating research sources for your PAT
  9. Questionnaire
  10. Phase 3 final report

As mentioned before, you can demonstrate skills that fall outside of the CAT curriculum:

  • Add some Lorem Ipsum dummy text to your Phase 1 Word report
  • Be creative with your images using GIMP or other image editing software
  • Use URL shortening to modify your website URL’s in your research questions table (keep the original URL’s and create an additional column for the shortened URL’s)
  • Use some CSS to add some panache to your website (remember to demonstrate the standard HTML skills as well to “tick all the boxes” on the marksheet)

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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