In each of your 3 years of CAT, you will complete a Practical Assessment Task — or PAT. When you first receive your copy of 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 while driving back from my first PAT training session as a teacher). This is the first in a series of posts aimed at helping you excel at this task!

It is vitally important to note that the requirements around the data collected have changed in 2021 for the Grade 12 PAT. The requirements are more specific, especially regarding the “extra data from a source other than your questionnaire” of previous years. You will be expected to collect data from a separate source and compare the information derived from your questionnaire to this extra data source — this will require a bit of extra planning to ensure that you can find data “external” data to match with your questionnaire data.

In this post:
  1. Your “Project Manager”
  2. Show off!
  3. The Learner Guide
  4. Self-marking
  5. Steps to success
  6. Extras

Your “Project Manager”

Your CAT teacher 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, and 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. Then 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!

Steps to success

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

2021 of all years was the year that using a Google Form for your questionnaire became the smart option!

  1. Phase 1
    1. Folder structure
    2. Report outline
    3. Learner Declaration of Authenticity
    4. Brainstorming the 2022 topic
    5. Report cover page
    6. Focus Question
    7. Task Definition
    8. Research questions
    9. Capturing full source details for your PAT
    10. Creating your sources
    11. Creating your bibliography
    12. Evaluating research sources for your PAT
    13. Summarising your sources
    14. Phase 1 Report finishing touches
  2. Phase 2
    1. Questionnaire
    2. Google Form Questionnaire
    3. Excel data capture
    4. Additional dataset (Grade 12 only)
    5. Excel analysis
    6. Excel Charts
    7. Access Database (Grades 11 & 12 only)
    8. Phase 2 report
  3. Phase 3
    1. Final report
    2. PowerPoint presentation (Grade 10)
    3. HTML Website (Grades 11 & 12)


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

Next step: PAT Phase 1: Plan & Research »

By MisterFoxOnline

Mister Fox AKA @MisterFoxOnline is an ICT, IT and CAT Teacher. He has a passion for technology and loves to find solutions to problems using the skills he has learned in the course of his IT career.

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