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Category Test

James Choca, Ph.D.
Linda Laatsch, Ph.D. &
Dan Garside with Rahul Gupta &
James Fenstermacher


The Cat is designed for use as part of a neurological assessment test battery, as a measure of executive function. This instrument is a computerized version of the Halstead Category Test. It is designed to assess problem-solving capacity, or the ability to search for and discover alternative solutions to novel problems.

The Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery is one of the most widely used neuropsychological assessment tools, of which the Halstead Category Test is a part. The computerized version of this test provides the administrator with many advantages including saving time and the elimination of bulky materials. The unlimited use fee is also cost-effective. Neuropsychologists, child psychologists, clinicians and other mental health professionals will benefit from:
  • Availability of four computer-adapted versions: the Halstead Category Test (HCT), the Adaptive Category Test (ACat), the Russell Revised Short Version (RCat), and the Intermediate Category Test (ICat)
  • Automatic scoring and immediate feedback
How to Use the Assessment
The test involves presentation of figures on a computer screen. Respondents select keys 1, 2, 3, or 4 on the keyboard to respond to the test items. According to standard Cat protocol, the administrator must remain unobtrusively present during administration of the test. Instructions appear on the screen, but because the test is used to detect cognitive impairment/brain damage, the administrator will provide verbal direction where necessary. The Cat has four computer-adapted versions: the HCT, the ACat, the RCat, and the ICat.

Halstead Category Test (HCT )
The HCT is the full, computer software version of the Halstead Category Test. This version typically takes 30 to 40 minutes to administer. Although, it is possible that impaired respondents may take up to 95 minutes to complete this assessment.

Adaptive Category Test (ACat)
The ACat, an interactive, computer version of the Cat, uses built-in archival data to compare a subset of responses on items of a subtest to statistically-derived clusters of similar response patterns collected from previous respondents. The ACat then uses a matched statistical group (i.e., a group with similar response patterns to those of the respondent) to accurately predict the respondent’s final score for that subtest.

Russell Revised Short Version (RCat)
The RCat groups the 95 figures of the HCT into 6 subtests. This version of the Category Test was shortened by discarding the memory subtest (subtest VII in the traditional version), reducing in half the number of items from most subtests, and reorganizing subtests V and VI into counting and proportional principles respectively. When multiplied by 2.2, the number of errors across the short and full versions f the test are comparable.

Intermediate Category Test (ICat)
The ICat is designed for children aged 9 to 15. It contains 168 items organized into 6 different subtests. The first two subtests are identical to those found in the adult HCT. The principle of subtest III, as with the adult version, is differential positioning of the figure, but the figures displayed between test versions are not always the same. Similarly, subtests IV and V of the ICat use the proportional principles of the HCT adult subtests V and VI, but the figures displayed are different as is the order of presentation. Finally, subtest VII is a memory subtest that presents figures from the previous subtests.
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Scales & Forms

  • Executive Functioning
  • Problem Solving
  • Abstraction
  • Visuospatial Skills
  • Brain Damage and Cognitive Impairment Back to the top


Author James Choca, Ph.D.,
Linda Laatsch, Ph.D., &
Dan Garside with Rahul Gupta &
James Fenstermacher

Age Range HCT: 16–69
ACat: 16–69
RCat: 16–69
ICat: 9–15

Administration Time HCT: 30–40 minutes
ACat: 30–40 minutes
RCat: 20 minutes
ICat: 30–40 minutes
(with impaired respondents potentially taking up to 95 mins.)

Administration Type Self-report

Qualification Level C



TOLD DX 2nd Ed.