Introduction to the CATS

The Concept Assessment Tool for Statics, a Statics Concept Inventory, measures the ability of a student to use fundamental concepts of Statics to answer questions. It consists of 27 multiple-choice questions that involve conceptual reasoning, but no significant computation. Questions comprise 9 distinct concepts, including free body diagrams, equilibrium, static equivalence, and the directions of forces between contacting or connected bodies.

Instructors can arrange for their students to take the test on the web or in class with pencil and paper. Instructors receive results for each student, for the class as a whole, as well as comparisons with other educational institutions. Results include total test score, as well as breakdowns by concept and by individual question. We maintain strict confidentiality of student, instructor and institution.

Development of the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics has been led by Professor Paul S. Steif and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.