The Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT)

Last updated 10/2020

If your aim is to have a career in the Candian Forces, you’ll need to take the Canadia Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT). This exam is designed to measure your ability and to provide the Forces with the information they need to allocate you a role in the Forces that best suits you. You’ll want to get a top score on the CFAT, as the better your score the more career options you will have. A proven way to improve your test score is to practice leading up to the day of the test.

At PrepTerminal we have designed a preparatory CFAT course to help you achieve your optimal CFAT exam score. A great test score can open doors. Start practice today and give yourself the best opportunity for success.

Question-MarkWhat is the CFAT?


The Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT) is an aptitude test that features three sections consisting of multiple-choice questions. The Canadian Forces uses the CFAT to see if you have the mental aptitude required in order to enlist. The CFAT is also used to decide which military job you are best suited to and qualify for. The CFAT is compulsory for anyone wanting to enlist in the Candian Forces. The CFAT comes in two versions; a paper version and a computerized version known as the electronic Candian Forces Aptitude Test (eCFAT).

Preparation for the CFAT is key, as the better your CFAT score, the more possible options you will have when applying for different military positions.

Behavioural_PersonalityWhat is the Format of the CFAT Test?

There are three subtests that make up the CFAT:

Verbal Skills (VS): You will be presented with 15 questions which you will need to complete in five minutes. Vocabulary is focused on in the Verbal Skills test. The majority of questions present the candidate with an original word and ask them to select the alternative, which is either the opposite to or the closest in meaning to the original.

Spatial Ability (SA): The SA test needs to be completed in 10 minutes, and features 15 questions. There are two different types of questions in the SA part of the test. The first type of question shows the applicant a three-dimensional shape and asks them to select which two-dimensional pattern would form the 3-D shape. The second type of question shows the applicant a two-dimensional pattern and the applicant needs to select the three-dimensional shape that matches the 2-D pattern.

Problem Solving (PS): This is the primary CFAT subtest. This test features 30 questions and needs to be completed in 30 minutes. Logic and mathematics are at the center of this test. Certain questions are about sequency, and candidates need to identify the relationship between the individual items of a set of letters/numbers/shapes/symbols, in order to find the next item in the set. Candidates will also see math questions that draw on areas of knowledge such as, basic algebra, decimals, percentages, simple equations, work problems and long division.

Question-MarkWhat is the Canadian Forces Recruitment Process?

The Canadian Forces uses a four-step recruitment process to screen potential recruits prior to basic training. The process, in its entirety, can last up to about 5-6 months. Candidates will need to undertake a variety of medical and physical tests as well as aptitude exams and interviews. The four stages of the Canadian Forces recruiting process is as follows:

  1. Application
  2. Aptitude Test
  3. Medical Exam
  4. Interview

People-MarkWhat is Stage One: the Application Process?

The application process used by the Canadian Forces is involved. An applicant will be asked questions about their medical history, work experience, personal interests, and general background. All in all the application process lasts for approximately forty-five to sixty minutes.

After a candidate has submitted their application, they will need to take part in a reliability screening. The aim of the reliability screening is to see if the candidate is dependable when it comes to sensitive information.

123-MarkHow is the CFAT Scored?

The score a candidate achieves on the CFAT will determine which military occupation they are qualified for. For certain occupations the cutoff score is based on the total CFAT score, yet other occupations also require a minimum score within one of the three subtest categories.

The required scores for each occupation are not publicly available. Furthermore, officially candidates cannot know their own scores. What candidates will be told, however, is if they are a fit or not a fit for their chosen occupation.

While retests of the CFAT are possible, the rules regarding taking the test again are intricate. At the least a candidate will need to wait a certain amount of time before they will be able to retake the test.

Therefore, it is essential that you do the best you can on this test the first time around.

CFAT Practice Questions

Verbal Reasoning Question

Sir Arthur Tansley used the term “ecological _____” to describe the whole complex of physical factors that interact to form the environment.

  1. panorama
  2. planet
  3. system
  4. Vitality

The correct answer is (C) — system.


Sir Arthur Tansley used the term “ecological system” to describe the whole complex of physical factors that interact to form the environment.

We need to look for a word that “describes the whole complex of physical factors that interact to form the environment.”

  • Answer (A), panorama, means “scenery.”
  • Answer (B), planet, means “a celestial body orbiting a star” — as Earth orbits the Sun.
  • Answer (D), vitality, means “power to live or grow.”
  • Answer (C), system, means “a combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole.” It is the best answer, and therefore the correct answer in this case.

Spatial Ability Question

After folding these squares into a closed cube, which shaded corner would touch corner “X”?


Correct Answer: E


Face with C is the anchor face.

When the other faces rise around it, corners X and E touch each other.

Word Problems Question

In a small town of 2400 people, 35% are working women, 35% are working men, 5% are stay-at-home parents and the rest are still in school. How many people are still in school?

  1. 600
  2. 300
  3. 250
  4. 560
  5. 420

Correct Answer: A. 600


Quickly recognize that what is being asked is the number of people that are NOT ACCOUNTED FOR = the people who are still in school

Simply add the given

35% + 35% + 5% = 75%

What’s left is 25%

Extrapolate from 10% or simply move the decimal point accordingly and you’ll arrive at 600 = 25% of 2400.

We can also note that when looking for the 25% of any number, it’s the number divided by 4. That’s 2400 ÷ 4 = 600

Tick-MarkWhy it is Essential to Prepare for the CFAT

Top Tip #1. Read instructions carefully
Read the instructions for each test well before you start the test. You should also read each question with care before choosing your answer.

Top Tip #2. Keep an eye on the time
Try not to spend too much time on one question, if it means that you may not have time to complete all the questions in the exam. You can always leave a question and go back to it at the end if you find you have time. Additionally, if you find you are running short on time, it is better to try and guess the remaining answer than to leave them unanswered. You will not lose points for incorrect answers.

Top Tip #3. Make sure your practice regularly
To become skilled at any test, there is no better approach than to prepare for it constantly. Practicing on sample tests can help you improve your test score. You can take mock tests to become familiar with both the format and structure of the CFAT test.

Thumbs-Up-MarkHow PrepTerminal Can Help You Ace Your CFAT Test

Preparation is essential when taking the CFAT, as it is the optimal way to make sure that your aptitude is correctly represented. If you are not prepared, you may get a test score that is not a fair indication of your skills.

Ultimately, it is in the best interests of everyone concerned that you end up in an occupation that suits you. You don’t want to be placed in a situation where you have to retake the test because you didn’t perform well. Doing your best on your aptitude test the first time around will give you the best chance of being allocated the role you deserve in the Candian Forces.

At PrepTerminal our team of psychometric test experts have carefully developed a CFAT preparatory course to help you achieve your optimal score in this exam. Our course is module based and features both video and text-based material. It is easy to follow along and you can do so at your own pace from the comfort of your home. The course includes practice CFAT tests so you can familiarise yourself with the format and question types of all three sections of the CFAT.

Don’t leave your Candian Forces career up to chance. Put your maximum effort into your CFAT preparations, and it will pay dividends in the future.

Canadian Forces Aptitude Test Prep Course

The CFAT test is a highly challenging aptitude test administered by the Canadian Armed Forces in order to select the best candidates for duty. Prepterminal’s CFAT preparation course is designed to fully prepare you for this challenging examination.

Last updated 10/2020

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