CCAT- Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test
Looking for a new job isn’t easy, even more so when your potential employer wants you to take an aptitude test.
The CCAT (Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test) is a test used by many employers in order to gauge a potential candidate’s ability to train for a new position and of course, succeed.
This and other cognitive aptitude tests have been shown to be accurate in predicting success in the workplace.
Believe it or not, the results tend to be a better predictor of success than interviews and previous job experience. The results are relevant for a wide range of jobs, especially mid and upper-level positions.
Here we’ll break down exactly what to expect from the test, how scoring works and even throw in a few tips to make sure you succeed and secure your dream job.
General Information- CCAT
The CCAT is an aptitude test taken during the recruiting process and measures various skills:
- Critical thinking
- Learning skills
In its entirety, the CCAT is comprised of 50 questions divided into three different categories: math and logic, verbal ability, and spatial reasoning.
Although this may seem easy at first, you only have 15 minutes to complete the test, answering as many questions as possible while making minimal to no mistakes along the way in that short period of time.
To date, the average test-taker is only able to answer around 24 questions correctly, and considering the difficulty or time-eating nature of most questions, only around 1% of those who take it are expected to get a perfect score.
It doesn’t help that calculators are not allowed during the exam as well, causing unprepared test-takers to panic as they try to remember how to do certain operations or formulas.
Although the CCAT exam is usually conducted at the office of prospective employers/companies, many organizations now utilize online testing environments.
This will allow the applicant to answer the test in their home as the results are immediately delivered to them once they are done.
As stated above, time is an important factor in the CCAT exam and the faster and more accurately you can answer each question, the greater your chances are to succeed and land that dream job.
Question Types in the CCAT
Math and Logic Questions- You may not have touched math problem solving since high school, but in many real-world jobs your math skills are of critical importance.
Why? Because your ability to solve math and logic based questions are a clear indication of your ability to problem solve and think critically. The questions are based on simple algebra skills, proportions, and real-life problems.
Fortunately, there is no need to panic because all of the questions are designed to be solved without a calculator. Get ready to put your brain to work and hope that you still remember a few formulas from school as well as a few conversion units!
Verbal Questions- Considering that every job requires you to have some form of good communication skills, these questions will assess your ability to discern a word’s meaning, the relationship between different words, and the role of context in word choice.
Spatial Reasoning Questions- The point of this question type isn’t always clear to prospective employees. Spatial reasoning tests your innate aptitude. What does that mean?
Your ability to solve these problems shows how well you’ll be able to problem-solve and learn and make use of new information in the workplace (and in life in general). These questions require you to flip or rotate shapes and identify patterns and outliers. Now it makes a bit more sense why this is so important, no?
After you take the exam you will be given your raw score – the number of questions answered correctly on the test.
This result is also be given as a percentile as compared to the others who took the exam.
Furthermore, your score will additionally be divided according to the different topics covered in the exam, again: math and logic, verbal ability, and spatial reasoning, so that employers can see your strong points and weak points.
Prior to this, however, employers will have already set a score range that is applicable for each available position and therefore will decide if you are an appropriate candidate based on your results with those being unable to meet the minimum score either as a whole or on a specific section of the test.
In light of this, you should always make sure to give focus or study a lot on the section/s that are more likely to be more valuable over the others for the role that you are aiming for like verbal questions for customer service/writing positions while math and logic for positions that need to perform calculations regularly while on the job.
Plan your time- No matter how optimistic you can be, you, as well as most of the other candidates, may not be able to answer all 50 of the questions. Focus on the questions that you know and understand, and don’t waste your time on questions that you are sure you don’t know.
Focus on the subjects that you know- With three sub-categories, it’s safe to say that one or two will be easier for you. Focus on these! If you’re a math whiz, don’t get stuck on the verbal questions, if verbal is your forte then don’t linger too much on the math questions. Make sure to answer as many questions as possible in the sections that you are more comfortable.
Guess- This may be an odd tip for test-taking but there is truly no harm in answering a question wrong on the CCAT, even if that mistake was just due to a guess or an educated guess. If you find yourself stuck on a certain question or question type, remember, there are 50 other questions that may be easier for you to answer, which in turn can guarantee you more points than lingering on a tough question. If you’re not sure of the answer, guess and move on.
Criteria- Test Administrator
Criteria was founded in 2006 and creates and provides assessments for potential employees in over 18 countries throughout the world. The CCAT is one of the various aptitude tests that Criteria offers.
In addition to various pre-employment tests, Criteria’s main product is HireSelect, a software program that aids in the hiring process using many of its assessments.
Last Thoughts Before the Exam
The CCAT is a popular pre-employment aptitude test used today by numerous companies to screen potential employees early on in the hiring process to save on time and resources by making sure that those who don’t meet the minimum score are weeded out immediately.
Its results are often accurate and tell more than other factors like your interview performance or how good your education is.
This is because none of these can show how the applicant or candidate can perform while under pressure given how many questions they have to answer in such a short period of time. As a result, it is important to be prepared for the exam, to take practice tests in advance and study the question types and formats. Good luck!