A Guide to the CCAT Test: Examples & Tips
Updated November 18, 2023
More and more employers are choosing to use psychometric testing as a part of their recruitment processes as it helps to highlight those candidates who are most likely to be suited to the roles they are looking to fill.
Employers will often use this form of testing when recruiting for mid-to-high level managerial roles or positions that require a specific set of skills.
Using the results of assessments, recruiters and employers are able to see the strengths and skills of individuals as well as being able to predict future performance.
One of the most popular options for psychometric testing is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude test – more commonly known as the CCAT.
The CCAT is a cognitive abilities test commonly used by recruiters and employers during their hiring processes to screen candidates.
The test looks to evaluate and assess a range of key skills and cognitive abilities that are typically split into three sections:
- Math and logic
Candidates are required to answer a series of questions for each section, with around 50 questions in total across all areas of the assessment.
Scores are then sent to recruiters who can use this information to decide whether potential candidates have the skills and abilities required to fulfill the role they have applied for.
When you are asked to take the CCAT test as a part of a job application, you may be wondering what you should expect.
In general, the test will usually follow a standard format that involves candidates answering 50 questions which are spread over three sections.
You will usually be asked to complete the CCAT test at home via an online link. Employers are then provided with your scores once the tests are completed.
Candidates will have just 15 minutes to complete the CCAT test, so it is important to work quickly, methodically and accurately.
Most candidates will not be able to answer all of the questions within that time limit, so accuracy is vital to gain the best possible score.
As the name would suggest, the math and logic questions that you are likely to find on the CCAT test are designed to assess your ability to ask questions that have a mathematical or logical reasoning theme.
You will be asked a series of questions that will require you to understand and use algebra and an ability to understand math problems in a logical way which allows you to infer meanings.
Candidates are not allowed to use calculators to answer these questions, but you will be allowed to use a pen and paper to work out the CCAT test answers if you need to.
For the verbal reasoning questions found within the CCAT test, you will need to show your knowledge and understanding of vocabulary and grammar as well as your communication skills.
You will be asked to answer a variety of questions which could involve inferring meaning, selecting the correct word for a situation or finding synonyms or antonyms to examples that are provided.
Spatial reasoning may seem like a slightly unusual area of questioning and many of the questions themselves will appear to be random in comparison to those found in other sections.
However, the answers given within the spatial reasoning section of the CCAT assessment will give potential employers valuable insight regarding your ability to think analytically and find solutions to problems.
Taking the time to look and answer sample questions can help to prepare for taking the test for real.
If you can’t afford to pay for full CCAT practice assessments, or simply don’t have the time for intensive practice, then it is still a good idea to familiarize yourself with some CCAT sample test questions to understand the typical format.
We have included some criteria assessment test sample questions below to help you get a sense of the type of question you are likely to find when you sit the CCAT test.
There are also a number of websites that will offer free criteria assessment test sample questions.
1. In a clearance sale, a pair of earrings had been reduced by 67%. They were originally retailed for $198, how much were they in the sale?
2. Frank was trying to work out how many packs of floor tiles he needed for his kitchen. The kitchen had been measured and was 18.5 m2
Each pack covered approximately 3.5 m2 and Frank had been recommended to allow an extra 10% in case of breakages.
How many packs of tiles does Frank need to buy?
3. Select the correct number to complete the series.
3, 10, 24, 45, ____
1. Identify the adjective in the sentence below:
The summer that year had been particularly harsh; the sun had scalded the grass so that it was almost the same shade as the trunks of the ancient trees.
2. Select the correct word to finish the sentence below:
James had never applied for such a senior role before which meant that he was a little ______ when he submitted his application.
3. What is a synonym of 'rain'?
1. Find the correct answer to complete the pattern.
2. Which of the following does not belong?
Once you have completed the CCAT assessment, your scores will be passed on to whoever is in charge of recruitment and hiring.
The scores are usually given in two forms: a raw score and a percentile rank.
- Raw Score – This is the overall number of questions that you got right. This score will be shown to you as a mark out of 50. For example, if you answer 27 questions correctly within the time limit, then your score would be 27/50.
- Percentile Rank – This compares your correct criteria assessment test answers against others who have taken the test and ranks your score out of 100. For example, if you get a percentile rank of 57, this would mean that you scored better than 57% of people who took the CCAT test.
The passing score will often vary depending on the individual company.
They will often set their own thresholds which can make it difficult to know what a pass mark is. For example, one company might only want to consider the top 20% of candidates, whereas another might be willing to look at the top 50%.
In general terms, the score that you are expected to achieve will likely vary depending on the level of the position you have applied for.
This means that those seeking senior management roles are likely to be expected to gain higher scores than those applying for entry-level roles.
Because it is difficult to predict what a company might decide to use as their threshold, it is important to make sure that you give your very best performance on the day of the CCAT test.
This way, whether you manage to reach the required mark or not, you will know that you did the best that you could.
How to Prepare for the CCAT Test
As the CCAT test is typically used to assess your cognitive abilities, you may feel that there is very little CCAT exam preparation that can be done.
However, this is not true. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that you are able to give your best possible performance on the day.
There are very few things that feel worse than knowing that you could have avoided an incorrect answer if you had been more aware of what the question was asking.
This is why it is so important to make sure that you are familiar with the way that the CCAT assessment is formatted before you begin.
This is where reviewing lots of practice CCAT test questions and answers will come in handy.
One of the best ways to familiarize yourself with the test is to answer CCAT sample questions online.
Through this process, you can get used to the style of questions you are likely to be asked, how long you will have to complete the assessment and the best way to answer the questions.
There are a number of websites that offer free CCAT practice questions as well as paid CCAT assessment packages that contain everything that you could need to prepare yourself.
Nobody can ever be good at everything, but there may be certain things that you are particularly good at.
Knowing what these things are can help you to know how best to focus on areas in need of improvement. Revewing your practice Critria Aptitude test answers will help with this.
You may also be able to use these strengths to build on other skills and areas which might not be quite as strong.
Just as practice tests and sample questions can help you to identify your strengths, they can also help you to understand any areas which are perhaps weaker.
This process can then help you to discover the best ways to practice and the style of questioning which you should be practicing.
For example, if you are naturally stronger at math-style questions but not verbal ones, you may find that it is a good idea to take more practice CCAT verbal assessments rather than the other areas.
The CCAT test is timed. You will have just 15 minutes to answer all 50 questions in the test, so it is vital to be aware of working at speed as, to score well, you will need to answer questions both quickly and accurately.
Taking Criteria Cognitive Aptitude practice tests will help to familiarize yourself with the amount of time that you will have to answer questions and can help to improve your overall speed and accuracy.
There are a number of studies that show that being well-rested can have a significant impact on your ability to think logically and remember information.
So, therefore it stands to reason that you should make sure to get a good night's sleep before you take the CCAT assessment.
You should never underestimate the importance of a good breakfast in life generally, but this is especially true when it comes to preparing for a test.
While nerves might make you tempted to skip breakfast altogether, making sure that you eat a meal that contains complex carbohydrates and protein will help to ensure that you are fueled for as long as possible.
After all, nobody wants to be distracted by a hungry stomach while they are trying to take a test.
The CCAT test is a psychometric assessment that is used to assess the way that people think and the core skills that they possess.
It is primarily used by recruiters and employers as a part of their recruitment process when they are looking for a specific type of person to fill a role.
In a way, yes, they are similar. However, they are also very different.
An IQ test looks to assess intelligence in a more general way whereas the CCAT test is designed to look at specific areas of intelligence.
This is why the CCAT test is more popular for use in recruitment where it can identify the strengths and skills of individuals rather than simply putting a number to their intelligence.
How easy or difficult it is to pass the CCAT can vary depending on the role and employer as they are able to choose their own benchmarks for candidates.
In fact, you may not even be told what the pass mark is when you take the test.
This is why it is important to make sure that you prepare ahead of time and give your very best performance on the day.
There are plenty of websites that will help you to prepare for the CCAT test.
You will be able to find some which offer free sample questions if you would prefer not to pay for a full CCAT test preparation pack.
However, if you can afford to pay for full practice test papers and preparation tools this can help you to achieve the best possible results as you will get a better idea of how the test is formatted and how to answer the questions within the time limits.
Once you have taken the CCAT test, your results will be sent to the recruiter.
They will then assess which candidates have passed before moving them on to the next stage of the interview process.
If you have been unsuccessful, then you are likely to be contacted by the recruiter to let you know and thank you for your time.
Results are usually available very quickly, but this does not automatically mean that you will know them.
Candidates are not always sent their results as they are usually sent to the recruiter.
However, the hiring manager might go through the test results with you to explain why you have been successful or unsuccessful.
Tests are normally given by companies as a part of their recruitment process. If you are unsuccessful in reaching their benchmark for the next stage of the recruitment process then it is unlikely that you would be given the opportunity to try again.
You may, however, be asked to complete the CCAT again at a later date when you apply for other positions.
There are a number of websites that will help youtube prepare for the assessment with sample questions and helpful tips.
Articles such as this one are also a good way of learning about what to expect and how to prepare for the CCAT test.
Most jobs still don’t use psychometric testing as a typical part of their recruitment process, so if you are applying for an entry-level position, a role within retail or similar career paths, it is possible that you won’t be asked to complete an assessment.
However, if you are applying for a position that is mid or senior management level, you are likely to find that employers will use a wider range of tools to ensure that they choose the right person for each position.
In these situations, you are more likely to come across the CCAT test and other, similar, assessments.
Psychometric testing is becoming an increasingly popular tool within recruitment processes across the globe.
Companies use this form of testing to know that they are hiring the best possible people for each role, improving the performance of the company as a whole and also boosting employee morale as people are well-suited to the roles that they are given.
The first time that you are asked to take a psychometric test such as the CCAT test, it can be overwhelming and unfamiliar.
However, taking the time to take practice tests, review your criteria cognitive aptitude practice tests answers and familiarize yourself with the format can significantly help you to provide your best performance on the day.