What Exactly is a Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test?

 The CCAT (or Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test) is a test that employers use to find suitable candidates to fill a specific position within a company. This test evaluates an employee’s critical thinking, problem-solving, and learning ability, making the search for new staff members far easier and prosperous than it used to be. Employers are not the only ones who can gain any leverage from this test though; proactive employees can make a great impression on a potential new boss by taking this test independently and having the results ready for them to see. If you have a set of skills, why not show them off as early in the interview process as possible?

What does the CCAT show?

So what exactly does the CCAT garner for employers or yourself, the prospective employee? Well, firstly, it will test your logical and mathematical ability. Secondly, your verbal reasoning skills will be put to the test, and lastly, your spatial reasoning. The test itself is relatively quick, taking only 15 minutes to complete. Within those 15 minutes, you will be expected to complete 50 questions. The results of the test will provide you with a scorecard, as well as a percentile ranking, and relative ranking about other participants. That will show you just how well you are doing in specific test areas regarding the wider community. As the test taker, you will be left with a much clearer idea of what sort of job will adapt your skillset, and your prospective employer will be able to see just how well you might suit the position you are applying for.

Multiple choices, multiple topic

All of the questions you will be asked in the test are multiple-choice and quite varied (so as to test a broad range of abilities). For those looking to gain an understanding of exactly what these tests entail, you can check out for CCAT practice tests. Where some questions in a CCAT will give you five different shapes, and ask you to pick the odd one out, another question could ask you to choose a word that means the opposite of the one given, for example:

Choose the word that is most near the opposite of “COMMEND.”

The answer will be chosen from “comply, certify, criticize, prevail, and dissuade.” The correct answer is ‘criticize.’

Another example would be as follows:

Choose the word that, when inserted in the sentence to replace the blank, best fits the meaning of this sentence

“The union delegates claimed they acknowledge that what they did was unfair and wrong and want to _____ it by repealing the notorious tax regulations.”

The answer will be chosen from “compensate, condone, eradicate, rectify, or revamp,” with the correct answer being ‘rectify.’

Maths based questions on the test can look very much like this – “Steven bought five similar soda cans for $3.20. How much does a single soda can cost?” with a selection of answers provided, including the correct one, which would be ‘64 cents’.

Preparation is the key

As you can see, the questions themselves take a short form, and with 50 to answer in 15 minutes, you aren’t expected to linger over each for very long. While the results do give a detailed overview of a candidate’s suitability to specific job roles, you aren’t expected to spend time researching for this exam. Practicing, on the other hand, is highly recommended, as not only will this prepare you for the sort of questions you are likely to face but will also help you get acquainted with solving the problems within the time limit. That is often a huge stumbling block for those of us who are desperate to do well on a test and fixate for far too long on one or two questions that we find harder than the rest. Practicing a CCAT will also provide you with information on which areas you need to improve upon, which could prove invaluable when applying for a job that requires you to be better in an area you happen to be weak in. Rather than looking at a CCAT with a sense of nervousness, look at it as a potential pedestal, upon which you can show any employer just what an asset you could be for them.

Acing the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test

As said earlier, preparation is the key to crack the CCAT. However, there are certain aspects that you need to look at when preparing for CCAT. How you prepare for the test will be of great help when you start working for an organization. The following are the foolproof preparation tips for CCAT.

1. Know the instructions

It is essential that you take your time when preparing for the test. Read the instructions carefully before planning your test strategy. When we talk about MCQs, they are so-called ‘distractors.’ You can easily waste a lot of time on one question. Since all the options are intentionally similar to the correct answer, it can be a lot confusing. Hence, you need to read the question/instructions properly.

2. Know your strengths

While practicing, you will be able to determine your strongest points. Perhaps you are good at math but extremely weak in reasoning, or you are a slow reader. Whatever the case, you need to know your strengths to ensure that you don’t lose marks on a known topic. Don’t waste too much time on a single question.

3. Time management

Time management is the key to acing the CCAT. Remember, you don’t have to answer all the questions. Don’t spend too much time on a single issue. Read the question carefully, look at the options, and decide within 20-30 seconds the right answer. It comes from practice, which we hope you have done already.

4. Your test-taking strategy

For starters, start with the areas you are good at. This way, you don’t have waste time on hard questions. Remember, the goal is to answer maximum questions correctly and not all the questions correctly. So take your best guess and don’t spend too much time on a particular problem.