Are you looking to advance your career? If you have started on this journey you have definitely started to encounter some pre-employment tests. Testing is an easy way for employers to sift out quality candidates. The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test also known as the CCAT is one of the more popular tests out there, having been taken by over 2 million applicants. Let's get a better understanding of what to expect on the CCAT test and give you free CCAT test practice.
What Is the CCAT Test?
The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test commonly known as the CCAT is a pre-employment test used by employers to test a candidate's problem solving skills, critical thinking, and ability to think on their feet. The test is given by the Criteria Corp whose leading product is HireSelect. HireSelect is a combination of aptitude, skills, and personality tests that help employers with the job selection process. This testing system is used in over 18 countries.
What Is Covered on the CCAT Exam?
The CCAT is an online test that consists of 50 questions to be finished in 15 minutes. The test is usually taken at home. Some companies will have you take it again when you come in for the interview. No calculators will be allowed on the test, but you can use a pen and paper. The CCAT has three main sections: verbal reasoning, logic and math, and spatial reasoning.
Unlike a lot of other aptitude tests this section does not assess your reading comprehension. This section will test your vocabulary skills through the use of analogies, opposites, sentence completion, and comparisons.
Logic and Math
It is important to note that this section is not about how good you are at math. As the test is only 15 minutes long you are not expected to complete complex calculations. The math section evaluates how quickly you can solve simple calculations (e.g. percentages), complete word problems, read tables and charts, and determine the next number in a series. The logic questions will ask you to draw conclusions based on facts given.
In this subsection you will be tested on your ability to analyze a series of shapes and figures and find the missing shape or identify which does not belong.
How Is the CCAT Scored? What Is a Good Score on the CCAT Test?
It is important to understand that only 1% of test takers complete all 50 questions, so don't worry about finishing. The average score on the CCAT is a 24. That being said, most companies are looking for a 28 or higher. To be considered a top contender you should aim for a score of 32-35 points. If you get a score of 38 or above you are a shoe in for any job you want.
How Do You Interpret Your CCAT Test Results?
You get your reports immediately after you take the exam. You will be given your raw score, percentile, results details, and score range.
Immediately after completing the test you will be presented with your raw score. This is the number of questions that you got correct. So if you got a 24 that means you got 24 out the 50 questions correct.
Next to your raw score you will be given your percentile ranking. This let's you know how you scored compared to all the other CCAT test takers. If you get a 50 percentile this means you scored better than 50% of all the other candidates who took the exam.
Then you will get a breakdown on how you did on each of the three subtests. These numbers are percentile rankings not raw scores. So again, it will let you know how you did in comparison to the other test takers. So if you got a 70, this means you scored higher than 70% of the other candidates. This result details section lets you and your potential employer see where your strengths and weaknesses are.
The Criteria Corp will include a suggested score range for the position that you are applying for. As different positions require different skills they give a suggested score based on the national norms that they amassed. It will include where you scored on a bell curve then spell out if you fell within the selected range. It will also let you know the average score range for each position. This can be a very helpful tool for you. It is very common that you apply for one position and through the interview process they find you are better for a different position.
Which Companies Use the CCAT in Their Recruitment Process?
The test can be used on candidates applying for managerial roles or entry level roles. Companies Vista Equity Partners, PowerSchool and Crossover use the CCAT test. Vista Equity Partners has a number of subsidiaries including; Tibco, Marketo, Solera, Infoblox, Vvent, Mindbody, and Apptio. So, if you are applying for a position at any of these companies be ready to take the CCAT. Additionally, the CCAT is given to those within the company looking to change or advance positions. CrossOver is a company who takes applicants from low-income situations and puts them in high paying jobs. Those who apply to CrossOver can only take the test once every six months.
What Is the UCAT Test?
The Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test or the UCAT is also put out by the Criteria Corp. It is a shorter version of the CCAT and covers math, logic, and spatial reasoning only.
Free CCAT Test Practice Questions
Verbal Reasoning Sample Question: Analogies
Train is to whistle as:
- Air is to breathe
- Car is to horn
- Window is to glass
- Bell is to bike
- Sun is to hot
The correct answer is B. It is important to create a relationship between the two words and maintain the order. In this case we can say a Train has a whistle to alert people. Similarly, a Car has a horn to alert people. It is important that the analogy stays in the same order, for that reason bell and bike would not work.
Verbal Reasoning Sample Question: Opposites
Choose the word that is the opposite of the following:
The correct answer is C. Fervor is defined as an intense and passionate feeling. So indifferent would be the opposite meaning of that.
Verbal Reasoning Sample Question: Sentence Completion
___________ the manager had been told by his superior that continuing to overload his team with tasks would be ___________ to his employees, he insisted on giving each one of them a new project.
- Although, copious
- As if, admissible
- Even though, destructive
- Because, assuaging
- As a result of, hard
The correct answer is C. The tactic here is before you even attempt to look at the answers you create your own words to fill in the sentence and then find the words which match the closest. For example, I chose to fill in the sentence as follows… Even though the manager had been told by his superior that continuing to overload his team with tasks would be negative to his employees, he insisted on giving each one of them a new project. Then I found the choice which matched my two guesses as closely as possible i.e. Even though and destructive.
Verbal Reasoning Sample Question: Attention to Detail
How many of the items in the left column are different as the items in the right column?
|1467 Waverly Dr.||1476 Waverly Dr.|
|50 Boyton Rd.||50 Boiton Rd.|
|1925 Essex St.||1925 Essex Rd.|
|7 E Houston St.||7 E Houston St.|
|405 Clinton Rd.||405 Clinton Rd.|
The correct answer is C. The following mistakes were made:
1476 Waverly Dr. (wrong number)
50 Boiton Rd. (spelling mistake)
1925 Essex Rd. (changed St. to Rd.)
These questions should never be skipped; they are fairly easy points. Common mistakes include; changing the numbers, lowercase vs. uppercase, spelling mistakes, abbreviated vs non-abbreviated, and absence or addition of punctuation. You can use your scrap paper to help you keep track.
Spatial Reasoning Sample Question
Which is the next shape in the series?
The correct answer is D.
Let us take a look at the whole picture. Each square in the series has four symbols in it: a circle, a balck square, an X, and a minus sign.
As we look at each of the squares we notice that the symbols move clockwise around the corners of the square. BUT, there is an exception to this rule : the symbol that was most recently in the bottom right corner stays in it's spot for one step, then continues moving with the others.
If the black square and another symbol occupy the same spot. The black square will cover the other symbol.
Let's understand this better. In the first two squares: when we compare the second to the first square we see all the symbols moved clockwise AND the bottom right symbol stays put. We know that anytime the black square overlaps with a symbol it covers it. So the black square is covering the X which it overlapped with.
Let's move to the third square. The pattern repeats itself. Now the black square is in the corner covering the circle.
So if we apply our pattern we know that in the missing square the minus sign needs to stay in the corner and all the other symbols must move one step clockwise.
CCAT Test Math and Logic Sample Question
20.5 is 50% of what number?
The correct answer is D. 20.5= 50% * x
20.5 =½ * x or x/2
Then we multiply both sides by 2
20.5 * 2 = x
CCAT Math Sample Question: Number Series
What is the next number in the series:
5 8 13 20 29
The correct answer is C. The difference between each of the numbers increases by 2 for each step i.e. +3, +5, +7, +9 so the last number should be +11
29 + 11= 40
CCAT Logic Sample Question
Assume that the first two statements are true. Is the third statement: True, False, or Uncertain
Howie is not coworkers with Paul's co-workers
Jake, Sarah, Zack, and Andy are all co-workers
Paul might be Howie's co-worker
The correct answer is A. The key to answering this question is to focus on the word MIGHT. The first two statements don't give us any information that contradict the fact that Howie and Paul might be friends.
Take a look at a CCAT Practice Test and see what 50 questions in 15 minutes actually feels like.
How Can I Prepare for the CCAT Exam?
Knowing is half the battle. Here are some helpful tips to help you know what to expect:
- You are NOT expected to answer all 50 questions in 15 minutes. That is a lofty challenge and you might get overwhelmed simply hearing about it.
- Know your strengths. This is extremely important with such a short test. Try taking a CCAT practice test and figuring out where your strengths lie. This will give you the opportunity to skip over questions you feel will take you too long on the actual test.
- ANSWER EVERY QUESTION. You will not get points deducted for a wrong answer. So it is important that you guess on a question you feel will take too long to answer.
- When it comes time to the math questions, don't waste time getting exact calculations. Estimate when you can, and eliminate answers that are totally off.
- PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. With a test like the CCAT time is everything. Getting yourself used to answering questions quickly and as accurately as possible is very important. So don't go into the test blindly. Take CCAT sample tests until your score is within the limits or even higher than what is expected for your position.
Learn more about CCAT preparation with this CCAT Practice Test.