The process of being hired by one of the top companies and landing your dream job has now become a race, where candidates have to surpass many hurdles to get the job.
While resumes and relevant degrees were once good enough to get you hired by your dream company, HR and managers have recently started using cognitive aptitude tests to help them select appropriate candidates.
The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is a pre-employment test that focuses on measuring a candidate’s ability to learn new skills, solve problems, digest and apply information, and think critically. Companies often consider this test a more productive and accurate assessment than verbal interviews.
Furthermore, your high score and good performance on the test will let recruiters know that you will catch on quickly in your new role and that you will be an asset to their organization.
The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is comprised of a total of 50 questions in three different sections:
2. Math and logic
3. Spatial reasoning
You will be given only 15 minutes, which means that you have less than 20 seconds to answer each question – if you can get to them all.
Luckily, there is no need for you to answer all the questions, as less than 1% of the candidates do this in the given time. Instead, focus on answering as many questions correctly as you can.
Once the test is complete, Criteria will generate your raw score and percentile ranking. These indicate the number of correctly answered questions and your ranking versus those of the other test takers.
CCAT Fast Facts (tl;dr)
- Total of 50 questions.
- The test is 15 minutes long.
- Question types: verbal, math and logic, and spatial reasoning.
- Calculators are not permitted.
5 Foolproof CCAT Preparation Tips
- Know the instructions:
During preparation, take the time and read the instructions carefully and then plan your test strategy to score high. In any event, you should avoid wasting time on instructions during the real test—that’s what practicing is for.
- Manage your time:
Don’t forget that time will be ticking down on your screen! You don’t have to answer all the questions to impress your future employer. Don’t spend more than 20-30 seconds on any one question. Also, while the CCAT does not allow you to go back to review questions, you also don’t lose points for incorrect answers. So if you are in doubt with a question, it’s better to make an educated guess and move to the next one.
- Know your strengths:
Through practice, you will be able to identify question types that you answer more intuitively and faster. Try to answer all of them. More importantly, you will probably identify question types that you find to be more difficult. Some of us are slow readers, some are confused by percentages, some have a weaker command of grammar. If you encounter a question for which you know you will need to more time, mark one of the answers and move forward. It is not worth it to lose 20 seconds on a question and only then to decide to move on.
- Answer enough questions correctly:
“Enough” does not mean answering all the questions correctly. Only a small fraction of test-takers finish taking the test and even fewer people answer all the questions correctly. It is that difficult!
On average, people answer only 24 out of 50 test questions correctly. For the vast majority of the jobs, if you manage to get 28 correct answers out of 50, you will surely move on to the next step of the recruitment process. The requested score, however, changes according to the job level you apply for.
- Plan your CCAT Strategy:
– Your goal is to answer enough questions correctly not to answer all the questions of the test correctly.
– Take your best guess.
– Do not spend too much time on any one particular question.
Luckily, there is no need for you to answer all the questions, as less than 1% of the candidates do this in the given time.
Best Resources to Prepare for the CCAT
To maximize your chances of competing with other candidates, follow a solid practice routine beforehand. Warm up your skills and practice online by following iPrep’s free and proprietary CCAT practice resources.
Practice makes perfect. Invest your time now in preparing for the test and simulate the test as many times as possible. Ample preparation should boost your skills and confidence and relieve your stress. This, in turn, will allow you to perform better under the time constraints and get you to the next recruitment-process step.