What is the CFAT Problem Solving Test?
The Problem Solving Test is the largest subtest in the CFAT, encompassing a mix of mathematical problems and logic questions. It's particularly worth brushing up on this section of the test, since the questions are more challenging and the results are important.
The test is intended to measure your overall problem-solving ability, by presenting you with problems of different kinds.
The format of the CFAT Problem Solving Test
The CFAT Problem Solving Test consists of 30 questions which you will have to answer within 30 minutes, allowing 60 seconds per question. All the questions are multiple-choice, so you are required to choose an answer out of four possible answers (A, B, C or D).
The problems in the test will be presented in the form of various question types:
Time questions – These will require you to solve problems relating to time, and will typically be presented in scenarios.
Numerical reasoning questions – This measures your ability to solve mathematical problems. You should be comfortable with addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages, averages, ratios, decimals and fractions.
These questions should be around the level of high school math. Calculators are not allowed in the CFAT, so you must be able to solve these problems without one.
Number series questions – These questions require you to recognize the relationship between a series of numbers, and use this information to determine either the missing number or the next number that follows.
Figure series questions – Here you are required to determine the relationship between two symbols or shapes, and apply this same relationship to another symbol or shape to predict the next object in the set.
How is the CFAT Problem Solving Test scored?
The score you will receive for the problem solving test is determined by the number of correctly answered questions in the 30-minute time limit. The test is not negatively marked, so it is recommended to answer as many questions as possible.
The Armed Forces use the score you receive on the CFAT to work out which careers you are suitable for. They do not publicly disclose the scores required for each role.
Top tips for success in the Problem Solving Test
Create a study plan
As this test consists of various topics, it is a good idea to create a study plan to ensure you cover all the areas. Make sure your study plan is manageable by breaking your studying up into small chunks.
Focus on your weaknesses
When studying for a test, prioritize the areas you are less comfortable with. It may be a struggle at first, but you will soon see yourself improve and will be better prepared for any question presented to you.
Remember you have to complete 30 questions in 30 minutes, so use this as a guide on how long you should be spending on each question. If you get stuck, don't burn too much time on one question, as you may run out of time for questions later in the test. If you have time, come back to the question at the end, when you may find it easier to solve.
Read the instructions
When under timed conditions, misunderstanding the question is a common way to get tripped up. Therefore it is essential you read the instructions and questions carefully, so you know what it is asking you.
Check out our full CFAT assessment page here.