What is the CFAT Verbal Skills Test?
The CFAT verbal skills test is intended to assess your ability to comprehend words and relate them to one another. It is part of the recruitment process within the Canadian Forces.
It's important to do well on this section of the test as it demonstrates you have a good grasp of the English language, that you're able to take instructions and that you have strong correspondence skills.
The format of the CFAT Verbal Skills Test
In this test, you will be presented with a word and asked to identify – from a group of alternative words – which is the closest in meaning, or the total opposite. For each question, you will have four multiple-choice answers to choose from (A, B, C or D). For each question, there is only one correct answer.
You will have 15 questions to complete in a time limit of five minutes, which works out at 20 seconds per question.
How is the CFAT Verbal Skills Test scored?
The CFAT Verbal Skills Test is scored on the number of correct answers achieved within the 5-minute time limit. The test is not negatively marked, which means you do not lose marks for incorrect answers, so answer as many questions as you can within the time limit.
The result of the CFAT is not only used to screen potential candidates, but also determines which careers the applicant is best suited to.
The Armed Forces do not disclose the minimum scores for each occupation, though some positions will require a certain score for the applicant to be considered. The higher you score on the assessment, the more opportunities will be available to you. As such, it is always a good idea to prepare effectively so you can get the best possible score.
Top tips for success in the CFAT Verbal Skills Test
Practice. Practice. Practice.
Unsurprisingly the number one tip for success in the CFAT Verbal Skills Test is to practice sample tests. Practicing will help you become accustomed to the format and timing of the assessment, whilst also honing your verbal skills.
After completing a test, make sure you check your answers, so you know where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
If you don't know the answer to a particular question, try not to panic. Attempt to answer the question using a process of elimination by ruling out incorrect answers, or come back and have a go at the question at the end. There is no penalty for a wrong answer, so it's worthwhile to guess questions you don't know the answer to.
Read the question carefully
Many candidates lose marks by misreading the question. Make sure you read it carefully to fully understand what it is asking you before selecting your answer.
Pay attention to the time
Avoid spending too much time on one question. Remember, you only have five minutes to answer all the questions, so if spending too much time on one question means you won't have time to answer other questions, then move on to the next one.
Try to stick to a rough time limit of 20 seconds a question to ensure you complete the whole test.
Check out our full CFAT assessment page here.