What are CCAT Tests?
Criteria cognitive aptitude tests (CCAT) are designed to test cognitive abilities and as a result, are popular pre-employment screening tests.
The test looks at how well you are able to exercise critical thinking and problem-solving skills through a series of different multiple-choice questions covering verbal reasoning, maths, logic and spatial reasoning.
Candidates must try and answer up to 50 questions in just 15 minutes. The time pressure element of the test increases the test's difficulty, so the best way to improve on both speed and accuracy is to practise as many past tests as possible.
What are the Different Types of CCAT Tests?
There are four different question styles in the CCAT: verbal reasoning, maths, logic and spatial reasoning.
Candidates need to demonstrate they're capable in each discipline so will need to practise in areas and subject matter as diverse as graphs and data, synonyms, antonyms and shape series.
Depending on where your innate skills lie, you may want to spend more time focusing on the areas you struggle with to ensure you don't get stuck on certain questions in the test.
There are no calculators allowed on the CCAT test.
CCAT verbal questions
The CCAT verbal questions are designed to see how well you can read, analyse and comprehend text.
On the test itself, you'll be given things to read and asked questions related to synonyms and antonyms, analogies, and even deductive reasoning.
A strong result in the verbal questions shows you could be a skilled communicator and have a confident grasp of the English language and its nuances.
It's important to note that in each section of the test, you're not expected to answer every question, But you will need to try and complete as many as possible to show you're able to find a good balance between speed and accuracy.
CCAT maths and logic questions
The CCAT maths and logic questions look at a candidate's numerical and problem-solving abilities.
Candidates should brush up on data analysis, graph reading, fractions, shape series, matrices and 'odd one out questions'. Although this covers a range of varied subjects, the key thing to demonstrate is an ability to problem solve, while also knowing when to move on to the next question if the challenge is too great.
Because finishing 50 questions in 15 minutes is so hard, there's no expectation that you need to do so. In fact, you're being evaluated on your ability to work through the test at pace while knowing which questions to make an educated guess on in order to move on to the next section.
CCAT spatial reasoning questions
Spatial reasoning questions evaluate how well a candidate can mentally manipulate two and three-dimensional shapes.
Candidates will need to use limited information to draw conclusions and work with shapes to answer complex non-verbal and non-numerical challenges.
As with all questions on the CCAT test, it's about balancing speed and accuracy with knowing when to make an educated guess and move on to the next question in order to make it through all 50 problems.
How Do I Prepare and Pass the CCAT Test?
Here are our recommendations for how you can prepare for the CCAT test:
Don't skip any questions
Although you won't be expected to accurately answer 50 questions in just 15 minutes, making an educated guess on any you're unsure of is one of the best ways you can help yourself to do well.
The questions are multiple-choice so you can try and eliminate any answers you know to be incorrect before guessing between what's left, or if you're really stuck for time you could even select an answer at random.
Either way, it's important to try and answer every question to give yourself the best chance of a high score.
Practice aptitude tests
Practising aptitude tests is the single best way you can prepare for the CCAT test.
Not only will it instil you with confidence as you'll be familiar with the style and format of the questions, but it'll also help you to improve both your speed and accuracy.
After you practise a test (ideally in exam-style conditions), you need to go back over your answers and find out where you did well, but also where you could make improvements. This will help you to focus and hone your revision in order to get the best results on the day of your real CCAT.
Read questions carefully
Reading each and every question as carefully as you can, will really help minimise any possible mistakes and ensure you have the best possible chance of scoring high marks.
It can be tempting to skim read when you're under such tight time pressure, but that could prove disastrous in the long run if you don't properly understand what's being asked of you.
The more you practise, the better you'll get at reading through the questions quickly but thoroughly.