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The CCAT Test (2024 Guide)

The CCAT Test (2024 Guide)

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The CCAT (Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test) is a psychometric test used by employers as part of the recruitment selection process.

This cognitive ability test is primarily used in the recruitment of candidates for mid- to high-level job roles, and is widely regarded as being effective at predicting potential.

As such, it is often used to make hiring decisions in combination with previous work experience, qualifications and performance at interview.

What Is the CCAT Test?

The CCAT is a pre-employment test where test results can be used to assess:

People demonstrating high aptitude in the CCAT test are considered to be quick learners, in comparison to those with low aptitude.

Each area is tested through a series of maths and logic reasoning, verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning questions. Note that candidates are not permitted to use a calculator when taking the CCAT test.

The CCAT test is made up of 50 questions, although not many test-takers (fewer than 1%) manage to complete all 50 questions within the test’s 15-minute timeframe. According to Criteria (the CCAT developer), the average test score is 24.

What to Expect From Your CCAT Test in 2024

The format of the CCAT assessment and the time pressure make it challenging. For these reasons, candidates often feel intimidated at the prospect of taking the test.

If you feel worried about taking the CCAT, try to remember that most candidates taking the test are unable to complete all 50 questions within the 15-minute timescale.

The most important thing is to answer as many questions correctly as possible, which may mean making an educated guess for some questions so as to move on to the next.

If you need further practice at CCAT tests, try this practice pack from JobTestPrep, which includes a diagnostic guide and 5 full-length sample CCAT tests.

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Example CCAT Maths and Logic Questions

This section of the CCAT assessment test has math questions designed to assess:

  • Basic algebra skills
  • Aptitude for defining proportions
  • Ability to work through word problems

Your score within this section will give recruiters an overview of your numerical reasoning abilities, which can be directly linked to your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

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Example Maths & Logic Question 1

Example Question

A set of three numbers has an average value of 17. The first two numbers in the series are 12 and 19. Identify the third number from the list below.

a) 30
b) 23
c) 20
d) 19
e) 17

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Example Maths & Logic Question 2

Example Question

It currently takes Alice 30 minutes to walk from home to school at a constant speed of 3 mph.

Alice would like to reduce her journey time from home to school to 15 minutes. How many extra miles per hour will Alice need to walk to achieve this goal?

a) 6 mph
b) 5 mph
c) 4 mph
d) 3 mph
e) 2 mph
f) 1 mph

Example CCAT Verbal Reasoning Questions

Communication is key to the majority of job roles, so recruiters will be keen to establish whether prospective candidates have the skills required to communicate effectively with their colleagues and clients.

The purpose of these types of questions is to establish:

  • Overall vocabulary
  • Knowledge of word meanings
  • Understanding of the importance of context when choosing words
  • Knowledge of how different words relate to each other

Example Verbal Question 1

Example Question

Select the word which is closest to being OPPOSITE to the word in italics below:


a) resist
b) stifle
c) truncate
d) elongate
e) abdicate

Example Verbal Question 2

Example Question

Choose the word which best fits into the following sentence:

‘Her behaviour was ____________, especially considering the circumstances.’

a) adjusted
b) dishonest
c) observance
d) exemplary
e) fluid

Example CCAT Spatial Reasoning Questions

Answering these questions may seem like an unusual way for employers to assess whether you are the right candidate for a job role. However, your answers will help recruiters to identify some vital skills, such as:

  • Your ability to problem-solve
  • How you learn and use new information
  • How you perceive images and shapes

Example Spatial Reasoning Question 1

Example Question

Study the series of images below. Which one does not belong with the others?

Example Spatial Reasoning Question 2

Example Question

Study the images below. Which option (a to d) fits best into the empty box?

How Is the CCAT Scored?

On completion of the test, employers will receive information on your raw score (this is the total number of questions with correct answers) and your percentile (this tells them your performance in relation to other people taking the same test).

For example, if you achieve a percentile score of 55, this indicates a good score and that you performed better than 55% of other people taking the test.

Note that your raw score for the CCAT exam is not affected by the number of questions you answer incorrectly – so if you find yourself stuck, it is best to choose an answer and move on to the next question.

How to Prepare and Pass the CCAT Test in 2024

Step 1. Put in the Practice

Many online resources offer CCAT test practice and other preparation resources.

Accessing these will give you a good idea of how the CCAT test questions are structured and what to expect on the day of your real test.

It will also help you to improve your time management and have the confidence to move forward to the next question if you are feeling stuck.

We recommend this practice pack from JobTestPrep, which includes 5 full-length sample tests covering all the question types.

Utilizing free CCAT practice tests is great test preparation and can be used to improve your passing score and score report. The CCAT questions in these sample tests will help you identify where you may be giving a wrong answer.

Step 2. Read the Instructions

Time taken to read the instructions is not counted towards the 15-minute time limit for the CCAT test. That means you can take as long as you need to carefully read through and digest them.

Step 3. Prioritise Sleep the Night Before Your Test

Sleep is vital to good test performance, so make sure you do everything you can to get a good night’s rest beforehand.

If possible, it’s best to avoid completing any practice tests the night before or the morning of the test.

Step 4. Manage Your Time Effectively

With just 15 minutes to work your way through 50 questions, you can only afford to allocate a maximum of 20 seconds to each if you want to try answering every single one.

Don’t forget, recruiters won’t be expecting you to answer every question.

Even so, if you find yourself spending more than a minute on an individual question, it’s probably best to hazard a guess and move forward to the next one.

Step 5. Be Aware of Your Strengths and Weaknesses

Very few people perform equally well in the verbal and maths sections.

If you already know that you are better with words than you are with numbers, allow yourself the opportunity to answer as many questions that you are comfortable with as possible.

For example, if you consider yourself to be a maths whizz but you’re stuck on a verbal question, it is sensible to make an educated guess and move forward to a question you have a better chance of answering correctly.

Final Thoughts

Your CCAT result is only one of many elements that a recruiter is likely to consider when deciding whether to hire you. Make it your strategy to put in adequate preparation time for the CCAT test by completing plenty of practice tests and working on any areas you are not performing strongly in.

When it comes to taking the test, schedule this at the time of day you feel you perform best. Ensure that you will have no distractions and don’t forget to read the test instructions carefully before getting started.

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