Updated 28 May 2020
CAPP is a company that specialises in psychometric testing solutions for businesses in a variety of industries and sectors. Some of the most notable businesses that use its tests are in the finance and legal industries, including Deloitte and EY.
The company was founded in 2005 and, since its inception, has developed some of the most advanced strength-based assessments available on the market.
One of the main attractions of CAPP’s tests is that they focus on the innate strengths and abilities of a candidate. Because of this, CAPP tests are believed to match candidates with jobs that they are more intrinsically attracted to, and so (theoretically) help to create happier and more productive workplaces.
CAPP has a varied catalogue of strengths-based aptitude tests. Its most popular and commonly used tests are the verbal, numerical, critical reasoning and situational judgement tests. Let’s look at each in turn.
The tests have no strict time limit and candidates can work through them at their own pace. Although the tests may seem ‘pressure-free’ to some, really they just present a different type of challenge, as the time you take to complete the test is taken into account.
These are also conducted without any time limit. The tests assess candidates’ numerical mindset, their ability to identify relevant data, comprehend numerical information, interpret visual data and decipher problems.
CAPP tests use a scientific scoring system that takes into account the candidate’s speed and accuracy at answering questions, along with the difficulty of each respective question.
The candidate will face up to 20 questions in a typical numerical reasoning test. Because the test is adaptive, the number of questions may vary and will depend on how well the test-taker handles initial questions/problems.
Here is a sample question:
Solution: In order to answer the question, you need to work out the ratio of Annual Return (%) to Risk Weight (%) for each of the four investment types.
For example, for 'government bonds' the unit of expected annual return per unit of risk involved would be 8/10 or 0.8. You do the same for the remaining investment categories. In sum, you will find that the investment that offers the highest return per unit of risk involved is 'speculative stocks'. The correct answer is (B).
CAPP’s critical reasoning tests are a fundamental component of the recruitment processes for many of the UK’s top graduate and managerial positions. The tests focus on events that are likely to take place in a modern work environment. They asses how candidates judge arguments, evaluate evidence, draw logical conclusions, identify assumptions and come to conclusions.
In addition, candidates are asked to rate how confident they are in each of their answers. This gives employers more insight into the candidate’s critical abilities.
Situational judgement tests (also known as situation reasoning assessments) are used to scrutinise a candidate’s approach to solving work-related problems.
The CAPP-style SJT format consists of a series of situations, with the candidate instructed to rank the courses of action, with ‘1’ being those they are most likely to take and ‘5’ those they are least likely to take. In this test, you will be able to rank the five presented options by dragging and dropping them in any order you choose.
The aim of the test is to evaluate core competencies that are appropriate for the position and the organisational culture. Eight of the major categories of core competencies that are most commonly assessed include:
Here's a sample question:
You have been working in your new role for only six weeks and you are enjoying the diversity of tasks you are working on. Your manager is impressed with your work so far and has already given you some responsibilities to support your team.
Your manager calls you in for a meeting and offers you an opportunity to take up an international placement that will you will need to start immediately.
The placement is in Cape Town, South Africa, and you will be required to provide support to a small team. Your manager feels that you will gain a lot of experience from this international placement. He has given you three days to decide if you will accept the placement.
What do you say to him?
Please rank in order the options below, with 1 being what you are most likely to say and 5 being what you are least likely to say:
Solution: correct rank is 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. This is the most effective answer as you show enthusiasm to take up opportunities to develop and improve your skill set. You also show your willingness to learn by forgoing your commitments at short notice.
Other companies that use CAPP tests include:
The key to passing the CAPP tests is practice, practice and more practice. Practising CAPP tests will give you more familiarity with the testing style, help you improve your technique and make you more confident on the test day.
The best way to prepare for any recruitment test is by completing practice test packs. Generally, you should focus on whatever component you consider to be your weakness and perfect it. If you’re not from a mathematical background and feel uncomfortable with numerical data, spend some time taking practice CAPP numerical reasoning tests.
Or perhaps you have a more scientific background and find verbal reasoning difficult to get to grips with. If so, get into the habit of reading academic texts with a critical eye. In the lead-up to the test, start reading articles in publications like The Economist and Forbes on a regular basis.
As you read these articles, think about the way that the author presents and explores key points. Continual practice will equip you with the skills you need to pass the verbal reasoning tests.
Another important thing to bear in mind is that the CAPP assessments may differ slightly from company to company, based on each organisation’s set of core competencies. So, be sure to research the individual company and the key strengths it looks for.
The following are potential questions which could come up in a CAPP test:
You’ll usually be presented with a graph or chart of numerical data. For example, a chart may present flight times and fares from both Glasgow and Edinburgh airports to a variety of destinations within the UK.
The candidate may then be asked the following series of questions:
1. Rank the time required for each journey from the longest to the shortest, bearing in mind that a 45-minute layover is needed in Glasgow, and an hour-long layover is needed in Edinburgh.
Solution: For each flight, the candidate should work out the exact route which should be taken, and what the connecting airport should be. With that information, they’ll be able to add up how much time each journey should take and be able to rank the journeys accordingly.
For example: flight time + connection time + flight time = total journey time
2. A group of four adults will travel from Edinburgh to the Isle of Man. They have received 80% off their return flights and have invited one more friend along who pays the full price. How much in total have the five adults saved on the original flight fare?
Solution: The candidate should first calculate the original cost of flights for five people at the original price. After doing this, they should then calculate the total cost of four flights at the 80% discount and add the cost of one full-price fare, to work out how much the adults actually spent. Then you subtract the actual spend from the original flight cost and express the saving as a percentage.
The answer will be 16% or [5 - (1 + 4 x 0.8)] / 5 = 0.16
For example: cost of flights for scenario 1 – cost of flights for scenario 2 = savings
savings / cost of flights for scenario 1 * 100% = savings as a percentage
The verbal reasoning test includes five types of question:
The candidate is shown a passage of text and two potential replies that could follow. They should choose which response is the most appropriate, based entirely on the style of communication.
Read a passage of text and choose the most appropriate word to fill in the blank spaces.
Read a passage of text and correct any mistakes that you find.
Read a series of statements and rank them from 1 to 5, typically with ‘5’ being the most positive and ‘1’ being the least positive.
Read a passage of text and answer the comprehension questions using ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘cannot say’.
The critical reasoning test contains five different types of question. For each question, the candidate should indicate how confident they are in their answer.
The candidate is shown a statement and four possible conclusions. They should decide whether the ‘conclusion follows’ or the ‘conclusion does not follow’, based upon how relevant each conclusion is to the original statement.
Again, candidates will be shown a statement and four possible conclusions. They should consider whether each option could reasonably be true or false, based on the information they have previously read. Each option should be marked as ‘conclusion follows’ or ‘conclusion does not follow’.
The candidate is shown a statement and four potential arguments that could follow it. Based on what they’ve read, they should decide whether each potential argument is a ‘strong argument’ or a ‘weak argument’.
The candidate is shown a short paragraph of text and four possible conclusions that could follow from it. They should consider each conclusion and decide whether it could be true or false, based on the information they’ve read.
The identifying assumptions section of the test consists of four questions. Each question begins with a statement followed by four potential assumptions. The candidate should decide whether each assumption is expressed in the passage of text.
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