Pre-employment tests have become an integral part of the hiring process for many large and medium companies that college students and interns are already preparing for as early as they possibly can.
One of the most popular assessments out there in the market is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) due to it being able to meet the needs of various companies across various industries.
From accounting firms to construction companies, the CCAT can help hiring managers and employers find which of the dozens, or even hundreds, of applicants, is the one that’s the perfect fit for the job based on the results of their exam.
In addition to them having to meet the company’s minimum score for the assessment, applicants will also have to compete with each other’s scores.
This is the main reason why job hunters and fresh graduates pass CCAT practice tests because even a single point difference can mean them being hired or skipped over.
If you’re someone that’s aiming for a position at a company that you’ve been dreaming of joining for a while now, you need to do everything in your power to make sure that you experience the former.
So let’s go take a look at the CCAT test types and what you can do to ace them.
- The General CCAT
Commonly known as the ‘vanilla’ version of the assessment, this exam aims to measure a number of traits, it being their: critical thinking, problem solving, and learning ability skills.
It does this by making them answer a 50-item test with a time limit of 15 minutes.
This test contains three major subjects: numerical, verbal, and spatial.
From here, we can see what work-related skills are being tested here: your ability to read, write, and understand spoken and written instructions; your ability to perform simple to complex calculations; and your problem-solving skills where the solution isn’t apparent.
In order to tackle the CCAT effectively, you must know its two core principles according to previous test-takers: ‘There are easier questions’ and ‘your main obstacle is time’.
Remember: your main objective is to get a high enough score and be at the top percentile.
To do this, you need to secure as many points as early and as fast as you can in the CCAT, which can be done by focusing on the subjects or topics that are easiest for you.
So if you’re a math wiz, focus on the numerical reasoning section first; good with words and have high reading comprehension? Do the verbal reasoning questions first; and if you’re best with puzzles and sequence analysis? Then the spatial reasoning will be a good source of points.
Since it is very likely that you will answer these quickly, you will have a lot of time to spare for the other and more difficult questions.
If pressed for time, and to have a chance of securing extra points, do not be afraid of making an educated guess. In fact, this can even be the source of your one-point advantage over the other candidates.
- The Universal Cognitive Ability Test (UCAT)
Similar to the CCAT, this exam however does not include a verbal reasoning section so that it can accommodate the needs of international applicants where English isn’t their first language or are not very good with it but are still exceptionally talented.
To compensate for the lack of the verbal ability section, it includes a logic and analysis and an attention to detail section.
There are only 40 items in this exam, to which each test-taker will have to answer as much as they can within 20 minutes.
- Criteria Mechanical Reasoning Assessment (CMRA)
If you’re applying for a job that requires the operation, installation, or maintenance of machinery, then it is also likely that you will be made to take the mechanical aptitude version of the CCAT.
Other companies, however, prefer to only administer this exam in the hiring process instead of alongside the CCAT.
In this assessment, you will be made to answer 30 mechanical concept questions within 15 minutes.
To prepare, read up on the functions of tools, load, simple machines, pulley systems, force, and other concepts that are related to the job that you are applying for.
While there are many CCAT test types out there, all it takes is a bit of studying and a lot of practice in order for you to overcome them on test day.
More often than not, bright individuals tend to panic due to the time limit of each test, causing them to choose the wrong answers as they try to finish the exam in a hurry.
This is where familiarizing yourself with the timed nature of each assessment becomes an advantage over other applicants.
By utilizing a CCAT practice test and study guide to know how to solve each question type as fast as you can, you can gain an edge and improve your chances of being hired by showing that you are ahead of the curve.
Remember, it is also very likely that other applicants are making good use of them so that they can get a better chance of landing the job, which means that you don’t have any reason to put yourself at a disadvantage by not doing the same.