If you were invited to take the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT), be sure to take a look at this helpful guide. Get free practice questions, tips, and other resources from a real candidate who aced the test!
*Disclaimer: This website is not owned or affiliated with the Criteria company.
The CCAT is a classic cognitive ability test that employers use to assess candidates’ critical thinking and problem solving abilities.
Take a CCAT Sample Test
The CCAT is broken down into three sections: Math & Logic, Verbal, and Spatial & Abstract. Let’s take a look at the question types and a few sample questions for each:
This section of the test essentially tests your basic mathematical abilities, and includes number series, word problems, and fraction value question types. Take a look at the sample question below to see how ready you are for this part of the test:
What is the next number in the series?
8 27 64 125 ?
Answer: The correct answer is 216. All of numbers in the sequence are perfect cubes: 8 is 23, 27 is 33, 64 is 43, and 125 is 53. This means the correct answer will be 63, which is 216.
This section of the test tests your general grasp of the English language and your reasoning skills. Question types include analogies, antonyms, and deductive reasoning questions. Try out this sample question:
Taciturn : Talkative ::
A. Industrious : Thorough
B. Boisterous : Emphatic
C. Rigorous : Furious
D. Meticulous : Aggravating
E. Diligent : Indolent
The correct answer is E, diligent : indolent. Taciturn and talkative are antonyms, meaning the correct answer pair will also be antonyms. Diligent means hard-working, and indolent is another word for lazy.
Some people may call this the “fun” section of the test, since there’s no reading required. These questions will test your abilities to work with shapes and patterns, and include shape series, matrices, and odd-one-out question types. These question types are relatively similar, and use roughly the same skills. You’ll need to learn how to quickly recognize different types of patterns that may be present. Take a look at the sample question below:
Which figure comes next in the sequence?
The correct answer is A. There are two patterns involved with the black chevron. First, it alternates between the top left and top right corners of the frame. Second, it rotates 90 degrees clockwise from one frame to the next. This means in the correct answer, it will be in the top left and pointing to the right, leaving options A or C. Next, look at the triangles. The number of triangles stays the same in all the frames, but the color changes from white to black. The number of black triangles increases by one in each frame, meaning the correct answer will have four black triangles. This makes A the correct answer.
There are lots of resources out there that helped me when I was preparing for my own test – here are some of the best on the web:
What do my CCAT results mean?
Score reports can seem complicated, but there are really only two things to know here: first, your raw score, which shows how many questions you answered correctly. Second, your percentile score shows how you did in comparison to other test-takers. This is essentially what employers are looking at when you take the test.
What is a good score on the CCAT?
As mentioned, a score of 24/50 is considered average, and a 30/50 puts you at about the 70th percentile. The answer for what defines a “good” score is that it depends on the position you are applying for, as some positions may look for scores in the mid-30s and up. Take a look at Criteria’s sample score report, which includes suggested score ranges for specific positions.
How do I pass the CCAT?
Some quick tips for success:
Is the CCAT test hard?
Yes! At least, it is if you go in completely unprepared. The average score is 24/50, meaning most people won’t even answer half the questions correctly. Some unfamiliar question types, together with the very short time limit, can make this a difficult test. But the more familiar you get with the test, the easier it will be. I can’t say this enough – practice, practice, practice!
Read more about CCAT scores.