Practice Tests

Criteria Cognitive Ability Test (CCAT)

The Criteria Cognitive Ability Test (CCAT) is a psychometric test whose aim is to evaluate cognitive abilities. It assesses one's ability to solve problems, analyse situations from a critical point of view and measure learning ability speed. The CCAT includes three different question types, covering verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning abilities.

Presentation of the CCAT Test

Full nameCriteria Cognitive Aptitude Test
PresentationGeneral Cognitive Ability Test
Measured skillsCritical thinking, problem solving and learning speed
Duration15 minutes
Number of items50 questions

What Does the CCAT Consist Of?

The CCAT is a 15-minute exam comprised of 50 questions. Once the time begins, the candidate must attempt to answer as many questions as possible correctly before time runs out. According to Criteria, the average number of correct answers is 24; only one in a hundred people succeed in answering all the questions. Calculators are not permitted.

The test is divided into three types of questions. After completing the test, the candidate receives a complete profile report.

Don't wait until the last day to start practicing for the exam! Our partner offers 60+ online test examples, including concise solutions.

What Skills Are Candidates Assessed For?

The CCAT measures candidates' cognitive ability using several factors, such as critical thinking, learning ability and speed, and problem solving. Insight into a candidate's cognitive ability allows the employer to determine suitability for the proposed position and reduces the chances of early resignation. According to a case study carried out on a client company using the HireSelect platform, once the CCAT was included in job recruitment processes, the number of workers still employed after six months of work increased from 51% to 74%.

What Are the CCAT Question Topics?

  1. Verbal questions
  2. Numerical and logical questions
  3. Spatial reasoning questions

Verbal Reasoning Questions

Verbal reasoning exercises allow the employer to assess a candidate's ability to interact with other employees and clients, whether via email, telephone or presentations. These questions may include:

  • Word definitions
  • Relationship between words
  • Exercises requiring putting words in context
  • Analogies
  • Other fields of verbal competence


Choose the word that is the opposite of the word in capital letters.


  1. give up
  2. shorten
  3. extend
  4. suppress
  5. withstand

Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B: shorten.

The exercise requires the selection of a word of opposite meaning, as opposed to synonyms It is extremely important to read the statement carefully before selecting an answer.

Numerical and logical reasoning exercises

Numerical questions aim to assess the candidate's critical thinking and problem-solving skills. The questions are to be answered by way of mental calculations and therefore do not require the use of a calculator, which is forbidden.


A group of 3 numbers has an average of 14. The first two numbers are 12 and 17. What is the third number?

  1. 10
  2. 20
  3. 12
  4. 15
  5. 13

Answer and explanation

The correct answer is E: 13.

In order to obtain an average of 14 with 3 numbers, their sum must be equal to 42, which is the result of 14x3. The sum of 12 and 17 is equal to 29, so the missing number must be answer E, 13.

Question of Spatial Reasoning

Spatial reasoning questions, like numerical questions, allow for the examination of a candidate's critical and logical skills. These questions include:

  • Spatial visualization
  • Mental rotation
  • Odd-one-out
  • Image sequences completion
  • Other fields of spatial understanding


Which element does not match?

Sample spatial reasoning question from the CCAT test
Criteria CCAT Test
Answer and explanation

The correct answer is B.

The elements A, C, D, E all have in common the fact that they have a triangle either on the outside or inside. Element B contains only square and is therefore the odd one out.

Tips and Tricks

  • The exam's time limit allows exactly 18 seconds per question, meaning speed is crucial and you must not remain stuck on any one question. The CCAT does not penalize errors and so it is better to guess than to leave any questions unanswered.
  • It is important to read the instructions carefully in order to avoid misunderstandings which may cost you; in this type of test every point counts and it would be a shame to make mistakes which could easily have been avoided.
  • Focus on your strengths! This type of test combines both verbal and numerical questions and it is rare to be equally skilled in both type. It is therefore a smart choice to complete the questions in your stronger field and only then address the remaining exercises.

How Are the Test Results Presented?

The CCAT results are presented to the examinee in a complete profile report, which includes the amount of correct answers as well as a percentage number indicating the candidate's relative score.

The profile report also includes a ranking of all positions, according to Criteria standards and categories. The candidate's raw score is then positioned correspondingly, indicating whether he or she has the required score for the position requested.

Which Jobs Are Relevant?

AccountantsCCAT, EPP
Analysts (financial)CCAT, EPP
Analysts (market research)CCAT, EPP
Counter clerkCCAT, EPP
Executive DirectorCCAT, EPP
Clerical (bookkeeping and accounting)CCAT, CBST
Software engineersCCAT, EPP
Director of OperationsCCAT, EPP
Graphic designerCCAT
Human Resources ManagerCCAT, EPP
IT consultantCCAT, CSAP
Credit ManagerCCAT, EPP
ManagersCCAT, EPP
Store ManagerCCAT, EPP
Marketing ManagerCCAT, EPP
Mechanical engineerCCAT
Network AdministratorCCAT, MRAB
Office ManagerCCAT, EPP
Paralegal and Legal AssistantCCAT, EPP
Personal Financial AdvisorsCCAT, SalesAP
Recruitment ManagerCCAT, EPP
PhysiotherapistCCAT, CSAP
Purchasing ManagerCCAT, EPP
Sales ManagerCCAT, EPP
CommercialCCAT, CBST, SalesAP
Sales Representatives (technology)CCAT, EPP
Social WorkerCCAT, CSAP
Quality Engineer/Software IntegrationCCAT
Technical WriterCCAT
Management ControllerCCAT, EPP

Which Companies Are Involved?

Vista Equity PartnersTIBCO SoftwareFinastraBenjamin W. Wong CFP and Associates
Computer Aid, Inc.ConigentVision ITeSquared Communication Consulting
Brandt Information ServicesMitel Networks, Inc.Exler & Company, Inc.Michael G. Skaff CPA
Summit CPACherry Bekaert LLPFirst Bankers Trust CompanyFirst Global
North Shore BankOhio Valley BankSalem Five BankCrossover
Point Breeze Credit UnionPotlatch Federal Credit UnionSCE Federal Credit UnionTrue North Federal Credit Union
Washington State Employees Credit UnionBristol Tennessee City SchoolsFairfax Christian SchoolEstacada School District #108
CareerWise ColoradoAurora Public SchoolsLakeview Public SchoolsFremont College
La Sierra UniversityArmstrong State UniversityUniversity of North FloridaBrunswick Community College
South Jersey IndustriesBuckeye PartnersBourne's EnergyNorthern Natural Gas
Scout Energy PartnersNew Mexico Student LoansVA Mortgage CenterChurchill Mortgage
ClearOne AdvantageGo CapitalInternational Cruise and ExcursionsMassage Envy
See Rock CityViejas CasinoViking River CruisesAllstate
Farmers InsuranceKinsale InsuranceMcGowan & Company, Inc.State Auto Insurance Company
State Farm InsuranceVaaler InsuranceAccruentAderant
BlackboardComputer Aid, Inc.ConigentVision IT
eSquared Communication ConsultingBrandt Information ServicesMitel Networks, Inc.Law Office of Christopher J. Gillette
Wilber Lane Law FirmZanes LawZinda & Davis, PLLCCarbide Industries
Dannon YogurtDr. Reddy's LaboratoriesEnPro IndustriesFreeman Manufacturing and Supply
Nakatetsu Machining TechnologyNoslerOcean Spray CranberriesPrent
Clearwater PaperDomino's PizzaZankou ChickenTastes on the Fly
Hemisphere CompaniesJohn Bull Ltd.Love's Travel Stops & Country StoresNovelty, Inc.
GoodwillGiant EagleAdvancedAdvicent
MetaswitchVista Equity Partners  
DMCA Compliance information for