CAST Test: Free Practice & Preparation [2022]

Asif, EEI Test specialist at JobTestPrep.

Need any help? Can't find preparation materials for your test? Contact me at: ask_asif@jobtestprep.com

What is the CAST Aptitude Test?

The CAST is a test used to measure a candidate's ability to process information quickly, solve basic math problems, and solve different aptitude tests. 

It is used to find talented individuals for various roles which offer great benefits to those who pass their hiring process.

Here is a table summarizing what the test consists of:

Test

Time Limit

Number of Questions

What we Offer You

Graphic Arithmetic Test

30 minutes

16

2 Full-length tests  

Mathematical Usage

7 minutes

18

5 Full-length tests + extra drills

Mechanical Concepts

20 minutes

44

3 Full-length tests + 21 extra drills

Reading for Comprehension

30 minutes

32

2 Full-length tests + study guide


The CAST's difficulty comes from the fact that you have to do the math with a pen and paper instead of a calculator, and there is a strict time limit: This means that the math and mechanical tests can cause a lot of test anxiety and performance issues. This is why practice is so important! But more on that later. Let's go over the 4 CAST sections in more detail:

CAST Sample Questions

1. Graphic Arithmetic 

In the CAST Graphic Arithmetic Test, you have 30 minutes to answer 16 questions. It measures your ability to solve arithmetic problems by using information from drawings. 

You will be presented with a top-down diagram of a building. This building has lots of measurements and different rooms inside. There are, however, some measurements missing. It is your task to calculate these numbers in order to answer the questions without the use of a calculator.

The questions are multiple-choice, with five different answers.

The questions will all relate to two images. However, each image has eight separate questions relating to it. Since this is the case, it’s important to remember that you may use the answers to the previous questions in order to help you answer the current one.

Let’s take a look at a CAST sample question. Try solving this one in two minutes- that's how much time you'll have during the test:

CAST Sample Question #1

The length (top to bottom) of the total property is ____ times larger than the length of the nurse's room.

A. 3
B. 3 1/2
C. 3 1/3
D. 3.6
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is C.

To find the ratio between these two values, divide the length of the total property (90') by the length of the nurse's room (27'). Note that both numbers can be divided by 9:

What’s particularly difficult here is that you cannot use a calculator in this section of the CAST exam. You need to know how to do a variety of different calculations including long division in order to answer this question correctly without having to guess. That’s why, on this PrepPack™, we have included super clear instructions and easy methods for carrying out these calculations.


2. Mathematical Usage

The Mathematical Usage test measures your ability to solve basic mathematical problems from provided information. You will be presented with a table with a number of different relationships- for example, the number of grams in a tonne. You have to use this table in order to answer questions based on this information.

The actual test has 18 questions with a 7-minute time limit. This is a short time limit and really requires a high level of attention. Getting a full score on this test is possible: You just need to learn how to really focus on what’s being asked and how to solve it.

Let’s take a look at a sample question. During the real test, you will have 23 seconds.

CAST Sample Question #2

1 fathom = 6 feet

1 mile = 5,280 feet

0.5 miles = ? fathoms

A. 440
B. 718
C. 880
D. 7,160
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is A.

In order to answer this question, we must place the value of relevant variables to find the answer we need.

We have the value of 1 mile in feet

1 mile = 5,280 feet

 and 1 fathom in feet

1 fathom = 6 feet

but we need the value of 0.5 miles in fathoms.

Let's start by changing feet to fathoms in the mile equation:

1 mile = 5,280 feet = 5,280/6 fathoms

Since we have no calculator, let's divide 5,280/6 by dividing it by 2, and then by 3.

1 mile = 5,280/2/3 fathoms = 2,640/3 fathoms

1 mile = 2,640/3 fathoms = (2,100/3 + 540/3) fathoms = (700+180) fathoms = 880 fathoms

1 mile = 880 fathoms

0.5 miles = 440 fathoms

 

As previously mentioned, there are no calculators allowed in this test. Having 30 seconds per question means that aside from being able to answer each question, you must also do so very quickly.

The CAST Preparation Pack comes with 3 Mathematical Usage practice tests, and 4 extra practice tests focusing on different subjects. The practice tests have a similar time limit to the real test. By using them you will improve your ability to answer math questions under the time limit of the test, and by reading the solutions you will learn specific methods to help you make quick calculations.

Click here for our page on the SOPD Test, which also includes a Mathematical Usage section.


3. Mechanical Concepts

In this CAST assessment, you are tested on your understanding of mechanical concepts and principles. These principles include:

  • Centrifugal Force
  • Gears
  • Gravity
  • Levers
  • Pulleys
  • Shapes

 Among others. For each question there are three possible answers and, as with all the other sections of the CAST assessment, you have to work fast in order to answer all the questions within the allotted time. 44 questions in only 20 minutes gives you less than 30 seconds per question. This means that it’s not only knowing the principles, but it’s also answering the questions quickly enough to get through them all in the allotted time.

Let’s take a look at a sample question- during the real test, you will have ~27 seconds to answer.

CAST Sample Question #3

In which of the following positions would the tractor be less stable when taking a turn?

CAST free test
A
B
The same
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is B.

As you can see, the only difference between the two figures is the position of the tractor's shovel. In figure A the shovel is lowered, while in Figure B the shovel is raised. The raising of the shovel will also raise the point of the center of mass of the tractor. When the center of mass of the tractor is higher, the tractor loses some stability (A good example could be the difference between a semi-trailer and a sports car. The tall and narrow semi-trailer has a higher point of center of mass and is less stable than the low lying, flat and wide sports car which has a lower point of center of mass).

 

Since in Figure B the shovel is raised, it is less stable. Therefore, choice B is the correct answer.

Check out this video explaining the basic mechanical concepts to get a better grip on the subject. 

Play Video preview image
Video preview image

4. Reading for Comprehension

In this CAST section, you have to answer 32 questions within a 30-minute time frame.

You will be presented with four different passages and must answer eight questions about each one. These passages are long and take some time to read, and while it may seem worthwhile to just scan through the paragraphs, it isn’t really advisable as you need to answer multiple questions about them. Trying to read thoroughly may be a better idea in this situation!

There are four different answer options for each of the questions. Let’s take a look at an example question- You will have about a minute to answer this during the real test:

CAST Sample Question #4

Static Electricity

Most of us remember a painful incident when sparks blasted our hands after touching metal objects. Do you remember the game we used to play as kids where we would rub a balloon against a wool sweater and then see if the balloon would stick to the wall? These are examples of "static electricity." Though static electricity is a common phenomenon, its cause is often misunderstood.

Static electricity can result from the friction of two objects rubbing against each other, like the sole of your shoes against the carpet. However, friction is not required for static electricity to occur. It is a common misconception that friction is required to create static electricity. It is true that friction can increase the likelihood of static electricity, but it is not the cause. The true cause is the separation of negative and positive charges.

Every object is composed of a collection of positive and negative electric charges. Usually, the number of positive charges and the number of negative charges is equal. Static electricity (more correctly called "net electric charge") occurs whenever the number of positive and negative electric charges is not perfectly equal.

Let's take the example of walking across a carpeted room. When we walk, the soles of our shoes absorb some negative charge found in the carpet. We leave behind electric positive footprints, and our bodies acquire some negative charges. This process goes on for some time until our body achieves a high level of negative electric charge. The next time that we touch someone or some object, we will get zapped as the imbalanced charge is shared between us and the other person or object. The spark is painful because it is extremely hot. It creates tiny burned areas on our skin that hurt for a couple of seconds.

There is a simple way to avoid shocks caused by static electricity. Before touching objects such as a doorknob or a car door, first touch the object with a car key. The static electric sparks will blast the key rather than your hand and will painlessly discharge from your body. After the static electricity has been discharged, you can safely touch metal objects. Of course, if you walk around on the carpet again, you will once again acquire static electricity.

According to the passage, how common is "static electricity"?

It is very common
It is quite rare
It happens only in winter
The paragraph does not provide sufficient information to answer this question
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Explanation: A is the correct answer. The fourth sentence in the first paragraph states that "Though static electricity is a common phenomenon...."

As you can see, the text for reading comprehension is very long at over 300 words. It’s very worthwhile for you to learn how to quickly look for the information you need from such texts to answer these questions quickly & accurately.

The CAST Preparation Pack includes 2 full CAST Reading Comprehension practice tests, and 2 extra practice tests for this subject. Each question in each test comes with a detailed solution, including tips on how to find the information you need to answer them.


CAST Test Scoring

The CAST tests are not standardized tests: each company has its own standards and can choose any pass mark. In addition, depending on the number and level of candidates the passing score can be changed. This means that to pass, you have to be better than the average test taker. But how much better?

In general, the CAST aptitude test pass score - is in the upper 20%. So, you have to be better than 80% of test takers to pass. 

How Can JobTestPrep Help You Pass the CAST Test?

JobTestPrep has been in the online test preparation market since 1992, helping over a million candidates get the job they want. The Online CAST Test Prep has the same type of questions, and the same time limit in the practice tests as the real thing, so you won’t be caught off guard when you come to take the real thing.

The Online CAST Prep also includes CAST exam secrets solving methods for speed and accuracy, for each of the practice questions included. If you are not satisfied, we also offer a money-back guarantee.

Who Needs to Take the CAST Test?

Although there can be myriad uses for the CAST test, in general terms, people who want to work in the following services can be expected to take the test:

✔ Construction and skilled trade professionals

✔ Transmission and distribution

✔ Facilities and repair

✔ Other facilities (e.g., carpenter)

✔ Electrical repair

✔ Machining and vehicle repair

✔ Meter service and repair

Here is a list of positions that require you to take the CAST test:

  • Apprentice Lineman
  • Automotive Technician
  • Division Mechanic Assistant
  • Elevator Constructor Apprentice
  • Energy Tech
  • Groundsman
  • Helper Maintenance Technician
  • Helper/Climbing School
  • Lineworker
  • Lineman
  • Lineman Helper, Climbing School
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • MCC-BT
  • Overhead Helper
  • Substation construction
  • Substation Electrician
  • Substation Helper
  • Technician Maintenance
  • Transmission Line Maintenance
  • Utility Worker

Please note that 


What Are the Most Popular Companies Using the CAST Test For Recruitment?

Exelon: Exelon provides electricity and natural gas to 7.8 million customers and is one of the largest energy generators in the US.

Duke Energy: The largest electric power holding company in the United States. Headquartered in North Carolina, Duke Energy provides service in the Carolinas, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida.

Southern California Edison: This is the largest subsidiary of Edison International, and provides electricity for much of Southern California. It delivers 15 million people with electricity across a service territory of approximately 50,000 square miles.

PSEG: The Public Service Enterprise Group is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey and was established in 1985 with a legacy dating back to 1903. The company's largest subsidiary is Public Service Electric and Gas Company.

Southern Company: Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with executive offices also located in Birmingham, Alabama. The company is currently the second largest utility company in the U.S. in terms of customer base.

Dominion Energy: Dominion Energy operates in 16 states across the US and provides services to more than 7 million customers.

Xcel Energy: Xcel Energy Inc. is a utility holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serving more than 3.7 million electric customers and 2.1 million natural gas customers in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico in 2019.

Georgia Power: Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity.

Note: IBEW uses a very similar test to this one. Click here for our page on the IBEW Apprenticeship Test, or take a free IBEW practice test.


FAQs

What Does CAST Stand For?

CAST stands for the Construction and Skilled Trade Selection System examination. It is administered by EEI (Edison Electric Institute).

How Long Is the CAST Test?

The CAST test is four separate tests. Each one is no longer than 30 minutes. As it is a paper and pen test, there are obviously some breaks. Therefore you can expect it to take approximately two hours to complete.

How Is the CAST Test Scored?

The CAST test can be scored both by machine and by hand. Scores from the four CAST aptitude test are combined into a single index score, ranging from 1 - 10 (10 being the highest). The index score reflects the expected probability of successful job performance.

Can You Use a Calculator on the CAST Test?

Can You Use a Calculator on the CAST Test?

No. Calculators are not allowed in the test.

How Many Questions Is the CAST Test?

Overall there are 110 questions spread over four tests. For the breakdown see above.

What Is on the CAST Test?

There are four different tests: graphic arithmetic, mathematical usage, mechanical concepts and reading comprehension.

 

 Other EEI Tests

Main EEI Page MASS POSS
SOPD CSR MRAB
SASS TECH CADI

 

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