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What Is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test?

The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is a general pre-employment aptitude test that measures problem-solving abilities, learning skills, and critical thinking.

It is a 15-minute test that consists of 50 reasoning questions under 4 categories:

CCAT test topics

Each category contains 4 types of questions, so 12 question types overall. And you know what's crazy?

As in most (if not all) cognitive ability tests, CCAT questions are EASY.

Cognitive Ability Tests

Tests such as the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, with many simple questions but very little time to solve are named Cognitive ability tests. They are INTENDED and DESIGNED to throw you off, question yourself, and make foolish mistakes.

When preparing for a cognitive ability test, the primary focus should, therefore, be to solve questions fast

If you want to learn more about cognitive ability tests in general, the main challenges they pose, and how to prepare for them, visit our cognitive ability tests page.

Learn How to Beat the Clock

Get a CCAT study plan that focuses on quick-solving techniques:

  • Timed CCAT practice tests to improve speed and reduce anxiety
  • A CCAT time management study guide
  • Tips and shortcuts for ALL question types

What Score Do You Need to Pass the CCAT Test?

The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test contains 50 questions, but here's the deal:

You are not expected to answer all 50.


Here are some CCAT score quick facts:

  • The required score depends on the position (see table below to see the score you need).
  • The average Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test score is about 24/50.
  • Less than 10% of people answer more than 35 questions correctly.
  • 42 correct answers will put you on the top scale for ANY job the CCAT tests for.


So, what’s important is that you focus your effort on the score that YOU need.

To know what that score is, check out the table below:

Job Title CCAT Pass Range
Sales Representative 21-35
Sales Manager 23-37
Senior Manager / VP 29-42
Software Engineer 23-40
Project Manager 22-37
Product Manager 26-41
Analyst 26-42

Didn't find your position? take a quick look here and come back.

CCAT Test Topics, Sample Questions, and Answers

Now let's get to the technical stuff - each and every of the 12 question types of the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test + sample questions and answers.




Word Problems

Word problems will present you with one or two sentences forming a mathematical problem to solve.

More Info + Sample Question

This is probably the most common numerical question type, and on the test in general as well (around 12 questions out of 50). There are mainly 3 types of word problems on the CCAT test.

The 3 main types of word problems are:

  • Basic Arithmetic – these questions will require you to perform some basic calculations, including the four basic operations, ratios, percentages, averages, etc.
  • Travel problems – travel problems are focused around the basic travel formula (Distance = Speed x Time). The main challenge in these questions is to formulate the problem mathematically in a timely manner.
  • Combinatorics – this less common type of problem revolves around concepts such as combinations and permutations.

Take a look at this CCAT sample travel problem:

CCAT Word Problem Sample Question

Jasmine walks every Sunday for 5 hours. Half of the way she walks at A mph and the remainder she covers at 3A mph. How long will it take her to complete her entire walk if she proceeds at a constant speed of 3A mph?

  1. 3 hours
  2. 2.5 hours
  3. 1.25 hours
  4. 4 hours
  5. 3.5 hours


Answer and Explanation

It is possible to solve this question in the traditional way, using the X = V * T formula. However, it will take a lot of time, even for people highly skilled in this type of problem. In a cognitive ability test, this is simply not an option.

So let’s see how you can solve it much, much faster:

The first thing to notice is that we are not given (nor are we requested to find) the distance Jasmine had walked. That indicates that it is possible to solve the question without using the distance (x).

Let’s now make a very simple table of each scenario, with the time it took Jasmine to walk each half of the way:

Scenario 1 – Second half at 3A speed

  1st Half 2nd Half
Speed A 3A
Time 3t t

In this case, Jasmine walks the second half at 3 times the speed as the first half, and therefore one-third of the time.

The overall time to complete the walk is 3t + t = 4t. (Yes, it is 5 hours, keep that in mind).

Scenario 2 – Second half at 3A speed

  1st Half 2nd Half
Speed 3A 3A
Time t t

In this case, both halves of the way take Jasmine (t) time to complete.

The overall time to complete the walk is t + t = 2t. This is precisely half the time scenario 1 took.

So the final answer is therefore 5 / 2 = 2.5 hours.

The correct answer is B.

Number/Letter Series

These reasoning questions present a sequence of numbers or letters, which you are required to continue.

More Info + Sample Question

Although some consider series (or sequence) questions under the logic category, I consider it more closely related to math. Of all CCAT numerical question types, these questions are the ones that mostly require practice.

The reason for this need for practice is because unlike other numerical topics, number series heavily rely on your past familiarity with common patterns and how quickly you spot them. Practicing multiple such questions in advance will make them much easier to spot and will greatly increase your solving speed.

Here is a pretty common series pattern. Can you recognize it?

CCAT Number Series Sample Question

5, 9, 18, 34, ?

  1. 43
  2. 53
  3. 68
  4. 67
  5. 59


Answer and Explanation

When approaching a number sequence question, it is recommended to first see if any relationships are revealed within the first few seconds. The more you practice with various types of sequences, the faster and more often you will be able to recognize the pattern.

However, if no such pattern emerges, the next step is usually to create the series of differences between the numbers of the original sequence:

CCAT Sample Question

The pattern is now clear - the series of differences is the series of squares of natural numbers, starting with 2.

The next number in THAT series should, therefore, be 25.

CCAT Sample Question

Calculating backward, we add 34 + 25 to come up with the final answer: 59.

The correct answer is E.

Tables & Graphs

Another less common type of question, and one that is usually on the top of the difficulty scale. These questions require you to analyze some information appearing in a table or a graph.

More Info + Sample Question

Although tables and graphs questions are not as complicated as what you might see on reasoning tests, they do require a more complex set of skills than most other CCAT numerical question types.

It is naturally very much recommended to be well-prepped for such questions, but their low frequency and high solving time make them many candidates’ first skipping option.

Now, try extracting the relevant data from a table question and carefully avoid pitfalls.

CCAT Tables & Graphs Sample Question

Approximately how much will be saved per month on the first year of replacing an air conditioner with ceiling fans?

CCAT Tables and Graphs Sample Question
  1. $8.5
  2. $45
  3. $36
  4. $438
  5. $28


Answer and Explanation

There is quite a lot of information on this table, but looking at the question carefully will let us know exactly what we need:

  • Approximately – that directs us toward an estimate rather than an accurate calculation.
  • Replacing an air conditioner with ceiling fans – that directs us to only the data presented in the first line.
  • Per month – that tells us we will need to divide the eventual sum by the number of months in a year (12).
  • The first year – that is the trickiest part of the question. It notes that the cost of the replacement should also be included in the calculation (had we been asked about a long period of time, this becomes negligible, but in the first year, these $100 have quite a meaning.

So, the “pseudo-calculation” will be formulated as:

Saving per Month = {(Saving per Annum) - (Typical Cost)} / (No. of Months)

= (438-100) / 12

Using estimation, we can easily evaluate this drill as:

340 / 12 ~ 360 / 12 = $30

The final answer is slightly smaller than 30, and therefore the correct answer is E ($28).


Verbal Reasoning


Sentence Completion

These questions will present you with a sentence where one or two words were removed. You will be required to choose the missing word based on context.

More Info + Sample Question

This is one of the most common topics on the CCAT, with around 8 questions out of 50.  

Candidates with large vocabularies will find these questions easier than most, but there are still useful techniques to improve your success on them in a narrow time frame.

Here are two sentence completion techniques to help you solve such questions, even if you lack vocabulary:

Keywords – these are words that set the tone of the sentence and make it easier to spot the expected end result. For instance – a sentence starting with “although…” will form a contradictory sentence (Although she had tried hard, she still failed).

Sentence core – this is perhaps the most effective technique while completing sentences. Read the sentence and take only the absolutely necessary to form a new, shorter sentence. Complete THAT sentence instead of the original one.

I know it sounds a bit vague, so go ahead and try solving this example:


CCAT Sentence Completion Sample Question

Despite the fact that over time the originally antagonistic response to his novels had lessened, to this day, hardly any critics____ his writing.

  1. applaud
  2. castigate
  3. disregard
  4. devaluate
  5. check


Answer and Explanation

  1. The keyword is “despite”, which indicates a contrary relationship between the first half of the sentence to the second.
  2. The sentence core is “despite… antagonistic response lessened, hardly any critics _____ his writing.”

Combining these two data pieces, we know while the first half of the sentence conveys a negative message, the second half should convey a positive one. The only word with a positive context of the answer options is 'applaud'.

The correct answer is A.

Word Analogies

You will be presented with a pair of words, forming some type of relationship. Your task is to find another pair that maintains the exact same relationship.

More Info + Sample Question

These questions are also very common in the CCAT, with about the same frequency as sentence completion questions. Although they are considered one of the easiest question types, they have several common pitfalls.

The best way to solve analogies questions is by using the sentence formation technique - form a sentence that is true for the original analogy and see which of the options fits the original meaning.

Try solving this question using sentence formation:

CCAT Word Analogies Sample Question


  1. WOOD is to CELLO
  2. PIANO is to KEYS
  4. VIOLIN is to FLUTE
  5. SOUND is to MUSIC


Answer and Explanation

Let’s form a sentence for the original analogy and apply it to all answer choices:

STRINGS are the part of the GUITAR which makes the music.

  1. WOOD is the part of the CELLO which makes the music.
  2. PIANO is the part of the KEYS which makes the music.
  3. BARS are the part of the XYLOPHONE which makes the music.
  4. VIOLIN is the part of the FLUTE which makes the music.
  5. SOUND is part of the MUSIC which makes the music.

Of all answer choices, only C maintains the original relationship.

Note that sometimes you will be left with more than one answer choice which makes sense. In that case, you will need to use your common sense to find the slight differences between the answers. If you do not manage to do that in a reasonable amount of time, pick the one that feels best and move on.

The correct answer is C.


This type of question requires you to find the opposite word to a given word.

More Info + Sample Question

Similar to sentence completion questions, antonyms heavily rely on your vocabulary. Therefore, if you are weak in vocabulary, elimination techniques are probably your best option.

Sentence formation is also a good option here. Use the word in a sentence that makes sense and try turning the sentence on its head by using all other options.

In addition, it is recommended to implement antonym practice into your plan. Have you encountered an unfamiliar word in the sentence completion category? Check out its antonyms as well. Use a thesaurus to cover the most common ones.

Try one for yourself:

CCAT Antonyms Sample Question

ULTIMATE is the opposite of:

  1. Eventual
  2. Farthermost
  3. Initial
  4. Essential
  5. Fundamental


Answer and Explanation

Let’s put the word “ultimate” in a sentence:

Our ultimate goal is to cure this illness.

Then, check out which of the following sentences contains the meaning closest to opposite to the original one:

  1. Our eventual goal is to cure this illness.
  2. Our farthermost goal is to cure this illness.
  3. Our initial goal is to cure this illness.
  4. Our essential goal is to cure this illness.
  5. Our fundamental goal is to cure this illness.

Although none of these sentences conveys the exact opposite, it is clear that answer option C makes the least sense in lieu of the original situation.

The correct answer is C.


Abstract / Spatial Reasoning


Next in Series

These questions depict a series of shapes that form some logical rule or pattern. You need to discern that rule and find the next shape accordingly. 

More Info + Sample Question

Similar to number and letter series, this kind of questions is based on pattern recognition, and therefore demands high practice volume to succeed in.

If you have very little time to prepare, I recommend you to give some practice time for abstract questions, specifically ‘next in series’ ones, even if that is the only thing you do. That is because for most people, trying to solve such questions on the test without ever seeing them before is a recipe for disaster.

In addition, understanding the rules and patterns prevalent in ‘next in series’ questions will teach you a lot about how to solve matrices questions, another common topic.

CCAT Next in Series Sample Question

Which shape should come next in series?

CCAT Next in Series Sample Question
CCAT Sample Question Answer
CCAT Sample Question Answer
CCAT Sample Question Answer
CCAT Sample Question Answer
CCAT Sample Question Answer

Answer and Explanation

Every step, two squares (which are compiled of black and white triangles), diagonal to one another, change their orientation (i.e. rotate). In the first step, the upper-left and the bottom-right squares change their orientation, and in the next step the upper-right and the bottom-left do, and so forth. The direction of the rotation is random. 

In the final step, the squares that rotated were the upper right and bottom left ones, which means that they should stay the same in the missing image. The only answer that fits this rule is answer D.

See the picture below for more clarity:

CCAT Next in Series Sample Question Answer

The correct answer is D.


Odd One Out

In these questions, you will be presented with 5 abstract elements, 4 of which share a common feature. Your task is to find the odd one out.

More Info + Sample Question

This type of question mostly requires some methodological work to solve. Here is a very simple description of this process:

Step #1 – Intuitively pick one shape (or if you feel confident and work quickly - two shapes).

Step #2 – Make a mental list of their features. These may include:

  • Number of shapes
  • Number of shape sides (triangle, rectangle, etc.)
  • Placement of shapes in the element
  • Color of shapes

Step #3 – Check out each specific feature and see if it matches all shapes but one.

Let’s check out a sample question to see how it’s done.

CCAT Odd One Out Sample Question

Choose the odd one out.

CCAT Abstract Sample Question


Answer and Explanation

Each figure in this group features a large shape with two smaller inner shapes.

The total sum of the sides of the inner shapes is equal to the number of sides of the outer, larger shape. This rule applies to all figures aside from the first.

The correct answer is, therefore, A.


Matrices questions are formed as a 3 by 3 matrix, in which one shape is missing. Your task is to find the missing shape based on the rules given in the columns, rows, or both.

More Info + Sample Question

This type of abstract question usually takes longer to complete, compared with ‘next in series’ or ‘odd one out’. That is because of the overflow of information, which is usually pretty hard to encompass quickly.

Therefore, it is strongly recommended to focus on one feature at a time, sticking to either the rows or the columns, and following the list of 5 most common CCAT matrix rules:

  • Motion
  • Progression
  • Rotation
  • Frequency
  • Construction

Let’s see how it’s done in a sample question.

CCAT Sample Matrices Question

Free Matrigma Exam


Answer and Explanation

Three rules operate in this matrix:

  1. Each row will contain one of each three figures: a square with diagonal lines, a square with horizontal and vertical lines, and a diamond with horizontal and vertical lines.
  2. Each figure will contain a circle: the circle shape found in each row will be a different size: either small, medium, or large.
  3. The patterns of the shapes and background will remain consistent along the columns. So, the missing figure will have to keep all three rules. It will have to contain the shape missing from the bottom row (a square with horizontal and vertical), and also contains a circle of the size missing from that same row (small). The patterns of the shapes will have to match those of the shapes in the same column.

The correct answer is the fourth option from the left (D).


Logic / Other



Syllogisms will present you with several short premises (regarded as true) and will require you to deduce whether another statement necessarily follows them.

More Info + Sample Question

There is more than one way to solve syllogisms. Some use Venn diagrams or the symbolization method, while others prefer a more intuitive approach. Whatever method you use, make sure you perfect it and know how to use it quickly and efficiently.

Let’s see how to solve a syllogism with the symbolization method:

CCAT Syllogisms Sample Question

Assume the first two statements are true. Is the final statement: A) True, B) False, or C) Uncertain based on the information provided?

Bob is taller than Rob.

Job is shorter than Bob.

Job is the shortest among the three.

  1. True
  2. False
  3. Uncertain


Answer and Explanation

Let’s cut down the text into symbolization (height-wise):

Statement #1 – Bob is taller than Rob: Bob > Rob
Statement #2 – Job is shorter than Bob: Job < Bob

Convert this statement to the same format as #1 by changing directions: Bob > Job

Combining the two statements we get:

Bob > Job, Rob

Therefore, you can deduce that Bob is taller than both Rob and Job (Bob is the tallest among the three). However, you do not have enough information to determine who is shorter - Rob, or Job.

Therefore, the correct answer is 'Uncertain'.

Seating Arrangements

Seating arrangements are logical reasoning questions that require you to order a list of objects, people, etc. by a certain set of rules.

More Info + Sample Question

‘Seating arrangements’ questions are usually longer and more complex to solve. So, if you come by a ‘seating arrangements’ question that seems too long, just guess and move on. On the CCAT, it is always better to answer a couple of simpler questions than a single complex one.

One important tip to remember is that many times, you can take advantage of the answer choices, solving the question backward and saving a lot of time.

Can you make clever use of the answer choices in the next question to solve it quickly?

CCAT Sample Seating Arrangements Question

Fiona, Georgia, Heather, Ian, John, Kilgore, and Lumina are forming a line.

  • Fiona is standing in front of Ian.
  • John is standing in front of Heather.
  • If John is not first in line, Lumina is standing somewhere in front of him.
  • Ian is standing immediately in front of or immediately behind Kilgore

If Heather is standing third in line, which one of the following lists all of those that can stand last in line?

  1. Georgia or Ian
  2. Georgia, Ian, or Kilgore
  3. Georgia, Ian, or Lumina
  4. B. Georgia, Ian, Kilgore, or Lumina
  5. Georgia, John, or Lumina


Answer and Explanation

Most people will jump right into understanding how the entire line might look like, checking every possible position, and who could stand in it.

However, this "brute-force" method is a complete overkill for this question. Let's take advantage of the answer options to solve this one.

Georgia appears in all answer options, so she naturally can be last. There is no need to check it.

John appears in only one answer choice (E), so that is a good indicator that he probably cannot be last, otherwise, the answer is immediately clear. And yet, let’s check it just to be sure.

According to the third rule, John is in front of Heather. If John is in front of someone, that means he cannot be last (regardless of Heather standing third). Therefore, answer E is wrong.

Ian appears in all remaining answers. No need to check for him as well.

The only question is whether Kilgore, Lumina, or both can stand last. After checking each of these cases specifically, we can deduce that there is no rule preventing either Kilgore or Lumina from being last.

Therefore, the correct answer is (D).

You can see how we have refrained from determining the exact locations of all 6 participants in every possible variation, and instead checked only 3 specific individuals. Processes such as this will immensely cut down your solving time.

Error Checking / Attention to Details

Error checking questions normally present two columns of data (addresses, numbers, etc.) and require you to find the number of identical elements in both columns.

More Info + Sample Question

A rather minute topic on the CCAT, this is probably your last practice priority.

These questions are designed to be solved lightning fast. Don’t linger on them for more than a couple of seconds.

Here’s a sample of what such a question might look like:

CCAT Attention to Details Sample Question

How many of the five items in the left-hand column are exactly the same as the corresponding entry in the right-hand column?

CCAT sample attention to detail question
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5


Answer and Explanation

Here are the discrepancies between the two versions:

CCAT attention to detail sample answer

Therefore, only two entries are identical.

Two important tips:

  1. Remember, you do not need to locate the errors! If you found one, mark a mismatch and move to the next.
  2. A common mistake is to mark the number of errors instead of the number of identical entries. Pay attention to that pitfall!

The correct answer is B.



How to Practice for the CCAT Test and Get a High Score?

These are the 4 most crucial guidelines for preparing for the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test:

  • Accurate practice
  • Focus on time management
  • Learn both in-depth and in breadth
  • Personalized practice


Let's briefly explain each of these 4 principles:


Accurate Practice

Research shows that preparation for any cognitive or mental challenge is best achieved when practicing with the exact same task (or as close as possible). Therefore, pick practice material that represents the CCAT as closely as possible.

Practical Tips for Accurate Practice
  • Use online prep material and not books or flashcards.
  • Practice the same question types as on the actual CCAT.
  • Practice with timed tests as early as possible (18-30 seconds per question).
  • Make sure that you go over at least 1 or 2 full simulations of the CCAT (50 questions in 15 minutes).


Time Management

The CCAT is a speed test. Hence, your ability to manage your time will be the number one factor in your CCAT score. This ability has two levels: solving questions fast and managing your time correctly throughout the test.

To succeed on the CCAT, you must master both levels.

Practical Tips to Focus on Time Management

A candidate who can solve questions fast but is unfamiliar with the test structure will probably get a score far below his or her potential and is likely to be disqualified. Further below I detail the Top 4 CCAT Time Management Errors to Avoid.


  • Focus your learning on solving timed tests.
  • Your practice should be as stressful as you can make it.
  • Learn SHORTCUTS - they are your most powerful ally in this game.


Depth and Breadth

This point connects directly to the previous one. To master both levels of CCAT time management, you must practice both in-depth and in breadth.

Practical Tips for Deep AND Broad Preparation
  • Practice in-depth - go over many questions of the same topic consecutively to improve your solving skill and speed.
  • Practice in breadth - go over full-length CCAT tests to get your mind more agile and flexible, and to manage your time properly through the test.


Personalized Practice

One of the main problems that CCAT test-takers face is that the CCAT score report usually does not detail your correct and incorrect answers. Therefore, you have little chance of improving your score - because how will you know what to improve if you don't know what is wrong?

The solution: personalize your practice for your needs.

Practical Tips for Personalized CCAT Practice
  • You need to be able to track your test scores.
  • Spot your weak areas right from the start and put your focus there.
  • That said, practice the more common CCAT topics first and more extensively.


CCAT Time Management Tips

Here are the top 4 CCAT time management errors to avoid:

Don’t Waste Too Much Time on the First Questions

Remember that the harder questions are at the end of the test. Don't waste time in the beginning. It is also a good tactic to save mental resources for later, to avoid attention deficit.

Don’t Waste Too Much Time on a Single Question

That one is a disaster. Don't know the answer? Guess and move on!

Several topics tend to be especially time-consuming, so pay particular attention to those:

  • Graphs and Tables
  • Number Series
  • Seating Arrangements
  • Matrices
Don’t Be Greedy

As I mentioned earlier - you are not expected (nor should you try) to solve all 50 questions on the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test. Less than 1% of the population does.

It is far better to take a bit more time to get 40 questions right than to rummage through all the 50 questions and eventually get only 30 correct.

Don't Lose Focus

Although the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is very short (15 minutes total), it is a mentally challenging task. Especially inexperienced test-takers are prone to losing attention and making callous mistakes on questions they clearly know the answers to.

Don’t let this happen to you. Take that extra second before you submit to make sure your answer is correct.

One last word about time: Remember - each person has his or her time management issues. Learn YOUR personal pitfalls, make a CCAT practice strategy, and get the score you need. 

 How to Pass the CCAT Test – General Tips and Guidelines

Here are 6 tips to help you ace your CCAT test:

  1. If you find yourself stuck, guess. The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is a speed test, so don't waste precious time. Guessing does not take off points and it’s certainly better than leaving a question unanswered.
  2. Pay attention to the answer choices. The CCAT test is a multiple-choice test. Sometimes ruling out unreasonable answers can prove to be an effective problem-solving strategy.
  3. Time management is crucial. With 50 questions and 15 minutes, your ability to manage time is the most important success factor on the CCAT. Although very few people actually finish the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test in time, you must pace your work in a manner that will maximize your correct answers. You should also be constantly aware throughout the test of how much time is left. Practicing with CCAT practice tests is the only way to effectively achieve this.
  4. Practice in the same manner as you would take the actual test. Go through your CCAT practice tests while emulating the real test as closely as you can. For instance, don't use a calculator, since using a calculator or any other external device during the CCAT test is forbidden. However, some scratch paper and a pen or a pencil are allowed.
  5. Don’t leave any questions for later. Remember, on the actual CCAT, you are not permitted to go back to previous questions.
  6. Work super-fast in the beginning and slow down later. The questions on the CCAT test increase in difficulty throughout the test. The first questions should not take long to solve.

CCAT Scoring

The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test score report includes four different types of scores:

  • Raw Score – this is basically the number of questions you have answered correctly and ranges from 0-50.
  • Percentile Score – this score (ranging from 0-100) compares you with all other candidates, and indicates where you are on the score scale. For instance, a percentile score of 60 means that you have scored higher than 60% of Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test-takers. Although different employers set different passing percentile scores, as a general rule, candidates with a score lower than 80 will usually be disqualified.
  • Sub Percentile Score – this is your percentile score for each of the three categories (math and logic, verbal, and spatial/abstract). It is usually used by employers to highlight specific areas of expertise in candidates (for instance, employers looking for candidates for engineering or technical positions are more likely to focus on the math & logic section score.
  • Score Range – this is a suggested “pass/fail” score that the test uses to note if you are in the desired score range for your profession. These ranges are based on the national norms of thousands of candidates who took the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, so employers tend to take them seriously.

Which Employers Use the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test?

Here are the main employers who use CCAT for candidates assessment:

  • Vista Equity Partners - this company is perhaps the world’s largest CCAT enthusiast. Each and every employee of Vista or any of its subsidiaries (e.g. Finastra, PowerSchool, Vertafore, etc.) is required to take the test. Go to our Vista Equity aptitude test page.
  • Crossover – the Texas-based technology company is another major employer using the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test. Go to our Crossover aptitude test page.
  • Lambda School – The online coding school that offers students to defer tuition until they are employed uses the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test to screen candidates for its courses.

Criteria Corp - The CCAT Test Provider

Criteria, the provider of the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, is one of the world's leading test providers, with over 1500 companies in 18 countries using their assessments. From the U.S. Marine Corps to private equity companies, Criteria's pre-employment testing is used in assessing candidates to an infinite variety of employers and positions.

To learn more about Criteria Corp and prepare yourself for their assessments, visit our Criteria page.

How Much Prep-Time is Needed?

For those with a high level of knowledge, only four hours of prep time for the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test will be necessary. For those with minimal experience, an additional four to six hours of preparation will generally be required.

Even if your test is tomorrow, you will have ample time to prepare. As many as three-four hours of accurate, personalized CCAT practice on test day itself can be beneficial to improving your performance and score.

Post Purchase Instructions 

Over the years, JobTestPrep has gained deep insight into diagnostic testing, due to our experience in training hundreds of thousands of job applicants for their pre-hire tests since 1992. Today, our prep-diagnostic tests are closely patterned after the live test in terms of the questions, time-frame, format, and results.

After purchasing your CCAT practice tests kit, you will receive a purchase authorization and access to your personal page. Your personal practice page will include a listing of all tests, instructions, and suggestions of where to begin practicing.

If you have any questions or requests, you can contact us 24/7.

If you need additional assistance, please send me a personal email at

Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) FAQ

What Is A Good CCAT Score?

The answer to this question greatly depends on the position you apply to.

The CCAT contains 50 questions, yet you are not expected to answer all of them. Actually,the average CCAT test -taker gets about 24 questions right, and less than 10% of people answer more than 35 questions correctly. Getting 42 questions correctly will put you on the top scale for ANY job the CCAT tests for.

How to Pass CCAT?

Here are 7 expert tips to help you pass the CCAT:

  1. Diagnose Your Level:
    Discover what type of questions you struggled with, to ensure you know what to focus on to achieve the highest score possible.
  2. Know What to Expect on the Real CCAT:
    Each and every question on our practice will resemble a question type appearing on the actual CCAT. That will allow you to know exactly what to expect and reduce test anxiety.
  3. Learn CCAT Solving Techniques to Reduce Solving Time:
    Learning and implementing techniques to solve questions faster is one of the best things you can do to increase your score.
  4. Get Full-Length CCAT Practice Test Simulations:
    Practicing full-length simulations is a critical step in practicing for any exam, and even more so on the CCAT.
  5. Track Your Progress:
    Keep track of your results, so that you change your practice focus to the most critical areas as you go. This will also allow you to know the pace of your improvement.
  6. Master Proper Time Management:
    By taking the full-length simulations, you will be able to understand how well you keep up with the required pace of the test.
  7. Learn from Your Mistakes:
    Take some time to learn your most common mistakes and what you learned from them. You'll be amazed at what an effect this process has in the long-run.


How Is the CCAT Test Structured?

The CCAT is a timed test which is composed of 50 questions to be answered in a 15-minute period. The test covers three main subjects: Verbal, Math and Logic, And Spatial Reasoning.

How Can I Improve My CCAT Score?

Here are 5 pro tips to help you improve your CCAT score:

  1. Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses:
    Take our diagnostic test to identify weak areas you should focus on to improve your score.
  2. Use CCAT Solving Strategies to Cut Down on Solving Time:
    Time is the most important thing on the CCAT. Learning shortcut techniques can help you save precious time and increase your score significantly.
  3. Practice as Many CCAT-style Practice Questions as You Can:
    Familiarizing yourself with the vast majority of CCAT's question types and their solving methods will help you reduce test anxiety and will ensure nothing catches you by surprise during the test.
  4. Don't Try to Solve All 50 Questions:
    Less than 1% of the test takers manage to solve all questions. It is better to give a bit more time to get 40 questions right than to rummage through all the 50 questions and eventually get only 30 correct.
  5. Take Some Time to Learn from Your Mistakes:
    During practice, write down your most common mistakes and what you learned from them. In the long run, this will help you minimize your errors and boost your overall score.
Can You Use a Calculator on CCAT?

You are not permitted to use a calculator when taking the CCAT. Therefore, avoid using it while practicing. Instead, try to make calculations on a scrap paper or even better - in your head (and save precious time).

What Is On Demand Assessment?

The On Demand Assessment is Criteria's online testing platform and this is where you're going to take your CCAT Test. Most candidates receive an email invitation with a link to

Which Companies Use CCAT?

The CCAT is one of the most popular cognitive ability tests in the world, and as such, is used by hundreds of different companies. Some of the major employers using the CCAT test are:

  • Vista Equity Partners
  • Crossover
  • Vertafore
  • PowerSchool
  • Datto
  • Finastra
  • And more...
Which Positions Require Taking the CCAT Test?

The required test usually depends more on the employer than the position. However, the most common positions that require candidates to take the CCAT test are:

  • Management (senior and junior)
  • Sales
  • Finance
  • Analysts
  • Consultants
Is CCAT an IQ Test?

No. Although the CCAT measures cognitive abilities, which are closely related to IQ, it is not an IQ test, and will not provide an IQ score.

How Is the CCAT Administered?

The CCAT is often taken in two sessions - the first at an unproctored environment (usually at home), and the second at a proctored environment (e.g. the company's offices or a testing center).

Can I Retake the CCAT If I Didn't Get the Score I Wanted?

Retaking the CCAT test is up to the employer to decide. Some allow candidates to retake the test for justifiable reasons. However, you should know that it is usually uncommon. 

How Long Does It Take to Get the CCAT Score?

The CCAT score is calculated immediately after you finish the test. You will often get a score report with a score breakdown.

However, some employers do not disclose candidates' score reports.

What is Criteria Corp?

Criteria provides online pre-employment assessment services. In addition to the numerous tests Criteria offers, its main leading product is HireSelect, a software that combines many of its assessment services to supply an effective solution for employee selection. HireSelect includes aptitude, skills, and personality tests, among which is the CCAT.

Criteria was established in 2006 and provides for customers in 18 countries around the world.

About the Author

Arbel is JobTestPrep's CCAT Expert. With years of tutoring psychometric courses and writing educational material, he is one of the leading developers of the CCAT practice plan. You can contact him with any question here:




CCAT, Criteria, and other trademarks are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of the trademark holders are affiliated with JobTestPrep.
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