Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT): Samples & Full Prep
Tammar Schwartz

Tammar, Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT) Expert at JobTestPrep.

Have a question? Contact me at: ask_the_team@jobtestprep.com
If you are here for the University Clinical Aptitude Test (previously UkCAT), visit our UK page to see its complete preparation guide.


What Is The Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT)?

The Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test was created by Criteria Corp. and it's based on the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT). But as opposed to the CCAT exam, the UCAT is a language-independent test and does not include the verbal reasoning and verbal ability questions. 

This pre-employment test assesses your critical thinking, problem-solving, analysis, and mathematical reasoning skills. It has 40 questions that must be answered within 20 minutes. 

What Is on the UCAT Test?

Spatial Reasoning Questions

These questions involve making adequate spatial judgments, visualize solutions, and solve problems. Spatial tests aren’t reliant on educational and cultural background, so individuals are assessed at an equal level.

Numerical Reasoning Questions

Evaluates your math reasoning by using arithmetical concepts and solving numerical problems.

Logical Reasoning Questions

Assesses your judgment and cognitive abilities to resolve problems and comprehend data. Analytical skills are highly linked to general cognitive aptitude and mental compatibility with the job.

Attention to Detail Questions

Measures your ability to identify differences between a set of abstract and geometric figures.

What Is a Good UCAT Score? (for Various Positions)

Different professions require your score to fall within different percentiles. Here are just a few examples:

  • Customer Service Rep: 18-32
  • Store Manager: 20-37
  • Lawyer: 29-42

When taking the UCAT, you will want to aim towards receiving a grade that’s on the upper end of your desired profession’s required score, as this will give you a significant advantage over your competition.

UCAT Sample Questions

Here are some of our example questions so that you will get a feel of the test format and types of questions asked.

Let's start with an easier one:

Look at the pictures in this matrix. They go together in a specific way. Something belongs in the empty box. Choose the picture that belongs in the empty box.

UCAT Sample Questions


Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer


The right frame in every row is the overlap of the two frames before it. In the bottom row, the first frame contains a shape missing the upper-right corner. The second frame contains a shape missing the lower-right corner. The solution should contain the overlap; a shape missing both the upper-right corner, and the lower-right corner. The only answer with this shape is answer choice 2, which is the correct answer.


Ready for a more challenging one? Choose the picture that belongs in the empty box.

UCAt Sample Questions


Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

In every row, we have two similar shapes and an arrow. Notice that the shape changes in a certain way, it expands in the direction of the arrow. For example, in the top row, we have a cloud in the left frame. In the middle frame we have the same cloud, but now it is wider. Notice the arrow in the right frame is horizontal (it points to the right and left), it tells us to stretch the figure horizontally (to the right and left). Therefore, the cloud in the middle frame got wider.

In the bottom row, we have a small sun in the left frame. In the middle frame, we have a large sun. The missing frame should contain an arrow pointing in four directions, to show that the sun became larger in all directions. We can eliminate answer choices 1 and 5, because they point in only two directions, not four directions.

Additionally, down a column we have three colors; first (top) white, then (middle) blue, and finally (bottom) yellow. In the last column the order changes, it shifts up one color. We start at the top with blue, then in the middle with yellow. In the missing frame, we should have the next and missing, color; the color white. We can further eliminate answer choices 2 and 3, because they are not white.

We are left with answer choice 4, which is the correct answer.


Sample Question 3

A lock contains four 0-9 digits.
How many optional combinations are there for this lock?

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

There are four digits i.e. four categories.
Each category has ten options (0 and 1 to 9).
The options should be multiplied by each other
10∙10∙10∙10 = 10,000

Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test - Important Tips

1. Review the four basic functions, which are: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Take time to go over fractions, ratios, and percentages as well. 

2. Working with distractors. “Distractor” is the name given to the incorrect choices in a list of multiple-choice options. All the UCAT tests are multiple-choice, so working well with distractors is crucial to your UCAT success. 

3. When looking at the sets, consider what each shape has in common. This can include the size, shape, number of items, shading, color, direction, position, etc. Taking these things into consideration will also help you to identify the patterns in the sets.

4. Make sure to manage your time wisely. As each question provides different data, and you will only have about one minute per question. When taking the UCAT test, it is advised to bring in a stopwatch to help keep track of time by calculating the longest amount of time allowed per question.

Online tests depend largely on the amount of time provided, so it’s important not to stay stuck on a difficult question since easy and hard questions have the same score. Your goal should be to answer as many questions correctly as possible. 

5. You should get used to conceptualizing the answers. It’s probable that you won’t be able to take notes in an official cognitive ability test. For this reason, you should conceptualize your answers, and put yourself in realistic test situations to mimic the real test environment you will face.

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