About Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT)

The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is one of the major aptitude tests created by Criteria Corp., and one of the most popular recruitment tests in use today. It is a recruitment test whose aim is to evaluate different essential cognitive skills and is used by hundreds of companies around the world in order to evaluate their job candidates.

Table of Contents

What is CCAT?

The CCAT is a 15-minute test which includes 50 multiple-choice questions, available only in English. In order to pass the test, you must correctly answer as many questions as possible in the allotted time. Don't worry if you can't answer all the questions, it is very challenging (only 1% of people manage to do so), and moreover, according to Criteria Corp., the average CCAT score is a total of 24 correct answers.

Full nameCriteria Cognitive Aptitude Test
Number of questions50 questions
Time limit15 minutes
Aptitudes testedVerbal, Numerical, and Spatial reasoning
MeasuresCritical thinking, problem solving skills, learning ability and aptitude for applying new information
Type of questionsMCQ
Average score24/50
PreparationStart practising now

What Skills Will I Be Tested on in the CCAT?

The CCAT evaluates your cognitive abilities, that is, the functions your brain deploys to process information at a fairly sophisticated level; analysis of perceived information, understanding of information, problem solving, memorization, speed of learning, and accuracy of information processing. This allows your employer to determine if your profile matches the relevant job.

What Are the Topics of the CCAT Questions?

The CCAT is divided into three categories of questions:

Numerical reasoning questions

These questions focus on the main basic subjects of non-calculator or mental computation mathematic tests:

  • Basic arithmetic
  • Percentages and percentages problems
  • Average problems
  • Ratio and proportions
  • Number sequences
  • Graphs and tables
  • Value comparison questions
  • Combination problems

There are about 17 numerical reasoning questions in the CCAT Test.

Verbal reasoning questions

These questions address the main basic topics that can be found in verbal reasoning tests:

  • Synonyms
  • Antonyms
  • Analogies
  • Letter sequences
  • Syllogism
  • Verbal logical reasoning
  • Error checking

There are about 22 verbal reasoning questions in the CCAT Test.

Spatial reasoning questions

These questions are also part of the flagship exercises of psychometric tests. You will find:

  • Odd-one-out exercises
  • Matrices
  • Abstract figures sequences

There are about 11 spatial reasoning questions in the CCAT Test.

You can find examples of the different types of questions in our free 2021 updated CCAT 30 questions test.

What Is the CCAT's Level of Difficulty?

The CCAT is composed in such a way that the level of questions increases as you progress through the test. Therefore, the first few questions are pretty straight-forward, and it will be easy for you to answer them quickly. However, as you advance through the test, you will realize that the level increases in subtle ways, with each question typically necessitating a little more time to be resolved than the previous one.

How Can I Succeed in the CCAT Test?

Several sites offer more or less complete preparations for the CCAT:

SiteJobTestPrepPsychometricTests.inFree CCAT Practice Test
Type of preparationFull online simulationsFull PDF simulationsOnline & PDF simulation to download
Number of questionsSeveral simulations similar to CCATSeveral CCAT-like simulations of 50 questions eachSimulation of 30 questions
Duration15 minutes/simulation15 minutes/simulation9 minutes
ExplanationsContains full explanations for each exercise
Languages availableEnglishEnglish/Spanish/FrenchEnglish/French
Price7-day license: $49
1-month license: $59
3-months license: $69
One simulation: ₹250
Pack of two simulations: ₹300
Pack of three simulations: ₹350

Our Opinion on Publishers


  • JobTestPrep: Available online in two modes; in training mode with explanations or as a real test simulation with limited. Contains thousands of questions intended to help candidates understand how the whole test works and helps them train properly. Similarly priced to those of other independent publishers. Online training allows candidates to simulate and thus prepare for the real test as best as possible.
  • PsychometricTests.in: Excellent preparation pack resembling the official CCAT, thus allowing candidates to train in the best possible way. Cheapest pricing compared to other test publishers.


  • JobTestPrep: Mastering the online system may take time but once you get the hand of it provides a great practice experience.
  • PsychometricTests.in: Available only in PDF. Smaller number of questions than are available at JobTestPrep.

As you can see for yourself in the table above, we recommend purchasing simulations from PsychometricTests.in and JobTestPrep (if you wish to practice online) in order to best prepare for taking the CCAT. Indeed, according to our research, these simulations are very similar to the official exam and will allow you to prepare well for the kind of exercises you will encounter in this test. The explanations provided with the exercises are clear and concise. The preparation packs offered by JobTestPrep are very effective and will help you improve your performance before your exam. The exercises are divided into categories and presented interactively, allowing you to train directly on your computer. Two simulation modes are proposed: a "training" mode in which no time limit is imposed and explanations for all the questions; and an "exam" mode that is supposed to simulate the original CCAT and its time frame. JobTestPrep also provides a diagnostic test to help the test taker understand which type of questions he/she struggles the most with and should focus on during practice.

Although the free CCAT PDF simulation we have provided here is also quite satisfactory and resembles the official CCAT test, there are not enough questions to prepare you as best as possible for the exam.

The CCATPracticeTest.com team's advice

Use all the available resources and practice as much as possible. We recommend you combine two of the preparation packs in order to optimize your training experience. Our free PDF simulation is useful before you buy one or more tests from JobTestPrep and PsychometricTests.in simulations, which will allow to best prepare and maximize your chances of success. You can also purchase JobTestPrep's 7-day license of at the price of $49 which is recommended especially if your exam is a few days away.

Do you know any other CCAT preparation sources? We would greatly appreciate receiving any information about these sources via the following email address: contact@ccatpracticetest.com

Where Can I Find Free CCAT Questions?

Looking for free examples of the CCAT's different kind of questions?

On our site we offer you a completely free CCAT simulation with 30 questions including explanations, available directly on this page and in PDF format to print.

For more free examples of questions and answers, there are several sites at your disposal, starting with the Criteria site itself, although it displays a rather limited number of questions (3 questions). PsychometricTests.in offers you 20 free detailed examples with complete explanations (one for each type of question) on its CCAT overview page.

JobTestPrep also offers you an online simulation with 40 detailed questions in the CCAT style.

Do I Have to Answer All the Questions?

It is not mandatory to answer all the CCAT's questions. The main obstacle and difficulty of the CCAT is the very limited duration of the test relative to the number of questions. In fact, you only have an average of 18 seconds per question. This limit does not feel challenging at the beginning of the test whilst solving the first questions, but dues to the fact that the level of the test increases gradually, each new question requires more reflection and therefore more time to be resolved. Concentrate on the questions you can easily answer. If you are stuck on a question, guess, and pass onto the next one.

Can I Use a Calculator during CCAT?

Using a calculator is not allowed during the CCAT. The numerical reasoning questions require only basic mental calculus abilities and therefore no advanced specific knowledge in the field of mathematics is needed.

How Many Times Can I take the CCAT?

The number of times you can do the CCAT depends on the company you are applying for; each has its own regulations. For more information, visit the page corresponding to the company for which you are applying. Click here for a list of the different companies.

Does Everyone Get the Same Questions?

Criteria Corp. uses a data bank of thousands of questions for the CCAT. This ensures that two candidates will never have the same questions combinations when taking the test.

Is CCAT Only Available Online (On a Computer)?

The CCAT is part of Criteria's HireSelect platform, available via a computer only. Therefore, the only way to take this test is online.

Is CCAT Accessible to People with Disabilities?

If you are disabled, you should inform your employer during your recruitment process. Accommodations specific to your disability could then be set up during your test, in accordance with the current law. If you are granted such accommodations, be sure to send a copy to Criteria Corp. by email: help@criteriacorp.com, subject: Request for accommodations.

Can I Get More Time to Do the CCAT?

If you are eligible for additional time, you can get a longer version of the CCAT Test – 22 minutes. It can be available in two situations, the first one when your native language is not English or in the case of other medical proven disabilities (for example ADHD).

Will I Receive My Test Results?

The results of your test will not be communicated to you unless your employer decides otherwise. They will receive your results at the end of your test in real time, accompanied by a full profile report from the HireSelect platform. For more information on the CCAT results, please visit the following page.

Can I Cheat during the CCAT?

Although it is possible to find a way to cheat on any exam, we strongly encourage you not to do so for several reasons:

aptitude test during face-to-face interviews. A much lower score on this second test could expel you from the selection process since cheating is the automatic assumption if you receive a much lower score.

  • The HireSelect platform may record you through your webcam during the test, depending on the requests of the various employers.
  • If you cheat, you not only risk ruining your chances of getting the job at the company you are applying for, but also in all companies that use Criteria as a test editor.

What Score Do I Need at CCAT to Get My Job?

The required score is different depending on the position and the company for which you are applying. There is, however, a score scale corresponding to the different positions for which the CCAT is used. This scale is based on a database of over 1,100 job-rated profiles. However, differences can be found depending on your employer's preferences. What's important is that your raw score (i.e., the number of right answers you got) is converted into a percentile. For example, a raw score of 24/50 will place you right in the middle percentile – rank 50. This means that you scored better than 50% of the other people who took the same test as you.

What Happens If I Don't Get the Minimum Score I Need?

Most companies won't tell you the score you got. However, the most likely case is that if you do not score enough for the position you are applying to, you will receive a response from the company stating that you are no longer invited to proceed through the recruitment process. You should aim to get the best score you can and practicing on real simulations will help you a lot with this. However, it seems that 28 is a passable score for a lot of companies (except Crossover for which you need a score of at least 35).

Is CCAT Considered an IQ Test?

Whereas IQ tests evaluate your intellectual quotient, the CCAT tests your cognitive abilities. Although these two types of tests do have some similarities, there are key differences between them, which means that the CCAT cannot be considered an IQ test.

Which Companies Use CCAT?

  • Hundreds of companies use the CCAT as part of their recruitment process, some of the biggest companies are Crossover, Vista Equity Partners, which include companies in its portfolio (e.g., Tibco, Finastra, Bloomberg Sports, iCIMS, etc.). For more information, visit the following page. Many different industries also use the CCAT as a recruitment test, as it assesses general cognitive abilities in a very short amount of time. These different industries include financial services, the health industry, the computer industry, retail, the legal industry, and more.
  • The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is also used by various institutes or schools as part of their general admission requirements. For example, the Lambda School uses the CCAT to ensure students who are accepted will be able to keep up with the learning pace. As stated on their website, "success at this aptitude test is twice as predictive of success as an interview, three times as predictive as experience, and four times as predictive as education level. In short, if you do well on the CCAT, it's likely that you will do well at Lambda". In the same way, the Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts also uses the CCAT (or the UCAT) as one of their general admission requirements.
  • The Marine Corps are entitled to start using the CCAT for officer assignments, in replacement for the old General Classification Test they used for 70 years.

Why Do Employers Use CCAT?

The CCAT is used by employers as a Predictor of Performance. According to Criteria Corp., the CCAT has been shown to have a high correlation with other leading employment cognitive aptitude measures. According to research they conducted, the CCAT results correlate significantly with job performance, especially for managerial positions, software engineers (as well as other technology workers), financial analysts, and many others.

What Are the Differences Between CCAT and UCAT?

The CCAT (Criteria's Cognitive Aptitude Test), has a time limit of 15 minutes to answer 50 questions and is given only in English. The UCAT is the Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test, and it is a general cognitive ability test. Its duration is 20 minutes for 40 questions, and it is given in multiple languages (English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Indian, German, Polish, Chinese, and Indian). The UCAT does not cover verbal reasoning, making it easily translatable to the different languages and optimal for international use.

What is JobFlare?

JobFlare is a free smartphone (Android and iPhone) app created by Criteria Corp. in 2017. It features six 90-second mini-games that track key performances needed for success during a job search: mathematical, verbal, attention to detail and memory skills. Candidates can receive job offers directly through their application and employers can review candidates' results for the different skills and receive a clearer picture of the candidates' cognitive abilities than from simply reviewing their resume. The skills measured are the same as those on the CCAT, but the format presented is that of fun mini-games rather than CCAT-type questions. The use of the application is therefore recommended but is not generally an effective enough way to train for the CCAT. We therefore once again recommend taking simulations like those of JobTestPrep.


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