Apart from making sure that their application or resume is as stellar as possible in the eyes of the hiring manager, hopeful professionals spend an equal amount of time perfecting their interview skills and responses in hopes of impressing them further.
What they frequently neglect to do, however, is prepare for whatever pre-employment test that the company utilizes at the beginning of the application process.
If you’re applying for a mid-to-upper level position, then it is very likely that the exam that will be given to you is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT).
Although it looks simple on paper, many first-time job hunters who failed or didn’t get a good score in the CCAT wished that they prepared for it better or took advantage of an online CCAT sample test and study guide.
So, if you truly want to have a solid chance of landing that job, especially if there are others vying for it, not only do you need to pass the CCAT but also get a high enough score in it so that the hiring manager will give you priority in the interview stage of the hiring process!
1. Learn to manage your time well
The CCAT’s time limit is the reason why a lot of test-takers fail even though they are talented, hard-working, or even incredibly qualified for the job.
The exam contains 50 questions and you will only be given 15 minutes to answer as many questions as you can.
While this may seem manageable, you have to understand that you will need to read through a number of paragraph-long passages, complete simple to complex mathematical problems, analyze the logic of statements, and figure out the pattern or sequence of a set of shapes within that time frame.
The purpose of this short time limit is to show your employer that you have good time management skills.
Why? Well, because it is expected that not everyone is good at math, grammar/reading comprehension, logic, or problem solving, so the test takes that into consideration by allowing applicants to focus on subjects that they are most familiar with.
If you’re good with solving math questions, focus on getting a lot of points in the math section.
Good with puzzles? Then do your best to perfect the spatial reasoning section then try and supplement it with points from the other subjects.
This goes the same for the reading comprehension and logical reasoning questions of the CCAT.
2. Learn to take a risk
It cannot be understated that your greatest challenge in the CCAT will be the 15-minute time limit.
If you spend too much time on a single question, then you won’t be able to answer the rest of the questions without rushing it and compromising your score.
Should you feel like you will take too long on a single question but you are confident that the rest will be easier, then don’t be afraid to either skip it so that you can answer it later or make an educated guess so that you can at least have the possibility of answering it
This will give you the ability to answer the rest of the CCAT questions if done right.
However, you should not use this ‘strategy’ too frequently or too confidently because you might overlook a question that was actually easy to do only for you to select the wrong answer because you skipped it or made a guess.
3. Try to answer the questions at a comfortable pace
Due to the timed nature of the exam, it is not uncommon for test-takers to panic and get worried as they try to answer a question as fast as possible.
In many cases, this will cause them to misunderstand the question, make a mistake in the calculation, or even select the wrong choice when they intended to choose another.
So, even if you have to answer fast, you need to find a pace that will not compromise your ability to get the correct answer.
4. Logic and puzzle books will help you tremendously
If you have a few of them lying around, answering puzzle books that have problems relating to pattern, rule, or sequence-finding.
Although they may not be the exact same questions that you can encounter in the actual CCAT, they follow the same principle because you will be provided with a set of images and you will have to figure out which of the choices fits the missing figure.
The same is applicable to the logical reasoning questions of the CCAT but with logic-based books, worksheets, or practice tests.
5. Use online practice tests to get a feel for the timed environment
In order for you to be familiar with the subjects, as well as the time limit, of the CCAT assessment, you will need first-hand experience on what it feels like to take the exam.
There are a lot of websites that offer a free CCAT practice test of sorts, and these tests usually contain questions that are nearly identical to the ones that you can encounter in the actual exam.
Some of these providers also include the 15-minute time limit to create an authentic testing experience for its users but without adding the fear of not being hired if they didn’t get a high score.
Should you be able to find these resources, then you are one step closer in making sure that not only will you pass the CCAT, but also do well in it by getting a high enough score.