Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test Tips – Part 2: Choosing the Right Prep Option

Hi Everyone, this is the second in a series of articles dedicated to Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test tips. If you haven’t read the first article I recommend reading it right after you’ve finished reading this short and insightful piece.


Preparing for the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test

When asked to take the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) as part of a job application process, the most natural thing to do is to look for practice resources prior to taking the real assessment. Similar to other standardized tests in life, there will usually be two types of places one should visit when looking for relevant preparation materials:

1. The official test publisher. In our case, Criteria Corp is the publisher of the CCAT and we would expect them to provide some samples for practice, as is the case with all known cognitive ability test publishers.

2. External preparation resources that follow the style and format of the CCAT to a satisfying level and are known to specialize in cognitive ability test preparation.

Now I’ll explain how to approach each of these sources…


Tip 1: Don’t Rely Solely on Official CCAT Samples

Criteria Corp provide a scarce (4!) amount of practice questions on their website. They can be found here and hereThe problem is not only that there aren’t many questions, but that they don’t cover all the styles you might come across on the real test.

Conclusion: Criteria Corp’s website is not a sufficient resource for preparing for the CCAT.



Tip 2: Don’t Rely on Criteria’s JobFlare App

Criteria Corp recommend that candidates use the JobFlare app when preparing for the CCAT, and they justify it by saying that (quote)

High scores on the JobFlare® games are positively correlated with higher CCAT scores.

Well, just because the scores are correlated, doesn’t mean the games on the app can help one prepare for a totally different test. And in fact, they don’t.

Firstly, this app is only available on Apple’s app store, which automatically discriminates against the majority of mobile phone owners. Android is the most popular operating system on earth, don’t android phone owners deserve the same preparation privileges as iOS phone owners?
Secondly, I’ve managed to put my hands on a friend’s iPhone and installed JobFlare®. The app is free, but asks for quite a lot of personal information and is basically a hiring platform that can potentially connect you with employers and present them your scores on the six games included in the app:

  • Weigh station (simple arithmetic)
  • Infruition (estimate quantities)
  • Words of a feather (antonyms-synonyms)
  • Mumble jumble (create 4-letter words)
  • Robot Inspector (attention to detail)
  • Expert witness (memory)

It might be fun playing with the games for a while, but there’s basically no resemblance whatsoever between the types of questions and skills that you will be required to use on the CCAT to those seen in these games. If the correlation between the CCAT and JobFlare’s games is indeed so high, why don’t Criteria substitute these games with the CCAT and turn it into their main selection tool for cognitive abilities?

Conclusion: If you are lucky enough to have an Apple phone on which you can install JobFlare, then relying on JobFlare as your preparation resource for Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is a mistake. It’s nowhere near the content of the test.


Tip 3: Choosing the Right CCAT Preparation Resource

It appears that as a candidate, you are left with one option which is to rely on non-official preparation resources, like my website and a few others in the field. But how do you go about choosing a preparation service and feeling like you’ve done the right thing?

Here’s a checklist that will hopefully prove itself useful:

  1. Look at the Homepage and About page of that website. Are there actual people behind this website? Do they have a visible, convincing record in the field of test preparation?
  2. See how much content they dedicate to cognitive ability testing and whether that content is more than just a pile or recycled information that you can get by yourself from the official Criteria Corp website.
  3. Look for product reviews. Do they seem reliable or look fake?
  4. If possible, take a free criteria cognitive aptitude test sample and look at the level of questions, general user experience, score report, and explanations. Do they leave a good impression in terms of language and professionalism?
  5. If you feel like you found a website or websites that match the above criteria, go for it, and invest up to $100 on such preparation resources (I would recommend more than one provider). Investing up to $100 in test preparation is a sound decision in my opinion since you will be returning the investment by a few folds once you’re hired!

However, if you’re determined to not invest any money in your preparation, then I would suggest the following:


Disclaimer: 12minprep is not affiliated, nor belongs to Criteria Corp, which are the owners of Criteria Cognitive Ability Test (CCAT). This website solely provides information on how to prepare for cognitive ability tests.


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  1. (5/5)

    This a valuable piece of information with no beating around the bush regarding what this website provides and how much this website provides.
    LInks to needed resources and “further reading” are correctly presented to the user as the user reads through to gain understanding. Thanks

  2. I like your site and most of the information. It is helping, and proving, to be quite useful. But you may want to update it. Specifically in regards to Jobflare.
    First of all, it is available on Android. I’ve had it for months when I first discovered it and started using it. The only really bad comment I have on it is it overloads your mailbox with job listings and the links don’t always work from the desktop.
    Second, it’s not about taking similar test questions over and over again. It’s about basic training. Think about it this way. An athlete doesn’t weight and endurance train to excel at her/his sport. They do that to strengthen their muscles and give them stamina and flexibility so they have the basic physical building blocks to perform their chosen sport or activity. Similarly JobFlare works on those mental muscles: strengthening, making them supple and flexible and adding endurance and clarity. Use of JobFlare along with other available apps, I find, really helps build a good mental foundation.

    1. Hi Louis,

      You’re right, finally, Jobflare is available for Android devices. BUT it does not change the fact that its content is irrelevant for test preparation.

      One needs to practice with similar questions and similar time limits in order to succeed on the CCAT. Using general brain training games as seen on Jobflare will be counter-productive. This is especially true when candidates get notified about the CCAT test 96 to 72 hours before the deadline. They better dedicate their time to focusing on the ins and outs of the CCAT, and not of the Jobflare brain teasers.

      I hope this clarifies the point I’m trying to make.