Free CCAT Test Practice: A Prep Guide for 2024

ccat test preview

Welcome to the #1 free practice hub for the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT).

  1. Take a free 30-question CCAT sample test, with a score report.
  2. Learn about each section of the CCAT test, with samples.
  3. Enroll in free and paid prep courses to ace the test.
  4. Get answers to any questions you have about the test.

Table of Contents

Free CCAT Practice Test

Take our popular Free CCAT practice test, which includes a score report and answers. You have 9 minutes to answer 30 questions, which is the same time-per-question ratio you'll have on the real CCAT test.

 

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What is the CCAT Test?

The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is a popular pre-employment cognitive ability test. It contains 50 multiple-choice questions and has a time limit of 15 minutes. Preparing for it in advance can increase your performance dramatically! Let’s review its content and features together. 

There are many different question types on this test. If you want to do well, you must practice each of those topics separately, mastering the different techniques and learning how to solve them faster. Let’s quickly go over the different sections and question types:

Numerical Reasoning

Out of 50 questions on the CCAT, about a third are dedicated to math and numerical reasoning. The major difficulty stems from your inability to use a calculator. The question  types in this section are:

  • Number series
  • Fraction value
  • Word problems

To succeed in these questions, you need to master arithmetic and basic algebra. The CCAT test prohibits the use of a calculator, and this means that you have to use pen and paper and mental calculations to solve these problems quickly. Training is a MUST for the majority of candidates. Check out our CCAT prep course which focuses on math and numerical reasoning and take a free CCAT practice test to gauge your current performance. 

Verbal & Logical Reasoning

A third of the questions on the CCAT will deal with your knowledge of the English language, and your ability to reason and to deduce conclusions.  While questions that assess vocabulary are not something you need to prep for,  other question formats, such as logical deductive reasoning and analogies, require training and solving strategies. Expect to come across the following questions:

  • Antonyms
  • Analogies
  • Syllogisms
  • Sentence completion

The test is targeted at native English speakers and/or candidates with a strong grasp of the English language, in terms of vocabulary and ease of reading. Antonym questions solely assess your vocabulary but all other question types listed above rely on reasoning and analysis. That is why it is crucial to practice each question style in advance. 

Ace the CCAT Test
Training in advance works! With our popular prep course you can improve your response times and increase the % of correct answers.

Abstract & Spatial Reasoning

These questions are non-verbal, making them language independent. That doesn’t make them any easier! In fact, for many candidates these are the toughest questions. But the good news is that with ample training you can develop your pattern recognition skills and your response times. Expect these questions:

  • Shape series
  • 3×3 matrices
  • Odd-one-out
  • Attention to detail

We are not used to solving such questions in our daily lives. That’s why they are so overwhelming at first try. Matrices and shape series are based on pattern recognition and odd-one-out questions require meticulous analysis of objects and their relationships with one another. The good news is that you can improve your pattern recognition and response times by training. Attention to detail questions ask you to spot duplicates in sets of data. These sets can be simple lists of names/places and they can also be pairs of shapes. They are less of a brain challenge and more about speed and accuracy. It’s best to try out these questions and see how it goes. Try to solve the sample questions above and take our free practice test to see more examples. 

Score higher on the CCAT Test
Training in advance works! With our prep course you can improve your response times and the % of correct answers.

50 Questions in 15 minutes?!?

Yes, that is quite an intimidating number of questions to solve in 15 minutes. But once you understand how the test works, you’ll see it’s not as bad as it sounds. Firstly, you’re not expected to actually solve all 50 questions. Secondly, once you start practicing and getting used to the question styles and time constraints, you will notice how things start to become clear.


In a nutshell, the CCAT test is not about getting it RIGHT, it’s about getting it DONE. That is, if you acknowledge that some of the questions on the test cannot be solved in short time frames, and you allow yourself to skip them, you’ll be able to progress through the test and pick more questions that fall under your strengths. It takes some practice to master this skill and to tune your brain into the right mode, but I assure you that with practice comes success.

Preparation is KEY

The good news is that preparing for the CCAT test can help maximize your score potential. 

  • The test is timed. That means you have to be very quick. Simulating the same time constraints in advance puts you in a more comfortable position. 
  • The test is based on tasks that can be mastered with training, especially when it comes to math and pattern recognition.

If you practice CCAT-style questions and mock tests in advance you make sure to score as high as possible in the limits of your innate abilities. 

Understand How the CCAT is scored

As with any cognitive ability test, when you complete a Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, your raw score is comprised of the number of questions you answered correctly, with no points being taken off for choosing the wrong answer. This raw score is then converted into a percentile score which compares you to other candidates who took the test. In the case of the CCAT, the average score is 24/50. Thus, if you score 24, you’ll score higher than 50% of the population of candidates who took the test before you.

Raw score Percentile score
24/50
50th
30/50
71st
35/50
85th
39/50
92nd
42/50
97th

You should have a look at an official score report on the Criteria website. A quick look at the score table suggests that for lucrative jobs such as software engineering, banking, and management, one should strive to answer correctly around 30 out of 50 in order to be considered a strong candidate.  Other jobs may require average or even slightly below-average scores, and other will demand a minimum passing score of 35/50 correct answers, as is the case with CrossOver.

Therefore, I strongly recommend that you have a look at the above resources and search for a job description that matches or closely follows the one you’re applying for. That will already help you set yourself a goal while practicing for the CCAT. You can also consider asking the employer about a passing score. And remember, getting closer to the desired score can take a few attempts and might require drilling into certain topics to brush up on your skills. The good news is that each practice session brings you closer to your maximum score potential. 

Must-read CCAT Test Tips

I have dedicated a series of blog articles to CCAT tips. I  strongly recommend reading them. they’re not too long and will pack you with more insights toward the test.

CCAT Tips Round 1 – Math Shortcuts

CCAT Tips Round 2 – Choosing the Right Preparation Resource

FAQs

Is the CCAT test proctored?

Certain employers use a proctored mode, in which your webcam is turned on while you’re doing the test. Other employers may ask you to take a second test on premises.

Can I use pen and paper during the test?

Yes, you can. This is actually very important because you can’t use a calculator. Pen and paper will help jot down calculations. 

Is there an extended CCAT version with more time?

Yes, the CCAT is available in an extended version that is 22 minutes long, instead of 15, i.e. almost 50% more time on the clock. Such test conditions can be made available in two main cases:
1. The native language of the candidate is not English.
2. The candidate has medical proof of relevant disabilities, such as dyslexia.

Is the CCAT test hard?

Yes, the CCAT is considered a difficult assessment.


1. Firstly, its difficulty level increases as you progress towards question 50.
2. Secondly, math word problems on the CCAT require a very high level of proficiency in calculation speed and information analysis.
3. Candidates who have taken the CCAT and also took the Wonderlic test and the PI cognitive assessment reported that the CCAT is the hardest of the three.

How can I find the CCAT cutoff score for my job?

Most employers will inform you of their passing score.  For example, CrossOver specifies the raw score required for every job type, and so does Vista Equity Partners. Some may keep this confidential and will simply ask you to take the test and do your best. 

In any event, you should prepare for the test in advance so that you can come up with set expectations and know what you’re stepping into.

 

What is considered a good score on the CCAT?

As mentioned above, the average score is 24 correct answers. Therefore, you want at minimum to position yourself above the average. In addition, for lucrative jobs, employers are looking for people in the top percentiles of the population, i.e. 75th percentile and above. This means that good scores start at 30 correct answers. A very good score would be above 35 correct answers.  

I'm not a native English speaker, what should I do?

The CCAT is only available in English and demands native-English-level knowledge.  In some cases, employers will let you take the extended version of the test, with 22 minutes instead of 15. In other cases, you may be asked to take the international equivalent of the CCAT which is the UCAT. Learn more about the UCAT here

Disclaimer

12minprep.com is not affiliated, nor does it belong to Hirevue, the publisher of the games discussed in this article. This website solely provides information and practice resources for cognitive ability tests.