Common Mistakes to Avoid When Taking CCAT Test

Photo: Ben Mullins

The job hiring process is consistently becoming more tedious and vigorous to both the employer and the job applicants. On one hand, employers want to hire the best while on the other hand, there are more jobseekers today than ever and they are all competing against limited vacancies.

Employers, who might want to optimize a recruiting service, use the CCAT test as one way to make their hiring process easier and to get the best candidates to work with. The test is short and strictly timed which makes most candidates panic and miss the main purpose of the exam. These are the mistakes you must avoid.

What type of questions to expect in the CCAT test?

CCAT stands for Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test. It is used to measure how an employee will perform in their duty and their skills in solving work-related problems. It measures an employee’s cognitive skills through different sets of questions.

Each question is designed to help the employer measure the level of an employee’s ability to think critically while handling problems at work. This test is given at the initial phase of the hiring process to help pick the best candidates at the earliest.

Applicants are only given 15 minutes to complete all the 50 questions in the test. Surprisingly, only about 1% of examinees finish the test. By practicing using the CCAT mock test, you increase your chances of answering most of the questions correctly and accurately. The entire test is divided into three sections to evaluate your spatial, verbal, and numerical skills. Let’s look at each.

Verbal reasoning skills

In every work environment, verbal communication plays a bigger role in daily business growth. How you relate with other employees, managers and clients are highly dependent on good verbal communication skills.

An employee who can communicate eloquently can do well in giving presentations, making deals on phone, creating excellent emails, proposals, and so on. It’s tied to an employee’s best choice of words and during the test, you will be asked to choose the best word that fits in a sentence, the word that closely means the opposite of the one given, and so on.

Numerical reasoning skills

This section assesses your math skills because good math knowledge can help in critical and problem-solving skills. You are not expected to use a calculator because every math question presented requires you to use your mental skills. None of it is complicated but expect simple algebra math problems.

Spatial reasoning skills

Spatial skills might be unimportant in a pre-employment test, but the work environment demands employees who can think outside the box and create solutions to situations and challenges. Work dynamics keep changing in every environment and skilled critical thinkers survive such challenges. Your employer wants to be certain you have a high-level innate aptitude.

Common mistakes to avoid

Tests are not given to punish examinees or to reject them, but they are given to ensure the most qualified candidate is not denied a chance to be hired. Businesses have targets they must meet and with the right workers, they can exceed the expected targets.

The zeal to pass the test drives most candidates to fall into temptations to commit the most common mistakes that make most of them fail the test. Knowing these mistakes will help you overcome and do the test right.

Rushing to answer all questions

The secret to passing the test is not in answering all the 50 questions but in answering as many questions correctly as possible. When taking the test, strive to give correct answers against answering many questions.


Anyone would panic when they realize they have only 15 minutes to answer 50 questions but how you react can lead to failure or success. Take time to practice with mock tests to train your mind and understand the nature of each set of questions.

Spending too much time on one question

Each second that passes means a lot to you and if you dwell for too long on one question, you might barely finish 15 questions. If a question is complex, jump on to the next one fast.

Ignoring details

Every question is tricky and what makes the difference between right or wrong answers are the very minute details. Read each question keenly and understand what you are expected to do.

Not reading instructions

Instructions are given to guide you on how to answer each question and what the employer is looking for. If you miss the instructions, you will miss the entire exam.

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About the Author: Brian Novak