Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT)

Updated by Amy Thomas

At a glance 

Type of assessment

Cognitive aptitude


Critical thinking

Problem solving

Learning ability

Ability to digest and apply new information


20 minutes


40-item, multiple-choice questionnaire

Workplace outcomes

Better job performance, reduced turnover, improved training outcomes, increased productivity

Recommended for

Mid to senior-level roles such as managers, sales executives, software developers, executive assistants and analysts. The UCAT is also critical for jobs that involve a great deal of training, such as an apprentice, intern or graduate roles. 

As a language-independent test of cognitive aptitude, the UCAT is especially applicable for international candidates or roles that require little to no verbal ability. 


The UCAT is a language-independent aptitude test that measures general cognitive aptitude, with a focus on problem solving ability, critical thinking, attention to detail, and analytical skills. The UCAT does not test verbal ability, making it easily translatable and ideal for international use.  


The UCAT consists of 40 multiple-choice questions with a 20-minute time limit. Most people will not complete the test, and this is by design. The assessment is measuring how quickly someone processes information. 


The UCAT assesses four underlying abilities that, together, provide an overall measure of a candidate’s cognitive aptitude. 

  • Logic & Analysis Ability to use logic and reasoning to solve problems and interpret data.
  • Numerical Reasoning Ability to reason using numbers and numerical concepts.
  • Attention to Detail Ability to focus on detail-oriented tasks with thoroughness and accuracy.
  • Spatial Reasoning Ability to visualise, make spatial judgements, and problem solve. 

What score ranges are available? 

The UCAT includes a series of suggested score ranges that help you understand how each candidate’s results meet the range that has been associated with successful performance in various roles. These ranges are based on large samples of prior scores from individuals applying for or occupying similar roles and are supported by multiple validation studies. 

Score ranges include: 

  • Administrative Assistant/Clerical  
  • Analyst  
  • Computer Programmer / Software Engineer  
  • Customer Service Representative  
  • Financial Analyst/Advisor  
  • Front Desk/Receptionist  
  • Project Manager  
  • Sales Manager  
  • Sales Representative  
  • Senior Managers/VPs 

Score Reports 

Each individual is given a raw score and a percentile ranking. The raw score indicates how many questions (out of 40) the individual answered correctly, while the percentile ranking is a relative performance metric that indicates how the individual scored in relation to others who have taken the test. For example, a percentile ranking of 65 means that an individual scored better than 65% of the group on which the test was normed. 

Candidate Experience

The UCAT consists of 40 multiple-choice questions with a 20-minute time limit. Most people will not complete the test, and this is by design. The assessment is measuring how quickly someone processes information. 

The UCAT is device-agnostic. This means candidates can take the test on any digital device they choose – a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or desktop – in any location and at any time. This provides a high level of flexibility and convenience for the candidate. 

Validity Information

Construct Validity: The UCAT has been shown to be highly correlated with other leading measures of cognitive aptitude. For example, for a sample of 252 people who took the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) and the UCAT, there was a high (r=.80) correlation between the tests.

Additional resources

About UCAT

Get an overview of the CCAT assessment.

Sample UCAT Score Report

Sample UCAT Score Report (with Score Range)

View the reports available for the UCAT assessment.

Score Report Guide

A guide for interpreting the UCAT Score Report.

Video: Interpreting the the score report 

Watch the video on interpreting the UCAT Score Report.

Case study: Technology call centre uses the CCAT to reduce turnover

Case study: Consumer finance company uses CCAT to lower hiring and training costs

Case study: Sales reps with higher scores on the Cognitive Aptitude Test and EPP generate 7x more revenue

Case study: SBMA reduced time spent hiring by 63%

Case study: Schweiger Dermatology Group reduces turnover by 57%

Case study: Consulting firm improves job performance and retention for analyst

View case studies where the Cognitive Aptitude Test helped organisations improve their recruitment process.

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