Criteria Attention Skills Test (CAST)

Updated 3 months ago by Amy Tranter

At a glance 

Type of assessment

Cognitive aptitude

Measures

Mental fitness

Concentration

Ability to sustain focus and avoid distractions

Time

The CAST is untimed and takes around 10 minutes to complete

Format

Candidates complete four tasks which assess different aspects of attention

Workplace outcomes

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

Recommended for

Ideal for a variety of entry to manager-level roles that require sustained focus and concentration such as truck drivers, security guards, gaming dealers, video surveillance operators, pilots, air traffic controllers, and many more.

Description

The CAST is a short test that measures a person’s concentration and ability to sustain focus on one or more tasks while avoiding distractions. Because of its ability to measure concentration skills, the CAST helps predict employee success in a wide variety of positions — ranging from skilled manufacturing jobs to casino gaming dealers to video surveillance workers. High attention and concentration levels are also strongly correlated with low operator error, so the CAST is used to help predict job performance for pilots, delivery drivers, and truck and bus drivers. 

Format 

The assessment is made up of four tasks, which must be completed on a desktop or laptop computer, due to the response requirements. Each task features images involving specific shapes and/or colour shades which require a particular response. The candidate is required to respond as quickly as possible to indicate a specified feature of the image, by using a particular key on the keyboard. Candidates are instructed to respond as quickly and accurately as possible, as their reaction times and accuracy will impact their score, although the assessment is not time limited.

The questions do not contain any English language; only the instructions require English comprehension. Tutorials provide the opportunity for candidates to practice and ensure they understand the instructions before beginning each scored section of the assessment. The assessment is streamed randomly: each candidate receives the questions in a different order. This means the assessment offers a relatively unique experience for each candidate, while maintaining the same number and complexity of questions. 

Measures 

The CAST measures a specific component of cognitive aptitude, which is related to improved job performance, productivity, and training outcomes. The CAST enables you to assess for a candidate’s “mental fitness,” reaction times, concentration, and focused attention skills. 

The CAST tasks are designed to assess a candidate’s ability to “‘multi-task”’ or concentrate on two or more things simultaneously, maintain concentration on a task for a sustained period of time, focus on important information, and ignore irrelevant distractions, while responding quickly. Therefore, the assessment distinguishes between candidates who have a superior ability to remain responsive and highly focused over sustained periods, while ignoring distractions. 

Score Reports 

The CAST provides an overall score percentile. This percentile indicates how the candidate scored in comparison to our global norming group. For example, a percentile ranking of 42 means that an individual scored better than 42% of the group on which the test was normed. The Results Details contains a more detailed breakdown of the applicant’s overall score. The test provides individual percentile rankings for the 4 abilities the CAST measures: Divided Attention, Selective Attention Vigilance, Selective Attention Filtering, and Perceptual Reaction Time. Each ability contributes to the overall score. 

Candidate Experience

The CAST is a brief assessment. Candidates must complete the CAST on a device with a keyboard, due to the response requirements. Candidates are presented with instructions and can complete a tutorial and receive feedback on incorrect responses before each section of the assessment. This ensures that candidates are familiar with the requirements of the task before beginning the scored section. 

In the assessment itself, no instructions are presented: the candidate is simply presented with the stimulus (numbers, or shapes) and must respond as quickly and accurately as possible, based on the previously provided instructions. 

Additional resources

About CAST

Get an overview of the CAST assessment.

Sample CAST Score Report

View the sample score report available for the CAST assessment.

Score Report Guide

A guide for interpreting the CAST Score Report.

Video: Interpreting the the score report

Watch the video on interpreting the CAST Score Report.

Information brief

Get detailed information including the candidate experience and validity information on the CAST.

Case study: Criteria Helps Armorous Improve Quality of Hire for Security Officers

View a case study where the Attention Skills Test helped an organisation improve their recruitment process.


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