Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT)

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


15 minutes


50-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 CCAT is also critical for jobs that involve a great deal of training, such as an apprentice, intern or graduate roles.


The CCAT tests an individual’s ability to solve problems, digest and apply information, learn new skills, and think critically. The CCAT provides your organisation with a quick and accurate way of measuring a candidate’s cognitive aptitude (also called general intelligence), one of the most accurate predictors of job success for any position. The CCAT is one of our most popular aptitude tests and is commonly used to test for a broad range of mid- to high-level positions. 


The CCAT consists of 50 multiple-choice questions with a 15-minute time limit. 

What score ranges are available? 

The CCAT 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. 

The suggested score ranges available include:

  • Accounting/Finance
  • Administrative Assistant/Clerical
  • Analyst
  • Bookkeeper
  • Computer Programmer
  • Controller
  • Customer Service Representative
  • Finance Manager
  • Financial Analyst/Advisor
  • Front Desk/Receptionist
  • Lawyer/Attorney
  • Loan Officer
  • Network Administrator
  • Operations Manager
  • Product Manager
  • Production Manager/Supervisor
  • Project Manager
  • Recruiter
  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Representative
  • Senior Managers/VP
  • Store Manager

You can create your own score ranges within the Criteria platform. We can work with you to gather and analyse results from your own organisation (either from incumbents or using data from your applicant pool) to build appropriate score ranges for your roles. 


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

  • Spatial reasoning is the ability to visualise objects in physical space, make spatial judgments, and problem solve through object and pattern related questions.
  • Verbal ability measures reading and comprehension of words, logic, constructive thinking and attention to detail through sentence completion, vocabulary, and word comparison questions.
  • Math and logic measures problem solving skills, arithmetic, logic and numerical reasoning. 

Score Reports 

Each individual is given a raw score and a percentile ranking. The raw score indicates how many questions (out of 50) the individual answered correctly, while the percentile ranking is a relative performance metric that indicates how the individual scored relative to others who have taken the test. For example, a percentile ranking of 45 means that an individual scored better than 45% of the group on which the test was normed. 

Candidate Experience 

The CCAT consists of 50 multiple-choice questions with a 15-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 CCAT 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.

Additional resources 

About CCAT

Get an overview of the CCAT assessment.

Sample CCAT Score Report

Sample CCAT Score Report (with score range)

View the sample reports available for the CCAT assessment.

Score Report Guide

A guide for interpreting the CCAT Score Report.

Video: Interpreting the the score report

Watch the video on interpreting the CCAT Score Report.

Information brief

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

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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