CAST Test: Free Practice & Preparation [2023]

Asif, EEI Test specialist at JobTestPrep.

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What is the CAST Aptitude Test?

The CAST is a test used to measure a candidate's ability to process information quickly, solve basic math problems, and solve different aptitude tests. 

It is used to find talented individuals for various roles which offer great benefits to those who pass their hiring process.

Here is a table summarizing what the test consists of:


Time Limit

Number of Questions

What we Offer You

Graphic Arithmetic Test

30 minutes


2 Full-length tests  

Mathematical Usage

7 minutes


5 Full-length tests + extra drills

Mechanical Concepts

20 minutes


3 Full-length tests + 21 extra drills

Reading for Comprehension

30 minutes


2 Full-length tests + study guide

The CAST's difficulty comes from the fact that you have to do the math with a pen and paper instead of a calculator, and there is a strict time limit: This means that the math and mechanical tests can cause a lot of test anxiety and performance issues. This is why practicing CAST sample questions is so important! But more on that later. Let's go over the 4 CAST sections in more detail:

CAST Sample Questions

1. Graphic Arithmetic 

In the CAST Graphic Arithmetic Test, you have 30 minutes to answer 16 questions. It measures your ability to solve arithmetic problems by using information from drawings. 

You will be presented with a top-down diagram of a building. This building has lots of measurements and different rooms inside. There are, however, some measurements missing. It is your task to calculate these numbers in order to answer the questions without the use of a calculator.

The questions are multiple-choice, with five different answers.

The questions will all relate to two images. However, each image has eight separate questions relating to it. Since this is the case, it’s important to remember that you may use the answers to the previous questions in order to help you answer the current one.

Let’s take a look at a CAST sample question. Try solving this one in two minutes- that's how much time you'll have during the test:

CAST Sample Question #1

The length (top to bottom) of the total property is ____ times larger than the length of the nurse's room.

A. 3
B. 3 1/2
C. 3 1/3
D. 3.6
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is C.

To find the ratio between these two values, divide the length of the total property (90') by the length of the nurse's room (27'). Note that both numbers can be divided by 9:

What’s particularly difficult here is that you cannot use a calculator in this section of the CAST exam. You need to know how to do a variety of different calculations including long division in order to answer this question correctly without having to guess. That’s why, on this PrepPack™, we have included super clear instructions and easy methods for carrying out these calculations.

2. Mathematical Usage

The Mathematical Usage test measures your ability to solve basic mathematical problems from provided information. You will be presented with a table with a number of different relationships- for example, the number of grams in a tonne. You have to use this table in order to answer questions based on this information.

The actual test has 18 questions with a 7-minute time limit. This is a short time limit and really requires a high level of attention. Getting a full score on this test is possible: You just need to learn how to really focus on what’s being asked and how to solve it.

Let’s take a look at a sample question. During the real test, you will have 23 seconds.

CAST Sample Question #2

Please choose the correct answer. If none of the options is the correct answer please choose answer choice e, "N".

0.5X/(X+9) = 5
X = ?

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is (C) - -10

This question deals with a single variable equation.
When solving a single variable equation, the goal is isolating the variable (mostly called x) in order to find its value.
The way to do that is by gathering all variable-expressions of the equation (one or more X-expressions) on one side and all numerical members of the equation on the other side. This is done by using the four operations (+, -, *, /) in the equation, as needed.
Important! Any numerical operation must be applied on both sides of the equation.
On this case, to isolate X apply the following operations to both sides of the equation:
1. Multiply by (X + 9) to eliminate the denominator on the left side of the equation
(X + 9)*0.5X/(X + 9) = (X + 9)*5
0.5X = 5(X+9)
0.5X = 5X + 45
2. Subtract 0.5X
0.5X - 0.5X = 5X + 45 - 0.5X
0 = 4.5X + 45
3. Subtract 45
0 - 45 = 4.5X + 45 - 45
-45 = 4.5X
4. Divide by 4.5
-45/4.5 = 4.5X/4.5
-10 = X

As previously mentioned, there are no calculators allowed in this test. Having 30 seconds per question means that aside from being able to answer each question, you must also do so very quickly.

The CAST Preparation Pack comes with 3 Mathematical Usage practice tests, and 4 extra practice tests focusing on different subjects. The practice tests have a similar time limit to the real test. By using them you will improve your ability to answer math questions under the time limit of the test, and by reading the solutions you will learn specific methods to help you make quick calculations.

Click here for our page on the SOPD Test, which also includes a Mathematical Usage section.

3. Mechanical Concepts

In this CAST assessment, you are tested on your understanding of mechanical concepts and principles. These principles include:

  • Centrifugal Force
  • Gears
  • Gravity
  • Levers
  • Pulleys
  • Shapes

 Among others. For each question there are three possible answers and, as with all the other sections of the CAST assessment, you have to work fast in order to answer all the questions within the allotted time. 44 questions in only 20 minutes gives you less than 30 seconds per question. This means that it’s not only knowing the principles, but it’s also answering the questions quickly enough to get through them all in the allotted time.

Let’s take a look at a sample question- during the real test, you will have ~27 seconds to answer.

CAST Sample Question #3

In which of the following positions would the tractor be less stable when taking a turn?

CAST free test
The same
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is B.

As you can see, the only difference between the two figures is the position of the tractor's shovel. In figure A the shovel is lowered, while in Figure B the shovel is raised. The raising of the shovel will also raise the point of the center of mass of the tractor. When the center of mass of the tractor is higher, the tractor loses some stability (A good example could be the difference between a semi-trailer and a sports car. The tall and narrow semi-trailer has a higher point of center of mass and is less stable than the low lying, flat and wide sports car which has a lower point of center of mass).


Since in Figure B the shovel is raised, it is less stable. Therefore, choice B is the correct answer.

Check out this video explaining the basic mechanical concepts to get a better grip on the subject. 

Play Video preview image
Video preview image

4. Reading for Comprehension

In this CAST section, you have to answer 32 questions within a 30-minute time frame.

You will be presented with four different passages and must answer eight questions about each one. These passages are long and take some time to read, and while it may seem worthwhile to just scan through the paragraphs, it isn’t really advisable as you need to answer multiple questions about them. Trying to read thoroughly may be a better idea in this situation!

There are four different answer options for each of the questions. Let’s take a look at an example question- You will have about a minute to answer this during the real test:

CAST Sample Question #4

Einstein was the first to set off on the noble search for the "theory of everything". He spent the last decades of his life searching for clues that would enable him to capture all physical aspects of the universe and unify them into one theoretical framework. Since Einstein, many unified field theories have been proposed but none have prevailed. In the past couple of decades a single explanatory framework, called "string theory" (that then evolved into "superstring theory") has started to gain a lot of attention from scientists around the world. Recently, a series of important discoveries has led to a more comprehensive theory called "M-theory".

The "M-theory" is a revised theory that provides a singular theoretical framework, unifying all the different versions of "string theory". The "M-theory" proves itself time and again when tested. In spite of the theory's durability against any attempts do discredit it, the fact remains that many of its issues are still beyond the reach of scientific examinations. Nonetheless, in one stoke, the M-theory has solved many of the embarrassing features of the string theory, such as why we have 5 superstring theories instead of just one.

For the first time physicists are now able to examine what is called the "non-perturbative" region. That is, problems that cannot be solved using mathematical methods for finding an approximate solution and are thus difficult to explore. This breakthrough is due to a powerful tool called "duality", allowing for an easily solved theory to seem equivalent to a more complex theory under a certain interchange so that the non-perturbative region can be solved. Advancements in the unified field were quick to come. Such was the work of Paul Townsend and Edward Witten; they showed that duality exists between 10 dimensional Type IIA strings (previously perceived as am inaccessible region) and 11 dimensional supergravity. The discovery of an 11th dimension was astonishing but also led several scientists to postulate that the final version of the M-theory might not possess a fixed number of dimensions.

Although many enthusiastic string theorists support the M-theory revolution, they are cautious with their future predictions. According to Witten, "we are on the right track, but we need a few more "revolutions" like this to finally solve the theory".

*Adapted from: "M-Theory: The Mother of all SuperStrings" by Dr. Michio Kaku

What is mentioned in the passage as a current problem with the M-theory?

It's articulation is not clear
The equations cannot be solved using Newtonian laws
Many issues are beyond the reach of scientific examinations
The non-perturbative questions cannot be solved
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The correct answer is C.

Using the information we have gained in question 1 we can answer this question without any effort. Even if you don't remember what the theory's problem was, it should be easy to locate it in the middle of the second paragraph: "In spite of the theory's durability […] many of its issues are still beyond the reach of scientific examinations."
Notice the words "in spite" which are imbedded in a paragraph which mainly described the advantages of the M-theory. These words point out the location of the problem.

Solving tip: Some questions you'll be able to answer based on the knowledge you have gained in previous questions. You might get tempted to go back to the passage and read more "just to be sure"- Don't! Learn to recognize these questions and save precious time. Every minute you save is a minute gained for future questions.


As you can see, the text for reading comprehension is very long at over 300 words. It’s very worthwhile for you to learn how to quickly look for the information you need from such texts to answer these questions quickly & accurately.

The CAST Preparation Pack includes 2 full CAST Reading Comprehension practice tests, and 2 extra practice tests for this subject. Each question in each test comes with a detailed solution, including tips on how to find the information you need to answer them.

CAST Test Scoring

The CAST tests are not standardized tests: each company has its own standards and can choose any pass mark. In addition, depending on the number and level of candidates the passing score can be changed. This means that to pass, you have to be better than the average test taker. But how much better?

The exact score you will need to reach is not always known, as it can change depending on other test takers and how well they did. Therefore, to reach the CAST aptitude test pass score you must simply aim as high as you can and practice thoroughly to ensure you stand out above the competition. 

How Can JobTestPrep Help You Pass the CAST Test?

JobTestPrep has been in the online test preparation market since 1992, helping over a million candidates get the job they want. The Online CAST Test Prep has the same type of questions, and the same time limit in the practice tests as the real thing, so you won’t be caught off guard when you come to take the real thing.

The Online CAST Prep also includes CAST exam secrets solving methods for speed and accuracy, for each of the practice questions included. If you are not satisfied, we also offer a money-back guarantee.

Who Needs to Take the CAST Test?

Although there can be myriad uses for the CAST test, in general terms, people who want to work in the following services can be expected to take the test:

✔ Construction and skilled trade professionals

✔ Transmission and distribution

✔ Facilities and repair

✔ Other facilities (e.g., carpenter)

✔ Electrical repair

✔ Machining and vehicle repair

✔ Meter service and repair

Here is a list of positions that require you to take the CAST test:

  • Apprentice Lineman
  • Automotive Technician
  • Division Mechanic Assistant
  • Elevator Constructor Apprentice
  • Energy Tech
  • Groundsman
  • Helper Maintenance Technician
  • Helper/Climbing School
  • Lineworker
  • Lineman
  • Lineman Helper, Climbing School
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • MCC-BT
  • Overhead Helper
  • Substation construction
  • Substation Electrician
  • Substation Helper
  • Technician Maintenance
  • Transmission Line Maintenance
  • Utility Worker

Please note that 

What Are the Most Popular Companies Using the CAST Test For Recruitment?

Exelon: Exelon provides electricity and natural gas to 7.8 million customers and is one of the largest energy generators in the US.

Duke Energy: The largest electric power holding company in the United States. Headquartered in North Carolina, Duke Energy provides service in the Carolinas, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Florida.

Southern California Edison: This is the largest subsidiary of Edison International, and provides electricity for much of Southern California. It delivers 15 million people with electricity across a service territory of approximately 50,000 square miles.

PSEG: The Public Service Enterprise Group is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey and was established in 1985 with a legacy dating back to 1903. The company's largest subsidiary is Public Service Electric and Gas Company.

Southern Company: Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with executive offices also located in Birmingham, Alabama. The company is currently the second largest utility company in the U.S. in terms of customer base.

Dominion Energy: Dominion Energy operates in 16 states across the US and provides services to more than 7 million customers.

Xcel Energy: Xcel Energy Inc. is a utility holding company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, serving more than 3.7 million electric customers and 2.1 million natural gas customers in Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico in 2019.

Georgia Power: Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation's largest generators of electricity.

Note: IBEW uses a very similar test to this one. Click here for our page on the IBEW Apprenticeship Test, or take a free IBEW practice test.


What Does CAST Stand For?

CAST stands for the Construction and Skilled Trade Selection System examination. It is administered by EEI (Edison Electric Institute).

How Long Is the CAST Test?

The CAST test is four separate tests. Each one is no longer than 30 minutes. As it is a paper and pen test, there are obviously some breaks. Therefore you can expect it to take approximately two hours to complete.

How Is the CAST Test Scored?

The CAST test can be scored both by machine and by hand. Scores from the four CAST aptitude test are combined into a single index score, ranging from 1 - 10 (10 being the highest). The index score reflects the expected probability of successful job performance.

Can You Use a Calculator on the CAST Test?

Can You Use a Calculator on the CAST Test?

No. Calculators are not allowed in the test.

How Many Questions Is the CAST Test?

Overall there are 110 questions spread over four tests. For the breakdown see above.

What Is on the CAST Test?

There are four different tests: graphic arithmetic, mathematical usage, mechanical concepts and reading comprehension.


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