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Free Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) Practice Test Questions

Tammar Schwartz

Tammar, Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) Expert at JobTestPrep.

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The actual test (as well as this CCAT practice test) begins with three numerical questions. 

To answer correctly, you must possess a foundational understanding of mathematical principles such as basic arithmetic, algebra, and fractions. Here are just a few examples:

CCAT Sample Math Word Problem

1. Jack and Jill have 44 cookies together. Jack has three times more cookies than Jill. How many cookies does he have?

 A. 9

 B. 11

 C. 22

 D. 33

 E. 40


If Jack has three times more cookies than Jill, you can build the following equation letting Jill be X and Jack be 3X:

3X + X = 44

4X = 44

Divide both sides of the equation by 4:
X = 11 - The number of cookies Jill has

3X = 3 x 11 = 33 - The number of cookies Jack has.

The correct answer is D: 33

Straightforward Basic Math Questions

2. Which of the following is the smallest value?

 A. 0.45

 B. 0.054

 C. 0.09

 D. 0.05

 E. 0.101


Break the solution down into steps:

First, we can eliminate answers A and E because they have a non-zero digit in the tenths place, meaning their value is higher than 0.1.

Next, we will eliminate answer C, as it has a 9 in the hundredths place, while the other two have a 5. 

We are left with 0.05 and 0.054, which can be represented as 5/100 and 54/1000, respectively. If you are still unsure which is smaller, convert 5/100 to 50/1000 by multiplying both the numerator and the denominator by a factor of 10. Now that the denominator is identical, you can easily spot that 50 is smaller than 54.

From largest to smallest: 0.45>0.101>0.09>0.054>0.05

The correct answer is D: 0.05


3. 53 is 25% of what number?

 A. 13.25

 B. 92.75

 C. 159

 D. 141.5

 E. 212


100% = 100*53/25 = 4*53 = 4*50 + 4*3 = 200 + 12 = 212

You can also find the answer by using a basic multiplication table method. If 53 is 25%, the whole number is four times 53. If we split the 53*4 to 50*4 + 3*4, we know that the number we are looking for has to end with 2 (3*4=12). The only option that ends with 2 is 212.

The correct answer is E: 212

Tip: Divide the numerical section into subcategories and work on each one independently. Each numerical question requires knowledge in a different field of mathematics, and ensuring you've covered all grounds will help you answer as many questions correctly as possible.

Wondering how scoring high on the CCAT can help you get the job you want? Check out the answer here.


There are 18 numerical questions on the CCAT in total (more than a third of all questions). This makes the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test more math oriented than almost any other pre employment aptitude test.

The numerical section therefore has a significant impact on your overall CCAT scores. To gain an edge on other test takers and get a good score, it is recommended you review and practice your basic math skills. Use this CCAT practice test and others like it to solve problems until you feel prepared.

What is the Best Way to Study for the CCAT?

Getting a high score on the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is difficult due to the intense time pressure – you have 50 questions to answer within 15 minutes, leaving you only 18 seconds per question on average.

Although the first questions on the test are relatively simple, the difficulty level grows as the test progresses, making it more and more stressful to answer questions within the time you have left. The main goal of practicing for the CCAT exam is, therefore, to improve your ability to solve questions quickly while time is running out.

A Complete Online CCAT Preparation Course

Our CCAT PrepPack contains 6 simulations that mimic the exact same test format, with 50 questions becoming increasingly challenging as time progresses. The order of the questions, difficulty, and time limit are all precisely the same as the CCAT test and come with in-depth explanations. As you follow our practice plan, you will be able to solve questions more quickly and see the improvement in your scores as you progress.

The online guided CCAT practice plan, which starts at $79, will help you perform at your best during the actual CCAT test.

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“I am not a native English speaker. So English questions are relatively hard for me. I used to have a 37 marks 3 years ago. I recently studied this course for 5 days and faced CCAT and managed to score 40. Most questions in this course is relatively harder than CCAT but in a good way.”

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CCAT Sample Spatial Reasoning Questions

4. Which of the following boxes should replace the question mark (?) to complete the pattern?


CCAT Spatial Reasoning Sample


The direction of the arrows moves 90 degrees counterclockwise.

The order of the colors of the arrows is: black, gray, and white.

Thus, the following arrow in the series must be gray and pointing downwards.


5. Which of the following boxes should replace the question mark (?) to complete the pattern?


CCAT Abstract Reasoning Sample


The above series has two characteristics that change: The inside shape and the outside shape.

The pattern of the outside shapes is - circle, square, and triangle.

The pattern of the inside shapes is - square, triangle, and circle.

Thus, following this pattern, the answer is a square with a triangle inside.


6. Which of the following boxes should replace the question mark (?) to complete the pattern?


Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test Sample Question


The circle in each figure is divided into eight eighths.

In each circle within the series, the shaded segmented sections move one-eighth (1/8) of the circle, counterclockwise.

Therefore, the next figure is the one appearing in answer option B.


7. Which of the following boxes should replace the question mark (?) to complete the pattern?


Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test Example


In this series, alternating vertical lines or vertical chains of circles are added to each figure, depending on the previous figure.

The middle circle in the vertical chain is always black. Since the last figure in the series contained an additional vertical chain of circles, the next figure should include an additional vertical line.

The figure appearing in answer-option A is the only one that fits.


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Fully timed practice tests, sample questions and comprehensive answers for CCAT spatial questions are available on the full CCAT practice course.

CCAT Sample Verbal Reasoning Questions

The next batch of questions is taken from the 18 Verbal questions you'll get on the CCAT assessment:

Analogy Questions

8. STRINGS is to GUITAR as:

 A. WOOD is to CELLO

 B. PIANO is to KEYS





STRINGS are the part of the GUITAR which makes the music.

Let’s try to apply it to all answer choices:

 A. WOOD is the part of the CELLO which makes the music.

 B. PIANO is the part of the KEYS which makes the music.

 C. BARS are the part of the XYLOPHONE which makes the music.

 D. VIOLIN is the part of the FLUTE which makes the music.

 E. SOUND is part of the MUSIC, which makes the music.

Of all answer choices, only C maintains the original relationship.


9. ABHOR is to DENOUNCE as ...





 E. DESK is to CHAIR


To ABHOR means to regard something with disgust, and to DENOUNCE is to declare something wrong.

(WORD 2) is an action one may take when he feels (WORD 1). 

A person DENOUNCES something that he ABHORS; similarly, a person APOLOGIZES for something he REGRETS. These two pairs are particularly similar, as both actions (APOLOGIZING and DENOUNCING) are carried out through communication.


Sentence Completion Questions

10. Choose the word or words that, when inserted in the sentence to replace the blank or blanks, best fits the meaning of the sentence.

Since porcelain is an extremely hard and ___ substance, it is used in dentistry to create artificial teeth.

 A. Hazardous

 B. Durable

 C. Lucrative

 D. Sly

 E. Influential


Porcelain is extremely hard and is used to create artificial teeth. As a result, it should be a long-lasting, stable substance. Therefore, the option "durable" fits the blank best.

Since porcelain is used in dentistry for creating artificial teeth and implanting them in peoples' mouths, it can not be hazardous or sly, as hazardous means 'dangerous, risky' and sly means 'showing a cunning and deceitful nature.

It could prove lucrative, which means 'cost-effective or fruitful (referring to financial profit)', but that is not a trait of the substance itself.

Influential, which means 'dominant, important, of great influence' is irrelevant.


11. When inserted in the sentence to replace the blank or blanks, choose the word or words that best fits the sentence's meaning.

Electronic information and automated systems are essential to ____ all major federal operations.

 A. Fundamentally

 B. Effectively

 C. Implicitly

 D. Approximately

 E. Virtually


The sentence refers to electronic information that is fundamental to (something) all major federal operations. The sentence's general idea implies that electronic information is essential to practically / nearly / almost all primary federal operations. Therefore, the only word accurately reflecting that meaning in the sentence's context is "virtually".


Many of the CCAT verbal questions are based on the English vocabulary, which is harder to improve within a short limited preparation time. That said, when praciticing these kind of questions you learn how to answer even if you don't understand some of the words' meanings.


After these verbal questions, you'll see four Abstract Reasoning questions once again:

12. Which of the following does not belong?


Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test Abstract Reasoning



Answer option (C) has three black circles inside of the square, while the rest of the answer options have only two black circles inside their squares.

Therefore, option C is the correct answer.


13. Which of the following does not belong?


CCAT Abstract Question Example



All answer options except for (E) present six stars, while answer option (E) presents five stars.

Therefore, option E is the correct answer.


14. Which of the following does not belong?


Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test Spatial Reasoning Sample



Answer option (C) has two white squares and one black square, while the rest of the answer options have two black squares and one white square.

Therefore, option C is the correct answer.


15. Which of the following does not belong?


Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test Abstract Reasoning Sample



The shape in answer option (D) is a circle and, therefore, does not have angles, unlike the figures shown in the other answer options.

Therefore, option D is the correct answer.


Need more practice? Take an abstract reasoning practice test.



CCAT Scores and Time-management

Understanding your CCAT score can be complicated, as you need to translate your raw score (how many answers you got right) to a percentile score that places your score on a scale. Getting 24 is the average score while getting over 31 places you higher than 80% of the other test takers. 

The challenge of achieving a high score on the CCAT test primarily arises from the intense time pressure. With a total of 50 questions to be answered within 15 minutes, you are left with a mere 18 seconds per question. As the test progresses, the complexity of the questions increases while you have less and less time left. This prevents many examinees from making it past the 30-question bar. 

So, what to do when you run out of time?

Here are a few useful tips you can use to increase your answering rate:

  1. Learn and utilize quick-solving tips like the ones presented on this page.
  2. At any point when you are not sure of the answer or feel that the question will take too long, take about 10 seconds to eliminate as many answers as possible so that you can make an informed guess (you will find that most of the time you can eliminate at least 2-3 options rather quickly).
  3. Allocate at least a minute at the end of the test to scan the remaining questions quickly and ensure no answer is left unmarked.


Practicing Time Management to Elevate Your Score

To learn more techniques that cut down your solving time and improve your chances of answering more questions correctly, our CCAT PrepPack provides:

  • Detailed answers to each question, including the strategy for solving it the fastest.
  • Tips on how to cut down the time you spend solving Math, Verbal, Spatial, and Logical problems, and how to make informed guesses.
  • 6 complete CCAT practice tests that progressively increase in difficulty, allowing you to improve your ability to answer questions quickly and efficiently. This will also help you to manage your time better and collect more correct answers.
See What People Say About Our Prep Pack

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Dan A. On the CCAT Test



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Here are some questions you may find in the more difficult second half of the test:


Math Word Problem

16. Solve the word problem:

In a popular music station, songs are played uninterrupted (i.e., no commercial breaks).
The popular music broadcast "Hits All Around Us" lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes, in which two-song lengths are played – songs that last 3 minutes and songs that last 6 minutes. How many songs will be played during the broadcast?

*Songs are fully played during the broadcast.

 A. 44 at most

 B. 23 at least

 C. 15 at least

 D. 42 at most

 E. 24 at least


Two hours and 15 minutes are 135 minutes in total.

The most songs that can be played are 45 (45 songs X 3 minutes each = 135 minutes).

The least songs that can be played are 23 (22 songs X 6 minutes each + 1 song X 3 minutes = 132 + 3 = 135)


Number Series Question

17. What would be the next number in the following series?

0.25 ... 0.5 ... 2.5 ... 5 ... 7... ?

 A. 14

 B. 17

 C. 34

 D. 25

 E. 22


The logical rule behind this series is an alternating arithmetic function – multiplication followed by addition.

The first number is multiplied by 2 to get the second number. Then 2 is added to the second number to get the third number, and so on: x2, +2, x2, +2 ...

Therefore, the last number in the series, 7, should be multiplied by 2: 7 x 2 = 14



As you progress through the test, the questions become more complex.

This is the part where proper preparation can make a difference. Getting an early acquaintance with all possible question types and learning time-saving solving techniques will help you ace the last questions of the test.

Here are some more types of questions you might come across on the CCAT tests:


CCAT Attention to Detail Question

18. How many of the five items in the left-hand column are exactly the same as the corresponding entry in the right-hand column?

Sharon V. Solaris Sharon V. Solaris
Celesta L. Kroner Celesta L Kroner
Savanna B. Swope Savanna B. Swoppe
Zachery H. Eickhoff Zachery H. Erickhoff
Megan N. Heinz Megan N. Heinz

 A. 1

 B. 2

 C. 3

 D. 4

 E. 5


Here are the discrepancies between the two versions:

Sharon V. Solaris Sharon V. Solaris
Celesta L. Kroner Celesta L Kroner
Savanna B. Swope Savanna B. Swoppe
Zachery H. Eickhoff Zachery H. Erickhoff
Megan N. Heinz Megan N. Heinz

There are three errors, which means the answer is (B) - 2. 


Letter Series Question

19. What would be the next group of letters in the following series?

zone … ynnd … xmnc … wlnb ?

 A. vkmc

 B. akna

 C. vkna

 D. vnna

 E. ajna


The pattern in this question is that all the letters move one letter backward in the alphabet except the letter "n" which stays constant.  Therefore the answer is vkna.


Syllogism Question (Logical Reasoning)


20. Assume the first two statements are true.

All athletes are hard workers.

Alice is not an athlete.

Alice is not a hard worker.

Is the final statement: A) True, B) False, or C) Uncertain based on the information provided?


You can deduce from the first statement that all athletes are hard workers, but you do not have any information about non-athletes.

Therefore, according to the second statement, you cannot conclude anything regarding Alice, which is not an athlete.

The final statement is uncertain.


Questions 35 to 50 on the CCAT determine who will score high and who will settle for an average score.

Many candidates go on a “guessing spree” in the last seconds just to finish all 50 questions (as there's no negative scoring), which usually results in average or slightly below average scores.

(You have only a 20% chance to get a question right if you take a wild guess).

However, using an accurate and proven practice plan that includes full-length CCAT practice test simulations will eliminate the guesswork and enhance your chances of scoring high.


Answer Index

1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20


How to Maximize Your CCAT Score

Now that you are familiar with the types of questions and challenges expected on the CCAT test, you can take the next step and prepare with personalized practice aimed at optimizing your results.

To ensure that you don't waste time practicing questions that are too easy or unrelated to the skills you need to improve, we have created a step-by-step practice plan customized to your level:

  1. Start by completing an initial full CCAT simulation to discover your current score and get guidance on which type of questions you should focus on improving.
  2. Practice implementing time-saving solving techniques with an interactive guide and practice test for each question type (numerical, verbal, spatial, and logic questions).
  3. Practice tests in growing difficulty levels (intermediate, advanced) to elevate your skills and be able to answer the more difficult CCAT questions.
  4. After practicing each difficulty level, practice full CCAT simulations to track your score progress.
  5. Take additional practice tests to strengthen areas in which you scored lower.

With our guided practice, available starting 79$, you will maximize your practice time and reach your best potential score.

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Continue Practicing for the CCAT Exam

Access more CCAT practice tests and other valuable CCAT prep materials so that you take the test while being as prepared as possible:

Ensure your success with our CCAT Test Tips!

If you're looking for a dedicated preparation check out our Crossover and Criteria Vista preps.


Why Do Employers Choose The CCAT?

Employers, mainly in North America, often pick the CCAT for hiring.  It helps in hiring by reducing costs and finding candidates who are good at thinking critically, solving problems, learning quickly, and applying new information.

Is The CCAT Tough?

Compared to other job-related tests, the CCAT is known to be challenging. It gets harder as you move to the 50th question. The math questions need quick thinking and strong analysis skills. People who've taken the CCAT and other tests like the Wonderlic and PI find the CCAT the most demanding.

What's a Normal CCAT Score?

An Average CCAT score is 24 out of 50 questions. If you achieve it places you in the middle, with 50% of people scoring the same or lower. See more on our scores page.

What is the On-Demand Assessment?

This is Criteria Corp's online platform where candidates take their tests. You can find out more about the CCAT On-Demand Assessment on our dedicated page.

How Does The CCAT Differ from The UCAT?

The UCAT is a shorter test by Criteria Corp focusing on math, logic, and visual reasoning without the verbal section found in the CCAT. Click to see more info on the UCAT.

Can You Get Extra Time for The CCAT?

Yes, there's a longer CCAT version giving you 22 minutes instead of 15, which is about 50% more time. This is available for those who aren't native English speakers or have a medical condition that requires more time.

Which Companies Use the CCAT?

Several employers use the CCAT in their hiring process, including Pennymac Aptean, Cvent, Finastra, Granicus, PowerSchool, TIBCO, Vertafore, Xactly, Infoblox, Mitratech, Ping Identity, and Relias Learning. For specific details on each, check out our guide on the Vista Equity Partners Exam.

💡 More CCAT FAQs

Free Cognitive Ability Tests

While cognitive ability tests all generally aim to measure similar things, different tests have different ways of challenging you, be it the time limit, different types of questions, length, and other factors. The common denominator between all of them? Practice makes perfect. 

To practice more free cognitive ability questions and learn about the differences between them, check out our Free Aptitude Tests Page, or check out the other specialized free tests for some of the leading test providers.

Related topics: Numerical Reasoning | Number Series QuestionsCCAT Study Guide - PDF

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