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Criteria Pre-Employment Testing & Assessment Center Preparation 2024

criteria pre employment assessment tests

Founded in 2006, Criteria quickly grew into one of the largest companies in its field. Criteria offers a series of psychometric tests designed to help HR departments identify promising candidates and recruit new employees.

Their board of highly-trained psychologists and test-writers come together to develop exams highly suited for the professional marketplace to make the hiring process as simple as possible for busy entrepreneurs.


What Are Criteria Corps Assessment Tests?

Since large businesses can’t interview every applicant (and because resumes tend to look pretty similar) they’ll ask interested graduates and other job-seekers to take various online screening tests. These exams aren’t necessarily all that difficult, but in requiring them, HR departments can easily eliminate anyone who’s clearly not serious about the position.

There are three different kinds of pre-employment Criteria tests: aptitude, skill, and personality:

Aptitude Tests:

Sometimes called intelligence tests, sometimes called cognitive ability tests, these exams will evaluate your ability to solve problems, think creatively, and draw logical conclusions.

These tests won’t require you to demonstrate advanced knowledge in any particular subject. Rather, they’ll want to see how sharp your analytical skills are. Typically, they’ll test verbal comprehension, numerical reasoning, and basic logic. You can think of these tests almost as if they were I.Q. tests.

Criteria Attention Skills Test:

If you’re going to a Criteria assessment center to take a skills test, you’ll be expected to prove either basic mathematics and verbal skills or computer literacy. These tests are usually given to candidates applying to entry-level positions who need to work on administrative tasks.

Critetia Personality Assessment:

People develop personality in order to accomplish three key goals: get along with other people, get ahead, and find meaning in their lives–three tasks that are absolutely necessary to human survival both in the jungle and the workplace.

The personality tests offered by Criteria will either evaluate whether you are suited for a particular position like sales or customer service or will assess whether given the traits you have, you’ll fit into the company culture.


Oftentimes, businesses will actually require candidates to take more than one test–a skills and personality test, for example, in order to be absolutely sure that they’re hiring the right person for the job.


How to Prepare for Criteria Aptitude Tests?

How you prepare will really depend on which test your taking. You won’t prepare for a personality test the same way you’d prepare for a typing or Microsoft Word assessment. It’s important, first of all, that you know exactly which test you’re taking, and what’s on the exam. Make sure you know:

  1. How many questions will there be?
  2. What form will the questions take? (Multiple choice, short response, sliding scale)
  3. How much time will you be allowed?
  4. What traits or skills will be evaluated?

If you’ll be tested on your knowledge of Excel, then you should make sure to brush up on those skills. On the other hand, if you’ve been asked to take a basic skills test or an aptitude test, you’ll need to find review materials that allow you to practice with the kind of questions you’ll encounter on the actual exam.

Lastly, if you’ve been given a personality assessment, you’ll want to zero in on the traits that will be assessed. Take some time to reflect on your own personality, and think about how you’d like to present yourself. Remember, the key on a personality test is to answer the questions clearly and consistently. You’ll also want to check out some of our personality preparation guides. Our general tips will help you to avoid common errors regardless of which assessment you take.


Criteria Aptitude Tests:

Proven to provide twice as much information about a candidate as an interview, three times as much evidence as experience, and a stunning four times as much proof as education, aptitude tests predict success very accurately.

  • Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT): You’ll be given 15 minutes to answer a series of 50 questions. This exam will evaluate how well you understand and apply information and react creatively to problems in critical situations. The CCAT includes the following subsections: spatial reasoning, verbal reasoning, and numerical and analytical reasoning. Based on the categories of questions the score report for this test will not only give an overall score, but individual scoring for each sub-section.
  • Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT): This exam is very similar to the CCAT except it doesn’t contain a verbal component, so it can be administered to non-native English speakers. Plus, there are 40 questions to answer within 20 minutes. This test gives scores for sub-categories similar to the CCAT, however instead of the verbal ability score there is a section focusing on attention to detail.
  • MiniCog Rapid Assessment Battery (MRAB): The Minicog Rapid Assessment test was developed for NASA astronauts who needed to know whether or not cognitively they were capable of operating the space shuttle. Today, this nine-test battery is used to test how well individuals can process information. The battery includes assessment of an individual’s ability to:
    1. concentrate on multiple items at once
    2. focus on a designated assignment for a sustained amount of time
    3. sift through material focusing on what’s important and dismissing that which is trivial
    4. remember verbal information
    5. recall spatial stimuli
    6. use spatial reasoning
    7. use deductive reasoning
    8. process information
    9. identify and react to stimuli
  • Criteria Attention Skills Test (CAST): This test only lasts between 9 and 12 minutes and is used to test how well individuals can focus for extended periods of time. For professions such as air traffic controller, security guard, truck driver, and gaming dealer, attention span is of critical importance. There are multiple areas of focus required for different job tasks. This test assesses a candidate’s ability to focus on multiple items, focus on one item for an extended period of time, focus on important information while dismissing irrelevant information, and focus on and respond to stimuli.
  • Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA): The test contains 60 questions and lasts a total of 30 minutes. Companies use it to see whether potential employees have the tools they need to install and operate machinery.
  • Criteria Mechanical Reasoning Assessment: This test was designed for people who need to have at least a minimal knowledge of how to work with machines. Ability to determine where the problem lies in a machine, and the capability of reasoning out how something is supposed to work will be measured. This test is to be mobile friendly, and for job-seekers who can read at least at a 6th grade level.
  • General Aptitude Mobile Evaluation: Also known as GAME this is a mobile friendly assessment test that is given in the form of a game. It uses three mini-games to evaluate attention to detail, critical thinking, and problem solving. It takes around 5 minutes to complete all three mini-games.
  • Cognify The Cognify Test, a unique game-based psychometric assessment by Criteria, is a key tool in modern hiring processes. This engaging test comprises six mini-games, each 3-5 minutes long, designed to evaluate essential cognitive skills such as numerical reasoning, problem-solving, and verbal reasoning. Unlike traditional assessments, Cognify uses interactive gameplay to assess a candidate’s cognitive abilities, focusing on skills like planning, multi-tasking, and analytical thinking. Preparing for the Cognify Test is vital, as it offers a distinct approach to measuring cognitive aptitude, moving away from conventional multiple-choice formats to a more dynamic, game-based evaluation.


Criteria Skills Tests:

These tests will assess whether you have the essential skills you’ll need to perform basic tasks in your new position.

  • Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST): The CBST tests whether applicants have the verbal and mathematical skills to carry out administrative and clerical tasks in entry-level jobs. This 40 questions exam has a 20-minute time limit and evaluates grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and basic numerical reasoning.
  • Typing Test: Applicants will be given one minute to type as much of a passage as they can. Their score will reflect the number words typed per minute, number of errors, and words per minute adjusted for errors.
  • Ten Key Test: You’ll be given 5 minutes to make 20 entries, and your results will show both accuracy and keystroke speed.
  • Microsoft Excel 2013/2016: In 10 minutes, this assessment will test whether you have the skills to create charts, manipulate functions, and create and format workbooks with a series of 20 basic questions.
  • Microsoft Word 2013/2016: Employers use this test to identify candidates who won’t need any extra training in Microsoft Word. With 20 questions and 10 minutes, you’ll be asked to manipulate margins, format text, and create and edit documents.
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013/2016: This simple, 10-minute assessment contains 20 questions that will ask you to upload images, add and move text boxes, edit slides, and print presentations.
  • Computer Literacy and Internet Knowledge Test (CLIK): This assessment test is designed for anyone applying to an entry-level position that requires basic computer literacy. It lasts 10 minutes and contains two three-minute tasks, each of which is followed up with 10 questions that are multiple-choice. The score report will say you are not proficient, proficient, or highly proficient in basic computer functions.


Criteria Personality Tests:

The third component of Criteria employment testing is the personality section.

  • Sales Achievement Predictor (SalesAP): The SalesAP test allows a hiring manager to see whether a particular applicant hates making cold calls, hesitates to close sales, and fails to follow through–all skills that are very difficult to test for in interviews.
  • Customer Service Aptitude Profile (CSAP): This assessment tests whether employees are assertive, patient, cooperative, and tactful enough to handle customer questions and complaints.
  • Employee Personality Profile (EPP): The Employee Personality Profile contains 140 questions that evaluate how prospective employers will interact with co-workers and supervisors in the workplace. Though the EPP can be used for employees in any position, Criteria’s testing software provides benchmarks that allow employers to determine whether one job might fit a candidate better than another.
  • Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP): The WPP test determines whether employees are conscientious, perseverant, honest, and reliable. Businesses use this test to tell whether candidates will stay on task and whether they can be trusted with company property.
  • Criteria Personality Inventory (CPI): This exam is formulated according to the famous Five-Factor Personality Model, which evaluates openness, conscientiousness, agreeableness, extraversion, and neuroticism.


Emotional Intelligence

  • Emotify: This is a mobile friendly test used to help measure the test takers emotional intelligence. There are two interactive sections, both lasting around 10 minutes, which help identify how well an individual understands emotions.



Companies That Use Criteria’s Assessments

These are some of the many companies that use Criteria tests:

Bank of America General Motors Morgan Stanley Geico Cvent
Domino’s Pizza First Bankers Trust Company Ohio Valley Bank Ameridial IBM
Summit CPA Buckeye Partners South Jersey Industries USDA Allstate
Farmers Insurance State Farm Vista Equity Partners Crossover Relias Learning
Salem Five Bank North Shore Bank Brightstar Care Tibco Infoblox
Misys Telarix Active Network Mitratech Access Group
Vertafore Marketo


Criteria will provide a score report to the company requiring the assessment. Based on your answers the score report will provide a raw score and percentage score. The percentage score compares your answers to the test to all others who have previously taken the test. Many of the tests contain subcategories and you will receive a percentage score for each subcategory in addition to your overall score. Finally, for some tests the score report will include specific job roles and whether or not your scores indicate you are qualified and will be successful at the job in question.