What does CAT measure?
This test measures your analytical and problem-solving skills. It also measures how logically you think, how much attention you pay to details, and how closely you follow rules. These skills are required for computer professions such as Systems Analyst, Programmer, Network Manager, Network Engineer, Network Administrator, and PC/Network Technician.
These are not the only skills needed for these positions. As with other professions, you also need motivation, integrity, productivity, and the ability to communicate, work in a team, follow instructions, and manage your time.
This test measures your natural aptitude for computers and problem-solving. It does not test your other abilities (creativity, for example), and even a fair or adequate scorer can still learn to work well with computers, given enough training and practice.
aptitude test measures an applicant’s ability in the
following five areas:
Recognition of similarities and differences: Much of IT involves relational situations, including the determination of how one set instructions will impact another set. It also involves noting when an element of a set does not match the other elements. Because IT involves these relational needs, an individual must be able to compare, value and distinguish between a variety of objects and situations.
Syntax: Just as a word is composed of a string of letters, and a
sentence is composed of a string of words, computer languages and commands utilize a string of characters and words. However, the patterns of these specialized computer languages and commands often appear odd, or even arbitrary, to a beginner. While first-time computer candidates are not expected to understand COBOL or other languages, they must be able to demonstrate the ability to think logically and to recognize patterns that exist in apparent chaos.
Procedural ability: Computers process information in a “yes-no” or “on-off” sequence. Illustrating this flow in human terms is greatly facilitated with the use of a flow chart that presents a picture of the computer’s logic. Candidates who can easily grasp the concepts behind a flow chart will tend to have an easier time understanding and developing a computer program, since they will have a deeper understanding of the computational processes that are involved.
Math and logic aptitude: For the most part, IT does not involve higher math skills, so a person does not need to be a mathematician in order to be a skilled programmer or systems analyst/ engineer. However, the ability to troubleshoot and work out a computer process to its logical conclusion is a central component of working successfully with computers. And in doing this, information technology shares the same problem-solving principles that form the core of math and logic.
Sequencing: Getting a computer to properly perform a task involves setting up a sequence of instructions. Programmers must be able to visualize this step-by-step process, thinking ahead while following certain rules that govern computer languages and commands. There are a variety of tests that can measure a candidate’s ability to discern a pattern and predict the flow of objects.
It is important to note that the test does not measure a candidate’s knowledge in these areas instead, the test should look to determine the candidate’s aptitude, or ability, as it relates to the subject matter.
1-49 percent: Poor
You tend to ignore things that seem unimportant at first glance but are in fact critical. You will be more successful in a position that does not require high analytical abilities. You will be a good candidate for a position as a Computer Operator or Data Entry Clerk. However, if you wish to pursue a more technical career in computers, you need to learn to think more logically and pay attention to rules and details.
50-60 percent: Adequate
You are capable of working with computers, but must be careful of your tendency to ignore rules and details. You can start as a PC/Network Technician and move up to higher positions as you develop better analytical and problem-solving skills and gain experience.
61-70 percent: Fair
You are able to solve problems but need to pay greater attention to rules and details. You can start as a Network Administrator or a PC/Network Technician and move up to higher positions as you develop better analytical and problem-solving skills and gain experience.
71-80 percent: Good
You are fairly logical and are good at problem-solving. You are usually aware of rules and you notice most details. You can start as a Network Engineer or a Network Administrator and move up to higher positions as you develop better analytical and problem-solving skills and gain experience.
81-90 percent: Excellent
You are logical and are very good at problem-solving. You are aware of rules and are detail-oriented. You will be very successful as a Network Manager or a Network Engineer. You are a good candidate for a position as a Systems Analyst or a Programmer, if you wish to pursue a career in computer programming.
91-100 percent: Outstanding
You are highly logical and are very good at problem-solving. You are very attentive to rules and are detail-oriented. You will be highly successful as a Network Manager or a Network Engineer. You are an excellent candidate for a position as a Systems Analyst or a Programmer, if you wish to pursue a career in computer programming.
A PC/Network Technician mostly deals with hardware, either individual computers or the network as a whole. Some logic and problem-solving is required, though following rules is not as vital as it is in more demanding positions.
Network Administrators have more troubleshooting and administrative duties, which require a greater attention to detail and a greater ability to see what is causing a particular problem. Network Administrators also install and configure operating systems and applications, requiring an ability to follow rules closely.
Network Engineers are one step up from Network Administrators. They are able to administer Wide Area Networks and larger Local Area Networks, train users, and suggest hardware and software to meet company needs. This means that they must have a better ability to solve problems and see the whole of a situation. They must also be able to evaluate data dealing with network performance, and provide solutions to improve performance.
A Network Manager oversees an entire large network, so seeing the whole situation is again vital. Network Managers must be able to interpret network data and find ways to improve performance and productivity.
A Programmer has high levels of logical thinking and attentiveness to detail. To make a computer perform a certain task requires a Programmer to be able to give very specific instructions in very specific terms. The titles Software Developer or Software Engineer are sometimes used instead of Programmer.
A Systems Analyst has a very high level of logical thinking and pays great attention to detail. A Systems Analyst can oversee a large software project, so seeing the whole situation is vital. Systems Analysts must be able to find ways to improve software performance and meet specifications.
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