This page provides guidance on how to prepare for and take the Canadian Forces Aptitude Test.
One of the early steps in the recruiting and selection process consists of the candidate taking an aptitude test at a Canadian Armed Forces Recruiting Centre. This test examines a candidate's abilities in the following three broad areas:
- verbal skills
- spatial ability
- problem solving
The problem solving portion of the test involves basic mathematics abilities, e.g. addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, ratios, and algebraic equations. No calculators are allowed, so candidates must be able to work out answers using pencil and paper.
The test is time-limited and conssists of a series of multiple choice questions with four potential answers for each question. In order to perform well on this aptitude test, it is essential for a candidate to answer as many questions as possible. The optimum strategy is for the candidate to:
a. go through the entire test as quickly as possible, choosing answers that are known to be correct and skipping all questions where the answers are not immediately obvious;
b. go through the entire test a second time, examining previously unanswered questions in some detail but still briefly and choosing answers that are considered most likely correct. Again, skip any questions for which no potential answer seems correct;
c. to through the entire test a third times, checking off "c" or the longest answer as a best guess for all previously unanswered questions. Candidates have to monitor time remaining and ensure that there is sufficient available to go through this third step for all outstanding questions; and
d. if there is still time available, go back through the questions answered in step "b" to confirm your choice of answers.
There are no penalties for wrong answers, so it really is to the candidate's benefit to indicate an answer for every question.
The Canadian Armed Forces aptitude test is a demanding mental activity. Candidates need to be well-rested and have eaten a nutritious and balanced meal shortly before taking the test.
A practice version of the Canadian Armed Forces aptitude test is available at http://cdn.forces.ca/_PDF2010/preparing_for_aptitude_test_en.pdf. Note that the actual aptitude test contains many more questions than are given on this practice test.
There are a large number of internet sites offering advice on taking aptitude tests and providing practice tests for a broad range of skills and knowledge areas. Candidates are encouraged to visit a number of these sites and try various practice tests--focusing on the three areas that form part of the Canadian Armed Forces aptitude test: verbal skills, spatial ability, and problem solving. Practising basic mathematics without the assistance of a calculator will also benefit the candidate in preparing for this test.
Examples of websites offering practice tests are:
Each occupation in the Canadian Armed Forces has a minimum achievement level for the aptitude test. If a candidate fails to achieve the minimum level for their chosen occupation, a one-time retest can be taken but only after a three-month wait. This waiting period can impact whether a candidate can complete the recruiting and selection processes in time for the upcoming start of the Colleges' academic year.