All you need to know about the Canadian Forces Aptitude Test.

What is the CFAT?

The Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT) is a psychometric test administered to all applicants to the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF). The purpose of the CFAT is to determine whether you have the mental aptitude to enlist, and if so, which military occupations you qualify for.
Your performance on the CFAT, in conjunction with other measures, will determine your career options within the CAF.

The higher you score, the more career options are available to you. So, it’s extremely important that you thoroughly prepare for the test.

What can I expect on the CFAT?

The CFAT is a multiple-choice test consisting of three sections. The full test contains 60 questions with a 60-minute time limit.

The three sections of the CFAT are:

  • Verbal Skills: 15 questions (5 minutes)
  • Spatial Ability: 15 questions (10 minutes)
  • Problem Solving: 30 questions (45 minutes)

All test questions are multiple-choice questions; you will have four answers to choose from. Only one answer is correct.
The use of pen and paper is allowed. You cannot use calculators, books, or other aids during your test.

What questions are on the CFAT?

The CFAT consists of three separate sections: Verbal Skills, Spatial Ability, and Problem Solving. In the following few paragraphs, we will describe the type of questions that can be found within each of the three sections. We have also included example questions for each section.

Verbal Skills

This section includes a total of 15 questions and has a 5-minute time limit. The verbal skills section consists of vocabulary questions and word analogies.

Try two example questions below.

CFAT Vocabulary question example:
Select the word which is either a synonym or an antonym of the word “warranted”.

Select your answer to display explanation.

If something is warranted, there is a good reason for it, and it can be accepted. The meaning of justified is having or shown to have a just, right, or reasonable basis.
Warranted and justified are synonyms.

CFAT Word Analogy example:
Flow is to River
as Stagnant is to _____.

Select your answer to display explanation.

The water flows through the river. The water is stagnant in a pool.
The definition of stagnant is:
“having no current or flow and often having an unpleasant smell as a consequence.”

Spatial Ability

The spatial ability section includes a total of 15 questions and has a 10-minute time limit. This section contains a series of pattern folding/unfolding questions and object rotation questions.

Try an example question below.

CFAT Spatial Ability question example:

Find the object that the pattern above can be folded into.
Fold into the screen – away from you.

Select your answer to display explanation.

The explanation is a large image. To view the explanation, please press here.

Problem Solving

With 30 questions and a 45-minute time limit, the problem solving section is the longest of the three.

This section has a wide range of question types: Number series, mathematical word problems, image analogies, image series, matrices, simple math, and verbal reasoning questions.

We have included three problem-solving example questions below. For more examples, try our free CFAT practice test

CFAT Problem Solving question example 1:
The 4th battalion consists of 12 platoons. Each platoon contains 6 squads, and each squad has 8 soldiers.
In total many soldiers are in the 4th battalion?

Select your answer to display explanation.

First, find the number of soldiers in each platoon. A platoon has 6 squads with 8 soldiers in each squad:
6 x 8 = 48 soldiers
Now find the total number of soldiers:
12 x 48 = 576 soldiers

CFAT Problem Solving question example 2:
Find the missing number:
8, 12, 18, ?

Select your answer to display explanation.

With every step of the series, the number increases by 150%. In other words, with every step of the series, 50% is added to the number:
8 + 4 = 12   (4 is 50% of 8)
12 + 6 = 18   (6 is 50% of 12)
18 + 9 = 27   (9 is 50% of 18)

CFAT Problem Solving question example 3:

Select your answer to display explanation.

The number of lines in the box on the left side is decreased by one (1) in the box on the right..

Try more CFAT practice questions with our free CFAT practice test.

How does CFAT scoring work?

How you score on the CFAT determines which military occupations, you qualify for. For some occupations, the “cutoff” score is based on the overall CFAT score. However, many occupations require a minimum score within one of the three test categories as well.

The required scores for each occupation have not been made public — and officially, you aren’t even allowed to know how you scored — although some recruiters will tell you if you ask.
However, what the recruiters are allowed to tell you is whether you are suitable or not for your selected occupation.

You can retake the CFAT again if you feel the need — but there are certain requirements. One requirement is that you must wait at least one month from the date of your initial test.
Secondly, CFAT scores do not expire. However, it is the most recent, not the highest, score that is used for assessment. Also, note that you are limited to only two rewrites.

How to prepare for the CFAT

It is important to know that the CAF highly recommends preparing for the CFAT. If you do not prepare, you will have a significant disadvantage compared to other applicants.
Preparation is essential in obtaining a good score on the CFAT. In reading our guide to the CFAT, you have already covered the first point on our list of tips for preparing “Well in advance of the test day”.

Well in advance of the test day

  • Know what to expect on test day.
  • Familiarize yourself with the type of test questions on the CFAT.
  • Practice sample CFAT questions. Use the sample questions to find your weak areas, and make sure you brush up on your skills within these areas.
  • A healthy body is important for a healthy mind. Therefore, eat well, get enough sleep, and exercise regularly. Doing so will make a positive difference not only in your everyday life but also in your test results.


The day before the test

  • The day before your test, make especially sure that you eat well and avoid alcohol.
  • Arriving late for the test, or even just in time, can cause nervousness and bad results. Make sure you have everything ready the day before and that you know exactly where to go and how to get there.
  • Get plenty of rest the night before the test.


Tips for taking the CFAT test

  • On the day of your test, eat a good breakfast, even if you normally skip it. You need to keep your mental focus on your test and not on your hunger. If you really cannot stomach food, then try having a protein shake or smoothie. Eat brain-boosting food. This includes protein-rich foods, which can lead to greater mental alertness. Good food choices include eggs, nuts, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
  • Read the directions for each test carefully before you begin the test.
  • Read each question carefully before selecting your answer.
  • Pay attention to the clock. Avoid spending too much time on one question if that means you won’t have time to answer later questions. Remember, you can always skip a question and return to it later.
  • When you don’t know the answer to a question, try using the method of elimination: rule out as many incorrect choices as you can, and then make an educated guess from the remaining answers.
  • If your time is running out, it is better to guess at the remaining questions instead of leaving them blank; there is no penalty for a wrong answer.
  • If you have spare time, make sure to revisit all test questions. In an exam situation, it is easy to make small mistakes, such as misreading a question or marking the wrong option.


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