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Canadian Forces Aptitude Test (CFAT) [MERGED]

I didnet know why there was so much stress to the CFAT eather,

until I took it and didnet get the trades I wanted. Then there was stress. It basically comes down to your math knowledge (for me anyway) so that's why I posted this thread, for others who may be like me and had a weakness in math. If you dont remember the items I listed above (Multiplying, dividing, adding/subtracting decimals, percents, and fractions) then you will have to learn.

Congrats on doing well on yours
What trade were you trying for? 

...and please use spellcheck and proofread.
Thank you.
I was actually applying for a operator trade Nesop "Naval Electronic Sensor Op" I don't believe it requires much math. But I don't have any experience in this trade yet to make that call. The score on my math portion was more important to me because of the ability to change to diffrent trades in the future if I would like (example, Aesop, Airborne elec sens op, AVS Tech, etc...)

Sorry for spelling, its been a long day here.
very long.
JamieR said:
Nesop "Naval Electronic Sensor Op" I don't believe it requires much math.

Anything dealing with EW involves math.........
You'd be surprised how little math NESOP's use.  I used to be one, and I can't think of any time when we used math.  There was a bit back when we actually calculated balistics, but we don't do that any more. 

I agree that on the EW side if the NESOP's were actually analyzing the signals there would be math involved, but for the most part this is done by the computers or further up the food chain at CFEWC and NEWC.  So really, no math. 

On your 5's there is pulse train analysis, but this comes down to more physics than math. 

Anyhow, just my 2 cents as an x-NESOP. 
Hello Everyone,

I'm new to the forum.  I have some advice for those that are preparing for the CFAT or think the CFAT is "easy."

The truth is, the CFAT is EASY.  However, it can be DIFFICULT if you don't do the following things.

1.  Brush up on MENTAL MATH.

Why do I say this?  In 2002, I wrote the CFAT.  I passed it, however I did not qualify for Officer.  It was unfortunate beause I had my officer interview beforehand (which I passed) and passed the physical etc..  I thought the CFAT was a sure win given my education background and over-confidence.  The "sample" questions they give you are nowhere as close to the real difficulty of the test. 

Now what may interest you is the following.

26 years old.

My educational background is in Engineering, and I am currently a Physics teacher.  My mathematics and physics is actually quite good.  I'm a good problem-solver.  However, my problem on the CFAT was that my mental math has been destroyed after being reliant on calculators for years to make solving problems quicker.  Solving complex problems, sometimes makes many of us ignore mundane computation (ie; arithmetic) in order to focus on conceptual thinking.

When I encountered the CFAT.  I found myself spending too much time on simple division and computation!!  I wasted SOO much time on these little tasks, because it was the very basics that I used to ignore, although solving advanced problems for me were easy (given a calculator).  I did not even practice or try to prepare for it (CFAT), due to over-confidence of my background and academic history.  I even went out to a huge party the night before the test, got plastered and what not.  --- BAD IDEA in hindsight!  I was also pretty tired and hungover before writing the test.  But still, nonetheless very confident.

So the moral of the story.  Even an Engineer/Physicist can mess up the CFAT (for their desired occupation!) 

Luckily this happened years ago.  I plan to re-apply again, but this time with a VERY DIFFERENT attitude.  The sad thing when I was doing the CFAT was that I've done many harder questions than those in my life, however without a calculator and being under a time-limit those "easy" questions were harder than any physics question I've done.  The questions would have been REALLY EASY (word problem solving) if I simply had a calculator to speed up my time.  Time was the factor that I lost control of, not solving the actual problems.  SO PRACTICE YOUR MENTAL MATH AND DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS!!  This goes out particularly to the engineers, scientists and etc..  I know many of us that walk in too confident when we hear that the aptitude test is at the level of Gr10 Academic Math.  Well that math can be quite difficult, if you're not used to math without calculators!
no offence man, however,

I think this test is designed in a way that you can't really study for it other then basic prep. If you wan't to serve your country do it in a way that they deem you can do it at its best! That is what it is designed for!

I am no expert and am in waiting for basic training but don't fret it. I think most people do poorly on the test due to undue stress. It is not meant to trick you into a trade that is under your abilities. Just relax and do it.

Best of luck my friend.

I don't agree with you.  I believe you can prepare for it.  In the sense that you can become aquainted and familiar with the style of testing, questions, time limits and test-taking strategies.  The truth is, referring to my teaching experience; based on my students' performance increases and decreases; marks and learning are positively correlated with practice and homework.  The practice will definitely improve your performance in terms of speed.  I'm sure if you did some math drills everyday for one month, it will have a better effect on your score than if you were to sit around and watch tv all day. 

Time is of essence in this test.  The questions are not difficult, and I am sure many people could even score perfect if given an extra few minutes here and there.  What will break you is if you waste time in the little tasks of arithimetic for a question (say on paper), like for example..

This is not a CFAT question, just making it up.

If Tony had $15 and invested it at a rate of 5% at the end of each year, how much money would he have at the end of 4 years?

This question isn't difficult.  You would Multiply $15 * 0.05, the result of that would be added again to $15 for a new amount.  That new amount would be multiplied by
5% and then re-added to the total and so on..(i.e. 4 iterations)

We know how to do the question.  But the problem most test-takers are going to have is, calculating the $15 x 0.05 (without a calculator).  They know that is what they have to do (i.e. the method which is correct), but HOW to compute that without a calculator may not be easy for some.  If given a calculator, this question can be done in seconds.

just a tip for everyone.  The easiest way to calculate that is by doing  15 x (5/100).  So do 15 x 5, then divide by 100.  So 75/100, which would be 0.75

This is where I think the CFAT lacks.  It is testing alot of computation skill and not conceptual skill.  If the CFAT allowed calculators, they could easily raise the bar in terms of difficulty of the problems because less time would be spent on computation and more on actual problem-solving.  Then I think real aptitude can be measured.  The truth is in at least the Ontario School System today, mental math isn't really emphasized anymore.  You will see students that will pick up calculators to do 2+3.  It is not because they don't know how to calculate 2+3, it is due to lack of confidence and ease of use (i.e. the calculator) that is essentially making students reliant on calculators even for the most basic of tasks.  I am also guilty of this.  It's a product of laziness not aptitude.

But you are right about the fact aptitude testing is designed to see what trades/careers you may be best suited for -- but it can only be accurate if you perform to the BEST of your potential -- and the only way to do that is through at least some practice. 

I am really big on the practice part, because when I first wrote the CFAT (although I passed), I did not qualify for Officer.  And it has alot to do with the fact I walked in with the attitude that I didn't need to prepare.  Big mistake.

The more test practice, in a test situation you do, the more accurate (and better) your overall result will be.
Really derailling and I will stop after this but when I say basic prep, I mean basic math skills you, along with any other high school student are responsible for knowing. Everyone needs a little refresher in these.

I am unsure what I can safely say about it but many of the math problems are more then they appear and are rarely just math problems as you have described. Its not the math they are testing you on but problem solving.

Just relax man. I have taught chemistry myself and, as a chemist confident in my math skills, I didn't prep at all and got all trades. Maybe you are getting too caught up in the numbers and not reading your problems clear enough.

Basic math review and a calm clear head. That will get you through. Anything else is too much and your just burdening yourself.

I have little experience conveying complex thoughts over typeface so I hope this comes across as suggestions and not criticism!

You can do it bro! Good luck on future endevours!
ok ok ok
I agree with both of you. you CAN study, and you CANT study, for certain things.

one thing you CAN study for is the math, relearn the math with a quick refresher like I said before, it made the diffrence from a hand full of trades to all of the trades for me.
They don't allow calculators, because some times, or even a lot of time, you will not have one available in the field.  They have to be sure you can do the calculations in your head or on paper.  Especially comes in handy when figuring out declinations for map and compass work.
Yeah but I also do believe that in the field.  You are more likely to encounter problems more complex than simple fractions, multiplication and division.  In that case, you give me a simple pocket calculator and I can be deadly on the battlefield.  Anyhow, that isn't my point.  What I am referring to is that we can raise the difficulty of problem-solving and conceptual thinking to a meaningful level if a simple calculator was provided (perhaps the CFAT should have another subtest on problem-solving where calculators are permitted, to determine the ceiling scores of problem-solving.)  They could easily do a study/comparison analysis on how scores are affected when given a calculator and without.  You will find that some students that actually do poorly on basic math without a calculator may do exceptionally well with one on complex problems, and perhaps better than test-takers that do well without a calculator (on basic math).

If someone asked me to calculate the distance an object lands when thrown at a certain velocity with a certain height and angle against wind conditions, and the time it takes for the entire process to occur, this for me is extremely easy.  This is a pretty realistic problem too, however without the use of the calculator, this question can be almost impossible to do (if for example you are given non-ratio angle like 51.67 degrees).
I think the problems you may be having is that you are getting too hung up on getting the actual answer.

The test is multiple choice for a reason... ie if you are given a list of answers, all of which are odd except one, and the question is asking you to multiply an odd an even number the answer should be obvious.

You can eliminate answers based on how large they are too... we are looking for realistic answers ie: if you are calculating your urination range, and you find the answer to be 30m, then it must be off... unless you are a superstud like me. ;D

Just stay cool and think about what you are doing, after all there is plenty of time to complete the test. If you get stuck you can always go back to the problem later.

Good luck.
Flouf, you are exactly right. That is what I thought i was saying but oh well. THey are not testing oh my god can person x calculate this fraction in so many minutes wowowowow!!! They are testing your problem solving ability. You have to reason with what you are given to get an answer. Many of the questions involving numbers can be solved with no calculations or simple addition. You just have to use your head.
I agree with you guys that it is important.  But I don't really think it accurately measures problem-solving ability as opposed to computational ability, which are entirely two different things.  Sure even solving simple fractions is a form of "problem-solving", but what I am referring to more are questions where conceptual thinking is more emphasized as opposed to computation.  Many questions on the CFAT are very computation based.  Sure logical guessing is a great way to problem-solve, but what about the guy who can do advanced physics and trigonometry with the help of the calculator, versus a guy who can't given a calculator but is only good at basic math -- because that was the highest level they actually studied.  I hope this makes sense.  It is more likely that a guy who can do advanced trig will have no problem, but the issue lies that we've become so accustomed to using calc that sometimes when I'm lazy I find myself picking up the calculator to do some basic multiplication.  For this reason my basic math skills are actually no good, but my advanced math skills are exceptional.  (hence why practice is important) because those with advanced math skills are obviously more likely to master basic math if they just go back and practice a bit.  keyword : practice.

But thanks for the good luck and wishes it is really appreciated.  :)  Right now, my focus is on mental math and that's it.  Just need to pick up on speed.

Here are my IQ-test.com scores.  Notice something.  So the guy who said I spend too much time thinking about the answer -- You are RIGHT.

Here is the scale.

Intelligence Interval       Cognitive Designation
40 - 54 Severely challenged (Less than 1% of test takers)
55 - 69  Challenged (2.3% of test takers)
70 - 84 Below average
85 - 114 Average (68% of test takers)
115 - 129 Above average
130 - 144 Gifted (2.3% of test takers)
145 - 159 Genius (Less than 1% of test takers)
160 - 175 Extraordinary genius

The break-down based on each type of intelligence for my scores.  (Although these scores and online IQ tests don't reflect anything, it is still interesting to see the breakdown).
Anyone else is welcome to share theirs as well.

Arithimetic  :  130
Spatial Skill:  122
Logical:  116
Spelling:  136
Short-Term Memory:  118
Rote Utilization:  133
Algebraic: 130
General Knowledge:  120
Visual Apprehension:  123
Geometric:  121
Vocabulary:  114
Intuition:  112
Computational Speed:  24

Overall Score:  115

Notice that my computational speed is 24.  Yes that is not a mistake.  Maybe the website/program made a mistake not sure because that looks a little way toooooo low compared to everything else.  Because of the computational speed 24, my overall score drops to 115.  Otherwise, even with say an average computational score of 100, my overall score would be 122.  Clearly there must be something wrong with me or the test/program.  In summary, I am very accurate and because of my accuracy my speed is reduced.  Chances are if I learn how to increase my speed, I may be able to increase the rest of the scores as well.  My vocabulary score may be due to the fact that English is not my first language.  Which is another beef I have with the CFAT, because Verbal reasoning for the most part is not culture-fair.

I got an idea, not sure if someone has done this before already.  But I think this idea may be great and we can all get together and decide how we want to do this.

Pick an IQ test, we will all agree to what IQ test should be the benchmark for our scores.  All existing members of the CF will then write this online test (preferably free).  Then in a poll on this forum, they will select out of a list what their trade/occupation/qualifcation/rank is, and connect it to what their IQ score is.  This way nobody has to reveal what their own personal score is, because the average of scores (on the poll) would yield the final score for that trade/occupation.

So if you have written the CFAT already and got the list of trades you qualify, select the "highest/hardest" most trade you qualified for as a way to "round-up."

This way, we can get a rough idea approximation the type of score you should get on this FREE iq test in order to qualify for any particular trade/profession in the CF based on the existing members.  Of course the more people (larger sample) that participate in this, the more accurate and correlated our results will be.

This would be a good way before you write your CFAT to get an idea what you might actually qualify for, based on what existing members of the CF have qualified for.

Who's in on this idea?  I think it might actually work.   :)
I scored low on that test as well.  If you read the fine print, it tells you something about paying, and it will give you your real adjusted IQ score.  I only got a 98, and yet I take the one at tickle.com at i score 136.  Huge difference.