Many positions require that employees remain alert and focused for extended periods of time. The ability to concentrate allows employees to complete their tasks efficiently while avoiding as many errors as possible. Employees who habitually lose focus or get distracted on the job may be more prone to making costly mistakes that could ultimately harm a company’s reputation. While concentration is fairly crucial to almost every job, certain positions require a higher degree of long-term concentration – air traffic controllers and casino gaming dealers, for instance, are two positions that demand long-term concentration as a basic function of the job.
Two pre-employment tests that can be used to measure concentration and attention skills are the Minicog Rapid Assessment Battery (MRAB) and the Criteria Attention Skills Test (CAST). The MRAB is a series of nine short tests that measure a person's "information processing" functions. Originally designed for NASA to test the cognitive abilities of astronauts, the MRAB measures attention, memory, and reasoning. The test provides an “Attention Percentile” which provides an indication of the candidate’s ability to focus and maintain concentration on one or more tasks. The CAST is a shorter version of the MRAB that specifically measures concentration and the ability to sustain focus on certain tasks while avoiding distractions. It evaluates a candidate in several categories: Divided Attention (multitasking), Selective Attention (Vigilance and Filtering) and Perceptual Reaction Time. The CAST is used for a wide variety of positions that require sustained concentration and focus.
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