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Why Math Skills are Important in the Workplace

Math skills can be a good indicator of logic, reasoning, and general aptitude. A lot of jobs explicitly require math skills in day-to-day functions, including cashiers, analysts, bank tellers, engineers, and more. In the digital age, however, mathematical and statistical literacy is increasingly important in many fields, and a basic understanding of math can have wide ranging benefits for employee productivity overall. Most pre-employment math and aptitude tests feature word problems because math skills can serve as one component indicative of general aptitude and trainability. Math word problems assess a candidate’s problem solving abilities by testing how well he or she can interpret information and follow a series of steps to arrive at an objective solution.

Employers seeking to evaluate the math skills of prospective hires can administer pre-employment math tests on a stand-alone basis or can use broader assessments that measure math skills as well as capabilities such as critical thinking and general job readiness skills. When assessing basic numeracy and arithmetic skills, some employers use the Criteria Basic Skills Test (CBST), a 20 minute test that determines job readiness and trainability by measuring basic math, verbal, and communication skills. Math and verbal subscores are listed separately. The CBST is useful for a wide variety of entry-level jobs. For example, the CBST is an excellent basic math test for cashiers, bank tellers, and medical assistants.

For higher-level positions where advanced numerical reasoning is required, the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is more appropriate. The CCAT is a 15 minute general aptitude test that measures problem-solving ability, critical thinking, reasoning, and aptitude for learning and applying new information. The CCAT includes different types of questions that include a variety of math problems, and provides specific subscores for math, verbal, and spatial reasoning. As a math assessment, the CCAT is best suited for mid to higher level positions that require a college degree, such as engineers, analysts, and managers.

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Top Jobs That Use Pre-Employment Math Tests