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Why Spatial Reasoning is Important in the Workplace

While spatial reasoning may not seem immediately relevant to a lot of fields or positions, it is considered to be one of the most basic reasoning abilities. Spatial reasoning is also highly correlated to cognitive aptitude or general intelligence, which is one of the most predictive criteria for job performance in employees. Spatial ability involves the ability to visualize spatial patterns, make spatial judgments, and problem solve based on those visualizations. One of the reasons spatial ability is so useful as a measure of cognitive ability is because spatial tests generally don't rely upon previous education, culture, or language fluency, creating a more even playing field for evaluating aptitude in individuals.

One commonly used aptitude test that measures spatial reasoning is the Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT), a pre-employment aptitude test that measures an individual's aptitude, or ability to solve problems, digest and apply information, learn new skills, and think critically. The test provides an overall percentile ranking along with specific sub scores for spatial reasoning, verbal ability, and math/logic. Spatial reasoning questions on the CCAT ask test takers to visually manipulate shapes and to pick up on spatial patterns. The CCAT is designed for candidates applying to mid- to high-level positions requiring a college degree.

Another aptitude test, the Minicog Rapid Assessment Battery (MRAB), is a series of nine short tests that measure a person's "information processing" functions, including spatial visualization problems. While the CCAT measures general aptitude, the MRAB is more of a test of cognitive fitness that assesses attention skills, concentration, working memory, and problem-solving ability.

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