Cut-e is a talent assessment publisher that was acquired by Aon, a professional services company, in 2017. The tests are still known as Cut-e tests, however, and the unique structure and layout of the assessments are one of the reasons that if you are facing a Cut-e test as part of a job application or for in-role development, it is important that you know what to expect.
What Is A Cut-e Assessment?
Cut-e assessments are used in a huge range of industries, from financial services to airlines, from entry-level positions to management. There are a range of aptitude, personality and skills tests available, and the specific combination of tests that you will face will depend on the role you are applying for.
The Cut-e range of assessments are mostly timed, and designed to be quick to take so they last no more than 20 or so minutes. They are taken online, usually via a link that is emailed to candidates, and the results are used by the recruitment team to screen potential employees by their aptitudes and skills.
Cut-e assessments need specific preparation as they are presented differently to any other psychometric tests - in terms of structure and layout, particularly.
At the beginning of every test, there are detailed instructions about how to answer, and an interactive practice session to make sure that you know exactly what to do in each question.
The Structure Of Cut-e Assessments
Cut-e Aptitude Test Scales: Numerical Ability
The numerical ability assessment is testing your ability to read, understand and analyse information presented in tables and charts, much like a typical numerical reasoning assessment.
However, the difference in the scales: numerical ability test is that the information you need is presented across several different tabs, like a case study. All the tabs relate to a fictional company.
Each question that you will be asked is presented as a statement, and you need to decide if the statement is true, false, or if there is insufficient information to say.
To answer the questions, you need to quickly navigate between the tabs to find the relevant data in the right table.
There are different tests available depending on the type of role that you have applied for; there is no difference in difficulty, just the content of the 'case study' will be more relevant for that type of role. The categories are consumer, financial, and industrial.
In this assessment, you will have just 12 minutes to answer 37 questions.
There are also other numerical scales tests that look at basic and applied numeracy, like your ability to complete equations and calculate percentages, for example.
Cut-e Aptitude Test Scales: Verbal Reasoning
The Cut-e verbal reasoning test is the same as assessments that are created by other publishers, in as much as they are assessing your ability to quickly read, understand and analyse information presented in the text.
However, unlike other publishers who use a separate passage of text for each question, the whole test is based on a series of shorter paragraphs, arranged in different tabs, and all about the same fictional company. Like the numerical scales, this is presented as a case study.
Each question on the assessment is a statement and you need to find the relevant paragraph in the tabs, and decide whether the statement is true, false, or if there is insufficient information to decide.
There are 49 questions in this assessment, and you will have just 12 minutes to answer them.
In the same way as the numerical test, there are three different categories of verbal assessment: consumer, financial and industrial. The category you will take will depend on the business you have applied for, but they are all the same in terms of the level of difficulty.
Cut-e Aptitude Test Scales: Logical Ability
The Logical Ability Scales are separated into inductive and deductive reasoning, and the type of logical test that you will take will depend on the role you have applied for and the seniority of the position.
In logical tests, you are being assessed on your ability to draw a logical conclusion from the information presented.
Scales cls - inductive logical thinking
In this assessment, you are provided with 12 questions that need to be answered in 12 minutes. Each question is a set of 6 tables, arranged into two groups (either blue, or orange). Each group has a rule that dictates their pattern.
There are four further tables that you need to allocate to the right colour group according to the pattern.
Scales ix - Inductive Logical Thinking
Each question is a row of nine objects, and all but one are part of a particular pattern. You need to decide which one is the odd one out.
There are 20 questions, and you have just 5 minutes to answer.
Scales lst - Deductive Reasoning
This is a gamified logical assessment, where you are presented with a series of 4 x 4 squares containing a selection of shapes. One of the squares has a question mark, and you need to decide which of the multiple-choice answers will fit in that square. The rules of the boxes are similar to Sudoku in that each row and column can only have one of each shape in it.
This assessment has a six minute time limit and an unlimited number of questions, which get progressively harder as well to include 5 x 5 squares.
Scales sx - Deductive Logical Thinking
In this assessment, you are presented with a row of symbols, and underneath is that row of symbols which have been rearranged, and you need to work out what the operator is that shows the change.
Each symbol is represented as a number, so you need to choose the relevant number sequence that describes the change of position in the symbols between the two rows.
Again, this assessment has unlimited questions, but a five minute time limit.
Cut-e Sqares Integrity
The integrity test is looking for what is described as counterproductive work behaviors, like distraction, boredom, superficiality, indifference, ambiguity, and opportunism.
To assess this, several statements are presented, and you need to decide which part of a sliding scale best describes you - from one end holds less true for me than for others, in the middle holds equally true for me and for others and at the other end holds more true for me than for others. You do not need to score these at the extremes of the scale, as you can pick a position anywhere along the bar.
This is a self-assessment, and only takes 10 minutes.
Cut-e Shapes Personality Test
The Shapes test is an adaptive questionnaire that presents different statements depending on your previous answers. Each page presents three statements, and you have six points to share between them according to how accurately you feel the statements describe you.
Like other Cut-e tests, there are slightly different tests depending on the role and level you have applied for, with relevant personality traits being assessed.
If you are applying for a sales role, you will be assessed on 24 personality traits, each tested using six statements. This assessment is one of the longest, taking 20 minutes.
For a graduate role, there are 18 traits with 6 statements each being assessed, taking 10-15 minutes.
Managerial applicants are tested on 18 traits, with 8 statements each, and the test lasts 10-15 minutes.
This is a self-assessment, and along with the Cut-e Squares assessment, your scores are compared against an 'ideal candidate' profile.
Tips To Pass Cut-e Tests
Answer All Questions If You Can
In the same way as many aptitude tests, you are allocated one point for every correct answer, but the Cut-e tests are negatively marked - which means you are deducted one mark for every incorrect answer.
In practice this means that when you are taking a test it is better to leave the answer blank than risk a point deduction - so do not rush to answer if you do not know.
Know Which Cut-e Tests You Are Taking
It is unlikely that you will take just one Cut-e test as part of the application process, but you will be told by the recruitment team which tests you will be facing so you can get prepared.
If you want to get ahead of your competition, preparation and practice is key.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Being tested is nerve-wracking, but if you feel more familiar and comfortable with the test format, the type of questions being asked, and the time limits.
You can find accurate practice tests that are based on the actual format and question types of the Cut-e tests, which is the best way to prepare. Treat the practice tests like the real thing - take them under test conditions and be strict with the time limit.
Although you can take the Cut-e tests on mobile devices, the larger screen of a PC or laptop might make it easier for you to see the questions properly - and it might be easier to avoid distractions.
When you are taking the assessments, be sure that you are somewhere quiet where you won't be disturbed, turn off notifications, and ensure you have a fast and reliable internet connection.
Get Your Timings Right
Cut-e tests are short - which means that you need to work fast to give yourself the best opportunity of a high score.
Some questions give you just a matter of seconds to read, understand the content and answer, so speed is of the essence.