Canada Revenue Agency

Prepare for the Canada Revenue Agency recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Canada Revenue Agency Aptitude Tests

About Canada Revenue Agency

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is a service provided by the government of Canada. The CRA administers the tax laws in Canada and its provinces and territories, collects taxes, and delivers the benefit and tax credit programmes. As an organization, the CRA also plays a part in the social and economic well-being of those in Canada as Canadian citizens.

The CRA works to a vision of putting people first by being trusted and fair and the values of

  • Collaboration
  • Professionalism
  • Respect
  • Integrity

When delivering the Canadian tax and benefit system, the CRA commits to providing a reliable and trusted service. Responsibility for benefits such as sickness benefit, recovery benefit, caregiving benefit, rent subsidy, and other child and family benefits fall under the remit of the CRA. The CRA also runs various programmes that deal with non-compliance with the tax laws of Canada.

Due to the variety of services that the CRA provides, there are several roles and careers on offer for candidates at all levels of experience. With over 40,000 employees, the CRA has been ranked within the top 100 employers in Canada and operates an open, inclusive and diverse culture.

Canada Revenue Agency Application Process

The Canada Revenue Agency application process consists of distinct stages.

  • Creation of online candidate profile: to apply to any role at the CRA, candidates first need to create an online candidate profile on the CRA dedicated recruitment portal.
  • Completion of application form: candidates search for the vacancy they are interested in and then apply directly to this vacancy online.
  • Completion of online tests
  • Interviews

It is worth noting that due to the wide variety of roles and careers on offer at the CRA, the types of tests and information required at each stage of the process may vary according to the type of role applied for.

Application Form

The CRA application form is an online form that is specific to the role applied for. Candidates are unable to apply to a position unless a candidate profile has been created. The candidate profile contains essential contact and employment information. The candidate profile also includes the results of various checks carried out against references, criminal records and credit rating, and identity checks. Basic screening test information is also included as part of the candidate profile, along with educational information.

Once the candidate profile is complete, candidates can submit any application forms attached to a role.

Aptitude Tests

There are several aptitude tests that the CRA asks candidates to complete. The type and number of tests a candidate is invited to sit will depend on the level and type of role applied to. For example, some specialist roles will require candidates to sit specialist technical tests that assess their aptitude and practical knowledge or skills in their chosen field.

No matter what tests a candidate is invited to sit, thorough preparation and practice before taking the test are advised. It is also worth considering when and where the test is taken to ensure that you are free from distraction and can perform at your best in any test.

Accounting Tests

There are two types of accounting tests that candidates applying to CRA roles may be invited to sit:

  • Accounting level 1
  • Accounting level 2

Both of these tests are multiple-choice and timed tests, both lasting 40 minutes.

The accounting level 1 test assesses a candidates knowledge and understanding of accounting principles, practices, and techniques on areas of accounting such as:

  • The purpose and relationship between balance sheets, profit and loss, income statement
  • General ledger accounting
  • Journal entries

Knowledge of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants handbook is also assessed. The test consists of 32 questions, and a score of 16 or more indicates proficiency in this test.

The accounting level 2 test is similar to the level 1 test in that it assesses a candidates understanding of accounting principles and knowledge of

  • Financial statements
  • Books of accounts
  • Journal entries

The test also looks at a candidate's knowledge of 'Generally Accepted Accounting Principles' (GAAP). There are 33 questions in this test, and a score of 18 or more indicates proficiency at this level.

Auditing tests

As with the accountancy tests, candidates can complete two levels of auditing tests as part of their CRA recruitment process.

  • Auditing level 1
  • Auditing level 2

Both tests are multiple-choice and timed with 40 minutes to complete the test.

The auditing level 1 test has 30 questions to complete. This test assesses a candidate's basic understanding and knowledge of auditing, including the principles of auditing and the practices and techniques of auditing.

Candidates need to attain a score of 17 or more on this test.

The auditing level 2 test also looks at whether a candidate can apply auditing principles in practice and their capability in this field. Planning, audit scope, risk assessment, and auditing assertions are assessed as part of this test. A score of 17 or more is required in the level 2 test, and there are 30 questions to answer.

Competency-Based Behavioural Questionnaire

The competency-based behavioural questionnaire is different from an ability test because it looks at how candidates behave when working on the job. Situations are presented to candidates with multiple choice answers. Candidates need to select up to three answers from a choice of five that best represent their previous work-based experience.

There are between three to nine questions about each competency being assessed with 15 minutes to answer each set of competency questions.

Depending on the assessment outcome, candidates who score highly in the level 1 questionnaire may be asked to complete the level 2 behavioural competency questionnaire.

Competency-Based Organizational Questionnaire

The competency-based organization questionnaire assesses a candidate's organizational aptitude based on their previous work experiences.

Scenarios similar to those encountered on the job will be presented to candidates along with multiple choice answers. Candidates then select the best response based on their previous work experiences.

The test comprises seven questions asked per competency assessed with 15 minutes to complete these seven questions. As with the behavioural questionnaire, candidates who score highly on this test may be invited to sit the level 2 test.

Competency-Based Situational Questionnaire

The competency-based situational questionnaire is a multiple-choice 90-minute test that assesses candidates competence in five areas required for success on the job at the Canada Recruitment Agency:

  • Dealing with difficult interactions
  • Teamwork and cooperation
  • Service excellence
  • Effective interactive communication
  • Adaptability

Candidates are presented with a series of scenarios that they could face in the role applied to. Multiple choice answers are provided; candidates then need to select the answer that they believe is least effective in relation to dealing with the scenario and then the situation they believe to be most effective in dealing with the situation.

There are 96 questions in the test, and with 90 minutes to complete the questionnaire, candidates need to answer the question honestly without second-guessing what they believe the recruiter wants to see.

Problem-Solving Test

The problem-solving test is a 90-minute multiple-choice test. This test focuses on several situations that can be faced when on the job, along with some solutions to how the problem can be solved. Each of the solutions varies according to how successful it would be in solving the problem outlined.

Candidates need to use their problem-solving skills and judgment to select the best solutions to address and effectively solve the problem. Candidates rate the solutions according to how effective they believe the answers are in solving the problem. This test not only assesses a candidate's problem-solving ability but also their analytical thinking.

As with many timed tests, candidates should work quickly and accurately. If you aren't sure of an answer mark, give your best guess, then move on to the next question.

Situational Judgement Test

Two situational judgment tests form part of the Canada Recruitment Agency recruitment process. These are dependent upon whether the role is at management or non-management level.

The test is formed of scenario-based questions and is in line with the situations that managers or non-managers would face on the job they have applied to.

At the management level, test candidates are presented with five responses to the situation. They need to select the one response that they believe to be the most effective in dealing with or responding to the situation.

In the non-management level test, candidates need to select the response they believe to be the most effective and the least effective in dealing with the scenario.

There are 35 questions to complete in one hour in the management level test and 102 questions to finish in one hour and 20 minutes for the non-management level test.

Tax Center Clerical Test

This test lasts an hour and is made up of a series of smaller subtests that assess a variety of skills, such as:

There are 259 questions in the test; each of the sub-tests has varying numbers of tests and a set time limit. The whole clerical is 60 minutes in length.

It is worth noting that candidates can not use a calculator or any reference material when completing the test.

Writing Skills Test

The writing skills test has levels of proficiency 1 - 3, with each level assessing a candidates proficiency in writing, such as

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Sentence construction
  • Grammar

The test lasts 90 minutes and consists of 106 questions. Answers are provided as multiple choice answers, with candidates selecting the answer from the four multiple-choice answers they believe to be correct. Working quickly but accurately is essential on the clerical test.


CRA interviews are the final stage of the selection process. Interviews are competency-based and assess specific competencies as relevant to the role applied for.

When answering questions, candidates need to provide examples of times they have demonstrated the competency being assessed.

To share experience in this way, it is important to have reviewed the job description and be aware of the competencies being assessed for the role. Then to prepare examples around these competencies that show you have the experience required.

Questions may also be asked around a candidate's motivations for working at the CRA, their salary expectations, and their understanding of what a career with the CRA would involve. It is important to do your self-reflection on the skills that you have. Also, to research the role and the CRA as an organization so you can articulate in the interview your commitment to a career at the CRA and why you want to work in the organization.

If successful at the first interview, candidates may be invited to attend a second interview, depending on the role.


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