What are Cut-e / Aon Tests?
Cut-e is an online aptitude test provider, offering a range of psychometric assessments and questionnaires to help employers streamline their candidate selection process across all recruitment levels.
In 2017, the company was acquired by professional services firm Aon, so you may see Cut-e tests referred to under this name. You are, however, still more likely to come across Cut-e tests due to the familiarity of the name within the sector. Don’t be confused by the mixed branding though, as the tests administered are the same.
Since the purchase, use of Cut-e tests has increased across a diverse range of sectors and companies – over 30 million Cut-e tests are now taken per year.
The tests are hosted and administered via MapTQ, an online testing platform which allows access from laptops, tablets and smartphones.
Cut-e / Aon Test Types
If you are asked to complete Cut-e psychometric testing, the likelihood is your overall assessment will comprise of several different types of aptitude test.
Unlike those of other providers, Cut-e tests are short – taking only up to around 15 minutes to complete. The structure and format of the tests is also rather different from others you may have encountered. The test interface is, however, easy and intuitive to use.
Each individual test is generated from a large bank of questions upon commencement (excluding the personality and situational judgement tests). This means each candidate’s test is different, reducing the opportunity for cheating during online administration.
The sections below will explain what to expect from each of the Cut-e tests you may be asked to complete during the recruitment process.
Verbal Reasoning: Scales Verbal Test
Cut-e’s verbal reasoning test, Scales Verbal, involves drawing logical conclusions from the written information provided on ‘data sheets’. You will need to locate the relevant information for each question and employ rapid comprehension and analysis skills.
Different types of the Scales Verbal test are used, depending on the sector and target group. These are Scales Verbal Admin, Consumer, Finance, Industry and Instruct.
Candidates have 5 minutes to read the instructions and complete 3 practice tasks. They then have 12 minutes to complete the scored test, which must be completed in one sitting. There are 49 questions in total, but there is no expectation that they will all be completed.
The questions will require you to answer if a given statement is true, false or you cannot say based on the information provided. Seek to answer as many questions as you can but remember that the assessment is negatively marked. Rushing is not advised as it will impact accuracy.
Due to the short test time, Cut-e’s verbal reasoning test does not include large paragraphs of text – only short paragraphs and single sentences arranged in the data sheets.
Find out more about verbal reasoning tests here.
Numerical Reasoning: Scales Numerical Test
The Scales Numerical test assesses your numerical reasoning through presenting information in the form of tables and charts. You will be required to analyse and evaluate numerical data pertinent to the questions, to come to rapid logical conclusions.
Instead of requiring numerical answers, like most standard numerical reasoning assessments, the Cut-e test asks you to indicate whether a statement drawn from, or connected to, the data is true, false, or if you cannot say because there is not enough data provided to prove or disprove.
The test lasts for 12 minutes, with 4 additional minutes at the start to read the instructions and work through 3 practice tasks. Within the timed test, there are 37 tasks to complete.
The information needed throughout the test is arranged in data sheets which you can navigate through using the tabs on screen. Each question will refer to data held on one of these sheets.
There are, as with the Verbal Scales test, five different test versions relating to the different areas of potential application; Admin, Consumer, Finance, Industry and Instruct.
You can read more on numerical reasoning tests here.
Logical Reasoning: Inductive Scales CLX Test
The Inductive Scales CLX test measures your logical reasoning ability using patterns. You will be required to deduce the rules governing a presented pattern, and then apply these rules to other patterns.
In the test, each task consists of six tables containing numbers and letters which are divided into two groups (indicated by colour coding). Each group has a particular governing rule or set of rules.
For the question element, you will be presented with another four tables – but these will be missing the colour coding allocating them to a group. Your task will be to work out which group each of the tables belongs to and assign them the respective colour.
Candidates are given 5 minutes to read through the instructions and complete the practice tasks. The duration of the scored test is 6 minutes.
Try practice tests and read more information on logical reasoning tests here.
Deductive Reasoning: Scales LST Test
The Scales LST test assesses a candidate’s deductive logical thinking. The scored test duration is 6 minutes, with an additional 8 minutes provided at the start to read the instructions, become accustomed to the interface and complete a practice question. You should use the allocated time to complete as many tasks as possible.
During the test, you will be presented with a grid featuring up to 5 different objects, as well as a question mark. The task is to work out which symbol should occupy that space. Each object can only appear once in each column and row.
The grids start off with 4 rows and 4 columns, but this increases to 5 as you work through the test, making the questions more complex. The symbol options to select your answer from appear underneath the grid.
To help with the deduction process, you can fill in the rest of the grid by hovering over each empty square and selecting a symbol from the options that appear. The more cells you fill in correctly, the clearer the final answer will become. Bear in mind, though, you don’t need to complete the entire grid, only enough squares to be able to settle upon the correct answer to the problem.
More information and practice tests can be found on this deductive reasoning test resource.
Mechanical Reasoning: Scales MTU Test
The Cut-e Scales MTU test assesses your mechanical and technical understanding. You will be presented with a number of mechanical graphical elements and required to answer multiple choice questions related to the drawings. These drawings will often be specifically tailored to the work of the company setting the Cut-e test.
The test duration is 15 minutes, with an extra 5 minutes given at the start to read the instructions and complete practice tasks.
Unlike the other tests, which assess transferable skills, the Scales MTU test will likely only be encountered when applying for a mechanical role within the engineering or manufacturing industry.
Learn more about mechanical reasoning tests here.
Personality Questionnaire (Shapes)
The Shapes Personality Questionnaire is administered to explore work-related behaviours. You will be asked questions to uncover your personality characteristics. Similarly to other personality tests, these will involve ranking statements indicating a certain attitude, approach or behaviour.
You will be asked to allocate a number of points to statements depending upon the extent to which you agree or disagree with the sentiment. There are three statements presented per page. The test is adaptive, with answers given impacting the statements that subsequently appear and how they are grouped together.
There are 6 different types of the Shapes test available, each targeted at different groups or levels of employee. Depending on your circumstances, you may encounter Shapes Basic, Executive, Expert, Graduates, Management or Sales.
Length and question content varies according to the test set, but the overall format and structure remains the same. The tests feature between 15-24 ‘scales’, each with 6-8 items.
The Shapes test takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
The Cut-e Situational Judgment test assesses candidate behaviour using a number of illustrative work-based scenarios.
You will be presented with a number of different real life work situations and asked questions to explore your ability to react to and handle the scenarios appropriately and professionally.
Consider your responses carefully, with an awareness of the values and culture of the company to which you are applying. It is important, however, to be honest as to how you would deal with the given situations. Repeatedly submitting the answers you think the recruitment team wants to hear will be reflected in your resulting personality profile, potentially calling its authenticity into question.
Companies often commission their own unique versions of these situational judgement tests, tailored to scenarios and decisions that are commonly faced in roles at the organisation. A good result is crucial to displaying that you would be a valuable addition to the company, department or next level of management.
You can get more information on situational judgement tests and prepare with free practice tests here.
Spatial Reasoning: 3D Scales SPR Test
The Scales SPR test assesses 3D spatial reasoning through the presentation of geometric shapes. During the test, you will be presented with a series of labelled shapes.
From observing these, you are required to create the net of the shape which, if constructed, would form the geometric shape shown.
The Scale SPR test is a good indicator of your level of spatial awareness and ability to be a critical visual thinker.
The test has a duration of 10 minutes, with an extra 5 minutes given at the start to read through the instructions and sit a practice question to gain a familiarity with the test format.
Learn more about spatial reasoning tests and practice with free spatial tests here.
Which Financial Employers Use Cut-e / Aon Tests?
Cut-e tests are commonly used within the financial sector, as they efficiently yet comprehensively test candidates across a variety of key skills. They are useful for ensuring prospective and current employees possess the required proficiencies and tendencies required for a job role.
Cut-e aptitude assessments may be used during the recruitment process or to assess suitability for internal progression. They are used across all career levels.
Top 5 Tips to Prepare For and Pass Your Cut-e / Aon Test(s)
Find out which Cut-e tests you will be sitting – Cut-e tests are rarely sat in isolation and you will likely be required to sit a series of Cut-e’s test offerings during your assessment. To achieve high scores on Cut-e tests, it is important to undertake targeted practice – familiarising yourself with the questions and discovering your areas of strength and weakness.
Be aware of the test format – Cut-e test questions have their own style, differing from the standard psychometric test. For example, the Cut-e numerical reasoning test doesn’t require numerical answers rather the affirmation or refutation of statements relating to the data. Most of the reasoning assessments uniquely require you to locate information from data sheets. Familiarising yourself with what to expect will improve your chances of success.
Get your pacing right – Cut-e tests have a shorter duration than other psychometric tests – such as those administered by Kenexa or SHL. Your pacing will need to take into account the difference in question expectation, test length and duration.
Don’t overlook the fact they are negatively marked – Most psychometric tests are not negatively marked, and candidates are therefore encouraged to give all questions their best guess. Whilst this advice still stands for Cut-e tests, extra care should be taken as incorrect answers have an active negative impact upon your score.
Sit the test in an appropriate environment – Seek to take your Cut-e tests in a quiet and comfortable space. The tests are timed and require focus in order to reflect the best of your mental agility. If possible, find a private room where you can avoid all distractions.
What do I need to complete Cut-e / Aon assessments? Cut-e aptitude tests can be taken on a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. None of the tests require any additional equipment, so all you need is a stable internet connection and a quiet working environment. You may find a pencil and paper handy for any working out, but this is optional.
How is a Cut-e / Aon test scored? Unlike many other providers, Cut-e score their tests using negative marking. This means that any questions answered incorrectly will lead to a deduction in points. Due to this, think carefully before making any guesses to answers you are stuck on, as a wrong answer will have a detrimental impact on your final score.
Are Cut-e / Aon tests hard? Psychometric tests are challenging but can be tackled successfully with adequate preparation. Cut-e’s tests are in a different format to most, so you may not have encountered the test structure or question style before. Familiarise yourself with what to expect and use practice questions to hone your ability to answer quickly and accurately.
How long is a Cut-e / Aon test? The length of a Cut-e tests varies according to type, but the assessments are considerably shorter than those of most other psychometric test publishers. They have durations of between 6 – 15 minutes, excluding time given to read the instructions and complete practice questions.