EEI’s CAST Test: Definitive Study Guide with Free Practice Questions & Answers
Are you a technician looking for a career in a skill-based field? No matter whether you’re a recent graduate or simply looking for a new job, it’s likely you will need to take the Construction and Skilled Trade Selection System Test (CAST). Many employers will require this test as part of a job application, and it will give you an opportunity to stand out from other applicants.
Although taking standardized tests can be nerve-wracking, with some practice and preparation, that job can be yours. In this article, you’ll learn about the basic parts of the EEI Cast Test, how to prepare, and the steps you need to take for success.
Table of Contents
What is the EEI CAST test? Why do I have to take it?
Developed by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), the CAST test is meant to test an individual’s knowledge on tasks primarily needed in maintenance-based industries. Examples of professions that may find using the results of this test useful are:
- General maintenance services
The better you do on the test, the more likely you are to be skilled at the job you’re applying for. It lets the employer know, on a base level, whether or not you are competent in the necessary skills for the profession.
Of course, the results of the test do not always predict a person’s performance 100%; however, it is a good indicator of how well a person may do in the job. Therefore, it is important to prepare adequately to take the CAST test.
In total, the test should last around 2 hours which includes all sections. To be prepared, you should arrive 5-10 minutes early. Some test sites may have you arrive earlier, so be sure to look up the specific guidelines for your testing locations.
The test can be computerized or taken with paper and pencil. Each testing site may have different options. Before arriving at the testing site, be sure to check with the location for any materials you may need. Often, standardized tests do not allow you to have many additional supplies depending on what the requirements are.
However, some recommendations to bring with you would be a writing utensil such as a pencil or pen, extra notebook paper, and a calculator.
What are the sections of the test?
The CAST test covers four main areas, which are broken up into subtests. Each subtest covers unique subject matter and has anywhere from 16 to 44 questions.
The first section of the test is called “Graphic Arithmetic”. Here, you will be asked to complete a total of 16 math problems by looking at different shapes, graphs, or other types of drawings. These questions are in multiple-choice format, so there will be several answer choices after the initial question.
Additionally, there may be more than one question related to the drawing presented at first. Be sure to pay attention to this as you are working through the test. You will have 30 minutes to complete this section of the test.
Discover Graphic Arithmetic practice questions here.
The second section of the test, “Mechanical Concepts,” examines exactly what it sounds like — the participant’s understanding of mechanical knowledge. This section is the most relevant to what the results will actually be used for, relating to how well a person will be able to do a technical job.
Similar to the first section, there will be a drawing of some sort of mechanical concept that you will have to answer questions about. Like other sections, all 44 questions are in a multiple-choice format. There will be 20 minutes allotted for this section to be completed.
Practice Mechanical Concepts here.
Reading for Comprehension
The third section, “Reading for Comprehension,” may also be similar to tests you have taken before. It looks at your competency to read a short paragraph or story and answer questions about it.
There are no specific topics, so the passages could be about a variety of things. Again, all 32 questions are in a multiple-choice format. You will have 30 minutes to complete this section.
Find practice questions on Reading for Comprehension here.
Finally, the last section of the test addresses mathematical usage. This section has 18 questions and only seven minutes allotted for completion. Similar to other tests you may have taken, this section covers standard math concepts that are formatted as multiple choice. Most importantly, the math in this section will draw on skills you demonstrated in Graphic Arithmetic section.
What are some examples of the test questions?
Most of the questions on the CAST test are multiple-choice. A question will be asked at the beginning, usually labeled by a number or letter. Then, different choices will be listed below it that are also labeled with a number or letter. An example of how this might look on the CAST test would be:
“36X – 1.4 = 5.8
“A force of 10 N(Newton) compresses two identical springs in parallel for 8 cm. What will be the total distance that four identical springs in series are compressed?”
Both of these questions are good examples of what can be found on the CAST test. While they may seem complicated, the point of the test questions is not to get every single one correct. It’s okay to not know something, but you can minimize this by preparing as best as you can.
The best way to prepare for the CAST test is to take practice tests that have realistic questions that simulate the actual exam you will be faced with.
How can I prepare for it?
Studying for the CAST test involves learning across multiple disciplines, meaning that tailoring your studying habits to each niche will be important. Taking time to learn about each topic plays a large role in this. Start by brushing up on the things that you don’t normally use.
For example, if you haven’t studied basic math since high school, start by reviewing those concepts before you move on to any other section. If you haven’t utilized any mechanical skills in a significant period of time, begin with reviewing these. Learning and reviewing the things that don’t come as naturally will make the studying process a lot easier.
To ensure success, the top-recommended resource is Job Test Prep. Here, you can find “PrepPacks” that will help you learn the structure of the questions, potential wording of questions, and more. By taking advantage of these uniquely specific preparatory materials, you will undoubtedly be one of the top finalists in the test.
Those who have used the Job Test PrepPack have reported significant improvement in scores and thought very highly of the material included. Also, remember to stay calm and collected during the test. Although many people can develop anxiety about taking tests, especially during timed sections, remaining level-headed throughout the duration of the assessment will help you to do your best.
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There are several ways you can calm down if you find yourself becoming overwhelmed while taking the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) CAST test such as taking deep breaths, tracking your time, pacing yourself on each question, and taking breaks when you can. Remind yourself that this is only a temporary situation, rather than somewhere you are going to have to be for an extended period of time.
Written by Bailee Boggess McCoy
Bailee, MSW, is a freelance writer and editor. She specializes in career, social work, tech, B2B, marketing, and medical, health, and wellness content. She has experience as a job coach, DEI consultant for companies, community-project manager, and clinical researcher.
She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Georgetown College in 2018, and studied neurolinguistics and developmental psychology at the University of Oxford. She earned her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Kentucky in 2021. Her scientific research has been presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Associated Disorders.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.