CATA Exam (chance to earn prize(s)!)
As is tradition at all UMDCTFs, we would like to invite you to participate in a raffle opportunity:
Haystack Solutions in partnership with the University of Maryland developed the Cyber Aptitude Test (CATA) to measure participants’ ability with cyber related problems. In addition, it can be used to gauge strengths and weaknesses and determine areas to specialize in or improve. This will help to increase the amount of cyber security talent, improve recruitment, and improve education around the field. The categories for the exam are as followed:
- The [Need for Cognition] test assesses enjoyment of cognitively difficult and effortful mental activities. Scores are positively related to better problem-solving performance and willingness to engage in difficult tasks. The mental effort for many cyber work roles requires the willingness and ability to think through complex circumstances, both new and old, and apply rules in novel contexts.
- The [Remote Associates] test assesses the ability to engage in convergent creative thinking: the ability to explore a variety of solutions by forming connections between concepts that are typically weakly related or unrelated, and ultimately hone in on one single, correct solution to a problem.
- The [Paper folding] test assesses the ability to apply concentration and effort to complex problems. Because this specific measure is spatial in nature, it also assesses the ability to visualize spatial manipulations of objects. Spatial visualization is a predictor of performance in virtual information and interface navigation, a predictor of speed in hierarchical information retrieval systems searches, an indicator of success in computer-based programming, and linked to long-term success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These aspects may be specifically linked to cyber success in many ways, such as being able to posit multiple possible outcomes when plotting a course of action.
- The [Statistical Learning] test assesses statistical learning, which is the ability to detect patterns in stimuli even in circumstances in which it would be difficult for learners to be consciously aware of the pattern. This is a key ability in detecting anomalies, as awareness of patterns and regularities in data is needed to detect what deviates from the norm.
- The [Spatial Integration] test assesses the ability to build a mental model of a situation and should help with understanding networks or with building systems.
If you are interested in taking CATA, please fill out the form here. The person with the highest CATA score by the end of UMDCTF will win either a Google Pixel 4 or Intel NUC (choice of one). International participants are eligible for the prize; however, the awardee must handle shipping duties themselves.