Cognitive Ability Tests

The cognitive aptitude test assesses a person's intellectual skills, offering insights into their capacity for tackling challenges and exercising analytical reasoning across diverse activities.

  • What are Cognitive Ability Tests?

    Cognitive Ability Tests are pre-employment screening tools utilized to assess a candidate's general intellectual capability. These tests are comprehensive and cover various aspects like problem-solving, critical thinking, and analytical skills, without requiring specialized knowledge or expertise.

    Designed as timed, multiple-choice assessments, these tests offer questions that range from verbal and mathematical reasoning to spatial awareness. The idea is to gauge how quickly and accurately a candidate can navigate complex problems and scenarios, often within a tight timeframe.

Identify the best candidates and hire faster

Our pre-employment tests let you drill down to the best candidates at the click of a button.

  • Find those candidates who will excel in the role.

    Select the assessments that match the skills or behaviours for the position. You can test for software or coding competency, soft skills like teamwork, or personality traits, to be sure those who pass have high potential.

  • Reduce costs and time.

    No more laborious sifting of resumes or cover letters. Pick your ideal assessment mix, invite your applicants to take them, see the results in your dashboard. Get to the interview stage fast.

  • Eliminate bias.

    All your candidates take the assessments on a level playing field. Only their results determine whether they get shortlisted.

  • What do Cognitive Ability Tests measure?

    Cognitive Ability Tests aim to measure a candidate's general intelligence, including verbal comprehension, quantitative reasoning, and logical problem-solving abilities. Unlike specialized skill tests, they provide a broad snapshot of an individual's adaptability, learning potential, and overall intellectual capacity.

    The tests are particularly useful in evaluating candidates for roles that require quick learning, decision-making under pressure, and multitasking capabilities. They provide employers with a sense of how well an applicant will perform in a dynamic work setting and what problem-solving strategies they might employ.

Sample Cognitive Ability Tests question

Elane is 7 years older than Lex. Amy is 5 years younger than Lex. Martin is twice the age of Elane. Nigel is 3 years younger than Amy.

Based on the provided information, who is the youngest?

  • Amy

  • Lex

  • Elane

  • Nigel

Which employers use Cognitive Ability Tests and why?

Employers across a multitude of sectors, including but not limited to finance, healthcare, and technology, commonly integrate Cognitive Ability Tests into their hiring pipelines. These tests are not just for senior roles; they are applied for various positions requiring problem-solving, decision-making, and critical thinking competencies.

After candidates clear the initial resume screening, they are often sent a Cognitive Ability Test to complete online. The ease of administering these tests at scale makes them appealing for organizations aiming to filter large pools of applicants efficiently.

The outcomes of these tests serve as reliable metrics for evaluating candidates objectively. These outcomes not only facilitate decision-making during hiring but are also valuable for internal promotions, workforce planning, and identifying training necessities.

What are the benefits of using Cognitive Ability Tests in your hiring process?

For recruiters, sifting through an influx of seemingly equally qualified resumes can be a daunting task. While conventional resume-based screening methods narrow down the list to an extent, they often don't offer insights into candidates' problem-solving or critical-thinking abilities.

By implementing Cognitive Ability Tests early in the hiring funnel, employers can manage candidate volume more effectively. The test's scalability allows for simultaneous evaluation of multiple candidates.

More importantly, these tests produce data that is unbiased, quantitative, and directly linked to the attributes that predict job performance, such as problem-solving skills, quick thinking, and adaptability. Utilizing this data for subsequent stages of the recruitment process significantly decreases the likelihood of a poor hiring decision, thereby saving both time and resources for the organization.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).
  • Assessments

    A full suite of assessments

    Our platform comes with 12 tests across both foundation and advanced levels so they’re suitable for everyone. Including aptitude, behavioural and personality tests, you’ll have a full range of tests to help you find the candidates you’re seeking.

  • Analytics

    An array of candidate metrics

    For each of your candidates, you’ll be given a comprehensive report. Included will be all the metrics you need to build a detailed picture of each candidate and ensure you’re making the right hiring decisions.

“The platform is so simple to use. I had used competitor providers for over six years and will never go back. Fast, efficient and friendly!”
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Greg Chambers, HR Business Partner, Littlefish Ltd
Cognitive Ability Tests expert

Devised by an expert

Developed by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians, our assessments provide reliable, valid and impartial results. They strictly follow industry best practices and stay on the leading edge of innovations to have job seekers' unique profiles, abilities and knowledge accurately evaluated while minimising bias. They draw on years of research and cutting-edge predictive analytics to create assessments that provide valuable insights into performance, retention, culture fit and more.

Cognitive Ability Tests FAQs

How difficult is a Cognitive Ability Test?

The Cognitive Ability Test is intentionally designed to challenge candidates so that their full range of skills can be accurately assessed. However, with adequate preparation and practice, most candidates should find navigating through the test questions manageable.

Do candidates need to prepare for the Cognitive Ability Test?

Absolutely. Candidates who are earnest about the position should definitely engage in practice Cognitive Ability Tests to hone their skills and to become familiar with the test format, enabling them to answer questions more swiftly and accurately.

Are these tests available in my plan?

Our various subscription plans offer a range of test attempts, but the types of tests are consistent across all plans. Every plan includes our complete suite of tests at all levels.

Can I see what the test is like?

Certainly. Free sample questions for the Cognitive Ability Test are available for review.

“An unbeatable service, impressive platform and fantastic value for money.”
Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA
Laurence Fishman, Partner, NLPCA

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