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Cognitive Ability Test - Prepare with Free Practice Cognitive Questions & Tips

What is a cognitive ability test.

Cognitive ability tests are widely used by employers to predict job performance  and serve as an indicator of general cognitive ability. Cognitive tests may differ in format, but they typically contain 20-50 multiple-choice questions that measure core elements of cognitive ability and must be answered under a tight time limit.

On this page, you will find accurate examples of cognitive ability test questions that represent the questions you could find in some of the industry's leading cognitive ability tests, including  ASVAB ,  PI ,  Wonderlic , CCAT , WorkKeys , NOCTI , Bryq , Raven's and  P&G . Each question is followed by a full answer with useful information and tips for you to learn from, just like what you would find in JobTestPrep's many cognitive ability preparation packs. 

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David Meshulam

David , Psychometric Testing Expert at  JobTestPrep .

What do Cognitive Ability Tests Measure?

By combining questions of varying complexity from several fields with a stressful time limit , the cognitive ability test challenges the candidate's problem solving and processing speed abilities, and provides the employer with a measurement of general cognitive ability - a central component of intelligence.

Cognitive testing is such a popular hiring process tool because it is one of the most valid predictors of job success . By giving the employer a preview of a candidate’s cognitive abilities, the cognitive ability test increases the chances that the hiring process will be successful – to the benefit of the organization as well as the candidate.

What Topics are Included in Cognitive Ability Tests ?

Although there is a wide variety of cognitive ability tests that differ in format and difficulty, they generally all set out to measure the same fields:

  • Numerical Reasoning – this is the broad term for number-based cognitive skill tests that range from basic math problems to complex numerical problem solving.
  • Verbal Reasoning – these cognitive tests evaluate your language comprehension through a range of English language skills, such as vocabulary, grammar, reading comprehension, and critical reasoning.
  • Deductive Reasoning – questions where you must deduce from certain rules given in a statement or argument in order to reach conclusions.
  • Logical Reasoning – these questions assess your ability to understand complicated texts and, most importantly, to utilize critical thinking skills to draw conclusions and recognize important facts.
  • Abstract Reasoning – these cognitive tests measure your ability to draw conclusions based on hidden information in symbols or matrices. You are asked to identify a missing item that completes a certain pattern of logic that you must recognize in a sample given to you.

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Cognitive Test Example Questions

In this section, you will find 20 cognitive ability example questions simulating those you would find in the most respected cognitive ability tests in use today. Read each question carefully and select the answer you think is correct, and then read the full answer that follows. Good luck! 

1. Verbal Analogy:  find the relationship between the pair of words below, and identify the most similar relationship in the answer options.

REPLETE is to FAMISHED as:

The answer is C.

REPLETE means “full with,” and FAMISHED means “very hungry.” If a person is FAMISHED, they are not REPLETE with food. In a specific context, these two adjectives directly contradict one another.

If something is BLATANT it is very obvious, while if something is MASKED it is hidden. If something is MASKED, it is not BLATANT – these two words also directly contradict each other, and is, therefore, the correct answer.

Incorrect Answers A – SHROUD means “to cover,” and HASTEN means “to do something quickly.” These two words do not have a strong relationship.

B – PLAUSIBLE means “reasonable,” and PLACATE means “try to please.” These two words do not have a strong relationship.

D – COMMENCE means to begin, and a person GRADUATEs upon completing a course of study. Often, GRADUATION ceremonies are referred to as COMMENCEment ceremonies. These two words are related but do not contradict one another.

E – A person who is DEPRESSED may not be SUCCESSFUL, but these two words do not directly contradict each other.

2. Number Series:  identify the hidden pattern in the series of numbers below, and use it to predict the next / missing number:

8 | 3 | 9 | 10 | 17 | ?

The answer is: 25.

Answer explanation: This series is a variation of the famous Fibonacci sequence: each term equals the sum of the two previous terms minus 2.

3. Abstract Reasoning - the numbers in the figures below have the same mathematical relationship to one another.

problem solving cognitive test

What number should replace the question mark in the figure below?

problem solving cognitive test

The correct answer is: 2.

When solving this type of question it is important to understand the pattern that the three circles exhibit and the numerical relationship between them.

Focus on the quarter that the question mark appears in and check to see if there is a common relationship that repeats itself between that quarter and the other quarters of each of the circles.

In this example, the circles share the following pattern: (Top cell) minus (Diagonal-bottom-cell) = 1.

e.g. left circle: 6 (top-left) – 5 (bottom-right) = 1, 9 (top-right) – 8 (bottom-left) = 1; right circle: 0 (top-left) – (-1) (bottom-right) = 1.

According to the reasoning above the (top-left) cell – (bottom-right) cell = 1. Therefore, the (bottom-right) cell = 2.

4. Deductive Reasoning -  These cognitive test  questions measure your ability to analyze sentences and reach a logical conclusion. Some of the questions are numerical, and some are verbal, and the conclusion is generally reached by applying general rules.

If the first two statements are true, is the final statement true?

Most snakes are green. Most snakes are quick.

At least one snake is both green and quick.

The correct answer is A - Yes.

The way to solve this type of question is to examine the ratios and see if there could be an overlap between the two groups - if most of the snakes are green and most of the snakes are quick, we can deduce that there has to be at least one green snake that is also quick.

This happens because the subgroups of "green" and "quick" each constitute more than 50% of the entire snake population (most of the snakes means more than 50%) and consequently must overlap.

​ 5. Numerical Reasoning: Percentages and Word Problems. Percentage problems can take the form of word problems and are usually structured in the following way: "(this) is (a percentage) of (that)", which translates to = (to a decimal) × (that)".

If there are 32 students in the classroom and 12.5% of them own at least one pet, how many students do not own any pets?

The correct answer is 28.

It helps to memorize the most common fractions that represent each type of percentages/decimals.

For example: 1\4 = 0.25 = 25% 1\8 = 0.125 = 12.5%

If there are 32 students in the class and only 12.5% of them own at least one pet then all that is left is to divide 32\8 to know that 4 students own a pet and 28 do not.

6. Verbal Reasoning: Vocabulary

Clout most closely means -

The correct answer is prestige. The word clout has two meanings: (1) A heavy blow, especially with the hand (2) The power to influence, usually regarding politics or business. Prestige is close in meaning to the second definition of clout and is therefore the correct answer.

7. Numerical Reasoning: Word Problems

Shelley has 7 dresses, 8 pairs of shoes, and 7 necklaces. If she wears one combination of clothes per day. How many days can she go without wearing the same outfit?

The answer is 392. 

This is a classic combinations question. In order to solve the problem, you must figure the correct number of choices in each category. We have 3 categories: Dresses= a choice between 7 options. Shoes = a choice between 8 options. Necklaces = a choice between 7 options.

The overall number of combinations equals to a multiplication of the number of options within each category: 7*7*8=392

8. Verbal Reasoning: Synonym / Antonym

IMPERIOUS is the opposite of:

The correct answer is subservient.

Imperious means "domineering in a haughty manner; dictatorial; overbearing," so the antonym is subservient. Arrogant is a similar word but not a synonym. Quiet, stormy, and gloomy are not related.

Therefore, the correct answer is subservient.

Questions 2-8 are the type of cognitive questions you will face in the Wonderlic Test . For a full length Wonderlic practice test, click here .   

9. Abstract Reasoning - Spatial  

Which of the following boxes should replace the question mark (?) to complete the pattern?

cognitive ability test spatial

The arrows move 90 degrees counterclockwise, and the colors change between black, grey and white in cycles of three.

Based on the progression of the arrows, the following arrow in the series must be gray and pointing downwards.

10. Logical Reasoning - Syllogisms are a type of deductive reasoning where a conclusion is drawn from two premises provided to you in the question. 

Assume the first two statements are true:

All athletes are hard workers.

Alice is not an athlete.

Alice is not a hard worker.

Is the final statement:

You can deduce from the first statement that all athletes are hard workers, but you do not have any information about non-athletes.

Therefore, according to the second statement, you cannot conclude anything regarding Alice, who is not an athlete.

The final statement is uncertain.

11. Numerical reasoning - Word Problems

In a popular music station, songs are played fully and uninterrupted (i.e., no commercial breaks). The popular music broadcast "Hits All Around Us" lasts 2 hours and 15 minutes, in which two-song lengths are played – songs that last 3 minutes and songs that last 6 minutes.

How many songs will be played during the broadcast?

Two hours and 15 minutes are 135 minutes in total.

The most songs that can be played are 45 (45 songs X 3 minutes each = 135 minutes).

The last songs that can be played are 23 (22 songs X 6 minutes each + 1 song X 3 minutes = 132 + 3 = 135)

12. Verbal Reasoning - sentence completion.  Choose the word that, when inserted in the sentence to replace the blank, best fits the meaning of the sentence.

Electronic information and automated systems are essential to ____ all major federal operations.

The sentence refers to electronic information that is fundamental to (something) all major federal operations. The sentence's general idea implies that electronic information is essential to practically / nearly / almost all primary federal operations.

Therefore, the only word accurately reflecting that meaning in the sentence's context is "virtually".

13. Abstract Reasoning - these types of cognitive questions require finding hidden patterns or rules in shapes. There are many types of abstract reasoning questions in cognitive tests, in which you need to pay attention to different elements. In the following question, you must pay attention to shape and movement. 

cognitive ability test abstract reasoning 2

In this series, alternating vertical lines or vertical chains of circles are added to each figure, depending on the previous figure.

The middle circle in the vertical chain is always black. Since the last figure in the series contained an additional vertical chain of circles, the next figure should include an additional vertical line.

The figure appearing in answer option A is the only one that fits.

 14. Letter Series -  What would be the next group of letters in the following series?

zone --> ynnd --> xmnc --> wlnb --> ?

The pattern in this question is that all the letters move one letter backward in the alphabet except the letter "n" which stays constant.  Therefore the answer is vkna.

Tip -  at first glance, this type of cognitive ability question seems confusing. It is in fact no different than a number series! To help you solve these questions quickly, write down the ABC with a corresponding number beneath each letter (A-1, B-2 etc.). This will help you identify the pattern.  

Cognitive question examples 9-14 are the type of questions you will encounter in the CCAT Test . To practice more questions, try our Free CCAT Practice Test.

15. Logical Reasoning -  In the following question you will be presented with a fact and a pursuant conclusion. It is up to you to decide if the conclusion can be proven or not. 

FACTS: If Jason is late to the meeting, Kevin will have to work late. Lois will not cook dinner for Kevin unless Kevin gets home from work on time. If Lois does not cook dinner for Kevin, Kevin will order pizza for dinner. Lois cooked dinner for Kevin.

CONCLUSION: Jason was late to the meeting.

The facts disprove the conclusion 

If Jason is late to the meeting then Kevin will not get home from work on time because he will have to work late. Lois will cook dinner for Kevin only if Kevin gets home from work on time Thus, if Lois cooked dinner for Kevin, Jason could not have come late to the meeting.

16. Verbal Reasoning - Odd One Out. In this type of cognitive question, you need to select the word that stands out in regard to its meaning.

Which word does not belong on this list?

The correct answer is archaic 

Archaic is a word used to describe something that belongs to an earlier period of time, while the other words are used to describe sad and gloomy states of mind or facial expressions. 

17. Abstract Reasoning - Odd One Out

Choose the odd one out:

cognitive ability abstract sample

The correct answer is C.

The logic: In all of the options except for option three, there is a vertical line which separates these boxes into two, equal, symmetrical halves which mirror one another. If these boxes were pieces of paper which were folded vertically, the items in the boxes would be matching and perfectly identical. The right and left halves are mirror-images of one another. This is not the case for option three. In option 3, there is no mirroring effect between the halves. Both hearts have to be either on the top or on the box's bottom for there to be symmetry.

You have probably noticed that the amount, shape and color of the items are insignificant features and are simply distracters.

 18. Numerical Reasoning - Word Problems

When a smartphone is connected to a charger the battery charge increases by 4.5% per minute. When applications are in use the battery decreases by 3% per 2.5 minutes.

What is the percentage of charging rate per minute if the phone is connected to a charger while several applications are in use?

The correct answer is 3.3%.

In order to tackle this question we will first need to understand that there are two opposite "forces" in this question - charging and discharging (i.e. application usage) of the battery. The charger works in a "positive direction" and the applications in a "negative direction". Now we can address the given information: Charger's work rate: 4.5/1 (4.5% charge per minute) Applications' work rate: -3/2.5 = -1.2/1 (1.2% discharge per minute) Thus, the total charging rate ("sum of forces"): 4.5/1 – 1.2/1 = 3.3/1, meaning: 3.3% per minute.

19. Logical Reasoning

Assumptions:

Most technicians work on the first floor. All accountants work on the second floor. No secretaries work on the third floor.

Conclusion:  Rose, a technician, works on the third floor.

If the assumptions are true, is the conclusion:

According to the first assumption, most technicians work on the first floor. This means that there is at least one technician who does not work on the first floor. Thus, Rose may or may not work on the third floor.

Therefore, the conclusion Cannot be determined based on the information

20. Abstract Reasoning - Next in Series

  Which block completes the following sequence:

Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment Abstract Reasoning 1

The correct answer is D.

The two black sections of the circle move around it clockwise in a different pattern: the section on the upper left side of the circle moves two sections each step. The second section (upper right side in the first frame) stays in the same spot for a step and then moves two sections in the next two steps. When the two sections land on the same spot, they appear as one, such as in the third frame.

In the next frame of the sequence, the first section should appear on the upper right side of the circle, so answers (A), (B), and (E) can be ruled out. The second section should stay where it is, which leaves the answer (D).

  Cognitive questions 15-20 are the types of questions commonly found in the PI cognitive assessment . To practice more questions like these, try our free Predictive Index Practice Test.

Prepare for your Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive tests present two major obstacles: short time frames, and questions that include known tricks and distracters . Luckily, you can overcome these two obstacles with the right practice.

JobTestPrep's cognitive test preparation packs offer a comprehensive review of all the question types seen on contemporary employers' cognitive ability tests. Practicing the full range of numerical, verbal, deductive, spatial, and logical reasoning questions under strict time frames can greatly assist in improving your scores.

We also provide detailed answer explanations, helping you to understand the logic behind each question. Furthermore, our insightful score reports can help you assess your own cognitive abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Start preparing today with one of our specialized prep packs!

Tips to Help You Pass Your Cognitive Test

Cognitive tests can be daunting, and the stress that accompanies them due to the high stakes that are involved can make them even more so. However, there are a number of tips and hacks that can help you improve your cognitive test score before even beginning to practice!

  • Don't waste too much time on one question. There will always be a question that you don't get and find yourself wasting time on. You've been asked what placate means and you don't remember? The best option is to guess and move on. Good time management is one of the most vital tools you will gain with our cognitive ability practice. 
  • Read the instructions carefully. Reading the instructions for each cognitive test question will help ensure you are not missing any important details, and keep you from missing out on points you had in the bag.

Given that an incorrect answer yields the same 1-point reduction from your cognitive ability score, it is best to not leave any questions unanswered and try guessing instead. This strategy is great in helping you earn as many points as you can, rather than losing points for leaving questions blank.

Use scrap paper. 

The questions in cognitive tests are built to overload your brain. Using a piece of scrap paper to make calculations or visualize a tricky abstract reasoning question can make a big difference.

Types of Cognitive Ability Tests

While cognitive ability tests generally measure similar fields, they can vary significantly in length, time limit, and difficulty. Below are some of the most popular cognitive tests being used today, click on the link to learn more about how each one measures cognitive abilities:

  • Wonderlic – also known as the Wonderlic Personnel Test-Revised (WPT-R), this cognitive test pits you against 50 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 12 minutes - meaning processing speed and time management are particularly important.
  • Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) – a cognitive test that measures a candidate's cognitive aptitude , problem-solving abilities, skill-learning capabilities, and critical thinking. It consists of 50 questions and has a 15-minute time limit.
  • Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment  – formerly known as the Professional Learning Indicator (PLI), this is a 12-minute cognitive test comprised of 50 questions. The PLI is given to potential hires to test for skills not easily found on a resume or during an interview and measures your capacity to solve problems, learn, and adapt in the workplace.
  • The Universal Cognitive Aptitude Test (UCAT) is a job application assessment that measures your critical thinking, problem-solving, analytical, and mathematical abilities. It consists of 40 questions, and you are given 20 minutes to complete it. Unlike the CCAT exam, the UCAT excludes verbal reasoning and verbal ability sections.
  • The Revelian Cognitive Ability Test (RCAT) , previously known as Onetest, assesses three areas: verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning. The test's difficulty increases as you proceed. You have 20 minutes to answer its 51 questions.
  • SHL Tests - SHL is a longtime giant of psychometric testing, with a set of recognized, well-validated assessments. Most common among them are the SHL Numerical , SHL Verbal , SHL Inductive , and SHL Deductive tests. These four are sometimes grouped together to create the SHL General Ability Test . Other cognitive assessments include the SHL Calculation Test , SHL Checking Test , and SHL Mechanical Comprehension .
  • The Caliper Assessment , commonly referred to as the Caliper Profile, is a pre-employment test designed to measure the alignment of your personality traits and cognitive skills with the demands of the job you're seeking. It's frequently used for senior, managerial, and leadership positions.  Try free Caliper test questions . 
  • Procter and Gamble Assessment - this cognitive abilities test is adaptive (changes in difficulty based on your answers) and fully interactive. It measures a number of cognitive abilities such as spatial orientation and memory, as well as personality traits through a personality test a situational judgment test. 
  • Pymetrics - The Pymetrics games test comprises a set of twelve activities crafted to evaluate your personality traits and cognitive abilities. The primary hurdle of the Pymetrics assessment lies in grasping the intended result of each test, along with the aspects being gauged and rated.
  • Free IBEW Practice  - The IBEW Aptitude Test stands as a notably demanding cognitive assessment, mandatory for aspiring licensed electricians to successfully clear.
  • The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory - a cognitive test, typically used to assess reasoning and decision-making skills for senior positions. 
  • Aon Assessments - Aon’s assessment tests are unique in their interface, gamified assessments, and their particular ways of evaluating your competencies, abilities, characteristics, and behavioral tendencies required in the workplace.

Mercer Mettl Test  - assessing cognitive abilities, technical skills, and personality traits. With adaptive testing, it adjusts question difficulty based on your responses, offering precise insights for job applications and personal development.

Many tests include cognitive ability sections along with other topics. You can find army-related cognitive ability sample questions on our Free ASVAB Practice and Free AFOQT Practice Test . 

Cognitive Ability Test Scores

Cognitive tests measure your cognitive abilities - but how are the scores used to decide which candidate gets the job?

There are two main scoring methods to compare cognitive ability scores:

Relative score -  your score is placed on a bell curve along with the scores of other candidates so that your score is compared to theirs and a certain cutoff point is decided. For example, an employer might decide that only the top 10% of the scores move on to the next step of the hiring process. 

Absolute score -  a threshold is set by the employer in advance, and your cognitive ability score needs to pass it. For example, getting more than 30 questions right in the Wonderlic Test . 

For more scoring methods, you can observe our ASVAB Scores guide.
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Cognitive Ability Test Guide: Take Free Practice Tests Online

What is the cognitive ability test.

Cognitive tests measure a candidate’s thinking abilities, including, reasoning, perception, memory, problem-solving skills, and verbal reasoning. They are usually used by potential employers to assess an applicant’s thinking abilities.

The questions featured in these tests tend to include verbal analogies, arithmetic calculations, spatial relations number series puzzles, comprehension, and reading comprehension. Cognitive ability tests are notoriously tricky, as they often come with harsh time-limits and specific question types. Yet, rest assured, through practice it is possible to familiarize yourself with the types of questions featured on these tests and to improve your speed.

Here’s our 3-step easy to follow formula to ace any cognitive ability test:

  • Read this short guide to learn everything related to cognitive ability tests.
  • Take our online practice tests to assess your knowledge.
  • Take our Rapid Cognitive Ability Course Online to increase your score.

Take the Free Cognitive Ability Practice Test

Quick facts on cognitive ability tests.

  • Cognitive Ability tests mainly have multiple-choice format.
  • Cognitive tests usually consist of verbal, numerical, abstract and logical tests.
  • Questions from many topics will be included in the test, for example verbal, logical, etc.
  • A single question may not be about one single topic.
  • There are typically many questions that need to be answered in a very short time.
  • Applicants are not required to complete these exams in their entirety.
  • The content of the tests is generally not hard, however, the time constraints and the changing between subjects makes the tests difficult.

That’s why Prepterminal’s Cognitive Ability Test Prep Course is designed to get you top results in no time. With the course, you’ll benefit from learning the following: time management, a detailed strategy, question preparation and tips on approaching the test with confidence.

What topics are included in Cognitive Ability Tests?

In this part, you’ll learn about what topics are included in most of the cognitive ability tests.

Numerical Reasoning

  • Basic Numeracy: Undertaker basic math – 4 operations (subtraction, addition, division, multiplication), averages, fractions, and ratios.
  • Word problems: Study and solve mathematical questions given in text format.
  • Number series: Discover and follow patterns in a specific list of numbers.

Verbal Reasoning

  • Vocabulary: Show your knowledge of the definitions and usages of various words.
  • Analogies: Discover relationships between two words and apply this relationship to an additional word.

Abstract Reasoning

  • Odd One Out: Choose which shape doesn’t fit in a specific set.
  • Next in Series: Discover a progression pattern of shapes and find out which shape is next.
  • Matrices: Similar to ‘next in series’, but rather in a two-dimensional matrix format.
  • Analogies: Discover the relationship between a certain pair of shapes and apply this knowledge to another shape.

Logical Reasoning

  • Syllogisms: Come up with a conclusion from a certain number of premises.
  • Deduction and Conclusions: ‘Syllogisms’ in reverse – use the necessary information to form a certain conclusion.
  • Seating Arrangements: Discover the order of various elements in keeping with a given set of rules.

Sometimes test takers confuse Cognitive Ability tests with Cognitive Skills tests. Cognitive Ability tests mesure your general intelegence, your ability to learn and apply new skills. And Cognitive Skills tests are designed to find out if math and verbal career training programmes are necessary for entry-level roles. This exam will inform your future employer about where best to put you within the company structure.

Cognitive Ability Test Scores

Let’s take a look at cognitive ability test scores terminology:

1. Raw score

2. subscores, 3. percentile score, 4. stanine score, 5. norm group.

A norm group is a sample of pre-tested candidates who have a specific characteristic in common and whose scores were aggregated to develop a benchmark. Norm groups can be divided by industry, geography, profession and the like. An example of a norm group could be the population of employed managers.

Is there a cut-off score for all cognitive ability tests? In short, no. Firstly, all test providers have unique score distributions. Thus, when you are looking to find a cut-off score for your own test, ensure that you are examining the data that relates to your own assessment.

Secondly, a cut-off score or target score varies according to the employer’s recruiting decisions and thus the job position you are applying for.

6. Negative scoring

Most cognitive ability tests do not take off points for incorrect answers or blank answers. It is thus better to take an educated guess, than to leave a question blank.

Make sure you get a top score on your cognitive ability test. Maximize your test score PrepTerminal’s cognitive ability prep course today!

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Most Popular Cognitive Ability Tests Employers Usually Use

There are several Cognitive Ability Tests, that employers might require to pass. Here we have collected the most popular Cognitive Ability Tests. Take a look at our separate guides to be aware of each test in detail:

  • The Wonderlic Test
  • Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment
  • Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT)
  • Cubiks Logic

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i bring and use a calculator.

While some exams let you use a calculator for numerical questions, the majority of cognitive ability tests don’t.

Bear this in mind when you practice, and try to do the calculations in your head.

Should I just guess if I don’t know an answer?

Skipping a question depends on the manner in which the exam is scored. It depends if points are taken off for incorrect answers.

If they are deducted – you shouldn’t guess, and just skip the question. If they aren’t – you should take a guess and then move on to the subsequent question.

Can I go back and answer a question that I missed?

This changes from test to test. Make sure you read the instructions well on your test day. The instructions will tell you if you can go back and answer a question you skipped.

If you read that you can’t go back then you need to address each question as they are presented.

If you are allowed to go back, you can choose, for example, to answer all the questions you know best first, and only then go back and answer the questions you are not sure about.

Will I have enough time to answer all the exam questions?

Most people don’t complete the entire test in the given amount of time. This is primarily due to the fact that typically there are a lot of questions that need to be answered in a short time frame.

It is very rare for applicants to not only answer all of the questions, but also to answer them accurately. Make sure you focus on quality and not quantity.

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Cognitive ability test

Article author: Dr. Edwin van Thiel , updated July 6, 2022

What is a cognitive ability test?

A cognitive ability test , or a cognitive test in general, is simply put a measurement of a mental performance. This can be a very specific one, such as solving a mathematical sum, or a very broad measurement such as determining someone's general intelligence .

Cognitive ability tests ...

  • Call upon logical reasoning, either through induction or deduction, and general problem solving
  • Measure abilities that will vary in the extent to which they are innate or learnable
  • Deal with sensory perception, memory, learning and applying (acquired) knowledge

What are cognitive ability tests used for in assessments?

Ability test practice.

Score higher on ability assessment tests.

The promise a cognitive test holds is that it predicts future job performance. It goes without saying that the better a cognitive test resembles tasks that need to be performed in a job, the better the prediction will be.

In general though, most cognitive tests will to some degree also predict other cognitive skills. So even when the cognitive abilities assessed seem somewhat inappropriate for a given job, chances are they still are valid predictors for it.

Do I need to practice ability tests?

Absolutely! Cognitive assessment tests are almost always learnable to a degree. Even aspects that are rather innate, such as processing speed, can be improved by practicing. When you understand the tactics, strategies, styles and instructions used in ability tests, you will score higher.

Would you like to try cognitive ability tests? We have many specific free ability assessment tests you can use to practice. Here are free examples of the ten most frequently used cognitive tests:

  • Numerical reasoning test
  • Verbal reasoning test
  • Logical reasoning test
  • Diagrammatic reasoning test
  • Spatial reasoning test
  • Inductive reasoning test
  • Deductive reasoning test
  • Mechanical reasoning test
  • Critical thinking test
  • Error checking test

Often used commercial cognitive ability tests

  • CCAT - Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test - (primarily US)
  • WPT - Wonderlic Personnel Test - (primarily US)
  • PLI - Predictive Index Learning Indicator
  • RCAT - Revelian Cognitive Ability Test - (primarily Australia)
  • MMAT - McQuaig Mental Agility Test
  • Cubiks Logiks
  • GIA - Thomas International General Intelligence Assessment
  • HBRI - Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory

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Cognitive Ability Tests

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Cognitive ability tests are predictors of general intelligence. Like IQ tests, they examine your ability to solve problems and think logically, via verbal, numerical, mechanical, spatial and logical questions.

Cognitive tests are popular with employers, as the broad range of aptitudes covered can give a good overview of each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses, and indicate whether they have what it takes to succeed in the role.

What is a cognitive ability test?

Cognitive ability tests were first created at the end of the 19th century and are used as a measure of someone’s general mental ability .

Unlike more targeted aptitude tests (such as verbal or numerical reasoning) the cognitive ability test covers a range of aptitudes – often mechanical reasoning and spatial awareness – to assess an individual’s overall intelligence.

The shift between subjects can be challenging, especially if your strengths lie in one area, and the tight time limit makes it even harder. Practice and preparation is the key, especially for those aptitudes where you often get lower scores.

On a typical cognitive ability test, you might answer questions on any of these topics:

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning

Logical reasoning

  • Mechanical reasoning
  • Spatial awareness

Getting familiar with the different styles of questions, the shift between topics and the speed in which you need to answer each question will really help when it comes to tackling the cognitive ability test as part of a job application.

Which employers use them, and why?

The cognitive ability test is recognised as one of the best indicators of a potential employee’s ability for the job they’re applying for.

Assessing not just your general aptitude, but your ability to work under pressure and shift between different styles of questions and challenges, the test can prove to an employer that you’ll make smart decisions, that you can think on your feet and that you know how to keep calm under pressure — all invaluable skills.

As a result, the cognitive ability test is used by a wide range of employers in industries as diverse as finance and the armed forces. However, it’s particularly useful when hiring for jobs that are known to require complex decision-making; roles such as pilot, doctor, lawyer and engineer, because the relationship between a strong cognitive ability test score and overall job performance here is considered to be closely linked.

Implementing a cognitive ability test can yield numerous benefits for employers, including improved hiring outcomes, reduced training periods, and various financial advantages. Considering the modest cost associated with administering and analyzing the test results, it’s no surprise that it has emerged as one of the most prevalent recruitment tools in use today.

Types of cognitive ability test

When you take a cognitive ability test you’ll cover a range of different subjects and questions that can be practised in greater detail as full tests.

In particular, you should aim to prepare for:

Numerical Ability Tests

Numerical ability tests are designed to examine your aptitude for numbers. The questions cover mathematical problems such as ratios and percentages, fractions, data interpretation and even financial analysis .

This type of test is particularly challenging as the questions are complex and the tight time limits don’t leave much more than a minute for you to answer each question.

Practising as many numerical reasoning tests as you can, particularly if this is an area you’re weaker at, will help you to perform better at the cognitive ability test, and will prove to an employer that you’re able to work with numbers quickly and accurately.

Verbal Ability Tests

Verbal ability tests evaluate your comprehension and communication skills.

You’ll read through dense passages of text and then be faced with a series of questions on what you’ve just read, to which you’ll have to select a multiple-choice answer (usually ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘cannot say’).

No prior knowledge of the subject matter is needed. In fact, it’s important that you answer based just on what you’ve read, paying particular attention to what’s actually been stated, and what’s merely been inferred.

Scoring well at the verbal ability section of the cognitive ability test shows an employer that you’re able to assimilate lots of information quickly, that you have good comprehension skills and that you’re able to differentiate between fact and fiction.

Logical Ability Tests

Logical ability tests use pattern- and shape-based puzzles to assess your problem solving and logical thinking skills.

You’ll be required to look at a series of different shapes or patterns and use your logical abilities to work out the rule that connects them all, in order to finish the sequence.

The questions might be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. And you won’t have long to answer each question — so practising as many of these tests as you can before taking a general cognitive ability test will help to improve both your speed and accuracy.

Mechanical Ability Tests

Mechanical ability tests assess your ability to understand different mechanical and electrical principles. Covering everything from energy and transformation, to levers, pulleys and pressure, these tests are commonly used when hiring for engineers and the armed forces .

The knowledge you’re being tested on here is very specific; it really does require prior reading rather than guesswork on the day.

Practising a few mechanical reasoning tests before taking a cognitive ability test will help you to brush up on your understanding of mechanical and electrical principles. It will also ensure you’re used to the question style and the speed at which you’ll need to answer every question.

Spatial Awareness Tests

Spatial awareness tests are an opportunity for you to demonstrate your ability to manipulate images and shapes into their two- and three-dimensional forms, and draw conclusions from limited amounts of information.

Typically set by architecture and engineering firms, the spatial awareness test helps an employer to see how good you are at working with shapes, as well as your problem-solving skills and time management.

Again, this style of question isn’t something you’ll necessarily have come across, which makes practising past tests all the more important.

Publishers of cognitive ability tests

There are numerous publishers who administer cognitive ability tests. If you can find out which organisation is publishing the test you’re taking, it means you can prepare using past tests from that publisher, and get used to the specific style and format of questions.

Here are a few of the most popular publishers used in the UK:

Revelian — An Australian test provider that uses tests created by psychologists for employers across the world.

SHL — One of the biggest test providers, offering assessments for 150 countries in 30 different languages.

Predictive Index — A popular pre-employment assessment provider that specialises in cognitive and behavioural tests.

Prepare yourself for leading employers

BBC

Free Practice Cognitive Ability Test Questions

As mentioned, the cognitive ability test covers a huge variety of topics and question styles.

Most people will naturally be stronger at some areas and have to work a little harder on others, so it’s important to try your hand at all the various different types of questions as part of your preparation.

Below are five practice cognitive ability questions for you to try out. All answers are below.

Numerical Reasoning

numerical reasoning practice question

What was the total power in gigawatts generated by thermal power over the full year?

Verbal Reasoning

verbal reasoning practice question

Statement : A derivative could be used by an airline to secure the price of oil now, which it won’t use until six months time.

Logical Reasoning

logical reasoning practice question

Which of the given shapes would complete the sequence?

Mechanical Reasoning

mechanical reasoning practice question

How much force is required to lift the weight?

Spatial Reasoning

spatial reasoning practice question

Which of the given shapes is the unfolded net of the 3D shape?

Numerical reasoning : Q1 = 10 GW Q2 = 10 GW Q3 = 14 GW Q4 = 13 GW

So the total is C) 47 GW produced by thermal power.

Verbal reasoning : True – “to secure the price of a commodity which is to be “bought” at a future date, but at a price that is set today.”

Logical reasoning : The shapes are moving around the points of the polygon. The circle and arrow are both moving anti-clockwise 2 points, and the square is moving 4 spaces in a clockwise direction. So the answer is C.

Mechanical reasoning : There is only 1 load-bearing section of rope, which means that the force needed to lift the weight is the same as the weight itself. So the answer is 10kg.

Spatial reasoning : If you look at the two ends, you can see that the only correct answer could be C.

Sample Cognitive Ability Tests question Test your knowledge!

A sequence of statements is given below. Which statement logically follows from the given statements? 1. No manager is a leader. 2. All directors are managers. 3. Some leaders are directors.

  • Some directors are not leaders.
  • No directors are leaders.
  • All leaders are directors.
  • Some managers are not directors.

All roses are flowers. Some flowers fade quickly. Therefore:

  • Some roses fade quickly.
  • Roses are the only flowers that do not fade quickly.
  • No roses fade quickly.
  • It is possible that some roses fade quickly.

If it takes 5 minutes to drill a half-inch hole, how long will it take to drill a two-inch hole?

A researcher compiled data over several years and found that for Company X, employee productivity increases by 2% for every 1% increase in salary. If an employee's salary is increased by 10%, by how much can the researcher expect their productivity to increase?

Which word is a synonym for 'evanescent'?

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Cognitive Ability Tests Tips

1 try out each of the different test types.

We recommend working through the different types of tests we’ve listed that sit within the overall cognitive ability test. This will help you identify your stronger and weaker areas.

2 Work harder on your weaker areas

It’s tempting to spend more time on the areas you enjoy, but ignoring this urge in favour of working on your weaker spots will pay dividends when it counts. So whether it’s logic slowing you down or verbal reasoning causing you a little uneasiness, spend the extra time on the topics you find more challenging.

3 Practice in a suitable environment

Practically speaking, there’s no substitute for a quiet environment when taking mock tests. Try to find as peaceful an area as possible when you’re taking a mock test, and ensure you have everything you need before you start.

4 Put the timer on

It’s essential to time yourself while doing any practice tests, so you can see how well you fare against the clock. At the end, go over your answers and spend time evaluating your score, and if there were mistakes, why they happened.

Cognitive Ability Video Tutorials

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Cognitive Ability Tests FAQs

What is this test used for.

Cognitive ability tests are a common tool used by employers to gauge a job seeker’s potential in various skill areas. They serve as a quantifiable method to assess problem-solving and logical thinking capacities, which are essential across numerous jobs and industries.

What do these tests involve?

These tests are a series of questions designed to evaluate your problem-solving abilities and logical reasoning. Covering a range of topics, from verbal to spatial understanding, they effectively measure how you process information and confront complex situations.

What do these tests measure?

Our cognitive ability tests focus on precise evaluation of your analytical skills, adaptability, and problem-solving prowess. Utilizing state-of-the-art adaptive technology, our test questions constantly evolve to maintain up-to-date with industry trends and standards, offering a true measure of your cognitive strengths.

Where can I practice these tests?

You can dive into a variety of practice cognitive ability tests right here at Practice Aptitude Tests. We provide a deep library of simulations that closely mimic real test environments, giving you the best preparation for your upcoming assessments.

Which employers use these tests?

A wide range of employers across various fields leverage cognitive ability tests as part of their hiring process. These assessments help them identify candidates who have the necessary mental acuity and agility that complement their specific job roles and organizational needs.

Reviews of our Cognitive Ability tests

What our customers say about our Cognitive Ability tests

United States of America

October 14, 2023

Challenging

I found the test challenging and very exciting. I really had to slow down to think through the logic.

Preeti Borra

October 10, 2023

I like the test it's very difficult to solve in one attempt. It is very good test for practice the exam. But they are almost same type of questions still it is very difficult to solve. I would like to attempt more questions like this for practice. I try to understand the pattern.

Christopher Christopher Ward

United Kingdom

October 03, 2023

This required a thoughtful anyalysis of all information presented and required cross referencing of evidence provided.

Obialo Egwim

September 06, 2023

The test was challenging

The test was difficult to understand for the last few questions but decently easy to understand for the first few . But I understood the questions .

Pamela Almeida

July 24, 2023

Shapes and Positions

Interesting series of questions. Sometimes the answers come easier by visual review, sometimes by comparative review.

July 05, 2023

This Was Fun

This test seems t only be focused on spatial awareness and pattern recognition. Although, because I have not yet seen the results of the test I'm unfamiliar just how much these two skills play a role in the bigger picture.

Vladimir Nicolescu

June 29, 2023

Pretty Balanced

It was my first cognitive ability test. seems pretty balanced. Some harder but I managed to find some logic even in the toughest ones

Dylan Kovacevich

June 28, 2023

Good, like to see more.

Thought there would of been a mix of numerical and verbal reasoning, rather than just abstract reasoning.

Sayantani Halder

June 22, 2023

Best GCA questions to practice

I liked the way the questions slowly progressed toward increasing difficulty levels. It helps in getting a grip on the logical reasoning skills

Busi Mongwe

South Africa

June 21, 2023

Pay attention

There instructions were at the beginning of the test which made me panic and anxious so I just clicked on anything but caught on in the middle of the test

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This article will guide you through the online Hogan tests , provide a range of sample questions, discuss how the Hogan Assessment results are calculated and recommend ways that you can prepare to take the Hogan assessment yourself.

The Swift (Saville) Analysis Aptitude Test

If you’ve recently applied for a managerial or executive role, you may have been asked to take a Saville Analysis Aptitude Test , also known as the Swift Aptitude test.

The Swift Analysis Aptitude Test was created by Saville Assessment, which is a huge name in the test publishing market.

The CAT4 Cognitive Ability Test

The CAT4 cognitive ability test is an examination designed to measure a student’s academic progress.

When the CAT4 test is scored, teachers and parents will be given a summary of the academic potential of the student.

Any student taking the test will be asked questions that will measure their non-verbal reasoning abilities, verbal reasoning skills, quantitative reasoning abilities and spatial awareness .

In this article, you’ll learn more about what types of questions are asked to examine these skills.

How to Pass the Korn Ferry Leadership Potential Assessment (KFALP) in 2024

The Korn Ferry Leadership Potential Assessment (KFALP) is used to test candidates to see if they have the potential to become leaders and managers.

It uses seven different categories, known as Seven Signposts, to assess potential leaders:

  • Learning Agility
  • Leadership Traits
  • Derailment Risks

This article will examine the theory behind the assessment, the different topics that are tested and how the assessment is scored.

There will also be example questions so that you know what to expect when you take the KFALP and some tips to help you score as highly as possible when you take the test.

What Is A Pymetrics Test? (2024 Guide)

Pymetrics tests identify specific behavioral characteristics and traits.

This article examines why pymetrics tests are used and what to expect in your assessment.

Tips are included to help you get the best results.

McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT): Examples & Tips 2024

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT) is a 15-minute timed test that is designed to assess your ability to think quickly.

In this short test, you will face questions that will allow you to demonstrate your speed of thought and general mental agility, which are useful aptitudes when it comes to many jobs in different industries.

In this article, find out more about the structure of the test, the different types of McQuaig Mental Agility test questions and what to expect on the day. You’ll also get some mental agility practice test questions and top tips to help you be successful in the MMAT.

A Guide to the FBI Phase 1 Test (Examples & Tips)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is responsible for the enforcement of federal law and the protection of national security in the US.

Working for the FBI can be highly stressful. As a special agent for the FBI, the working week is likely to be 50 hours or more.

Special agents must be willing to be based anywhere in the world. They are expected to carry a firearm and work in potentially dangerous situations.

With this in mind, the FBI has a rigorous application and selection process for potential new recruits. It can take more than 20 months to complete the entire process and commence employment with the FBI.

A Guide to the USPS Postal Exam 955 – Examples & Tips

This guide to the USPS postal exam 955 will take you through the different sections of the test, including example questions, provide tips on how you can prepare for the exam and answer several frequently asked questions.

The USPS postal exam 955 is used to screen applicants for mechanic and technician positions , such as electronic technicians or motor vehicle mechanics. It also sometimes referred to as the postal maintenance 955 exam, USPS maintenance mechanic 955 test or the 955 maintenance exam.

It tests applicants’ suitability by assessing personal characteristics, work experience, and electronic and technical knowledge and skills.

The USPS postal exam 955 replaced the previous 931, 932 and 933 exams .

The USPS postal exam 955 is free of charge , but you will need access to the internet and an email address.

Postal Exam: USPS Virtual Entry Assessment – MP 476

If you are looking to work in the United States Postal Service, you will need to pass the USPS Postal Exam 476.

The USPS Postal Exam 476 is an online test that screens for the best candidates. The exam is used to find suitable candidates for a range of positions, including mail processing clerk, data conversion operator and clerk-related positions.

This article will outline what the USPS Postal Exam 476 includes, with particular attention to the separate sections of the examination.

In addition to this, how the exam is scored and how you can best prepare for it will be covered. There will also be a list of frequently asked questions for you to refer to if you have any doubts.

How to Prepare for Amazon Assessment

A List of Amazon Assessment Tests Available for Practice in 2024

  • Amazon Work Simulation Assessment
  • Amazon Maintenance Technician Test
  • Amazon Coding Assessment
  • Amazon Workstyle Assessment
  • Amazon Area Manager Assessment
  • Amazon Operations Manager Assessment
  • Amazon Online MBA Assessment
  • Amazon RME Apprenticeship Skills Battery Test
  • Amazon Financial Analyst Assessment
  • Amazon ATA Technical Assessment
  • Amazon Control Systems Technician Test
  • Amazon Warehouse Assessment Test

The Amazon assessment test is an essential way for the corporation to find the best-suited employees.

It is a series of challenges used to evaluate all its candidates during the recruitment process.

Amazon online assessments typically include both numerical and verbal reasoning tests.

These types of tests examine a potential candidate’s logical skills.

Candidates will also have to sit work-style assessments that simulate the working environment at Amazon.

Other Amazon exams include:

  • The Amazon coding assessment (also known as the Amazon SDE online assessment)
  • The work sample simulation
  • An Amazon versant test

These last two, amongst others, will be discussed later in this article.

This Amazon reviewer job article will also discuss how to pass the Amazon assessment tests, some Amazon assessment answers you should know and what you need to do to best prepare yourself.

There is also a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions from those who are interested in taking these Amazon job tests to find employment with the company.

SHL Verbal Reasoning Tests: A Rough Guide

What Is the SHL Verbal Reasoning Test?

The SHL Verbal Reasoning Test is a graduate-level and above pre-employment aptitude test that is used in graduate and management recruitment for many roles across different industries.

The test is usually taken online, and it is designed to evaluate candidates on their ability to understand written information and make informed, reasoned and logical decisions based on that information.

SHL is a well-established test publisher, providing tests for more than 10,000 companies around the world. It offers a range of tests, including psychometric, behavioural and personality assessments that are based in occupational psychology and aptitude science. 

The tests have specific aims – and recruitment teams use SHL tests like the Verbal Reasoning Test to filter through similarly qualified candidates to find the applicants who have what it takes to be successful in a graduate or management level role.

When taking a verbal reasoing test, bear in mind that you might also be asked to take numerical reasoning tests, logical reasoning tests or personality tests along side.

What Is an IQ Test? (with Example Questions and Answers)

IQ stands for intelligence quotient and is usually thought to represent the reasoning skills of individuals.

The idea of intelligence relates to how quickly people can solve problems or puzzles, use logic to answer questions, or quickly recall information and facts they’ve heard.

The first type of IQ test was created by a French psychologist named Alfred Binet.

The assessment that he made is still used and is known as the Stanford-Binet intelligence test.

How to Cheat on the GMAT and Why You Shouldn’t: GMAT Prep Guide

Considering cheating on your GMAT (Graduate Management Admission Test) Exam?

Want to know how to do it, if you should do it and what the consequences will be?

Well you came to the right place!

Read on to find out more about cheating on the GMAT exam, but be warned...

... it's certainly not something I advise!

3 Best Online Aptitude Test Preparation Websites (3 Free sites + 3 Paid sites)

Do you have an upcoming online aptitude test ? 

Are you looking for the best aptitude test prep material to give you the very best chance of getting the highest possible grade? 

If so, this article will help you. 

Aptitude tests are a crucial part of your job search, and you usually only have one chance to showcase your skills. 

Psychometric aptitude tests can measure many different aptitudes and skill sets, in many different formats:

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Diagrammatic or inductive reasoning
  • Mechanical reasoning
  • Personality types
  • Situational judgement and work environment tests
  • Work style tests

Aptitude tests can be challenging and it is important to be fully prepared before you attend your job interview or assessment centre.

Several free and paid aptitude test preparation websites offer preparation packs to help you score the best you can.

The Ultimate Guide to the TSA-CBT Tests

Those dreaming of working for the TSA will most likely need to take a challenging exam called the TSA CBT Test during the hiring process. Here we’ll look at exactly what it involves and how you can make sure you pass it. Read on to find out more.

If you plan to work as an inspector, manager, marshal or security officer in any agency governed by the Transportation Security Administration, you must pass the TSA CBT test as part of your application process.

Read on to learn more about this assessment, including its purpose, what types of questions it has, how challenging it is and how to prepare for it.

You'll also be provided with a few example questions to help you get an idea of what this test looks like.

Let’s get started.

Aptitude Tests: 10 Sample Questions and Answers

Aptitude tests are administered to understand your inherent abilities to reason and respond to specific tasks.

They are widely used in various forms to screen candidates or evaluate existing employees for a future job role.

The most generic and widely used aptitude tests are curated to measure different facets of your abilities, mainly on the following areas:

  • Abstract Reasoning
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Verbal Reasoning
  • Attention to Detail

Apart from these base types, there are various other specialized aptitude tests which you may face in specific industries or based on your role in different career stages.

We have discussed each of the most common job related aptitude tests in detail.

Illustrative examples and helpful hints are provided throughout to aid your preparation.

Read on to find out more.

Cognify Tests: Game Based Assessments Explained

The Cognify test is a game-based cognitive assessment designed to measure an individual's cognitive aptitude to measure key job performance linked abilities and skills in a prospective candidate.

The Cognify test was once a product of Revelian, an Australian assessment company, but was later acquired by CriteriaCorp.

Moving away completely from the question-answer based template of traditional tests, Cognify uses an innovative approach where candidates don't face a series of questions on a screen.

Instead, the Cognify Assessment comprises 6-7 timed game-based mini-tests categorized into three cognitive abilities categories:

  • Problem-Solving
  • Verbal Knowledge

Well, before you start raising your eyebrows at the mention of ‘game-based’ and dismiss it as just another fad, pay attention!

Cognify assessment is credited as having brought a paradigm shift in the field of psychometric testing.

Many Tier-I graduate recruiters globally have started using this assessment in their candidate selection process.

Train Driver Tests Guide: with Example Questions + Answers

The train driver test is used to establish whether a candidate is suitable for work as a train driver. This unique suite of tests includes psychometric assessment tools such as:

  • The Group Bourdon Test (GBT)
  • Test of Everyday Attention (TEA-OCC)
  • Adaptive Tachistoscopic Traffic Perception Test (ATAVT)
  • Situational judgement tests
  • Vigilance tests
  • Written communication tests

What Is the Train Driver Test?

In most countries, you will need to sit the train driver online test if you want to work as a train driver. If you have been asked to sit the assessments, there is no train driver psychometric test cost associated with the train driver exam.

Working as a train driver is a challenging and demanding role. As a train driver, you must be able to ensure the safety of passengers at all times.

The UK’s train driving tests are some of the most challenging. As well as testing aptitude for the job role, they are used to assess whether candidates have the mental abilities to cope with the stress and demands of the job role.

The train driver test is used to establish whether a candidate is suitable for work as a train driver. The train driver test is a unique group of psychometric tests for train drivers designed to assess the psychomotor and cognitive skills needed to work safely as a train driver.

Predictive Index Tests Fully Explained [With Example Questions + Answers]

The Predictive Index (PI) test is a popular type of pre-employment testing used to accurately measure an individual’s cognitive ability and behavioral profile during the hiring process in a wide range of industries and organizations. They are most commonly used during the early stages of the recruitment process. 

The PI cognitive test assesses verbal, numerical and analytical reasoning ability. 

The PI behavioral test creates a behavioral persona that describes character traits and tendencies.

Mechanical Aptitude Test: Preparation, Practice & Example Test Questions

A mechanical aptitude reasoning test is an important way to assess your knowledge on mechanical topics for potential roles in the army, emergency services and many other professions. Here, you will get all the information you need on what a mechanical comprehension test is and how to pass it.

Those applying for jobs related to the army, the emergency services engineering service, and similar occupations that require mechanical aptitude, are likely to be asked to take a mechanical reasoning test as part of the recruitment process.

Mechanical aptitude tests assess knowledge in electricity, optics, pressure and other fields of mechanics related to a specific industry.

From this article, you'll learn what mechanical reasoning tests look like, when to take them, what to expect from these assessment types, and how to practise and prepare for them.

Let’s get started!

Cognitive Ability Tests: Practice Test Questions, Answers & Explanations

If you would like to take a free practice Cognitive Ability Test before reading this article, click here .

If you would like to purchase an online Cognitive Ability Test prep pack, visit our partner website JobTestPrep .

The following tests are common cognitive ability tests:

  • Spatial Reasoning
  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Logical Ability Tests
  • Space Visualization
  • Information Processing
  • Visual Pursuit
  • Manual Speed and Accuracy

Ace Your Deductive Reasoning Test with Example Questions

Have you been asked to take a Deductive Reasoning test as part of an upcoming interview process?

Continue reading to find out more about this type of test, including:

  • Why employers use Deductive Reasoning Tests.
  • How you can improve your performance at Deductive Tests.
  • What types of questions you will be asked during the Test.

What Is A Deductive Reasoning Test?

Logical thinking or deductive reasoning tests are used by employers to measure an applicant’s ability to make logical arguments and form sound conclusions.

During this type of test, you will be presented with a variety of scenarios, statements and arguments for which you will need to apply a given set of rules to determine the validity of the corresponding conclusion.

Spatial Awareness Tests: Example Questions & Answers (2024)

Spacial Reasoning Definition

A spatial awareness test is a type of assessment that tests your ability to think in three dimensions and use your imagination to see movement through space.

Someone with good spatial awareness will be able to see in their mind how different shapes interact and be able to manipulate them to make a reasoned and logical decision.

The test is based on pictures, diagrams and shapes. You will need to mentally manipulate the presented image by disassembling or reassembling, rotating, seeing it in a mirror image or from different angles, or otherwise visualizing it differently to find the right answer to the question from the multiple-choice options provided.

Spatial awareness is something that we use to a greater or lesser degree every day, from understanding our position relative to other things around us to imagining the route we will take to get from one place to another.

Spatial reasoning tests are distinct from other similar assessments such as diagrammatic reasoning tests and abstract reasoning tests. It is important to understand how they differ as they are often included in aptitude tests and cognitive assessments alongside spatial reasoning tests.

15 Free Psychometric Test Questions and Answers

Psychometric tests are often used by organizations as part of the recruitment process. Different types of psychometric tests are designed to measure various aspects of cognitive ability, reasoning capabilities and personality traits. Potential employers use the results to assess a candidate’s suitability for a role. A psychometric test is generally administered online; this helps hiring managers filter applicants quickly and easily. 

Capp Assessment Tests: Numerical, Verbal + Critical Reasoning

As Capp Assessment Tests become more common perhaps you have encountered one for the first time.

This can be a bit daunting and, since they look and feel a bit different to more traditional psychometric reasoning tests, it isn’t necessarily obvious what you need to do to be successful…

Don’t worry.

With the insight and tips we share with you below, you’ll be smashing your tests in no time.

FREE BONUS: Get free unlimited access to Capp test practice (for 30 minutes) on our partner website JobTestPrep.

What are Capp Assessment Tests?

Capp are a consultancy and psychometric test publisher who specialise in Strengths Based Assessments.

They also offer a number of different psychometric tests that are widely used many major organisations including Google, Atkins, Amazon and RBS.

Their Assessment Tests include critical reasoning, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning .

Psychometric reasoning tests like these are very common.

This is because they are a cheap and efficient way for organisations to identify candidates who aren’t likely to be able to succeed in a particular job.

Because they are often used to filter candidates out of application processes, they are sometimes called screening tests or gateway tests.

Candidates like you have to achieve a particular level of performance in order to progress in the selection process.

With practice you can dramatically improve your performance. Practice is the best way to improve your test scores.

In the rest of this article we’ll show you how the tests work, suggest how you can prepare, and then direct you towards some practice tests so that when the big day comes you are ready.

Before you do anything else, take a look at the Capp website , where you can take free practice tests.

How do Psychometric Reasoning Tests Work?

In general, psychometric reasoning tests challenge users to answer a series of questions and compare their performance on a test with the average performance level of a reference or ‘norm’ group.

This is typically made up of individual with similar characteristics, such as education level, nationality or workplace seniority.

If you do better than most of the norm group you will receive a high score, whereas a low score suggests that your performance was weaker than most of the norm group.

Usually, a minimum standard of performance necessary for success in a role is identified at the start of an assessment process, and all candidates that don’t meet this level will be unable to progress through the process.

What makes Capp Assessment Tests Different?

Capp Assessments are ‘Next Generation’ psychometric aptitude tests ; this means they might look and feel a bit different to other psychometric tests you have completed in the past.

The main difference between the Capp tests and more traditional psychometric ability tests is that the Capp tests are responsive.

This means that the actual questions presented to a candidate will depend upon their performance on the previous questions.

Capp say that the responsiveness of their tests and the size of their question bank mean that the chances of two candidates taking exactly the same test is currently less than one in a billion .

In practice, this means that if you’ve been able to quickly and accurately solve the previous questions, you can expect to be presented with incrementally more challenging questions.

By contrast, if you have made a number of errors, the test will present questions at a lower level.

The aim of the tests is to work out what your maximum ability is. Or put another way, what the most challenging level you are capable of working at is.

Another thing that makes Capp Tests feel different is that they have no time limit (although the time you take to complete the test does effect the score so you still need to work as quickly as you can).

This takes a bit of the pressure off and can make taking these tests rather less stressful than others.

Finally, the variety of question types and the format of the questions in Capp Tests can be different to those used by more traditional test publishers.

Let’s take a closer look at this:

  • Numerical Reasoning Tests

Traditionally numerical reasoning tests require candidates to select the correct answer from a number of potential options.

The Capp numerical reasoning test still does this, but it also requires candidates to rank potential answers or to type their answer into a free-text box.

This makes it harder to guess the correct answers.

  • Verbal Reasoning Tests

Verbal reasoning tests typically give you a passage of text to read and then ask you whether a number of subsequent statements are true or false, based on the information contained in the passage.

This question type is included within the Capp Verbal Reasoning Test, but there are also a number of different question formats included.

This means that as well as testing verbal reasoning, the Capp test can also assess verbal dexterity, comprehension, interpretation, and adaptability.

As well as traditional multiple choice questions, the test also presents:

  • Free text editing : This type of question requires you to type your answers directly into the question. You might be asked to correct spellings or grammar, or edit a passage of text.
  • Bucket sort : You will be presented with two categories/styles of writing; your task is to place each item presented to the category/style of writing that it best fits.
  • Drag and Drop : This type of question requires you to drag statements or words to the place that they best fit.
  • Ranking : These questions can be quite subtle and require you to really understand the nuance of language and language use. You will be presented with a number of statements and asked to rank these based on some feature of the text, such as positivity.
  • Selecting the most appropriate word to fill in the sentence : You will be presented with a passage of text with a number of blanks in it, for each blank space you must select the most appropriate word to fill the space from a drop down menu.

Critical Reasoning Tests

The Capp Critical Reasoning test evaluates your ability to think critically in a number of ways.

In each instance, a passage of information is presented followed by a series of statements, your task is to select the appropriate response from the drop down menu.

Questions focus around five areas:

  • Inference: rating the probability of truth of inferences based on given information
  • Recognition of assumptions: identifying unstated assumptions underlying given statements
  • Deduction: determining whether conclusions follow logically from given information
  • Interpretation: weighing evidence and deciding if generalisations or conclusions based on data are warranted
  • Evaluation of arguments: evaluating the strength and relevance of arguments with respect to a particular question or issue.

How to Cheat on SHL CEB Reasoning Tests (and Why You Shouldn't!)

Are you considering cheating on your upcoming SHL tests ?

In this full disclosure article, I’ll tell you why people cheat on tests, how people cheat, and whether or not it’s worth doing..

Don't cheat!

Practice... it's the only legitimate way to improve your scores, you'll sleep better at night and probably get better results in your tests too.

Still want to read about how to cheat on a test?

The Expert Guide to Numerical Tests (+ Practice Tests + 5 Top Tips to Pass Every Time)

Numerical Reasoning Tests can be very tricky.

And when it comes to results, preparation and practice are key.

But that's easier said than done.

If you're researching this type of aptitude test for the first time or if you want to improve your numerical ability , perform better on tests and get more job offers this article will provide some practical strategies that you can use immediately .

For the best chance of success, read the article below slowly, work through the example questions , follow our tips and actionable advice and then start taking practice tests .

Ready to get started?

Let's go!...

Want to try a practice test before reading this article?

You can take our free numerical test right here:

The Best Logical Reasoning Practice Test Prep

Logical reasoning tests are a little different to your average psychometric test .

With this type of assessment, there are many different variations so it is sometimes difficult to determine which aspect of logical reasoning you will be assessed on.

With this guide, you’ll learn the difference between inductive and deductive reasoning tests , and some tips for maximising performance.

Designed to evaluate how you interpret patterns, shapes, numbers and other data to reach logical conclusions, the assessments are used across a number of different sectors at all levels of recruitment from entry right up to managerial positions.

In-Tray & E-Tray Exercises, Prep Guide 2024

The in tray exercise (also called an e-tray exercise ) is a popular assessment activity which employers use to evaluate the skills of applicants in a workplace situation.

If you have an In Tray exercise coming up as part of your interview process, this article will help you prepare.

Within these exercises, candidates will be presented with a given scenario, along with a set of tasks to complete which may include things like responding to email messages, reports or briefing documents.

Aptitude Tests: An Honest Introduction for Jobseekers

Aptitude tests are short tests employers use to assess whether a candidate has the level of competency necessary for success in the role.

The tests are used to see if a candidate has the skills necessary to do the job.

Aptitude tests are standardized, for the most part, and the results of all the candidates are compared to each other to see which candidate may be the best for the job.

Aptitude tests provide employers with a quick way to assess a candidate’s ability to perform in high-pressure situations and think in critical ways as they would if they were on the job.

Situational Judgement Tests: A Complete Guide (With Practice Questions)

What Is a Situational Judgment Test?

A situational judgement test (SJT) is a psychometric test that is often used as part of the recruitment process for graduate and managerial positions as well as roles that are customer-facing in a wide range of industries.

The SJT is designed to assess how a candidate deals with work-related problems and situations, focusing on essential aptitudes , competencies and soft skills that are not always easy to evaluate in other ways.

Although SJTs are usually bespoke to the company (or in some cases, the specific role), they tend to follow the same basic structure.

Each question is formed by presenting a fictional yet realistic work-based scenario. This might be text-based, it may include some illustrations or it could be animated or acted out in a video.

Following the scenario, there will be several options that you can choose from, each giving a possible course of action to follow to solve the issue that is presented in the situation given.

The answer that you choose will be compared to the benchmark answers that the recruitment team is using – these represent the core competencies for the role, as well as alignment with company values.

SHL Assessment Test: How to Get Top Scores on Any Test, Every Time

SHL assessment tests are important steps in many job interviews and career advancement opportunities. Therefore, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of how the different types of SHL tests work and how you can prepare for them in order to get top scores.

In this article, we will provide an overview of how SHL assessments work, sample SHL test questions, tips on improving your test performance, and strategies for prepping and succeeding with any SHL test.

What Is an SHL Assessment Test?

SHL is a global assessment company that is well known and recognised as a leader in pre-employment psychometric tests; the tests that SHL publishes are used by 75% of the FTSE 100 and they are available in more than 40 languages.

So if you are applying for a new role (especially for a graduate position), you are likely to come across them in the recruitment process.

In addition, the company offers consultancy and management services via its TalentCentral platform.

The SHL assessment are a series of tests that can be delivered individually or in a battery, and some of them are bespoke to the company that is using them, making them an excellent way for the recruitment team to ensure that the applicants for a role have the basic competencies, personality traits, work behaviours and cognitive abilities to be successful.

Pruebas SHL

Sind Sie auf der Suche nach kostenlosen psychometrischen Tests zur Übung?

Dann ist diese Seite genau das Richtige für Sie.

Was ist ein psychometrischer Test?

Psychometrische Tests (auch Eignungstests genannt) sind fester Bestandteil von Jobinterviews vieler Unternehmen auf der ganzen Welt.

Diese Tests bestehen normalerweise aus einer Reihe von zeitlich erfassten Fragen , die meist numerischen (mathematischen Fragen), verbalen (Fragen zum Leseverständnis) oder logischen (diagrammatischen Fragen) Ursprungs sind.

Testes Psicométricos: O Guia Completo + Testes Práticas

Testes psicométricos (também conhecidos como testes de aptidão) são uma parte comum do processo de entrevistas de emprego em muitas companhias no mundo todo.

Geralmente, esses testes consistem de uma série de questões com um certo tempo de resposta.

As questões costumam ser numéricas (questões matemáticas), verbais (compreensão textual) ou lógicas (questões de diagrama).

Dicas Para O Teste SHL (Atualização De 2024): Como Obter As Melhores Pontuações Em Todos Os Testes, Todas As Vezes.

Testes SHL . Se você está lendo isso, há uma boa chance de você ter acabado de descobrir que fará um desses testes difíceis como parte de um processo de recrutamento em andamento.

Se você chegou tão longe e agora está se sentindo tenso para se sentar na frente de um ‘abstract quiz’, não se preocupe...

Nós cuidaremos de você.

Mejorar en las pruebas de razonamiento inductivo

El Razonamiento Inductivo está basado en patrones y es otra variante de las muchas pruebas psicométricas utilizadas por los empleadores como una forma de determinar la idoneidad de un candidato para sus roles.

En un nivel similar al del razonamiento esquemático , el razonamiento inductivo probará tu habilidad para aplicar la lógica y la razón para la resolución de problemas.

Cómo funcionan las pruebas inductivas

Dentro de la prueba se te presentará una serie de diagramas los cuales se vincularán mediante una regla subyacente.

Esta regla afectará el diseño del diagrama y tu tarea será identificar el patrón.

Bonificación: puedes obtener acceso ilimitado y gratuito a la práctica de prueba (durante 30 minutos) en nuestro sitio web asociado JobTestPrep: Clic aquí .

Por lo general, se espera que los candidatos seleccionen entre 4 y 6 posibles respuestas completas bajo condiciones de tiempo.

Las pruebas de razonamiento inductivo a menudo complementan otras pruebas como las de razonamiento verbal o numérico.

A veces las empresas requieren que complete una prueba de juicio situacional o un cuestionario de personalidad junto con la evaluación de razonamiento inductivo.

Los resultados de cada prueba se revisarán individualmente y luego colectivamente para determinar si tú serías una buena opción para la empresa.

¿Por qué los empleadores utilizan estas pruebas?

Algunas veces se las denomina prueba de razonamiento abstracto, las evaluaciones de razonamiento inductivo están diseñadas para evaluar tus habilidades en la resolución de problemas y el razonamiento lógico.

Cuando completes la prueba, los reclutadores buscarán tu capacidad para trabajar de manera efectiva con información desconocida para alcanzar una solución viable.

Las pruebas se utilizan a menudo para evaluar tu capacidad de pensar creativamente, aplicar habilidades analíticas y diseñar soluciones innovadoras, mientras que a menudo son un indicador de tu nivel general de inteligencia.

Como tal, es esencial que realices el trabajo preparatorio necesario antes de la prueba real para asegurarte de poder completarla exitosamente y crear una buena impresión.

La prueba de razonamiento inductivo es frecuentemente usada por empleadores corporativos; es común esperar que se complete al menos una prueba psicométrica como parte del proceso de reclutamiento.

Los empleadores utilizarán estas pruebas para ver la eficacia con la que trabajas bajo presión y tu enfoque de la evaluación.

Las pruebas de razonamiento inductivo son usadas predominantemente en los roles técnicos o aquellos que requieren una resolución frecuente de problemas y los empleadores las utilizan para evaluar cómo identificas patrones, con qué eficacia puedes identificar reglas y consistencias de datos y si puedes predecir la secuencia de objetos a medida que evolucionan.

En términos de evaluación psicométrica, el razonamiento inductivo, el razonamiento abstracto y el razonamiento esquemático son tres pruebas que a menudo se superponen con la evaluación. Los proveedores utilizan nombres diferentes para cada uno, lo que hace que las cosas sean un poco más confusas.

Estas pruebas ciertamente varían entre los empleadores y la etapa en el proceso de reclutamiento también será diferente.

Algunas empresas los utilizan como un ejercicio de selección previa a la entrevista para limitar un conjunto de candidatos, mientras que otras organizaciones pueden usarlos hacia el final del proceso de reclutamiento o como parte de los días de evaluación.

Contenido de la prueba de Razonamiento Inductivo

La mayoría de las pruebas de razonamiento inductivo presentan una serie de secuencia de palabras, ilustraciones o formas y te piden que decidas cuál es la siguiente.

Esto requiere prestar atención a los detalles, a la resolución de problemas y perseverancia para alcanzar la respuesta requerida, todo lo cual se evalúa en condiciones de tiempo, lo que agrega aún más presión.

La prueba en sí misma requerirá que compares varios elementos incluyendo colores y formas, o que los clasifiques basándote en cantidad o tamaño.

Como un ejemplo, se te proporcionará un juego de seis cuadros conteniendo una cantidad de formas y luego se te pedirá que elabores una secuencia lógica para cada cuadro.

Para obtener la respuesta correcta, deberías identificar un patrón tal como similitudes, diferencias o una combinación de ambos.

Estas tareas pueden parecer extremadamente complejas, por ello es importante realizar tantas prácticas de pruebas similares como sea posible antes de la prueba real y también tanta práctica como puedas antes de la entrevista o del día de evaluación.

Asegúrate de llegar a tiempo y haber dormido bien la noche anterior, de lo contrario, es posible que te falte la concentración y que parezca que no entiendes lo que te piden que hagas.

Una aproximación a las Pruebas de Razonamiento Inductivo

Cuando comienzas la prueba, lee la pregunta detenidamente y trata de observar solamente a un elemento de la forma a la vez.

Es muy fácil sentirse abrumado por el contenido de una evaluación de razonamiento inductivo, por lo que la mejor manera de abordarla es intentar y decidir el patrón, considerando específicamente el tamaño, la orientación y la ubicación de la forma interior.

Los patrones están diseñados para ser complicados en tomarte el tiempo y utilizar tu lógica para resolver el problema.

Si estás teniendo una particular dificultad en identificar un patrón, trata de observarlo desde el final en lugar del principio.

Esto puede resaltar de manera efectiva algo que quizás hayas omitido usando el método tradicional de revisar las formas.

Toma conciencia de la hora pero no mires el reloj, y no te asustes en la medida de lo posible; esto sólo hará las cosas más difíciles.

Las pruebas de razonamiento inductivo son creadas para ser completadas bajo presión, por lo que la práctica de completar las pruebas en condiciones de tiempo puede ayudar de manera significativa.

Practicar es una de las mejores maneras de prepararte mentalmente para cualquier prueba psicométrica y el razonamiento inductivo no es diferente a ello.

Nada te preparará mejor para la evaluación que realizar una cantidad de exámenes de práctica, muchos de las cuales puedes encontrar en línea gratuitamente.

Cuando te familiarizas con el formato de la prueba y te acostumbras a responder preguntas rápidamente y trabajar bajo presión, es mucho más probable que tengas éxito que si no realizas ningún trabajo de preparación o práctica anteriormente.

La Guía Completa de Pruebas Psicométricas (Edición 2024)

¿Qué son las pruebas psicométricas?

Las pruebas psicométricas (también conocidas como Pruebas de Aptitud ) son ahora una parte común de los procesos de selección y evanotluación, por lo tanto un requisito necesario para solicitar trabajo.

Si tú aún no has completado una, es muy probable que lo necesites en algún momento en el futuro. Con esto en mente, hemos preparado para ti la Guía actual para las pruebas psicométricas para explicar qué son, cómo se utilizan y cómo completarlas con éxito.

Antes de comenzar con el artículo a continuación, ten en cuenta que tenemos tres pruebas psicométricas de práctica disponibles para que las pruebes.

Pruebas de razonamiento verbal: Guía experta 2024 (con ejemplos de preguntas y respuestas de las pruebas)

Las pruebas de razonamiento verbal están diseñadas para examinar tu nivel de comprensión del pasaje de un texto.

Estas pruebas son un ejemplo de una prueba de habilidad (a veces conocida como pruebas de aptitud) y son utilizadas por los empleadores en combinación con pruebas de razonamiento numérico y pruebas de razonamiento lógico .

Las pruebas de razonamiento verbal tienen como objetivo identificar tu capacidad máxima de comprensión, o en otras palabras, el párrafo de un texto más desafiante que tú podrás entender.

Numerische Tests: Erreiche den 99%-Bereich (2024 Artikel-Update)

Numerische Tests können knifflig sein. Übung und die richtige Vorbereitung sind der Schlüssel zum Erfolg.

Aber das ist leichter gesagt als getan…

Wenn Du zum ersten Mal über diese Tests nachliest oder wenn Du nach Wegen suchst um deine Fähigkeiten zu verbessern, besser abzuschneiden und mehr Interviews und Jobangebote zu bekommen, ist dieser Artikel ideal für Dich.

Hier erfährst Du von Strategien die Du sofort praktisch einsetzen kannst.

Falls du einen Übungstest machen möchtest kannst du hier jederzeit einen der kostenlosen numerischen Tests ausprobieren. Dieser Test beinhaltet zehn Fragen (mit Antworten und ausführlichen Erklärungen).

Wie kann man sein Ergebnis so schnell und effektiv wie möglich verbessern , selbst bis in der 99% Bereich ?

Lies den Artikel am besten langsam durch, folge unseren Tipps und unseren Empfehlungen – so hast du die größten Erfolgschancen. Wenn du damit fertig bist kannst du einen unserer Übungstests kostenlos ausprobieren.

Bonus: Kostenloser uneingeschränkter Zugang zum Eignungs-Übungstest (für 30 Minuten) auf unserer Partner-Webseite JobTestPrep.

A Guide to the Microsoft Excel Test 2024: Preparation, Practice & Example Test Questions

Microsoft is one of the world's most commonly used computer software.

If you're working in an office, you are almost certain to use applications such as Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook or PowerPoint.

Therefore, it makes perfect sense that employers want to know that you are proficient in these applications as part of their hiring process.

If your job requires data analysis or compiling data streams, you will likely need to be adept at using Microsoft Excel.

In these circumstances, you may be asked to participate in an Excel assessment test so a hiring manager can confirm that you know how to make the most out of the program.

With this in mind, we will look at what you could expect from a Microsoft Excel test.

Then, we'll take you through a series of Microsoft Excel practice test questions, and we'll give you everything you need to know so you can prepare for the Excel assessment.

A Guide to the Cubiks Test: Tips & Example Questions

What Is a Cubiks Test?

The Cubiks tests were developed by the Cubiks assessment consultancy, which was founded in 2000.

In 2019, Cubiks was acquired by PSI Talent Management UK, an award-winning provider of psychometric assessments.

In 2022, PSI Services became Talogy.

Cubiks tests are available in more than 50 countries around the world. Many highly-regarded employers in the UK use Cubiks tests, including:

  • The UK Civil Service
  • National Audit Office
  • National Health Service

Cubiks tests are designed to help employers and organisations with recruitment, employee development and talent management. They are well known for their intuitive interface and easy-to-interpret structure.

When applying for job roles, you may be asked to complete one or more types of Cubiks test as part of the screening and selection process.

If you are already working, your employer might ask you to sit a Cubiks test assessment as part of the career development programme or talent management process.

This article offers an overview of what to expect from the Cubiks test. It also includes some Cubiks online test example questions and tips on how to succeed when taking the Cubiks test.

Korn Ferry Assessment: Guide & Tips

The Korn Ferry assessment is a tool used in the recruiting process for leadership positions.

The tests assess candidates across a range of skills, including:

  • Logic reasoning ability
  • Numerical reasoning ability
  • Verbal reasoning ability
  • Personality traits

As a result, the Korn Ferry assessment allows businesses to secure the best talent and identify individuals to be promoted to management positions.

The Korn Ferry assessment is an evaluation tool used by companies across the globe to ensure they employ the best talent.

The assessment comprises a series of smaller tests focusing on:

  • Reading comprehension
  • Personality
  • Leadership assessments

As well as a tool utilized during the interview process, the Korn Ferry assessments are often used when looking to promote team members into management positions.

This article will discuss the Korn Ferry assessment, explaining exactly what it involves and giving tips to enable the best chance of success.

Swift Executive Aptitude Test

If you are applying for an executive-level or management role, you might be expected to take an aptitude test as part of the recruitment process.

The Swift Executive Aptitude Test is a short assessment designed to measure specific aptitudes that are necessary for success in a leadership position.

In this article, you will discover more about the test, the structure of the assessment, and example questions.

You will also learn what you will need to bear in mind to be successful in the test, including tips about preparation and a breakdown of what to expect from the scoring.

Numerical Reasoning Practice Test

This numerical reasoning practice test has 10 questions.

The test has a mixture of numerical questions that vary in difficulty. 

Answers and full explanations are provided after you have completed a question.  You should aim to complete the test within 10 minutes.

Make sure you read and fully understand each question before answering. Work quickly, but don't rush. You cannot afford to make mistakes on a real test.

Verbal Reasoning Practice Test

What is a Verbal Reasoning Test?

A Verbal Reasoning Test is a type of cognitive assessment designed to evaluate an individual's ability to comprehend and analyze written information, make logical deductions and draw conclusions based on the presented text.

These tests are often used in various educational and employment settings to assess a person's verbal reasoning skills, which are essential for tasks that involve understanding and interpreting written or spoken language.

Inductive Reasoning Practice Test

This inductive reasoning practice test has nine questions (and includes answers and full explanations).

Abstract Reasoning Practice Test

This abstract reasoning practice test has 10 questions (and answers with full explanations).

For each question, choose which of the figures in the bottom line – A, B, C, D or E – completes the series in the top line.

The level of difficulty varies significantly, from easy to extremely hard. Items having the solution based on one rule are easy, while those with the solution based on four rules are extremely hard; the others are in between - medium and hard, respectively.

Your goal is to understand the logic of each question (the rules behind it). Do not despair if you can’t find the solution immediately, especially for the very hard questions!

Cognitive Ability  Test

What is a Cognitive Test?

A cognitive test is an assessment tool designed to measure an individual's cognitive abilities, which are the mental processes involved in acquiring, processing, storing and using information.

Cognitive assessments are used to evaluate various aspects of cognitive functioning, including memory, attention, problem-solving, reasoning, language comprehension, and more.

Cognitive function tests are commonly employed in several contexts, including education, clinical psychology, neuropsychology and employment assessment.

This cognitive ability practice test has been designed to help you prepare for the real thing.  

Deductive Reasoning Practice: Test & Guide 2024

What Is a Deductive Reasoning Test?

A deductive reasoning test is a type of cognitive assessment that measures a person's ability to draw logical conclusions based on given information or premises.

Deductive reasoning is a form of logical thinking that involves moving from general statements or principles to specific conclusions. In other words, it is the process of applying a general rule or premise to a specific situation to determine a particular outcome.

In a deductive reasoning test, you are typically presented with a set of premises or statements that establish certain conditions or facts. You are then asked to use these premises to determine a valid conclusion.

The conclusions you reach must follow logically from the given premises, and the test assesses your ability to make accurate deductions based on the provided information.

Deductive reasoning tests are often used in educational settings, as part of standardized testing, and in various employment assessments.

They are designed to evaluate an individual's problem-solving skills, critical thinking ability, and their capacity to analyze information and reach logical conclusions.

These tests can take various formats, including multiple-choice questions, true or false questions or scenario-based questions where you need to determine the correct outcome based on the information provided.

Success in deductive reasoning tests often requires a strong understanding of logical principles and the ability to apply them effectively to specific situations.

Logical Reasoning Practice Test

What is Logical Reasoning?

Logical reasoning, often referred to as logical thinking or critical thinking, is a cognitive process that involves the ability to analyze information, identify patterns, make sound judgments and draw valid conclusions.

It is a fundamental skill that plays a crucial role in problem-solving, decision-making and rational thinking.

Logical reasoning involves breaking down complex information or situations into smaller, more manageable parts. It requires examining details and understanding the relationships between various elements.

What are the Types of Logical Reasoning Tests?

Logical reasoning tests come in various forms and are used by employers, educational institutions, and standardized testing organizations to assess an individual's ability to think critically and solve problems.

Here are some common types of logical reasoning tests:

Reading Comprehension: These tests assess your ability to understand and analyze written information, make inferences, and draw conclusions from passages of text.

Critical Thinking Tests: These tests evaluate your ability to analyze and evaluate arguments, identify assumptions, and assess the validity of statements or claims.

Analogical Reasoning Tests: Analogical reasoning involves recognizing relationships between words or concepts and applying these relationships to solve problems. For example, you might be asked to complete an analogy like "A is to B as C is to what?"

Numerical Computation: These tests assess your basic arithmetic skills, including addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Numerical Sequences: These tests require you to identify patterns and relationships within number sequences and use them to predict the next number.

Data Interpretation: In these tests, you are presented with data in the form of tables, graphs, or charts, and you must interpret the information to answer questions.

  • Abstract Reasoning Tests

Non-Verbal Reasoning: Abstract reasoning tests evaluate your ability to recognize patterns, shapes, and relationships among visual elements. They often involve series of diagrams or figures, and you must identify the logical rules governing them.

Inductive Reasoning: Inductive reasoning tests present you with a series of visual or abstract patterns and require you to identify the underlying rules and predict the next pattern in the sequence.

  • Spatial Reasoning Tests

Spatial Awareness: These tests measure your ability to visualize and manipulate objects in three-dimensional space. You may be asked to complete puzzles, identify rotated or mirrored images, or solve spatial problems. Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests:

Diagram Interpretation: Diagrammatic reasoning tests use diagrams or symbols to present problems. You must analyze the diagrams to draw conclusions or identify patterns.

Syllogism and Logic Tests

Syllogisms: Syllogism tests present logical statements and ask you to determine whether a conclusion is valid based on the given premises.

Symbolic Logic: These tests involve working with formal logic symbols to evaluate logical arguments.

Inference and Deduction Tests

Inference Tests: Inference tests assess your ability to make logical deductions and draw conclusions based on a set of statements or information.

Deductive Reasoning: Deductive reasoning tests require you to apply deductive logic principles to solve problems and make decisions.

  • Mechanical Reasoning Tests

Mechanical Understanding: These tests evaluate your knowledge of mechanical and physical concepts, such as gears, pulleys, levers, and basic physics principles.

  • Cognitive Ability Tests

Cognitive Ability Tests: These assessments often include a combination of various reasoning types and are designed to measure overall cognitive abilities.

What are the Common Logic Tests Employers Use?

Employers often use a variety of logic tests to assess the cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills of job applicants. The specific logic tests used can vary depending on the nature of the job and the industry.

Here are some common logic tests that employers may use during the hiring process:

  • Logical Deduction and Syllogism Tests
  • Data Interpretation Tests
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

This is a 10 question practice logical reasoning test . 

After you have given an answer to a question, the correct answer (and a full explanation of that answer) will be given.

What are the Topics Covered by a Logical Reasoning Test?

Syllogism, statements and assumptions, logical deduction, cause and effect, statements and conclusions, logical problems.

Mechanical Reasoning Practice Test

Set of 10 questions, along with correct answers and explanations for each.

Topics Covered:

General concepts, levers, springs, pulleys, area and volume, gears, inclined plane, basic electrical circuitry.

Difficulty Level:

Take a free practice mechanical reasoning test.

Situational Judgement Practice Test

Situational awareness, evaluation of alternatives.

Take a Free Practice Situational Judgement Test

Spatial Reasoning Practice Test

Block counting, 3D rotation, 2D rotation, reflection, broken shapes, transforming 2D to 3D, isometric view, difference in 2D versus 3D viewing.

Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Practice Test 2024

What Is the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test?

The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Test, often referred to as the Watson-Glaser test, is a widely used assessment tool designed to evaluate an individual's critical thinking skills.

It is commonly administered as part of the hiring process for various professional and managerial positions, particularly in fields where critical thinking and problem-solving abilities are highly valued, such as law, finance and management.

Practice Diagrammatic Reasoning Test

This is a nine question diagrammatic reasoning practice test.

We recommend a time limit of nine minutes for this test. 

After you have given your answer to a question, you will be shown the correct answer and given a full explanation.

Practice Critical Thinking Test

What is the Critical Thinking Test?

The Critical Thinking Test is a comprehensive evaluation designed to assess individuals' cognitive capacities and analytical prowess.

This formal examination, often referred to as the critical thinking assessment, is a benchmark for those aiming to demonstrate their proficiency in discernment and problem-solving.

In addition, this evaluative tool meticulously gauges a range of skills, including logical reasoning, analytical thinking, and the ability to evaluate and synthesize information.

This article will embark on an exploration of the Critical Thinking Test, elucidating its intricacies and elucidating its paramount importance. We will dissect the essential skills it measures and clarify its significance in gauging one's intellectual aptitude.

We will examine examples of critical thinking questions, illuminating the challenging scenarios that candidates encounter prompting them to navigate the complexities of thought with finesse.

Critical Thinking Practice Test

Before going ahead to take the critical thinking test, let's delve into the realm of preparation. This segment serves as a crucible for honing the skills assessed in the actual examination, offering candidates a chance to refine their analytical blades before facing the real challenge. Here are some skills that will help you with the critical thinking assessment: Logical Reasoning: The practice test meticulously evaluates your ability to deduce conclusions from given information, assess the validity of arguments, and recognize patterns in logic. Analytical Thinking: Prepare to dissect complex scenarios, identify key components, and synthesize information to draw insightful conclusions—a fundamental aspect of the critical thinking assessment. Problem-Solving Proficiency: Navigate through intricate problems that mirror real-world challenges, honing your capacity to approach issues systematically and derive effective solutions. What to Expect: The Critical Thinking Practice Test is crafted to mirror the format and complexity of the actual examination. Expect a series of scenarios, each accompanied by a set of questions that demand thoughtful analysis and logical deduction. These scenarios span diverse fields, from business and science to everyday scenarios, ensuring a comprehensive evaluation of your critical thinking skills. Examples of Critical Thinking Questions Scenario: In a business context, analyze the potential impacts of a proposed strategy on both short-term profitability and long-term sustainability. Question: What factors would you consider in determining the viability of the proposed strategy, and how might it affect the company's overall success? Scenario: Evaluate conflicting scientific studies on a pressing environmental issue.

Question: Identify the key methodologies and data points in each study. How would you reconcile the disparities to form an informed, unbiased conclusion?

Why Practice Matters

Engaging in the Critical Thinking Practice Test familiarizes you with the test format and cultivates a mindset geared towards agile and astute reasoning. This preparatory phase allows you to refine your cognitive toolkit, ensuring you approach the assessment with confidence and finesse.

We'll navigate through specific examples as we proceed, offering insights into effective strategies for tackling critical thinking questions. Prepare to embark on a journey of intellectual sharpening, where each practice question refines your analytical prowess for the challenges ahead.

In-Tray Exercise

This is a three question practice in-tray exercise.

If you get a question wrong, make sure you find out why and learn how to answer this type of question in the future. 

Take a Free Practice In-Tray Exercise

A Full Guide to the PWC Assessment 2024

What Is the PwC Assessment Test?

When you apply for a coveted role at PwC, you will be asked to undertake a PwC assessment test as part of the recruitment process.

The PwC test are used to evaluate candidates on measurable skills, abilities, aptitudes and personality traits that are needed for success in the type (and level) of the role that you have applied for.

PwC is one of the Big Four accounting firms globally, and from their headquarters in London, England, they have offices in 157 countries, a presence in 742 locations, and they currently employ nearly 300,000 staff.

With roles available in various departments, from consulting to legal, operations to audit, and tax to technology, competition for advertised jobs is fierce, and the PwC assessments are recognised as being particularly challenging to help narrow down the candidate pool to those applicants who really have what it takes to be successful.

In fact, less than 50% of candidates will advance past the screening tests as the benchmark for a passing mark is very high.

A Guide to the AON Assessment Test: with Tips

'AON assessments' are the new name for the cut-e tests, and they are often used as pre-employment evaluations for different skills, aptitudes, competencies and personality traits for various roles across different industries.

The AON assessments are characterized by being very short online assessment tests, and in many cases, candidates will be required to take more than one as part of a recruitment process.

With so much content to cover in all the different types of tests, it can be difficult to know what to expect from the AON assessments, which is where this guide will help.

Below you will learn more about why AON assessments are used and which companies use them as part of their hiring process.

We will discuss some of the features that the assessments have in common, as well as the most popular tests that are used by recruiters.

There will be some example questions with answers to get you familiar with the type of content you will be facing in certain tests and some helpful information regarding the way the AON assessments are scored and how you can give yourself the best chance to demonstrate that you have what it takes to be successful.

What Is the AON Assessment Test?

AON is well-known as a global financial services firm, and they acquired the cut-e testing battery so that they can provide top-of-the-range candidate evaluation and personnel development tools based on a scientific framework and testing methodology.

Study Guide for the CogAT Grade 4 Test: with Practice Tips

The CogAT Grade 4 test is used to understand a student’s thinking and reasoning abilities. It is not a test of learned knowledge; rather, it is a diagnosis of how they learn.

The 4th Grade CogAT test measures reasoning ability in three key areas: verbal, non-verbal and quantitative.

The assessment is often used to identify students for gifted and talented education programs.

If your child has been selected to sit the CogAT test in 4th grade, it can be confusing to know what to do to help.

This article will help you to answer these questions:

  • What is the CogAT test ?
  • What skills is the test assessing?
  • What is the format of the test?
  • How can I help my child prepare?
  • What skills can we practice?
  • What is the scoring system?

A Guide to the IKM Assessment Test: Tips & Examples

When applying for a job application, you may find that, along with providing your CV and attending an interview, you will be required to complete an IKM assessment .

This assessment will serve as a supplement to your overall application. So, you must understand what it entails and how it contributes to your application.

This article will explain the specifics of the IKM assessment, why it is important and how you can prepare for it.

What Is IKM?

The International Knowledge Measurement Service (IKM) offers organizations various assessments for employees and candidates among various career disciplines.

Among other things, this assessment ensures that employees hold the necessary requirements to go through the organization’s recruitment process.

Employee candidates will take the IKM assessment online remotely (self-supervised) or with client-side supervision from the organization.

The IKM assessment uses adaptive testing, meaning the difficulty of questions is dynamically selected based on the employee candidate’s previous answers .

This ensures that the assessment questions are neither too difficult nor too easy, greatly reducing the testing time.

A Guide to the CAT4 Test Level D: Tips & Examples

The CAT4 Level D is a cognitive ability test used by a number of UK secondary schools. Typically taken by pupils in Year 7, the CAT4 Level D tests a child’s verbal, non-verbal, quantitative and spatial reasoning skills to give an accurate picture of their learning potential.

A Guide to the Delta Assessment Test with Tips

The Delta Assessment Test is a group of online tests that forms part of the Delta Airlines hiring process.

If you are applying for job roles with Delta, you may be asked to complete one or more of the Delta Assessment Tests.

Your test results will help the hiring manager to decide whether you are suitable for the job role you have applied for.

The tests you are asked to take will vary according to the job role.

A Guide to the Deloitte Immersive Online Assessment: Examples & Tips

The Deloitte immersive online assessment is a psychometric aptitude-style test. It is used to identify a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Questions vary but are likely to include situational judgment style questions that link to the roles at Deloitte.

Candidates are also tested on their numerical reasoning and presented with personality questions.

A Guide to the Crossover Cognitive Aptitude Test: Tips & Examples

Competition is tough for jobs on the Crossover recruitment platform.

There are thousands of applicants for each role, and only the top 1% are offered a contract .

After a successful initial application, the first step is taking the Crossover Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT).

To help you prepare, this article covers the following:

  • How Crossover works
  • The recruitment process
  • What to expect in the CCAT
  • The scoring system
  • Tips to help you prepare

A Guide to the FBI Phase 1 Test: Examples & Tips

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is the domestic intelligence and security service of the USA.

The agency investigates serious offenses such as terrorism, public corruption, cyber-attacks, and violent and organized crime.

The FBI's mission is to protect the American people and uphold the American Constitution.

The FBI has over 37,000 employees across hundreds of locations in the US.

To work for the FBI, you must fulfill specific criteria which include:

  • Be a US citizen
  • Be able to obtain an FBI Top Secret clearance
  • Pass the FBI polygraph examination
  • Pass the FBI Phase 1 test
  • Adhere to the FBI drug policy

Roles available at the FBI include computer scientists, nurses, engineers, technicians, contract specialists, and of course, police officers.

It is important to note that the recruitment process can take over one year, so you must be willing to wait several months for the chance of your dream role.

In this FBI Phase 1 test prep guide, we will delve into the role of FBI special agents – upholders of the law that seek out cybercrime and infiltrate organized attacks such as terrorism.

When applying to be a special agent, you are required to take the FBI Phase 1 test .

What Is the FBI Phase 1 Test?

The FBI Phase 1 test is an assessment that evaluates your personality and suitability for a role as a Special Agent at the FBI.

The test is conducted online and is split into five parts.

As the second stage of the process, the FBI Phase 1 test is done after the successful completion of a written application.

The test is designed to assess several skills and qualities that are required for a role as an FBI special agent.

These include critical thinking, logical reasoning and personality. The test will also assess your background experiences.

Your answers are then compared to the benchmark of what is suitable for an FBI agent.

The five sections of the FBI Phase 1 test are:

  • Logical reasoning
  • Figural reasoning
  • Personality Test
  • Preferences and interests
  • Situational responses

The assessment takes three hours to complete.

When applying for roles at the FBI, long waiting times are typical. The full special agent recruitment process can take over 20 months to complete.

If this is your dream job, it is certainly worth the wait as it is one of the most attractive career paths within any government agency.

To reflect this, the recruitment process is challenging and designed to reduce the number of candidates who could move on to the next stage.

This ensures that only the very best move through the application phases. In fact, only 30% of candidates can pass the FBI Phase 1 test.

You may have taken a personality test before, but the FBI Phase 1 test questions are framed and marked in a different way to other assessments.

Therefore, you should ensure you use FBI Phase 1 test practice questions and prepare in advance of the test.

It can be hard to plan for, but this is essential to get into the top 30% of successful candidates.

If you pass the FBI Phase 1 test, you will undergo background checks and receive an invitation to a regional meet-and-greet interview.

A Guide to the CogAT Test Grade 3: Examples & Tips

The main purpose of the CogAT Test grade 3 is to find out if a third grader is showing signs of being very smart.

Most of the questions on the test are about verbal, numerical and non-verbal reasoning. It's meant to show how a child might compare to other kids his or her own age. The CogAT grade 3 test can also be used to make individualized learning plans for kids.

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) is a standardized test used to measure children's cognitive abilities in the 3rd grade – age 9.

This test assesses a range of cognitive abilities, including verbal, quantitative and nonverbal reasoning. The CogAT is often used to identify gifted children and help educators develop appropriate educational plans.

This article will give insights and tips into how your child could pass the CogAT Test for 3rd grade students.

A Study Guide for the 2nd Grade MAP Test: with Tips

The MAP Test 2nd grade is a computerized test taken by children in the 2nd grade. It is designed to evaluate what the children already know and what they are ready to learn.

The test includes three sections:

Schools may not administer all three sections and may instead focus on one or two sections to measure pupils’ progress in those subjects.

Study Guide for the NEO Personality Inventory Test: with Tips

The NEO Personality Inventory is a psychometric tool used to evaluate personality traits.

It is acknowledged globally and is used by recruiters and employers before hiring and, more broadly, to evaluate career potential.

The NEO Personality Inventory test is heavily associated with the 'Five-Factor Model' (which you may also know as the 'Big Five Personality Test') to identify personality traits.

It is widely believed that each person's personality can be broken down into five main categories. The NEO PI personality test looks at each of these five categories separately to create an understanding of who you are.

In this article, we'll look at the NEO PI test, why employers use it, and what you could expect if invited to participate in a NEO Personality Inventory test.

A Guide to the Air Traffic Controller Test: Examples & Tips

The Air Traffic Controller (ATC) Test, also known as the Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) is an exam used as part of the air traffic controller hiring process. It is a challenging assessment consisting of seven subtests designed to evaluate an applicant's aptitude for the role.

Becoming an air traffic controller is a challenging and rewarding career that requires extensive training. The Air Traffic Controller Test (previously known as the Air Traffic Selection and Training (AT-SAT) exam) is an important part of the selection process. 

The Air Traffic Skills Assessment (ATSA) measures a candidate's ability to handle the demands of the job. 

In this article, you’ll find example questions, a guide and tips for preparing for the ATSA exam.

This article relates specifically to the ATC test used in the US. Candidates in other countries may be expected to take a different version of the test. 

A Guide to the Clifton Strengths Test: Examples & Tips

What is the CliftonStrengths test? This online assessment analyzes your personality and strengths for personal and professional development. You can purchase the basic test from Gallup for $19.99 and get a basic understanding of your top five personality themes. Or take the comprehensive version for $59.99 and receive a report that ranks all 34 themes and highlights your areas of excellence as well as your blind spots.

When applying for a job, you may find that the recruitment process consists of many different steps. There is the initial application form to start and usually an interview to finish. In the middle, there may be an assessment – an aptitude, intelligence or personality test.

The CliftonStrengths test is one assessment used by employers during the onboarding process. It was previously known as the CliftonStrengthsFinder.

In this guide, you will learn about the CliftonStrengths personality test and how it is used in recruitment.

A Guide to the Police Psychological Exam: Examples & Tips

The police psychological exam is a crucial part of the hiring process for law enforcement agencies. It is a personality test that confirms how suitable an applicant is for working in the police. The police psych test is used by most law enforcement agencies across the United States, although key details may differ from state to state.

What Is the Police Psychological Exam?

The police psychological exam is a series of tests and assessments administered to individuals who are seeking to become police officers.

The purpose of the exam is to evaluate a candidate's psychological fitness for the job and identify any potential psychological issues that may interfere with the candidate's ability to perform police work.

A Full Guide to the Capital One Assessments & Interview

In this comprehensive guide , you’ll discover everything you need to know about the Capital One assessment and interview process.

These are designed to help the company select the best candidates for its team. To increase your chance of getting hired, it's important to be prepared.

Find out what to expect, how to prepare and the skills and qualities Capital One hiring managers are looking for in a candidate.

What Is the Capital One Assessment Test?

Capital One is an established financial services company with a focus on technology and innovation.

To become an employee, or ‘associate’, at Capital One you'll need to pass a series of online assessments and interviews .

The Capital One hiring process is as follows:

A Full Guide to the CogAT Test 2nd Grade: Examples & Tips

CogAT stands for Cognitive Abilities Test. These tests are normally administered by a classroom teacher or instructor, although some schools employ a specialist or test proctor to administer the test.

Many parents are interested in learning more about helping their children to succeed academically.

Achieving a high CogAT score could mean your child is eligible to join gifted or talented programs designed to enhance their development and learning.

In other schools, it is used as a tool to identify a pupil’s individual strengths or predict their future academic performance.

The CogAT test for 2nd grade is a cognitive ability test aimed at children around the age of eight years old.

It is often used as a pre-admission exam by gifted and talented schools and programs. It is designed to evaluate pupils’ cognitive abilities, including basic linguistic and math skills.

The test is made up of three sections or batteries:

  • Non-verbal battery
  • Verbal battery
  • Quantitative battery

On the CogAT test 2nd grade, candidates are required to read the test questions instead of listening to the questions being read by the test proctor.

If you are looking for ideas on how to prepare your child for the CogAT test 2nd grade, read on to learn more.

What Is CogAT Test 2nd Grade?

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) was developed by Riverside Publishing, which is part of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

It is designed to assess problem-solving and reasoning skills in the following areas:

  • Quantitative

Research has shown that high levels of ability in these three areas is linked to academic success.

If your child is considered potentially talented or gifted, they may be asked to sit a CogAT as part of the program entrance process.

Different CogAT tests are available for different age groups, from Kindergarten (K) up to grade 12.

In this article, you can find more information on the CogAT test 2nd grade. The CogAT test is used by schools across the US to help them identify exceptionally gifted pupils.

Each of the test levels corresponds to the age of the pupil sitting the test. For example, if your child is in grade 6 (aged 12), they will be sitting the Level 12 version of the test. Occasionally, schools may choose to administer a higher level CogAT to talented or gifted pupils; however, this is unusual.

Second grade pupils being considered for gifted programs will usually sit the CogAT Level 8 test. This test is made up of 154 questions and takes 122 minutes to complete.

A Guide to the CogAT Test 6th Grade: with Examples & Tips

Many schools use the CogAT Test 6th Grade to assess the non-verbal, verbal and quantitative abilities of sixth-grade students.

The Level 12 CogAT test is a useful tool for checking a student’s individual academic strengths and weaknesses. It can also be used as a screening assessment for entry into the gifted and talented program.

What Is the CogAT Test 6th Grade?

'CogAT' is an acronym for Cognitive Aptitude Test .

CogAT tests are usually administered at school by a teacher or instructor, although some schools employ test proctors and specialists to administer the tests.

This guide is designed to support you and your child through the CogAT Test 6th Grade. You can use it to find out what to expect from the test and tips on how to prepare for it.

We have also included information on the purpose of the test and how to interpret your child’s results.

A Study Guide for the Procter and Gamble Assessment Test: with Tips

The Procter and Gamble Assessment Test describes a series of pre-employment screening tests used by Procter and Gamble (P&G).

If you have applied for a job at P&G, you will be expected to sit these tests as part of the hiring process.

Each of the different tests is designed to assess a specific aptitude that is required for a job role at P&G.

In this article, you can learn more about the different tests used by Procter and Gamble. We have also provided tips on how to prepare for the assessments.

A Study Guide for the Renaissance Star Test: with Tips

This guide includes useful tips and Renaissance Star testing sample questions to help students prepare for the test and feel confident on test day.

You can find detailed information on interpreting and understanding your Renaissance Star Test scores in our dedicated article .

A Map Test Grade 6 Study Guide: with Tips

What Is the 6th Grade MAP Test?

The MAP Growth test system was created by educators from Oregon and Washington who established the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) back in 1973.

Their goal was to create an assessment that could accurately measure and track academic progress in children to ensure they graduated high school with all the essential skills and knowledge they required.

In 2000, the first MAP Growth Test was published.

The test is administered in all grades and is based on a set of learning principles known as the Common Core Principles .

CCAT Test Grade 3 Study Guide: with Tips

The CCAT test grade 3 is a standardized assessment administered to grade 3 students in Canada.

It measures verbal, quantitative and non-verbal reasoning skills and is used to identify a student's learning potential, typically for admission to gifted educational programs.

The CCAT test grade 3 is an assessment commonly used by schools in Canada.

If you’re the parent or guardian of a child preparing for the test, this CCAT grade 3 guide will tell you everything you need to know.

What Is the CCAT Test Grade 3?

The CCAT test (Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test) is a standardized assessment administered to students in grade levels K-12 in the Canadian educational system.

Rather than a measure of academic achievement, the test assesses a child's ability to learn, reason, and problem-solve.

How to Pass the ISEE Test in 2024

The Independent School Entrance Examination (ISEE) test is used by many independent and magnet schools in the US and overseas as an admission test for children across the entire school age range, but more commonly from year five upwards.

It assesses a child’s academic levels of reasoning across math and literacy in comparison to children of the same age, the norm for that school grade and other applicants to the school.

Created and administered by the Educational Records Bureau (ERB), the ISEE test is available to be taken online or in a pen and paper format.

What Are the ISEE Levels?

There are four levels of the ISEE test.

  • ISEE primary for entry into years two to four
  • ISEE lower level for entry into years five to six
  • ISEE middle level for entry into years seven to eight
  • ISEE upper level for entry into years nine to 12

Each level of the ISEE test is created to be relevant to a specific school age group, increasing in complexity with each year and level.

A Guide to the PI Cognitive Assessment: and Tips

An employer’s recruitment process can include a wide range of assessments and interviews for the candidate to take that indicate to the employer how an individual might fare in the job.

One common way to measure job performance though is by getting candidates to take the PI Cognitive Assessment, which measures mental ability and critical thinking skills.

This article will look in detail at the assessment, its format, who uses it, example questions and PI Cognitive Assessment tips on how to be successful when taking it.

A Guide to Raven's Progressive Matrices Test: Tips & Examples

The Raven’s Progressive Matrices is a test that is often used as part of the recruitment process for high-level management and analytical roles.

In this article, you will learn more about the test, its history and background, as well as the different types of tests that are available and what you can expect if you are going to be taking the test.

You will also find some example questions that you can expect to see in each type of test and get helpful pointers that you can use to prepare and do well in the assessment.

A Study Guide for the USPS 477 Exam: With Practice Tips

If you are applying for a role with the United States Postal Service (USPS) , you will usually be asked to complete at least one of four 477 Virtual Entry Assessments as part of the recruitment process.

These exams are used to evaluate various skills, aptitudes, personality traits and work preferences, which can show whether you have what it takes to be successful in the role in the future.

The USPS 477 Exam is sometimes referred to as the CS VEA, which relates to customer service.

iReady Diagnostic Scores – 2024 Guide

An iReady level score of 3.00 or over means the student is working at or above the level required to meet the standard for their grade.

The level score is calculated in line with expectations when the test was administered, not in comparison to the expected score by the end of the school year.

What Are the iReady Diagnostic Scores?

The iReady diagnostic test is administered to US school children in grades K to eight.

The purpose of this school assessment test is to help parents and teachers check a student’s academic process at the beginning, middle and end of each school year.

It is a computer-adaptive test, which means the questions are adjusted to become more difficult if a series of correct answers is given.

As a result, the test is designed to challenge the skill level of the student sitting the test, as well as assess their strengths and opportunities for growth.

If a student answers a few questions in a row incorrectly, the questions that follow will be easier.

Many people find i-Ready Diagnostic scores difficult to interpret.

As a child progresses through each academic year and moves up the year groups, their expected score will change.

The average score increases year on year, too.

In this article, you can learn more about the different types of iReady diagnostic scores, how these scores are displayed, and how to interpret them to better understand a student’s iReady test performance.

HESI Exam Score Range and Passing Scores – Ultimate Guide For Nursing Students

There are two types of HESI Exam:

  • The Admissions (A2) test
  • The Exit exam

The minimum passing score for the Admissions test is usually between 75 and 80 for each section, although this varies between schools.

The composite score range for the Admissions (A2) test is 750 to 900, with 900 being the maximum possible score.

The HESI Exit Exam score ranges between 0 to 1,500. 850 is considered to be an acceptable score, although HESI recommends a minimum score of 900.

If you want to sit your NCLEX licensing exam, you will need to achieve a score of at least 850 on the HESI Exit Exam.

HESI is an acronym for Health Education Systems Incorporated .

As a company, HESI administers exams and provides study material to help prepare students for the NCLEX professional licensure exam.

If you want to work as a nurse in the US, many nursing and healthcare programs use HESI tests to screen prospective students and determine suitability and readiness for specific study routes.

In this article, you can learn more about the HESI score ranges and passing scores required for each of these tests and what impact your HESI results may have on acceptance into your preferred nursing program.

Understanding the Accuplacer Test Score

Administered at college and university level, the Accuplacer test is used by some educational institutions to determine how prepared a student is for the next steps in their academic career.

This guide looks specifically at Accuplacer test scores – how they are awarded and what they mean – so you can better understand how your Accuplacer score might impact your learning experience.

Accuplacer test scores are a set of metrics that evaluate a student's knowledge and skills in specific subject areas including reading, writing and math.

CogAT Kindergarten Test – A Comprehensive 2024 Study Guide

The CogAT Kindergarten Test is an assessment designed to measure a child's abilities in various cognitive areas.

It plays a critical role in identifying a child's strengths and weaknesses and determining their readiness for advanced academic programs.

In this comprehensive study guide for 2024, you will explore the purpose, format, and structure of the CogAT Kindergarten Test.

Additionally, you will get valuable insights on how to prepare your child for the test, sample questions to familiarize yourself with the test content, strategies for success and answers to frequently asked questions.

Understanding the CogAT Kindergarten Test: Purpose, Format, and Structure

The purpose of the CogAT Kindergarten Test is to assess a child's cognitive abilities in areas such as verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal reasoning.

By evaluating these different components, the test provides educators and parents with valuable information about a child's potential and can help guide educational decisions.

Everything You Need to Know About the 2024 ATI TEAS Test

The ATI TEAS Test , also known as the Test of Essential Academic Skills, is an important exam for students looking to pursue a career in the healthcare field. The most recent version is the ATI TEAS 7.

This comprehensive exam assesses a student's knowledge in various areas, including reading, math, science and English language usage.

If you're planning to take the ATI TEAS Test in 2024, it's essential to understand what the exam entails and how to best prepare for it.

In this article, we'll cover everything you need to know about the 2024 ATI TEAS Test.

ATI TEAS 7 Math Test – Ultimate Guide Plus Practice Questions for 2024

The ATI TEAS 7 Math Test is a crucial component of the ATI TEAS exam, which is widely used by nursing and allied health schools to assess prospective students' academic readiness for their programs.

In this comprehensive guide, you will delve into various aspects of the TEAS Maths 7 Test, including what it entails, when it is taken, ATI TEAS math practice test questions to help you prepare, and tips for success.

So, let's dive right in!

1st Grade CogAT Test – Practice Questions, Study Guide and Tips for 2024

The 1st Grade CogAT test is an important assessment that measures a child's cognitive abilities. It is designed to identify a child's strengths and weaknesses in areas such as verbal, quantitative, and non-verbal reasoning.

This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide on understanding and preparing for the 1st Grade CogAT Test.

Practice Free CogAT Kindergarten Test Sample Questions

The CogAT (Cognitive Abilities Test) for Kindergarten is an assessment designed to evaluate the cognitive development and problem-solving abilities of young children.

Typically, this version of the test is tailored to children around five to six years old who are attending kindergarten.

The test is typically used for educational placement, identifying gifted and talented students, and understanding a child's cognitive strengths and weaknesses. It can be administered individually or in groups, and is often used by schools to tailor instruction to better meet the educational needs of their students.

Understanding the results of the CogAT can help educators and parents support the child's learning and development more effectively, by identifying areas where the child excels or may need additional focus.

In this article, you’ll find practice CoGAT Kindergarten practice test questions and tips to help your child prepare for the big day.

Practice Free CogAT Grade 5 Test Sample Questions

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) 5th Grade Level is a crucial assessment tool for students between 10 and 11 years old.

Designed to measure verbal, nonverbal, and quantitative abilities, this standardized test plays a pivotal role in identifying students for gifted programs.

In this article, you’ll learn what the CogAT 5th grade test is, which subjects are tested, along with example questions and how best to prepare.

A Full Guide to the CogAT Test 5th Grade: Examples & Tips

What Is the CogAT 5 Grade Test?

The Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) is a widely used standardized test designed to assess your child’s cognitive abilities in various areas.

The CogAT 5th Grade Level is specifically tailored for students in the 5th grade and measures their abilities in three main cognitive areas:

  • Quantitative Reasoning
  • Non-Verbal Reasoning

Map Test Grade 7: Full Guide

The MAP Test Grade 7 tests students’ proficiency in mathematics, reading and language usage.

Developed by the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), it measures individual growth over time, adapting question difficulty based on responses.

This online test lasts around two to three hours, and the results are used to inform teaching or gauge students' ability levels.

Scoring is based on the RIT (Rasch Unit) scale, indicating a student's instructional level and growth potential in each subject area.

MAP Grade 7 Sample Question

Practice a Free STAAR Test and Prepare for the Exam

The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) test is a standardized assessment issued to public school students in Texas in grades 3 to 12.

Below you’ll find a range of STAAR test practice questions to help you prepare – whether you’re a parent coaching a child through their exam prep or a high school student revising for a test of your own.

For more info on the STAAR Test, read our dedicated article.

Renaissance Star Early Literacy Test – Ultimate Study Guide For 2024

The STAR Early Literacy Test is an assessment tool used to measure children’s early literacy skills. It forms part of the wider Renaissance STAR (Standardized Test for the Assessment of Reading) assessment system by Renaissance Learning.

The STAR Early Literacy Assessment is mostly used to test students from pre-kindergarten to grade 3.

The test is designed to assess the following areas of early literacy:

  • Phonemic awareness
  • General vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Reading ability
  • Early numeracy skills

STAR Early Literacy is a computer-adaptive test. This means that the difficulty of the questions adjusts according to a student’s responses.

The adaptive element of the test allows for more precise results and a better insight into a student’s overall literacy skills.

Word games are a great way to help your child prepare for the STAR Early Literacy Test.

You should also encourage your child to read daily.

You may wish to build this into their routine at certain times of the day. For example, reading before going to bed is often a good way to unwind.

If you are looking for other ways to help your child prepare, you can help them practice their time management skills, talk to them about maintaining a positive attitude towards the test and ensure they are getting sufficient rest.

7 Best Resume Writing Services: Professional & Convenient

The 7 best rated resume writing services:

  • TopResume – Best for personalized expertise
  • TopStack Resume – Best for navigating careers
  • ResumeCompanion – Best for affordable excellence
  • Resumeble – Best for ATS-optimized resumes
  • ResumeSpice – Best for executive service
  • Craft Resumes – Best for a quick turnaround
  • Resume.com – Best for those on a budget

WISC-V (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children) Test & 2024 Study Guide for Parents

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-V) is a commonly used assessment for judging a child's intelligence. More than that, it can help to understand their reasoning and thinking abilities to support their development.

Here’s everything you need to know about this test.

The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Fifth Edition (WISC-V) is an individually administered and extensive evaluation tool used to assess children's reasoning and general thinking abilities.

It's typically given to children between ages 6 and 16.

After completing a test, children are awarded a Full-Scale Intelligence Quotient (IQ) score, along with age-based scores and rankings in several cognitive function fields.

Here we’ll provide an all-around study guide for parents whose children are required or scheduled to take the WISC-V test.

We’ll also include a comprehensive explanation of how it is constructed, its key features, tips for preparing, and a few example questions.

Let’s take a look!

Understanding Your Kid’s Renaissance Star Test Scores – A Complete Guide

The STAR assessments utilize a scoring system comprising scaled scores ranging from 0 to 1,400.

These scores reflect a student's proficiency level in subjects such as reading and math.

Benchmark categories provide descriptive labels for performance levels, while percentile rank compares a student's performance to a national reference group.

Additionally, grade equivalent scores and domain scores offer insights into grade-level equivalence and specific skill areas.

The STAR Assessment can play a crucial role in evaluating your child’s academic ability and guiding educational strategies.

Understanding its scoring system, test format and significance is important for parents and educators alike.

This article aims to provide comprehensive insights into the STAR Assessment, including its purpose, score interpretation and effective strategies to help children excel in these standardized tests.

CogAT Test Scores: Understanding Your CogAT Score

The CogAT raw score represents how many questions were answered correctly on the CogAT test. This information is used to create the Universal Scale Score (between 100 and 150), which you will see on your child’s CogAT score report.

Here is an image of a typical score report:

MAP Test Scores: Understand Your MAP Score

With the MAP Growth Test used in many schools across the United States, MAP (Measures of Academic Progress) scores are an important part of your child’s life.

The MAP testing scores chart a student’s academic growth in a way that highlights areas of excellence and improvement.

It is essential that you understand how NWEA MAP scores are calculated so you can best support your child throughout their learning journey.

This guide will explain how to find and improve your child’s NWEA Map Scores.

SSAT Score Chart – Range, Results, Chart, Percentiles & More

The main three sections for the Upper and Middle level tests have a maximum score of 800. They have a total scaled score that ranges between 1,500 to 2,400.

Navigating the SSAT involves understanding its scoring system.

In this guide, you can explore the SSAT Score Chart and understand score ranges and percentile ranking and how they matter in private school admissions.

It's a comprehensive resource for decoding SSAT scores and making informed decisions about your child’s education.

What Is the SSAT Test?

The SSAT stands for the Secondary School Admission Test. The SSAT was first administered in 1957.

It is a standardized test designed for students seeking admission to private middle and high schools.

The primary purpose of the SSAT is to assess the skills and knowledge of students applying to independent or private schools.

It aims to provide an accurate measure of a student's academic abilities and readiness for a challenging curriculum.

What Is a Good ASVAB Score?

As with other careers, joining the US military comes with its own set of recruitment processes, one of which is taking the ASVAB test .

If you’ve been looking to pursue a career in the US military, then it might be a test you’ve become familiar with or heard of before. It is an exam a recruiter will advise you to take prior to joining the armed forces.

The ASVAB , otherwise known as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery , is a test the armed services use to determine which part of the US military you will be most suited to join.

Within this article we will discuss what your ASVAB score means and what score counts as a good ASVAB score .

Good ASVAB Score Defined

Whether you’re looking to join the Coast Guard, Army, Marine Corps or another sector within the US military, each branch will require its candidates to score a minimum amount to qualify for that specific area.

It is important to note that there is no single ASVAB score , and you will normally receive a variety of different scores on your final report.

How to Crack the Microsoft Codility Test in 2024

The Microsoft Codility Test evaluates coding skills and algorithmic thinking.

Designed to streamline Microsoft’s recruitment process, the Microsoft Codility Test assesses candidates' ability to solve real-world problems efficiently. 

Candidates can prepare using coding practice platforms and mastering programming languages. It's an integral tool in selecting skilled software engineers for Microsoft's diverse roles.

How to Prepare For The Smarter Balanced Test (SBAC) – A Detailed 2024 Study Guide with Practice Questions

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium Test, known as the SBAC test, is a standardized assessment of English and math used by schools in participating states.

Administered to students in grades K to 12, it measures grade level proficiency and academic progress through computer-adaptive testing and performance tasks.

The Smarter Balanced Test is an educational tool developed and administered by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), hence the abbreviation SBAC test.

In this article we explore what the test involves, what the results mean and how to help a student prepare for their SBAC assessment.

What Is the SBAC Test?

The SBAC assessment is a set of standardized tests that evaluate how well students are performing in the subjects of English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.

These assessments are taken by students ranging from elementary school to high school in multiple states across the US.

The tests are developed and managed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), a collaborative group of states working together.

How to Pass the FireTEAM Test in 2024

FireTEAM Test Prep: Top Tips:

  • Master time management
  • Brush up on basic concepts
  • Diversify your reading
  • Play observational and memory games
  • Assess your communication style
  • Prioritize rest and sleep

If you're considering a career in firefighting, taking the FireTEAM test is a pivotal step that can open doors to various fire departments across the US.

This article covers everything you need to know to put in a strong performance, including an overview of its format, practice questions and FireTEAM test tips to help you create an effective study plan.

How to Pass the FCTC Written Test in 2024

A career in the fire service is a challenging – but extremely rewarding – journey. Such an important, high-pressure job requires a high level of physical, mental and emotional skills.

As well as the necessary personality traits, you generally need a high school diploma or GED. If you have a college degree, you have a better chance of securing a role in the fire service.

You will also be required to take a series of assessments that evaluate your physical and mental strength. One of the assessments used by Californian fire departments is the FCTC Written Test. To become a firefighter in California, you must pass this entry-level test.

In this guide, we will explore what the FCTC Written Test includes and how you can prepare for success.

Marines ASVAB Test: Requirements and Positions

To successfully enlist in the US Marine Corps, certain standards must be met. Marines require both physical and mental strength as well as discipline, determination and the ability to overcome obstacles. This is sometimes referred to as the ‘Marine Mindset’.

One of the ways candidates who wish to enlist will be assessed is by taking a test known as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB).

A good score on the test suggests that a candidate possesses the mental skillset to be successful in the military.

Marines need to be able to make quick, accurate decisions and adapt to and overcome threats and obstacles on the battlefield.

How to Pass the PiCAT Verification Test in 2024

The PiCAT test is a commonly used assessment tool for those applying to military positions, such as those in the US Navy or the US Army.

This article explores the PiCAT test in more detail. We look at the test format to familiarize individuals with what the Navy PiCAT and Army PiCAT test covers.

Preparation is vital to performing to the best of your ability in the PiCAT test.

The article includes PiCAT practice test questions, answers to help you prepare, and tips to give you the best opportunity to approach the test positively.

What Is the Mettl Test & How to Pass It in 2024

The Mettl tests are developed by the world's largest assessment provider, Mercer Mettl.

The tests have been designed to analyze various competencies, including verbal, logical and numerical reasoning.

Alongside, the Mettl assessments evaluate candidates' personalities and working styles, establishing whether they are an accurate fit for the role and the broader company.

The Mettl tests are a comprehensive recruitment tool provided by Mercer Mettl – the world's largest assessment provider.

Moreover, the Mettl tests are designed to assess various skills, including numerical , verbal and abstract reasoning.

The assessments are also constructed to understand candidates' behaviors and personality types.

This guide explains everything you need to know about the Mettl test, including tips on how to pass the test in 2024.

What Is the Mettl Test?

As mentioned, the Mettl test is a comprehensive recruitment tool designed to test a range of skills.

It allows employers to ensure they recruit the most suitable candidates for the role.

Pipefitter Test: Guide & Tips 2024

Mastering the Pipefitter Test is crucial for those entering the field.

This guide provides valuable insights, a pipefitter sample test and strategies to conquer the examination.

Discover expert tips to excel in your pipefitting career by navigating the challenges of this important assessment.

What Is the Pipefitter Assessment Test?

The Pipefitter test is an important evaluation tool for individuals aspiring to secure roles as pipefitters in the construction and industrial sectors.

Qualifications and certifications necessary for such positions can vary by state. This makes the pipefitter assessment test a valuable method of demonstrating skills and knowledge.

The National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER) administers the most popular pipefitter assessment test, designed to assess the potential skills of candidates.

It covers the principles related to the installation and maintenance of both high and low-pressure pipe systems.

In addition, it focuses on how these are used across various sectors, including manufacturing, electricity generation and climate control systems in buildings.

i-Ready Diagnostic Test – Prep Guide for 2024

The i-Ready Diagnostic Test is an internet-based adaptive diagnostic test linked to the i-Ready educational learning program.

Students from kindergarten to grade 12 take the test three times each year. The test is divided into two subtests:

i-Ready test results are used to help teaching staff create a personalized learning plan according to a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

What Is the i-Ready Diagnostic Test?

The i-Ready Diagnostic Test is a computer-adaptive, untimed assessment for students between grades K and 12.

Administered by Curriculum Associates , teachers can use it to monitor a student’s ability and progress throughout the school year.

In most cases, the i-Ready Diagnostic Test is administered three times each year. It is split into two subtests: math and reading.

What Is the HSBC Online Immersive Assessment? 2024 Guide

The HSBC Online Immersive Assessment contains 38 questions over five subtests. The test includes a combination of behavioural questions and cognitive ability exercises.

It is an untimed assessment, but most candidates can answer all test questions within 50 minutes.

Some people find the test difficult, but adequate preparation will stand you in good stead to pass the assessment.

What Is the HSBC Hiring Process Like?

HSBC is a major global bank and financial institution. It offers services via three global businesses and serves millions of customers daily.

The hiring process at HSBC comprises four key stages:

  • Initial Screening and Application
  • HSBC Online Immersive Assessment
  • Online Job Simulation Assessment

Electronic Data Processing Test (EDPT): Study Guide & Practice Tips

What Is the Electronic Data Processing Test?

The Electronic Data Processing Test (EDPT) is a pre-employment test taken by military candidates who want to transfer to IT or computer programming roles within the Marine Corps or Air Force.

The EDPT test is one of the most challenging pre-employment tests currently on the market with a pass rate of around 10%.

It is 90 minutes long and has 120 multiple-choice questions. This means you have around 45 seconds to answer each question.

ASVAB Scoring: Detailed Guide

While the minimum ASVAB score varies between military branches, the minimum acceptable score is 31.

However, as the majority of candidates score between 30 and 70, you want to aim for a percentile rank of at least 60.

The ASVAB Test Score Report is a valuable document that provides detailed information about your aptitudes, skills, and qualifications for military service.

It includes Career Exploration Scores to guide career choices, individual scores on ASVAB subtests to assess specific abilities and the critical AFQT score that determines your eligibility for enlistment.

Understanding the information presented in this report is essential for making informed decisions about your military career options.

What Is in the ASVAB Test Score Report?

The ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) Test Score Report provides a comprehensive overview of your performance on the ASVAB test, which is a critical step in the military enlistment process.

The report helps you and military recruiters assess your aptitudes, skills, and potential for various military occupations.

Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) – 2024 Guide

What Is the MMPI Assessment?

The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is one of the most widely used assessment tools used to help clinically diagnose mental health disorders.

Originally developed in the late 1930s, it is used by mental health professionals, lawyers and even in some cases by employers when they are hiring for positions that are considered to be high-risk, such as working in the police, in nuclear power plants or in air traffic control.

The MMPI is a self-reporting tool that is administered by professionals, and during the assessment, you will be asked to answer hundreds of true/false questions, which help paint a picture of your mental health and your personality traits.

As a diagnosis tool, the MMPI is considered to be clinically accurate. It has been updated multiple times over the years to make it more relevant, especially in terms of cultural sensitivity.

The MMPI offers results that show on a scale what symptoms a person has, and what mental health problems that could be indicative of.

In addition, the MMPI is usually used in tandem with other diagnosis tools to provide a clear picture of a person's mental health.

How to Pass the ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Test in 2024

What Is the ACCUPLACER Reading Comprehension Test?

The Accuplacer Reading Comprehension test is part of a suite of assessments that are used to evaluate students prior to entry at college.

While the Accuplacer test battery is not used to determine whether a student will achieve a placement at college, the results are used to ensure that the student is studying at an appropriate level and is ready for education at this level.

Created by the College Board, which is a not-for-profit organization that is also responsible for creating assessments like the SATs, the Accuplacer tests are designed to offer better opportunities to students and make entry to top colleges accessible to all.

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Solving problems the cognitive-behavioral way, problem solving is another part of behavioral therapy..

Posted February 2, 2022 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

  • What Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  • Find a therapist who practices CBT
  • Problem-solving is one technique used on the behavioral side of cognitive-behavioral therapy.
  • The problem-solving technique is an iterative, five-step process that requires one to identify the problem and test different solutions.
  • The technique differs from ad-hoc problem-solving in its suspension of judgment and evaluation of each solution.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, cognitive behavioral therapy is more than challenging negative, automatic thoughts. There is a whole behavioral piece of this therapy that focuses on what people do and how to change their actions to support their mental health. In this post, I’ll talk about the problem-solving technique from cognitive behavioral therapy and what makes it unique.

The problem-solving technique

While there are many different variations of this technique, I am going to describe the version I typically use, and which includes the main components of the technique:

The first step is to clearly define the problem. Sometimes, this includes answering a series of questions to make sure the problem is described in detail. Sometimes, the client is able to define the problem pretty clearly on their own. Sometimes, a discussion is needed to clearly outline the problem.

The next step is generating solutions without judgment. The "without judgment" part is crucial: Often when people are solving problems on their own, they will reject each potential solution as soon as they or someone else suggests it. This can lead to feeling helpless and also discarding solutions that would work.

The third step is evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of each solution. This is the step where judgment comes back.

Fourth, the client picks the most feasible solution that is most likely to work and they try it out.

The fifth step is evaluating whether the chosen solution worked, and if not, going back to step two or three to find another option. For step five, enough time has to pass for the solution to have made a difference.

This process is iterative, meaning the client and therapist always go back to the beginning to make sure the problem is resolved and if not, identify what needs to change.

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Advantages of the problem-solving technique

The problem-solving technique might differ from ad hoc problem-solving in several ways. The most obvious is the suspension of judgment when coming up with solutions. We sometimes need to withhold judgment and see the solution (or problem) from a different perspective. Deliberately deciding not to judge solutions until later can help trigger that mindset change.

Another difference is the explicit evaluation of whether the solution worked. When people usually try to solve problems, they don’t go back and check whether the solution worked. It’s only if something goes very wrong that they try again. The problem-solving technique specifically includes evaluating the solution.

Lastly, the problem-solving technique starts with a specific definition of the problem instead of just jumping to solutions. To figure out where you are going, you have to know where you are.

One benefit of the cognitive behavioral therapy approach is the behavioral side. The behavioral part of therapy is a wide umbrella that includes problem-solving techniques among other techniques. Accessing multiple techniques means one is more likely to address the client’s main concern.

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Salene M. W. Jones, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Washington State.

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Problem-Solving Strategies and Obstacles

Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

problem solving cognitive test

Sean is a fact-checker and researcher with experience in sociology, field research, and data analytics.

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From deciding what to eat for dinner to considering whether it's the right time to buy a house, problem-solving is a large part of our daily lives. Learn some of the problem-solving strategies that exist and how to use them in real life, along with ways to overcome obstacles that are making it harder to resolve the issues you face.

What Is Problem-Solving?

In cognitive psychology , the term 'problem-solving' refers to the mental process that people go through to discover, analyze, and solve problems.

A problem exists when there is a goal that we want to achieve but the process by which we will achieve it is not obvious to us. Put another way, there is something that we want to occur in our life, yet we are not immediately certain how to make it happen.

Maybe you want a better relationship with your spouse or another family member but you're not sure how to improve it. Or you want to start a business but are unsure what steps to take. Problem-solving helps you figure out how to achieve these desires.

The problem-solving process involves:

  • Discovery of the problem
  • Deciding to tackle the issue
  • Seeking to understand the problem more fully
  • Researching available options or solutions
  • Taking action to resolve the issue

Before problem-solving can occur, it is important to first understand the exact nature of the problem itself. If your understanding of the issue is faulty, your attempts to resolve it will also be incorrect or flawed.

Problem-Solving Mental Processes

Several mental processes are at work during problem-solving. Among them are:

  • Perceptually recognizing the problem
  • Representing the problem in memory
  • Considering relevant information that applies to the problem
  • Identifying different aspects of the problem
  • Labeling and describing the problem

Problem-Solving Strategies

There are many ways to go about solving a problem. Some of these strategies might be used on their own, or you may decide to employ multiple approaches when working to figure out and fix a problem.

An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure that, by following certain "rules" produces a solution. Algorithms are commonly used in mathematics to solve division or multiplication problems. But they can be used in other fields as well.

In psychology, algorithms can be used to help identify individuals with a greater risk of mental health issues. For instance, research suggests that certain algorithms might help us recognize children with an elevated risk of suicide or self-harm.

One benefit of algorithms is that they guarantee an accurate answer. However, they aren't always the best approach to problem-solving, in part because detecting patterns can be incredibly time-consuming.

There are also concerns when machine learning is involved—also known as artificial intelligence (AI)—such as whether they can accurately predict human behaviors.

Heuristics are shortcut strategies that people can use to solve a problem at hand. These "rule of thumb" approaches allow you to simplify complex problems, reducing the total number of possible solutions to a more manageable set.

If you find yourself sitting in a traffic jam, for example, you may quickly consider other routes, taking one to get moving once again. When shopping for a new car, you might think back to a prior experience when negotiating got you a lower price, then employ the same tactics.

While heuristics may be helpful when facing smaller issues, major decisions shouldn't necessarily be made using a shortcut approach. Heuristics also don't guarantee an effective solution, such as when trying to drive around a traffic jam only to find yourself on an equally crowded route.

Trial and Error

A trial-and-error approach to problem-solving involves trying a number of potential solutions to a particular issue, then ruling out those that do not work. If you're not sure whether to buy a shirt in blue or green, for instance, you may try on each before deciding which one to purchase.

This can be a good strategy to use if you have a limited number of solutions available. But if there are many different choices available, narrowing down the possible options using another problem-solving technique can be helpful before attempting trial and error.

In some cases, the solution to a problem can appear as a sudden insight. You are facing an issue in a relationship or your career when, out of nowhere, the solution appears in your mind and you know exactly what to do.

Insight can occur when the problem in front of you is similar to an issue that you've dealt with in the past. Although, you may not recognize what is occurring since the underlying mental processes that lead to insight often happen outside of conscious awareness .

Research indicates that insight is most likely to occur during times when you are alone—such as when going on a walk by yourself, when you're in the shower, or when lying in bed after waking up.

How to Apply Problem-Solving Strategies in Real Life

If you're facing a problem, you can implement one or more of these strategies to find a potential solution. Here's how to use them in real life:

  • Create a flow chart . If you have time, you can take advantage of the algorithm approach to problem-solving by sitting down and making a flow chart of each potential solution, its consequences, and what happens next.
  • Recall your past experiences . When a problem needs to be solved fairly quickly, heuristics may be a better approach. Think back to when you faced a similar issue, then use your knowledge and experience to choose the best option possible.
  • Start trying potential solutions . If your options are limited, start trying them one by one to see which solution is best for achieving your desired goal. If a particular solution doesn't work, move on to the next.
  • Take some time alone . Since insight is often achieved when you're alone, carve out time to be by yourself for a while. The answer to your problem may come to you, seemingly out of the blue, if you spend some time away from others.

Obstacles to Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is not a flawless process as there are a number of obstacles that can interfere with our ability to solve a problem quickly and efficiently. These obstacles include:

  • Assumptions: When dealing with a problem, people can make assumptions about the constraints and obstacles that prevent certain solutions. Thus, they may not even try some potential options.
  • Functional fixedness : This term refers to the tendency to view problems only in their customary manner. Functional fixedness prevents people from fully seeing all of the different options that might be available to find a solution.
  • Irrelevant or misleading information: When trying to solve a problem, it's important to distinguish between information that is relevant to the issue and irrelevant data that can lead to faulty solutions. The more complex the problem, the easier it is to focus on misleading or irrelevant information.
  • Mental set: A mental set is a tendency to only use solutions that have worked in the past rather than looking for alternative ideas. A mental set can work as a heuristic, making it a useful problem-solving tool. However, mental sets can also lead to inflexibility, making it more difficult to find effective solutions.

How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

In the end, if your goal is to become a better problem-solver, it's helpful to remember that this is a process. Thus, if you want to improve your problem-solving skills, following these steps can help lead you to your solution:

  • Recognize that a problem exists . If you are facing a problem, there are generally signs. For instance, if you have a mental illness , you may experience excessive fear or sadness, mood changes, and changes in sleeping or eating habits. Recognizing these signs can help you realize that an issue exists.
  • Decide to solve the problem . Make a conscious decision to solve the issue at hand. Commit to yourself that you will go through the steps necessary to find a solution.
  • Seek to fully understand the issue . Analyze the problem you face, looking at it from all sides. If your problem is relationship-related, for instance, ask yourself how the other person may be interpreting the issue. You might also consider how your actions might be contributing to the situation.
  • Research potential options . Using the problem-solving strategies mentioned, research potential solutions. Make a list of options, then consider each one individually. What are some pros and cons of taking the available routes? What would you need to do to make them happen?
  • Take action . Select the best solution possible and take action. Action is one of the steps required for change . So, go through the motions needed to resolve the issue.
  • Try another option, if needed . If the solution you chose didn't work, don't give up. Either go through the problem-solving process again or simply try another option.

You can find a way to solve your problems as long as you keep working toward this goal—even if the best solution is simply to let go because no other good solution exists.

Sarathy V. Real world problem-solving .  Front Hum Neurosci . 2018;12:261. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00261

Dunbar K. Problem solving . A Companion to Cognitive Science . 2017. doi:10.1002/9781405164535.ch20

Stewart SL, Celebre A, Hirdes JP, Poss JW. Risk of suicide and self-harm in kids: The development of an algorithm to identify high-risk individuals within the children's mental health system . Child Psychiat Human Develop . 2020;51:913-924. doi:10.1007/s10578-020-00968-9

Rosenbusch H, Soldner F, Evans AM, Zeelenberg M. Supervised machine learning methods in psychology: A practical introduction with annotated R code . Soc Personal Psychol Compass . 2021;15(2):e12579. doi:10.1111/spc3.12579

Mishra S. Decision-making under risk: Integrating perspectives from biology, economics, and psychology . Personal Soc Psychol Rev . 2014;18(3):280-307. doi:10.1177/1088868314530517

Csikszentmihalyi M, Sawyer K. Creative insight: The social dimension of a solitary moment . In: The Systems Model of Creativity . 2015:73-98. doi:10.1007/978-94-017-9085-7_7

Chrysikou EG, Motyka K, Nigro C, Yang SI, Thompson-Schill SL. Functional fixedness in creative thinking tasks depends on stimulus modality .  Psychol Aesthet Creat Arts . 2016;10(4):425‐435. doi:10.1037/aca0000050

Huang F, Tang S, Hu Z. Unconditional perseveration of the short-term mental set in chunk decomposition .  Front Psychol . 2018;9:2568. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02568

National Alliance on Mental Illness. Warning signs and symptoms .

Mayer RE. Thinking, problem solving, cognition, 2nd ed .

Schooler JW, Ohlsson S, Brooks K. Thoughts beyond words: When language overshadows insight. J Experiment Psychol: General . 1993;122:166-183. doi:10.1037/0096-3445.2.166

By Kendra Cherry, MSEd Kendra Cherry, MS, is a psychosocial rehabilitation specialist, psychology educator, and author of the "Everything Psychology Book."

More about the TestGorilla Problem Solving test

Discover the science behind this test and check out the recommended tests you may find useful alongside it in an assessment.

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problem solving cognitive test

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12 questions per test, 97 in the test bank

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Scoring benchmarks

Benchmarks are available for various education levels (ranging from some high school education to Master’s degree or higher), business functions (from administrative to software development), and seniority levels (junior to senior).

Psychometric properties of the Problem Solving test

The metrics reported below are based on a sample size (N) of at least 1,000 candidates unless indicated otherwise.

Reliability: Cronbach’s alpha coefficient = .72

Face validity: Candidates rated this test as accurately measuring their skills (average score of 3.88 out of 5.00).

Criterion-related validity: Candidates with higher scores on this test received higher average ratings from the hiring team during the selection process (r = .30).

For an in-depth look at interpreting test results, please take a look at our Science series articles: How to interpret test fact sheets (part 1): Reliability , and How to interpret test fact sheets (part 2): Validity.

For an explanation of the various terms, please refer to our Science glossary .

Use these tests with the Problem Solving test

We believe that multi-measure testing is essential in a holistic hiring process because it examines the candidate as a whole, including technical skills, soft skills, and personality. Below are some tests we recommend using alongside the Problem Solving test.

Attention to detail (textual)

Understanding instructions, big 5 (ocean).

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National Research Council (US) Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills. Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011.

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Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop.

  • Hardcopy Version at National Academies Press

2 Assessing Cognitive Skills

As described in Chapter 1 , the steering committee grouped the five skills identified by previous efforts ( National Research Council, 2008 , 2010 ) into the broad clusters of cognitive skills, interpersonal skills, and intrapersonal skills. Based on this grouping, two of the identified skills fell within the cognitive cluster: nonroutine problem solving and systems thinking. The definition of each, as provided in the previous report ( National Research Council, 2010 , p. 3), appears below:

  • Nonroutine problem solving: A skilled problem solver uses expert thinking to examine a broad span of information, recognize patterns, and narrow the information to reach a diagnosis of the problem. Moving beyond diagnosis to a solution requires knowledge of how the information is linked conceptually and involves metacognition—the ability to reflect on whether a problem-solving strategy is working and to switch to another strategy if it is not working ( Levy and Murnane, 2004 ). It includes creativity to generate new and innovative solutions, integrating seemingly unrelated information, and entertaining possibilities that others may miss ( Houston, 2007 ).
  • Systems thinking: The ability to understand how an entire system works; how an action, change, or malfunction in one part of the system affects the rest of the system; adopting a “big picture” perspective on work ( Houston, 2007 ). It includes judgment and decision making, systems analysis, and systems evaluation as well as abstract reasoning about how the different elements of a work process interact ( Peterson et al., 1999 ).

After considering these definitions, the committee decided a third cognitive skill, critical thinking, was not fully represented. The committee added critical thinking to the list of cognitive skills, since competence in critical thinking is usually judged to be an important component of both skills ( Mayer, 1990 ). Thus, this chapter focuses on assessments of three cognitive skills: problem solving, critical thinking, and systems thinking.

  • DEFINING THE CONSTRUCT

One of the first steps in developing an assessment is to define the construct and operationalize it in a way that supports the development of assessment tasks. Defining some of the constructs included within the scope of 21st century skills is significantly more challenging than defining more traditional constructs, such as reading comprehension or mathematics computational skills. One of the challenges is that the definitions tend to be both broad and general. To be useful for test development, the definition needs to be specific so that there can be a shared conception of the construct for use by those writing the assessment questions or preparing the assessment tasks.

This set of skills also generates debate about whether they are domain general or domain specific. A predominant view in the past has been that critical thinking and problem-solving skills are domain general: that is, that they can be learned without reference to any specific domain and, further, once they are learned, can be applied in any domain. More recently, psychologists and learning theorists have argued for a domain-specific conception of these skills, maintaining that when students think critically or solve problems, they do not do it in the absence of subject matter: instead, they think about or solve a problem in relation to some topic. Under a domain-specific conception, the learner may acquire these skills in one domain as he or she acquires expertise in that domain, but acquiring them in one domain does not necessarily mean the learner can apply them in another.

At the workshop, Nathan Kuncel, professor of psychology with University of Minnesota, and Eric Anderman, professor of educational psychology with Ohio State University, discussed these issues. The sections below summarize their presentations and include excerpts from their papers, 1 dealing first with the domain-general and domain-specific conceptions of critical thinking and problem solving and then with the issue of transferring skills from one domain to another.

Critical Thinking: Domain-Specific or Domain-General

It is well established, Kuncel stated, that foundational cognitive skills in math, reading, and writing are of central importance and that students need to be as proficient as possible in these areas. Foundational cognitive abilities, such as verbal comprehension and reasoning, mathematical knowledge and skill, and writing skills, are clearly important for success in learning in college as well as in many aspects of life. A recent study documents this. Kuncel and Hezlett (2007) examined the body of research on the relationships between traditional measures of verbal and quantitative skills and a variety of outcomes. The measures of verbal and quantitative skills included scores on six standardized tests—the GRE, MCAT, LSAT, GMAT, MAT, and PCAT. 2 The outcomes included performance in graduate school settings ranging from Ph.D. programs to law school, medical school, business school, and pharmacy programs. Figure 2-1 shows the correlations between scores on the standardized tests and the various outcome measures, including (from bottom to top) first-year graduate GPA (1st GGPA), cumulative graduate GPA (GGPA), qualifying or comprehensive examination scores, completion of the degree, estimate of research productivity, research citation counts, faculty ratings, and performance on the licensing exam for the profession. For instance, the top bar shows a correlation between performance on the MCAT and performance on the licensing exam for physicians of roughly .65, the highest of the correlations reported in this figure. The next bar indicates the correlation between performance on the LSAT and performance on the licensing exam for lawyers is roughly .35. Of the 34 correlations shown in the figure, all but 11 are over .30. Kuncel characterized this information as demonstrating that verbal and quantitative skills are important predictors of success based on a variety of outcome measures, including performance on standardized tests, whether or not people finish their degree program, how their performance is evaluated by faculty, and their contribution to the field.

Correlations between scores on standardized tests and academic and job outcome measures. SOURCE: Kuncel and Hezlett (2007). Reprinted with permission of American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kuncel has also studied the role that broader abilities have in predicting future outcomes. A more recent review ( Kuncel and Hezlett, 2010 ) examined the body of research on the relationships between measures of general cognitive ability (historically referred to as IQ) and job outcomes, including performance in high, medium, and low complexity jobs; training success in civilian and military settings; how well leaders perform on objective measures; and evaluations of the creativity of people’s work. Figure 2-2 shows the correlations between performance on a measure of general cognitive ability and these outcomes. All of the correlations are above .30, which Kuncel characterized as demonstrating a strong relationship between general cognitive ability and job performance across a variety of performance measures. Together, Kuncel said, these two reviews present a body of evidence documenting that verbal and quantitative skills along with general cognitive ability are predictive of college and career performance.

Correlations between measures of cognitive ability and job performance. SOURCE: Kuncel and Hezlett (2011). Copyright 2010 by Sage Publications. Reprinted with permission of Sage Publications.

Kuncel noted that other broader skills, such as critical thinking or analytical reasoning, may also be important predictors of performance, but he characterizes this evidence as inconclusive. In his view, the problems lie both with the conceptualization of the constructs as domain-general (as opposed to domain-specific) as well as with the specific definition of the construct. He finds the constructs are not well defined and have not been properly validated. For instance, a domain-general concept of the construct of “critical thinking” is often indistinguishable from general cognitive ability or general reasoning and learning skills. To demonstrate, Kuncel presented three definitions of critical thinking that commonly appear in the literature:

  • “[Critical thinking involves] cognitive skills or strategies that increase the probability of a desirable outcome—in the long run, critical thinkers will have more desirable outcomes than ‘noncritical’ thinkers. . . . Critical thinking is purposeful, reasoned, and goal-directed. It is the kind of thinking involved in solving problems, formulating inferences, calculating likelihoods, and making decisions” ( Halpern, 1998 , pp. 450–451).
  • “Critical thinking is reflective and reasonable thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe or do” ( Ennis, 1985 , p. 45).
  • “Critical thinking [is] the ability and willingness to test the validity of propositions” ( Bangert-Drowns and Bankert, 1990 , p. 3).

He characterizied these definitions both very general and very broad. For instance, Halpern’s definition essentially encompasses all of problem solving, judgment, and cognition, he said. Others are more specific and focus on a particular class of tasks (e.g., Bangert-Drowns and Bankert, 1990 ). He questioned the extent to which critical thinking so conceived is distinct from general cognitive ability (or general intelligence).

Kuncel conducted a review of the literature for empirical evidence of the validity of the construct of critical thinking. The studies in the review examined the relationships between various measures of critical thinking and measures of general intelligence and expert performance. He looked for two types of evidence—convergent validity evidence 3 and discriminant validity 4 evidence.

Kuncel found several analyses of the relationships among different measures of critical thinking (see Bondy et al., 2001 ; Facione, 1990 ; and Watson and Glaser, 1994 ). The assessments that were studied included the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal (WGCTA), the Cornell Critical Thinking Test (CCTT), the California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST), and the California Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI). The average correlation among the measures was .41. Considering that all of these tests purport to be measures of the same construct, Kuncel judged this correlation to be low. For comparison, he noted a correlation of .71 between two subtests of the SAT intended to measure critical thinking (the SAT-critical reading test and the SAT-writing test).

With regard to discriminant validity, Kuncel conducted a literature search that yielded 19 correlations between critical-thinking skills and traditional measures of cognitive abilities, such as the Miller Analogies Test and the SAT ( Adams et al., 1999 ; Bauer and Liang, 2003 ; Bondy et al., 2001 ; Cano and Martinez, 1991 ; Edwards, 1950 ; Facione et al., 1995 , 1998 ; Spector et al., 2000 ; Watson and Glaser, 1994 ). He separated the studies into those that measured critical-thinking skills and those that measured critical-thinking dispositions (i.e., interest and willingness to use one’s critical-thinking skills). The average correlation between general cognitive ability measures and critical-thinking skills was .48, and the average correlation between general cognitive ability measures and critical-thinking dispositions was .21.

Kuncel summarized these results as demonstrating that different measures of critical thinking show lower correlations with each other (i.e., average of .41) than they do with traditional measures of general cognitive ability (i.e., average of .48). Kuncel judges that these findings provide little support for critical thinking as a domain-general construct distinct from general cognitive ability. Given this relatively weak evidence of convergent and discriminant validity, Kuncel argued, it is important to determine if critical thinking is correlated differently than cognitive ability with important outcome variables like grades or job performance. That is, do measures of critical-thinking skills show incremental validity beyond the information provided by measures of general cognitive ability?

Kuncel looked at two outcome measures: grades in higher education and job performance. With regard to higher education, he examined data from 12 independent samples with 2,876 subjects ( Behrens, 1996 ; Gadzella et al., 2002 , 2004 ; Kowalski and Taylor, 2004 ; Taube, 1997 ; Williams, 2003 ). Across these studies, the average correlation between critical-thinking skills and grades was .27 and between critical-thinking dispositions and grades was .24. To put these correlations in context, the SAT has an average correlation with 1st year college GPA between .26 to .33 for the individual scales and .35 when the SAT scales are combined ( Kobrin et al., 2008 ). 5

There are very limited data that quantify the relationship between critical-thinking measures and subsequent job performance. Kuncel located three studies with the Watson-Glaser Appraisal ( Facione and Facione, 1996 , 1997 ; Giancarlo, 1996 ). They yielded an average correlation of .32 with supervisory ratings of job performance (N = 293).

Kuncel described these results as “mixed” but not supporting a conclusion that assessments of critical thinking are better predictors of college and job performance than other available measures. Taken together with the convergent and discriminant validity results, the evidence to support critical thinking as an independent construct distinct from general cognitive ability is weak.

Kuncel believes these correlational results do not tell the whole story, however. First, he noted, a number of artifactual issues may have contributed to the relatively low correlation among different assessments of critical thinking, such as low reliability of the measures themselves, restriction in range, different underlying definitions of critical thinking, overly broad definitions that are operationalized in different ways, different kinds of assessment tasks, and different levels of motivation in test takers.

Second, he pointed out, even though two tests correlate highly with each other, they may not measure the same thing. That is, although the critical-thinking tests correlate .48, on average, with cognitive ability measures, it does not mean that they measure the same thing. For example, a recent study ( Kuncel and Grossbach, 2007 ) showed that ACT and SAT scores are highly predictive of nursing knowledge. But, obviously, individuals who score highly on a college admissions test do not have all the knowledge needed to be a nurse. The constructs may be related but not overlap entirely.

Kuncel explained that one issue with these studies is they all conceived of critical thinking in its broadest sense and as a domain-general construct. He said this conception is not useful, and he summarized his meta-analysis findings as demonstrating little evidence that critical thinking exists as a domain-general construct distinct from general cognitive ability. He highlighted the fact that some may view critical thinking as a specific skill that, once learned, can be applied in many situations. For instance, many in his field of psychology mention the following as specific critical-thinking skills that students should acquire: understanding the law of large numbers, understanding what it means to affirm the consequent, being able to make judgments about sample bias, understanding control groups, and understanding Type I versus Type II errors. However, Kuncel said many tasks that require critical thinking would not make use of any of these skills.

In his view, the stronger argument is for critical thinking as a domain-specific construct that evolves as the person acquires domain-specific knowledge. For example, imagine teaching general critical-thinking skills that can be applied across all reasoning situations to students. Is it reasonable, he asked, to think a person can think critically about arguments for different national economic policies without understanding macro-economics or even the current economic state of the country? At one extreme, he argued, it seems clear that people cannot think critically about topics for which they have no knowledge, and their reasoning skills are intimately tied to the knowledge domain. For instance, most people have no basis for making judgments about how to conduct or even prioritize different experiments for CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Few people understand the topic of particle physics sufficiently to make more than trivial arguments or decisions. On the other hand, perhaps most people could try to make a good decision about which among a few medical treatments would best meet their needs.

Kuncel also talked about the kinds of statistical and methodological reasoning skills learned in different disciplines. For instance, chemists, engineers, and physical scientists learn to use these types of skills in thinking about the laws of thermodynamics that deal with equilibrium, temperature, work, energy, and entropy. On the other hand, psychologists learn to use these skills in thinking about topics such as sample bias and self-selection in evaluating research findings. Psychologists who are adept at thinking critically in their own discipline would have difficulty thinking critically about problems in the hard sciences, unless they have specific subject matter knowledge in the discipline. Likewise, it is difficult to imagine that a scientist highly trained in chemistry could solve a complex problem in psychology without knowing some subject matter in psychology.

Kuncel said it is possible to train specific skills that aid in making good judgments in some situations, but the literature does not demonstrate that it is possible to train universally effective critical thinking skills. He noted, “I think you can give people a nice toolbox with all sorts of tools they can apply to a variety of tasks, problems, issues, decisions, citizenship questions, and learning those things will be very valuable, but I dissent on them being global and trainable as a global skill.”

Transfer from One Context to Another

There is a commonplace assumption, Eric Anderman noted in his presentation, that learners readily transfer the skills they have learned in one course or context to situations and problems that arise in another. Anderman argued research on human learning does not support this assumption. Research suggests such transfer seldom occurs naturally, particularly when learners need to transfer complex cognitive strategies from one domain to another ( Salomon and Perkins, 1989 ). Transfer is only likely to occur when care is taken to facilitate that transfer: that is, when students are specifically taught strategies that facilitate the transfer of skills learned in one domain to another domain ( Gick and Holyoak, 1983 ).

For example, Anderman explained, students in a mathematics class might be taught how to solve a problem involving the multiplication of percentages (e.g., 4.79% × 0.25%). The students then might encounter a problem in their social studies courses that involves calculating compounded interest (such as to solve a problem related to economics or banking). Although the same basic process of multiplying percentages might be necessary to solve both problems, it is unlikely that students will naturally, on their own, transfer the skills learned in the math class to the problem encountered in the social studies class.

In the past, Anderman said, there had been some notion that critical-thinking and problem-solving skills could be taught independent of context. For example, teaching students a complex language such as Latin, a computer programming language such as LOGO, or other topics that require complex thinking might result in an overall increase in their ability to think critically and problem solve.

Both Kuncel and Anderman maintained that the research does not support this idea. Instead, the literature better supports a narrower definition in which critical thinking is considered a finite set of specific skills. These skills are useful for effective decision making for many, but by no means all, tasks or situations. Their utility is further curtailed by task-specific knowledge demands. That is, a decision maker often has to have specific knowledge to make more than trivial progress with a problem or decision.

Anderman highlighted four important messages emerging from recent research. First, research documents that it is critical that students learn basic skills (such as basic arithmetic skills like times tables) so the skills become automatic. Mastery of these skills is required for the successful learning of more complex cognitive skills. Second, the use of general practices intended to improve students’ thinking are not usually successful as a means of improving their overall cognitive abilities. The research suggests students may become more adept in the specific skill taught, but this does not transfer to an overall increase in cognitive ability. Third, when general problem-solving strategies are taught, they should be taught within meaningful contexts and not as simply rote algorithms to be memorized. Finally, educators need to actively teach students to transfer skills from one context to another by helping students to recognize that the solution to one type of problem may be useful in solving a problem with similar structural features ( Mayer and Wittrock, 1996 ).

He noted that instructing students in general problem-solving skills can be useful but more elaborate scaffolding and domain-specific applications of these skills are often necessary. Whereas general problem-solving and critical-thinking strategies can be taught, research indicates these skills will not automatically or naturally transfer to other domains. Anderman stressed that educators and trainers must recognize that 21st century skills should be taught within specific domains; if they are taught as general skills, he cautioned, then extreme care must be taken to facilitate the transfer of these skills from one domain to another.

  • ASSESSMENT EXAMPLES

The workshop included examples of four different types of assessments of critical-thinking and problem-solving skills—one that will be used to make international comparisons of achievement, one used to license lawyers, and two used for formative purposes (i.e., intended to support instructional decision making). The first example was the computerized problem-solving component of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This assessment is still under development but is scheduled for operational administration in 2012. 6 Joachim Funke, professor of cognitive, experimental, and theoretical psychology with the Heidelberg University in Germany, discussed this assessment.

The second example was the Multistate Bar Exam, a paper-and-pencil test that consists of both multiple-choice and extended-response components. This test is used to qualify law students for practice in the legal profession. Susan Case, director of testing with the National Conference of Bar Exams, made this presentation.

The two formative assessments both make use of intelligent tutors, with assessments embedded into instruction modules. The “Auto Tutor” described by Art Graesser, professor of psychology with the University of Memphis, is used in instructing high school and higher education students in critical thinking skills in science. The Auto Tutor is part of a system Graesser has developed called Operation ARIES! (Acquiring Research Investigative and Evaluative Skills). The “Packet Tracer,” described by John Beherns, director of networking academy learning systems development with Cisco, is intended for individuals learning computer networking skills.

Problem Solving on PISA

For the workshop, Joachim Funke supplied the committee with the draft framework for PISA (see Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010 7 ) and summarized this information in his presentation. 8 The summary below is based on both documents.

PISA, Funke explained, defines problem solving as an individual’s capacity to engage in cognitive processing to understand and resolve problem situations where a solution is not immediately obvious. The definition includes the willingness to engage with such situations in order to achieve one’s potential as a constructive and reflective citizen ( Organisation for Co-operation and Development, 2010 , p. 12). Further, the PISA 2012 assessment of problem-solving competency will not test simple reproduction of domain-based knowledge, but will focus on the cognitive skills required to solve unfamiliar problems encountered in life and lying outside traditional curricular domains. While prior knowledge is important in solving problems, problem-solving competency involves the ability to acquire and use new knowledge or to use old knowledge in a new way to solve novel problems. The assessment is concerned with nonroutine problems, rather than routine ones (i.e., problems for which a previously learned solution procedure is clearly applicable). The problem solver must actively explore and understand the problem and either devise a new strategy or apply a strategy learned in a different context to work toward a solution. Assessment tasks center on everyday situations, with a wide range of contexts employed as a means of controlling for prior knowledge in general.

The key domain elements for PISA 2012 are as follows:

  • The problem context: whether it involves a technological device or not, and whether the focus of the problem is personal or social
  • The nature of the problem situation: whether it is interactive or static (defined below)
  • The problem-solving processes: the cognitive processes involved in solving the problem

The PISA 2012 framework (pp. 18–19) defines four processes that are components of problem solving. The first involves information retrieval. This process requires the test taker to quickly explore a given system to find out how the relevant variables are related to each other. The test taker must explore the situation, interact with it, consider the limitations or obstacles, and demonstrate an understanding of the given information. The objective is for the test taker to develop a mental representation of each piece of information presented in the problem. In the PISA framework, this process is referred to as exploring and understanding.

The second process is model building, which requires the test taker to make connections between the given variables. To accomplish this, the examinee must sift through the information, select the information that is relevant, mentally organize it, and integrate it with relevant prior knowledge. This requires the test taker to represent the problem in some way and formulate hypotheses about the relevant factors and their interrelationships. In the PISA framework, this dimension is called representing and formulating.

The third process is called forecasting and requires the active control of a given system. The framework defines this process as setting goals, devising a strategy to carry them out, and executing the plan. In the PISA framework, this dimension is called planning and executing.

The fourth process is monitoring and reflecting. The framework defines this process as checking the goal at each stage, detecting unexpected events, taking remedial action if necessary, and reflecting on solutions from different perspectives by critically evaluating assumptions and alternative solutions.

Each of these processes requires the use of reasoning skills, which the framework describes as follows ( Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010 , p. 19):

In understanding a problem situation, the problem solver may need to distinguish between facts and opinion, in formulating a solution, the problem solver may need to identify relationship between variables, in selecting a strategy, the problem solver may need to consider cause and effect, and in communicating the results, the problem solver may need to organize information in a logical manner. The reasoning skills associated with these processes are embedded within problem solving. They are important in the PISA context since they can be taught and modeled in classroom instruction (e.g., Adey et al., 2007 ; Klauer and Phye, 2008 ).

For any given test taker, the test lasts for 40 minutes. PISA is a survey-based assessment that uses a balanced rotation design. A total of 80 minutes of material is organized into four 20-minute clusters, with each student taking two clusters.

The items are grouped into units around a common stimulus that describes the problem. Reading and numeracy demands are kept to a minimum. The tasks all consist of authentic stimulus items, such as refueling a moped, playing on a handball team, mixing a perfume, feeding cats, mixing elements in a chemistry lab, taking care of a pet, and so on. Funke noted that the different contexts for the stimuli are important because test takers might be motivated differentially and might be differentially interested depending on the context. The difficulty of the items is manipulated by increasing the number of variables or the number of relations that the test taker has to deal with.

PISA 2012 is a computer-based test in which items are presented by computer and test takers respond on the computer. Approximately three-quarters of the items are in a format that the computer can score (simple or complex multiple-choice items). The remaining items are constructed-response, and test takers enter their responses into text boxes.

Scoring of the items is based on the processes that the test taker uses to solve the problem and involves awarding points for the use of certain processes. For information retrieval, the focus is on identifying the need to collect baseline data (referred to in PISA terminology as identifying the “zero round”) and the method of manipulating one variable at a time (referred to in PISA terminology as “varying one thing at a time” or VOTAT). Full credit is awarded if the subject uses VOTAT strategy and makes use of zero rounds. Partial credit is given if the subject uses VOTAT but does not make use of zero rounds.

For model building, full credit is awarded if the generated model is correct. If one or two errors are present in the model, partial credit is given. If more than two errors are present, then no credit is awarded.

For forecasting, full credit is given if the target goals are reached. Partial credit is given if some progress toward the target goals can be registered, and no credit is given if there is no progress toward target goals at all.

PISA items are classified as static versus interactive. In static problems, all the information the test taker needs to solve the problem is presented at the outset. In contrast, interactive problems require the test taker to explore the problem to uncover important relevant information ( Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2010 , p. 15). Two sample PISA items appear in Box 2-1 .

Sample Problem-Solving Items for PISA 2012. Digital Watch–interactive: A simulation of a digital watch is presented. The watch is controlled by four buttons, the functions of which are unknown to the student at the outset of the problems. The (more...)

Funke and his colleagues have conducted analyses to evaluate the construct validity of the assessment. They have examined the internal structure of the assessment using structural equation modeling, which evaluates the extent to which the items measure the dimensions they are intended to measure. The results indicate the three dimensions are correlated with each other. Model Building and Forecasting correlate at .77; Forecasting and Information Retrieval correlate at .71; and Information Retrieval and Model Building correlate at .75. Funke said that the results also document that the items “load on” the three dimensions in the way the test developers hypothesized. He indicated some misfit related to the items that measure Forecasting, and he attributes this to the fact that the Forecasting items have a skewed distribution. However, the fit of the model does not change when these items are removed.

Funke reported results from studies of the relationship between test performance and other variables, including school achievement and two measures of problem solving on the PISA German National Extension on Complex Problem Solving. The latter assessment, called HEIFI, measures knowledge about a system and the control of the system separately. Scores on the PISA Model Building dimension are statistically significant (p < .05) related to school achievement (r = .64) and to scores on the HEIFI knowledge component (r = .48). Forecasting is statistically significant (p < .05) related to both of the HEIFI scores (r = .48 for HEIFI knowledge and r = .36 for HEIFI control). Information Retrieval is statistically significant (p < .05) related to HEIFI control (r = .38). The studies also show that HEIFI scores are not related to school achievement.

Funke closed by discussing the costs associated with the assessment. He noted it is not easy to specify the costs because in a German university setting, many costs are absorbed by the department and its equipment. Funke estimates that development costs run about $13 per unit, 9 plus $6.5 for the Cognitive Labs used to pilot test and refine the items. 10 The license for the Computer Based Assessment (CBA) Item-builder and the execution environment is given for free for scientific use from DIPF 11 Frankfurt.

The Bar Examination for Lawyers 12

The Bar examination is administered by each jurisdiction in the United States as one step in the process to license lawyers. The National Council of Bar Examiners (NCBE) develops a series of three exams for use by the jurisdictions. Jurisdictions may use any or all of these three exams or may administer locally developed exam components if they wish. The three major components developed by the NCBE include the Multi-state Bar Exam (MBE), the Multi-state Essay Exam (MEE), and the Multi-state Performance Test (MPT). All are paper-and-pencil tests. Examinees pay to take the test, and the costs are $54 for the MBE, $20 for the MEE, and $20 for the MPT.

Susan Case, who has spent her career working on licensing exams—first the medical licensing exam for physicians and then the bar exam for lawyers—noted the Bar examination is like other tests used to award professional licensure. The focus of the test is on the extent to which the test taker has the knowledge and skills necessary to be licensed in the profession on the day of the test. The test is intended to ensure the newly licensed professional knows what he/she needs to know to practice law. The test is not designed to measure the curriculum taught in law schools, but what licensed professionals need to know. When they receive the credential, lawyers are licensed to practice in all fields of law. This is analogous to medical licensing in which the licensed professional is eligible to practice any kind of medicine.

The Bar exam includes both multiple-choice and constructed-response components. Both require examinees to be able to gather and synthesize information and apply their knowledge to the given situation. The questions generally follow a vignette that describes a case or problem and asks the examinee to determine the issues to resolve before advising the client or to determine other information needed in order to proceed. For instance, what questions should be asked next? What is the best strategy to implement? What is the best defense? What is the biggest obstacle to relief? The questions may require the examinee to synthesize the law and the facts to predict outcomes. For instance, is the ordinance constitutional? Should a conviction be overturned?

The purpose of the MBE is to assess the extent to which an examinee can apply fundamental legal principles and legal reasoning to analyze a given pattern of facts. The questions focus on the understanding of legal principles rather than memorization of local case or statutory law. The MBE consists of 60 multiple-choice questions and lasts a full day.

A sample question follows:

A woman was told by her neighbor that he planned to build a new fence on his land near the property line between their properties. The woman said that, although she had little money, she would contribute something toward the cost. The neighbor spent $2,000 in materials and a day of his time to construct the fence. The neighbor now wants her to pay half the cost of the materials. Is she liable for this amount?

The purpose of the MEE is to assess the examinee’s ability to (1) identify legal issues raised by a hypothetical factual situation; (2) separate material that is relevant from that which is not; (3) present a reasoned analysis of the relevant issues in a clear, concise, and well-organized composition; and (4) demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental legal principles relevant to the probable resolution of the issues raised by the factual situation.

The MEE lasts for 6 hours and consists of nine 30-minute questions. An excerpt from a sample question follows:

The CEO/chairman of the 12-member board of directors (the Board) of a company plus three other members of the Board are senior officers of the company. The remaining eight members of the Board are wholly independent directors. Recently, the Board decided to hire a consulting firm to market a new product . . . The CEO disclosed to the Board that he had a 25% partnership interest in the consulting firm. The CEO stated that he would not be involved in any work to be performed by the consulting firm. He knew but did not disclose to the Board that the consulting firm’s proposed fee for this consulting assignment was substantially higher than it normally charged for comparable work . . . The Board discussed the relative merits of the two proposals for 10 minutes. The Board then voted unanimously (CEO abstaining) to hire the consulting firm . . . Did the CEO violate his duty of loyalty to his company? Explain. Assuming the CEO breached his duty of loyalty to his company, does he have any defense to liability? Explain. Did the other directors violate their duty of care? Explain.

The purpose of the MPT is to assess fundamental lawyering skills in realistic situations by asking the candidate to complete a task that a beginning lawyer should be able to accomplish. The MPT requires applicants to sort detailed factual materials; separate relevant from irrelevant facts; analyze statutory, case, and administrative materials for relevant principles of law; apply relevant law to the facts in a manner likely to resolve a client’s problem; identify and resolve ethical dilemmas; communicate effectively in writing; and complete a lawyering task within time constraints.

Each task is completely self-contained and includes a file, a library, and a task to complete. The task might deal with a car accident, for example, and therefore might include a file with pictures of the accident scene and depositions from the various witnesses, as well as a library with relevant case law. Examinees are given 90 minutes to complete each task.

For example, in a case involving a slip and fall in a store, the task might be to prepare an initial draft of an early dispute resolution for a judge. The draft should candidly discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the client’s case. The file would contain the instructional memo from the supervising attorney, the local rule, the complaint, an investigator’s report, and excerpts of the depositions of the plaintiff and a store employee. The library would include a jury instruction concerning the premises liability with commentary on contributory negligence.

The MBE is a multiple-choice test and thus scored by machine. However, the other two components require human scoring. The NCBE produces the questions and the grading guidelines for the MEE and MPT, but the essays and performance tests are scored by the jurisdictions themselves. The scorers are typically lawyers who are trained during grading seminars held at the NCBE offices, after the exam is administered. At this time, they review sample papers and receive training on how to apply the scoring guidelines in a consistent fashion.

Each component of the Bar examination (MBE, MEE, MPT) is intended to assess different skills. The MBE focuses on breadth of knowledge, the MEE focuses on depth of knowledge, and the MPT focuses on the ability to demonstrate practical skills. Together, the three formats cover the different types of tasks that a new lawyer needs to do.

Determinations about weighting the three components are left to the jurisdictions; however, the NCBE urges them to weight the MBE score by 50 percent and the MEE and MPT by 25 percent each. The recommendation is an attempt to balance a number of concerns, including authenticity, psychometric considerations, logistical issues, and economic concerns. The recommendation is to award the highest weight to the MBE because it is the most psychometrically sound. The reliability of scores on the MBE is generally over .90, much higher than scores on the other portions, and the MBE is scaled and equated across time. The recommended weighting helps to ensure high decision consistency and comparability of pass/fail decisions across administrations.

Currently the MBE is used by all but three jurisdictions (Louisiana, Washington, and Puerto Rico). The essay exam is used by 27 jurisdictions, and the performance test is used by 34 jurisdictions.

Test Development

Standing test development committees that include practicing lawyers, judges, and lawyers on staff with law schools write the test questions. The questions are reviewed by outside experts, pretested on appropriate populations, analyzed and revised, and professionally edited before operational use. Case said the test development procedures for the Bar exam are analogous to those used for the medical licensure exams.

Operation ARIES! (Acquiring Research Investigative and Evaluative Skills)

The summary below is based on materials provided by Art Graesser, including his presentation 13 and two background papers he supplied to the committee ( Graesser et al., 2010 ; Millis et al., in press ).

Operation ARIES! is a tutorial system with a formative assessment component intended for high school and higher education students, Graesser explained. It is designed to teach and assess critical thinking about science. The program operates in a game environment intended to be engaging to students. The system includes an “Auto Tutor,” which makes use of animated characters that converse with students. The Auto Tutor is able to hold conversations with students in natural language, interpret the student’s response, and respond in a way that is adaptive to the student’s response. The designers have created a science fiction setting in which the game and exercises operate. In the game, alien creatures called “Fuaths” are disguised as humans. The Fuaths disseminate bad science through various media outlets in an attempt to confuse humans about the appropriate use of the scientific method. The goal for the student is to become a “special agent of the Federal Bureau of Science (FBS), an agency with a mission to identify the Fuaths and save the planet” ( Graesser et al., 2010 , p. 328).

The system addresses scientific inquiry skills, developing research ideas, independent and dependent variables, experimental control, the sample, experimenter bias, and relation of data to theory. The focus is on use of these skills in the domains of biology, chemistry, and psychology. The system helps students to learn to evaluate evidence intended to support claims. Some examples of the kinds of research questions/claims that are evaluated include the following:

From Biology

  • Do chemical and organic pesticides have different effects on food quality?
  • Does milk consumption increase bone density?

From Chemistry

  • Does a new product for winter roads prevent water from freezing?
  • Does eating fish increase blood mercury levels?

From Psychology

  • Does using cell phones hurt driving?
  • Is a new cure for autism effective?

The system includes items in real-life formats, such as articles, advertisements, blogs, and letters to the editor, and makes use of different types of media where it is common to see faulty claims.

Through the system, the student encounters a story told by video, combined with communications received by e-mail, text message, and updates. The student is engaged through the Auto Tutor, which involves a “tutor agent” that serves as a narrator, and a “student agent” that serves in different roles, depending on the skill level of the student.

The system makes use of three kinds of modules—interactive training, case studies, and interrogations. The interactive training exchanges begin with the student reading an e-book, which provides the requisite information used in later modules. After each chapter, the student responds to a set of multiple-choice questions intended to assess the targeted skills. The text is interactive in that it involves “trialogs” (three-way conversations) between the primary agent, the student agent, and the actual (human) student. It is adaptive in that the strategy used is geared to the student’s performance. If the student is doing poorly, the two auto-tutor agents carry on a conversation that promotes vicarious learning: that is, the tutor agent and the student agent interact with each other, and the human student observes. If the student is performing at an intermediate level, normal tutoring occurs in which the student carries on a conversational exchange with the tutor agent. If the student is doing very well, he or she may be asked to teach the student agent, under the notion that the act of teaching can help to perfect one’s skills.

In the case study modules, the student is expected to apply what he or she has learned. The case study modules involve some type of flawed science, and the student is to identify the flaws by applying information learned from the interactive text in the first module. The student responds by verbally articulating the flaws, and the system makes use of advances in computational linguistics to analyze the meaning of the response. The researchers adopted the case study approach because it “allows learners to encode and discover the rich source of constraints and interdependencies underlying the target elements (flaws) within the cases. [Prior] cases provide a knowledge base for assessing new cases and help guide reasoning, problem solving, interpretation and other cognitive processes” ( Millis et al., in press , p. 17).

In the interrogation modules, insufficient information is provided, so students must ask questions. Research is presented in an abbreviated fashion, such as through headlines, advertisements, or abstracts. The student is expected to identify the relevant questions to ask and to learn to discriminate good research from flawed research. The storyline is advanced by e-mails, dialogues, and videos that are interspersed among the learning activities.

Through the three kinds of modules, the system interweaves a variety of key principles of learning that Graesser said have been shown to increase learning. These include

  • Self-explanation (where the learner explains the material to another student, such as the automated student)
  • Immediate feedback (through the tutoring system)
  • Multimedia effects (which tend to engage the student)
  • Active learning (in which students actually participate in solving a problem)
  • Dialog interactivity (in which students learn by engaging in conversations and tutorial dialogs)
  • Multiple, real-life examples (intended to help students transfer what they learn in one context to another context and to real world situations)

Graesser closed by saying that he and his colleagues are beginning to collect data from evaluation studies to examine the effects of the Auto Tutor. Research has focused on estimating changes in achievement before and after use of the system, and, to date, the results are promising.

Packet Tracer

The summary below is based on materials provided by John Behrens, including his presentation 14 and a background paper he forwarded in preparation for the workshop ( Behrens et al., in press ).

To help countries around the world train their populations in networking skills, Cisco created the Networking Academy. The academy is a public/private partnership through which Cisco provides free online curricula and assessments. Behrens pointed out that in order to become adept with networking, students need both a conceptual understanding of networking and the skills to apply this knowledge to real situations. Thus, hands-on practice and assessment on real equipment are important components of the academy’s instructional program. Cisco also wants to provide students with time for out-of-class practice and opportunities to explore on their own using online equipment that is not typically available in the average classroom setting. In the Networking Academy, students work with an online instructor, and they proceed through an established curriculum that incorporates numerous interactive activities.

Behrens talked specifically about a new program Cisco has developed called “Packet Tracer,” a computer package that uses simulations to provide instruction and includes an interactive and adaptable assessment component. Cisco has incorporated Packet Tracer activities into the curricula for training networking professionals. Through this program, instructors and students can construct their own activities, and students can explore problems on their own. In Cisco’s Networking Academy, assessments can be student-initiated or instructor-initiated. Student-initiated assessments are primarily embedded in the curriculum and include quizzes, interactive activities, and “challenge labs,” which are a feature of Packet Tracer. The student-initiated assessments are designed to provide feedback to the student to help his or her learning. They use a variety of technologies ranging from multiple-choice questions (in the quizzes) to complex simulations (in the challenge labs). Before the development of Packet Tracer, the instructor-initiated assessments consisted either of hands-on exams with real networking equipment or multiple-choice exams in the online assessment system. Packet Tracer provides more simulation-based options, and also includes detailed reporting and grade-book integration features.

Each assessment consists of one extensive network configuration or troubleshooting activity that may require up to 90 minutes to complete. Access to the assessment is associated with a particular curricular unit, and it may be re-accessed repeatedly based on instructor authorization. The system provides simulations of a broad range of networking devices and networking protocols, including features set around the Cisco IOS (Internet Operating System). Instructions for tasks can be presented through HTML-formatted text boxes that can be preauthored, stored, and made accessible by the instructor at the appropriate time.

Behrens presented an example of a simulated networking problem in which the student needs to obtain the appropriate cable. To complete this task, the student must determine what kind of cable is needed, where on the computer to plug it in, and how to connect it. The student’s performance is scored, and his or her interactions with the problem are tracked in a log. The goal is not to simply assign a score to the student’s performance but to provide detailed feedback to enhance learning and to correct any misinterpretations. The instructors can receive and view the log in order to evaluate how well the student understands the tasks and what needs to be done.

Packet Tracer can simulate a broad range of devices and networking protocols, including a wide range of PC facilities covering communication cards, power functionality, web browsers, and operating system configurations. The particular devices, configurations, and problem states are determined by the author of the task (e.g., the instructor) in order to address whatever proficiencies the chapter, course, or instruction targets. When icons of the devices are touched in the simulator, more detailed pictures are presented with which the student can interact. The task author can program scoring rules into the system. Students can be observed trying and discarding potential solutions based on feedback from the game resulting in new understandings. The game encourages students to engage in problem-solving steps (such as problem identification, solution generation, and solution testing). Common incorrect strategies can be seen across recordings.

For Kuncel’s presentation, see http://www7 ​.national-academies ​.org/bota/21st ​_Century_Workshop_Kuncel.pdf . For Kuncel’s paper, see http://www7 ​.national-academies ​.org/bota/21st ​_Century_Workshop_Kuncel_Paper.pdf . For Anderman’s presentation, see http://www7 ​.national-academies ​.org/bota/21st ​_Century_Workshop_Anderman.pdf . For Anderman’s paper, see http: ​//nrc51/xpedio/groups ​/dbasse/documents ​/webpage/060387~1.pdf [August 2011].

Respectively, the Graduate Record Exam, Medical College Admission Test, Law School Admission Test, Graduate Management Admission Test, Miller Analogies Test, and Pharmacy College Admission Test.

Convergent validilty indicates the degree to which an operationalized construct is similar to other operationalized constructs that it theoretically should also be similar to. For instance, to show the convergent validity of a test of critical thinking, the scores on the test can be correlated with scores on other tests that are also designed to measure critical thinking. High correlations between the test scores would be evidence of convergent validity.

Discriminant validity evaluates the extent to which a measure of an operationalized construct differs from measures of other operationalized constructs that it should differ from. In the present context, the interest is in verifying that critical thinking is a construct distinct from general intelligence and expert performance. Thus, discriminant validity would be examined by evaluating the patterns of correlations between and among scores on tests of critical thinking and scores on tests of the other two constructs (general intelligence and expert performance).

It is important to note that when corrected for restriction in range, these coefficients increase to .47 to .51 for individual scores and .51 for the combined score.

For a full description of the PISA program, see http://www ​.oecd.org/pages ​/0,3417,en_32252351 ​_32235731_1_1_1_1_1,00.html [August 2011].

Available at http://www ​.oecd.org/dataoecd ​/8/42/46962005.pdf [August 2011].

Available at http://www7 ​.national-academies ​.org/bota/21st ​_Century_Workshop_Funke.pdf [August 2011].

A unit consists of stimulus materials, instructions, and the associated questions.

Costs are in American dollars.

DIPF stands for the Deutsches Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung, which translates to the German Institute for Educational Research and Educational Information.

The summary is based on a presentation by Susan Case, see http://www7 ​.nationalacademies ​.org/bota/21st ​_Century_Workshop_Case.pdf [August 2011].

For Graesser’s presentation, see http: ​//nrc51/xpedio/groups ​/dbasse/documents ​/webpage/060267~1.pdf [August 2011].

For Behrens’ presentation, see http://www7 ​.national-academies ​.org/bota/21st ​_Century_Workshop_Behrens.pdf [August 2011].

  • Cite this Page National Research Council (US) Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills. Assessing 21st Century Skills: Summary of a Workshop. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2011. 2, Assessing Cognitive Skills.
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