Cognitive Ability Test Practice + Free Test & Prep Guide 2024

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Table of Contents:

    1. What are Cognitive Ability Tests?
    2. Test Topics
    3. 8 Free Cognitive Tests
    4. Cognitive Test Prep Guides
    5. Cognitive Ability Test Scoring
    6. FAQs
    7. Cognitive Ability VS Cognitive Skills Tests

What Are Cognitive Ability Tests?

Cognitive tests usually consist of verbal, numerical, abstract and logical tests. Their complexity and difficulty level can vary significantly between the different tests in this category.

The following eight common cognitive ability tests will be used as models for the analysis you are about to read. There are many more ability tests.

1) Cubiks Logiks
2) MMAT - McQuaig Mental Agility Test
3) GIA - Thomas International General Intelligence Assessment
4) HBRI - Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory
5) PLI - Predictive Index Learning Indicator
6) RCAT - Revelian Cognitive Ability Tests - used mainly in Australia
7) WPT - Wonderlic Personnel Test -  used mainly in the US
8) CCAT - Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test - used mainly in the US

5 Common Characteristics for Most Cognitive Ability Tests:

  1. They cover more than one subject. Questions from a variety of subjects will be shuffled together during the course of the test.
  2. Even single questions may not be dedicated to a single subject.
  3. There are often a lot of questions to answer in a short time frame
  4. Candidates are not expected to complete these tests in their entirety.
  5. The subject matter is usually not difficult, however, with the addition of time constraints and the shift between subjects can make the tests challenging.

Note that Cognitive Ability tests are just one type of aptitude test. To see an overview of the most common tests you might encounter during the hiring process, visit our aptitude assessment guide.


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Job-seeking can be a long and frustrating process that can take several months. As part of this journey, you'll have to take a number of pre-employment tests or video interviews.

We've designed our Premium Membership to guide you through the entire journey: 

Mix & match 3 PrepPacks of your choice at a 50% discount for 1 month/3 months/6 months.




Cognitive Tests Topics

I) Numerical Reasoning

What type of questions in this section?

1) Basic Numeracy: Perform basic math – four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), fractions, averages and ratios.

2) Word Problems: Analyse and solve mathematical problems presented in text format.

3) Number Series: Find and follow patterns in a given set of numbers.

II) Verbal Reasoning

What type of questions in this section?

1) Vocabulary: Prove your knowledge in the definition and usage of words.

2) Analogies: Find the relation between a pair of words and apply it to an additional one.

III) Abstract Reasoning

What type of questions in this section?

1) Odd One Out: Decide which shape does not belong to a given set.

2) Next in Series: Find a progression pattern of shapes and decide what the next shape is.

3) Matrices: Like ‘next in series’, but in a two-dimensional matrix form.

4) Analogies: Uncover the relation between a given pair of shapes and apply it to another one.

IV) Logical Reasoning

What type of questions in this section?

1) Syllogisms: Derive a conclusion from a given number of premises.

2) Deductions and Conclusions: ‘Syllogisms’ in reverse – gather the required information to determine a given conclusion.

3) Seating Arrangements: Determine the order of several elements according to a given set of rules.

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Most of our PrepPacks are designed for a specific test or employer.

What if you are applying for multiple positions? Or unsure which assessment test you're about to take? We've got your back.

Our test experts have created a premium job-seeker license. Once purchased, you will gain immediate access to 3 test preps of your choice from our library of hundreds of practice tests featuring different types and levels of difficulty.

If you have any questions or need help with finding the right prep, you can always contact our 24/7 customer support team.

If you do know the name of your cognitive test, you can find it on our Aptitude Test page.

Free Cognitive Ability Tests

Complete your test to get predicted score, then review your answers.

McQuaig MMAT

Test Time 4:30 min
Questions 15
Pass Score 8

Cubiks Logiks

Test Time 4:30 min
Questions 15
Pass Score 8

Thomas Int. GIA

Test Time 0:30 min
Questions 15
Pass Score 8

Hogan HBRI

Test Time 19 min
Questions 15
Pass Score 8

PLI Test

Test Time 8:24 min
Questions 20
Pass Score 8

Revelian RCAT

Test Time 10 min
Questions 25
Pass Score 8

Wonderlic Personnel

Test Time 8 min
Questions 30
Pass Score 8

Criteria CCAT

Test Time 4 min
Questions 12
Pass Score 8

Practice 1,000s of Cognitive Test Questions

Access 1,000s more questions that simulate your actual test.

Just a few days of practice can get you to your assessment knowing just what to expect.

Dominate your Coming Assessment: 12 Prep Guides for All Major Types of Cognitive Tests

Click on the guide you need from the list below. They all come with free practice questions, answers and explanations by our psychometric experts. 

They will also provide you with all the information you need to get you orientated with your fast approaching challenge.

We compiled these guides so you could understand your test's structure, format and difficulty level, and hopefully this will allow you to set yourself an efficient work plan and improve your skills fast.


How to Seriously Prepare (Within a Week or Less)

Since you probably don't have a lot of time to prepare, it's really important that you use your time in a focused and prioritised way

Hopefully you know your test type (i.e. PLI; Wonderlic; CCAT etc.), and if so we can guide you to the best practice material to make the most of your time and mental exertion. 

You will be plowing away on practice questions instead of hanging out with friends for the next week in any case, but the right choice of practice material can make or break all the effort you put in.

Choosing right will allow you to spend your time on relevant questions like the ones on your actual test and focus on only those aspects of the test where you are most week at.

Otherwise, you risk trying to cover everything and end up not doing enough in what's really important.

We can save you time, save you money and get you better results.


Great! Then the road to success is clear. Just click the purple button below and choose your tailored preppack.

But first, some tips:

1) Start by taking your Diagnostic test - Most packs come with a diagnostic test made to assess your baseline capabilities.

It's main objective is to help you pinpoint your weaknesses and direct you how spend your time and preparation efforts productively.

Follow the instructions in the diagnostic guide to get the most out of your diagnostic testing sessions.

2) Practise each subject separately - use subject-specific drills, with emphasis on your areas of weakness – Be sure to read the explanations for each question, even those you got correct!

You might gain some useful tips or solving methods that can save you time during the actual test.

3) Make use of the provided study guides – The PrepPacks™ we offer include comprehensive and thorough study guides and video tutorials for various subjects.

Don’t neglect them! They contain valuable information that can help you get the most out of your practise sessions.

4) Finish strong by taking the full-length test simulations in timed mode - Using timed tests will prepare you for the conditions of the real thing.


First I recommend you make a quick Google search to try and find out. If that doesn't yield anything try emailing or calling your contact person in the company you're applying for.

This extra little effort has the highest return in terms of better preparation.

If this is not an option open to you, don’t worry!

Since most cognitive ability tests share many of the same characteristics. You can prepare for any cognitive ability assessment using general preparation materials. 

For this exact scenario we compiled an All-Inclusive PrepPack™ that covers any and all cognitive ability tests. Granted this will cost you more time and effort for the same results as tailored prep.

How Are the Tests Scored?

Like many assessment tests, the cognitive ability tests allow you to interpret your score in 2 ways: raw, and set in a percentile.

Raw scores are calculated by adding up the number of questions you answered correctly. So, if you answered 24 out of 26 questions correctly, your raw score would be 24.  

Once your raw score has been determined, it will be converted into a percentile score.


The percentile score can tell employer a lot about your 'cognitive reasoning level', or in other words, your ability to learn and perform new tasks quickly. 

After the percentile has been formed, it will then be compared to other candidates’ percentile scores, namely those who happen to fall into your normative group.

This means that your score will be scrutinised against other applicants who match your job title, education level and more.  

In some cases, you might also receive a percentile score for each of the test’s subjects, i.e., numerical, verbal, etc. Other score reports may also suggest your level of suitability for various positions and professions. 

Note: You are not likely to view your own score report – oftentimes your results go straight to the employer.

Cognitive Ability exam preparation


Can I use a calculator?

While some tests allow the use of a calculator for their numerical questions, most cognitive ability tests do not.

Keeping this in mind while you practise will help you in learning to perform the necessary calculations in your head.

Should I guess when I don’t know the answer?

Being able to skip questions depends on the way the test is scored and whether points are deducted for incorrect answers.

If they are – you should not guess, and simply skip the question. If they are not – it is best to take a guess and move on to the next question.

Can I go back and answer questions I skipped?

This depends on the specific test you will eventually take. Read the instructions carefully on your test day as they will most likely include this information.

After you know whether you can go back or not, the real question becomes what to do in each scenario. This is important as it should change how you approach each question during the test.

If you know you cannot go back, then you must deal with each question as it comes.

If you’re allowed to go back, you can decide, for example, to first answer all the questions in your strongest subject making sure to get as many points as possible, and only then start answering the questions in your weaker subjects.

Will I have time to answer all the questions?

At the beginning of most cognitive ability tests it is stated that most people do not complete the entire assessment.

This is in large part due to the number of questions presented and time frame in which you are given to answer.

You can gauge how well you are doing by taking into account the number of questions you have answered when time runs out.

For example, If the time runs out and you answered 40 out of the 50 questions – you are doing very well!

It is extremely rare for candidates to not only answer all of the questions, but also answer them correctly. Don’t sacrifice quality for quantity.

Cognitive Ability Vs Cognitive Skills Tests

Cognitive Ability Tests: The purpose of cognitive tests is to determine your ability to learn and apply new skills, your ability to adapt to change, your problem-solving skills and your ability to follow instructions.

Essentially, these tests measure your general intelligence which is why they are commonly referred to as ‘intelligence’ tests. They do not measure your numerical or verbal skills outright.

A higher score on this sort of exam demonstrates to upper management that you have had formal educational training, while a lower score indicates that you may require more detailed instruction and supervision for learning new skills.

Cognitive Skills Tests: The cognitive skills test gauges if verbal and math career training programmes are needed for the entry-level job.

Furthermore, this exam will tell your future employer where best to place you within the company. Unlike the cognitive ability test, the skills test will also measure your existing skills.

The results will detect the specific skill sets the interviewer is looking for.

More Free Practice

We at JobTestPrep find the assessment tests world highly diverse and fascinating. If you are looking to deepen your knowledge in the aptitude tests world, or you want some extra practice before your test, we've got you covered!

Check out these fantastic free practice tests (all are completely free):

Free Aptitude Test | Free Psychometric Test | Free Numerical Reasoning Test | Free Verbal Reasoning Test | Free Cognitive Test | Free Critical Thinking Test | Free Abstract Reasoning Test | Free Spatial Reasoning Tets | Free Personality Test | Free Inductive Test | Free Mechanical Reasoning Test  

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