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Avia, Thomas Test Specialist at JobTestPrep.

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What Is the Thomas PPA Test?

The Thomas International Personal Profile Analysis Test (PPA), also known as the Thomas Personality Test, is a personality profiling test used by employers to assess candidates' fit for a particular job. It usually follows the GIA Test, the other of the two Thomas International Tests.

The PPA Assessment test results come as a behavioural profile based on 24 self-assessment questions. While the test should be answered at around 10-15 minutes, it is officially untimed.

The scoring method for the Thomas PPA test is based on the DISC model. These four letters represent an acronym of the four fundamental personality traits used to produce your profile: Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance.

One of the main challenges of the Thomas PPA assessment is that questions are forced-choice.

Let's see what this means and how to overcome this difficulty.

Looking for a different personality test? cut-e personality tests, Hogan Personality Inventory, PI behavioural assessment, SHL's OPQ32.

Thomas PPA Assessment Question Format

All 24 questions of the Thomas PPA Test are constructed using four personality traits, as follows:

Thomas PPA Sample Practice Question

You need to select one personality trait at the top row which most describes you, and one at the bottom row which least describes you.

Each word relates to a different one of the four key personality factors of the DISC model, and those you choose as ‘Most' and ‘Least' will determine your score on each of these factors.

So, where's the catch?

The unique structure of the Thomas International PPA Assessment, and the way the test results are analysed, pose two challenges which separate the PPA Test from other personality tests.

  1. You need to recognise which word relates to which factor.
  2. And even more important – The answers you DO NOT choose are as important as those you do.

 This will all be explained below.

The PPA preparation course includes a full PPA practice test that will:

  • Teach you to recognise which words relate to which DISC factor
  • Allow you to create and fine-tune your DISC profile to precisely match that of the ideal candidate.
  • Provide accurate insight into what recruiters look for.

Ace your recruitment process!

💡 Learn more about how the tailored PPA prep can help you.

Thomas International PPA Test Sample Question

 Let's look at an example of a question that may appear on the Thomas International PPA Assessment:

Thomas PPA Sample Question
  • So, How Should You Answer This Question?

Firstly, it's important to stress that on the PPA test, there is no single right answer for any single question.

But this doesn't mean there are no right or wrong answers at all. on the contrary, a strategy can be constructed for the Thomas International PPA test, but this strategy would depend on your job description and would span more than one single question.

Your aim is to create a solid, comprehensive profile across all 24 ppa test questions to best reflect the traits required for the job you want. And that can be accomplished only by taking the full, actual test.

However, just to give you a sense of how the test works, let's see what the most preferable response for such a question would be for several positions.

Recommended Answer and Explanation

Remember! This answer is provided only to give you a general understanding of the test.

On the actual assessment, the answers you do NOT choose are as important as those you do! Only by taking a whole PPA practice test, you can achieve an accurate, representative profile.

Here are the factors each description is related to:

  • Trusting – Influence
  • Respectful – Compliance
  • Courageous – Dominance
  • Agreeable – Steadiness

As previously mentioned, the required profile for each position greatly varies, so the ranking you should choose for these descriptions will also vary.

Here are three examples:

  • Directing Manager – the desired profile for a directing manager will be high on Dominance and Influence, and low on Steadiness and Compliance. Therefore, “courageous” should be ranked as 'Most', and “agreeable” should be ranked as 'Least'.
  • Bank Teller – the desired profile for a bank teller, as in most service-oriented positions, is high on Compliance and Influence and low on Dominance and Steadiness. Therefore, “respectful” should be ranked as 'Most', and “courageous” should be ranked as 'Least'.
  • Auditor/Inspector – positions that require awareness of the rules and assurance of compliance to them require a profile that is high on Compliance and Dominance, and low on Steadiness and Influence. Therefore, “respectful” should be ranked as Most, and “trusting” should be ranked as 'least'.


The PPA preparation course includes a full PPA practice test that will:

  • Teach you to recognise which words relate to which DISC factor
  • Allow you to create and fine-tune your DISC profile to precisely match that of the ideal candidate.
💡 Learn more about how the tailored PPA prep can help you.

Note that forming a strategy does not mean you shouldn't answer honestly. Knowing how to navigate the test will allow you to avoid classic mistakes made by other candidates during their recruitment process, but honesty is still the best policy.

  • What Can This Sample Question Teach Us?

As you can see, the PPA Test is a personality assessment that falls under the category of a forced-choice test. All options are positive, so you will have to ‘sacrifice' some traits – namely, choose traits in which you admit you are not as good.

On the PPA test, the art of selecting the right statements for Most and Least throughout the entire test, based on the specific job you want is what will get you the passing score.

How Is the Thomas PPA Test Scored?

Remember earlier in the page, when we said that the PPA test is a personality assessment in which answers you do not choose are as important as those you do?

How about that there is no right or wrong answer for any single question, only for all 24 as a whole?

Here's why.

The PPA test aims to assess not only your deliberate work persona, the version of you that you are interested in presenting to any potential employer.

This is why after you are done ranking your responses for all 24 Thomas International PPA test questions, 3 different profiles will be created for you:

  • PPA Test Profile #1 – Work Mask

The words you choose for “most describes me” make up the first personal profile graph, which represents the qualities that you want others to see in you.

  • PPA Test Profile #2 – Behaviour Under Pressure

The words you don't choose will make up the second profile graph, which represents the qualities that you yourself believe you possess.

  • PPA Test Profile #3 – Combined Profile

The difference between your Work Mask profile and your Behaviour Under Pressure profile makes up the third profile graph, which represents how people at work perceive you.

This profile is the most important one since it is the one that reflects your actual work behaviour in the eyes of the employer.

The PPA practice test will guide you step-by-step on how to create the three profiles and fine-tune the result based on the job you want.

Thomas PPA Test Profile

💡 Learn more about how the tailored PPA prep can help you.

What Does the Thomas PPA Test Measure?

The Thomas PPA Assessment is based on the psychological theory known as the DISC model. The name is derived from the 4 behavioural factors assessed:

  • Dominance – the need to control. Forceful, competitive, courageous, and aggressive.
  • Influence – the need to connect with others. Outgoing, friendly, and sociable.
  • Steadiness – the need for stability and peace. Calm, collected, and unpressured.
  • Compliance – the need for correctness, formality, and conformity. Orderly, respectful, rule-obedient, and traditional.

Based on your choices (and the choices you do not make) The PPA test will rank your personality profile on a scale of these 4 factors (or traits) and will compare that to the ideal candidate’s profile for the specific job you want.

Here are several ideal profiles, taken from our Thomas International PPA practice test:

PPA Test Profiles


On the accurate Thomas International PPA test preparation, you will find 11 such ideal profiles, covering all the most common job profiles taking the PPA assessment. Here is a rundown of everything included in the pack:

  • A PDF Thomas PPA Practice Test + Profile Guide – crack the complexity of the Thomas personality test with a step-by-step practice test simulating the actual test format and scoring method.
  • 11 Job Profiles – The best answers on the Thomas PPA test change dramatically between positions. Know how to create the exact profile for the job you want.
  • An Online, Interactive Personality Practice Test – Broaden your knowledge on how to approach and pass personality profiling tests.

💡 Learn more about how the tailored PPA prep can help you.

Thomas International PPA FAQs

How should I approach the PPA test?

The advice given to test-takers to ‘be yourself’ when answering test questions is helpful for employers to get a glimpse into how you view yourself. However, these instructions can be misleading for candidates who wish to show a side of themselves which they may only portray in certain work-related settings. So, when approaching the Thomas PPA test, you really should be considering which side of your personality you want to show that will be best for your desired job position.

Is it possible to fail the Personality Profile Assessment?

It is possible for your test results to drastically affect your chances of getting hired. The reason for this being that employers use this personality assessment to find out which candidates’ personality profiles match the job position’s requirements. Note that there are right and wrong answers when comparing test results to a specific job’s criteria.

Should I practise for the Thomas PPA test?

When preparing for any assessment, you are ultimately gaining more knowledge and confidence for when the real test comes along. By practising in advance for the Thomas PPA personality assessment, you will be able to know which traits you need to emphasise and which traits you should avoid based on the requirements of the particular job you’re interested in. By becoming more familiar with the test, you will be able to improve your chances of getting hired.

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