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What is a Cognitive Test? 

The purpose of cognitive tests is to measure your general intelligence. These tests are typically formulated in a multiple-choice format and can be found under the umbrella term known as of psychometric tests. Cognitive tests usually consist of verbal, numerical, abstract and logical tests.

 

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What does the Cognitive Test Consist of?

Below you can see the breakdown of what to expect in each subcategory:

Test

Question Topics

 

 Verbal

  • Vocabulary: Prove your knowledge in the definition and usage of words.
  • Analogies: Find the relation between a pair of words and apply it to an additional one.

 

 

Numerical

  • Basic Numeracy: Perform basic math – four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), fractions, averages and ratios.
  • Word Problems: Analyze and solve mathematical problems presented in text format.
  • Number Series: Find and follow patterns in a given set of numbers.

 

 

 

Abstract

  • Odd One Out: Decide which shape does not belong to a given set.
  • Next in Series: Find a progression pattern of shapes and decide what the next shape is.
  • Matrices: Similar to ‘next in series’, but in a two-dimensional matrix form.
  • Analogies: Uncover the relation between a given pair of shapes and apply it to another one.

 

 

Logical

  • Syllogisms: Derive a conclusion from a given number of premises.
  • Deductions and Conclusions: ‘Syllogisms’ in reverse – gather the required information to determine a given conclusion.
  • Seating Arrangements: Determine the order of several elements according to a given set of rules.

Cognitive Question Examples

Looking for additional information before practising the free test? Take a sneak peek at our expertly crafted cognitive test samples. After getting a taste of our product, you will have a better grasp on what we can offer you.

Verbal Test Example

Embarrassment is to blush as fear is to:

A. Stressful

B. Rattled

C. Perspire

D. Fatigue

E. Precipitate

The correct answer is C (Perspire)

Blush is a bodily expression of embarrassment just as perspire is a bodily expression of fear.

Numerical Number Series Test Example

3 | 15 | 10 | 21 | 15 | 25 | ?

A. 15

B. 18

C. 36

D. 75

E. 51

The correct answer is B (18)

In this series, 12 is added to the first number to get to the second. 5 is then subtracted from the second number to get to the third after which 11 is added to the third to get to the fourth and 6 is subtracted from the fourth to get to the fifth. Notice the alternate pattern: we add by one less number than previously added, then subtract by one more than previously subtracted.

The next step is to subtract by one more than 6: 25-7=18

3 15 10 21 15 25 18

+12 -5 +11 -6 +10 -7

Abstract Next in Series Test Example

Choose the image that completes the pattern.

The correct answer is the 5th image

This sequence follows two rules:

1. The star shape switches between the left bottom corner and the other corners: In the odd frames (frames 1, 3 and 5) it is in the left bottom corner, and in the even frames (frames 2 and 4) it moves to one of the other corners.

2. The diamond shape alternates between the bottom left corner and upper right corner.

Therefore, the frame we are looking for should show both the diamond shape in its upper right corner and the star shape in one of the corners other than the left bottom one.

Hence, the correct answer is the 5th image.

Logical Syllogism Test Example

Assumptions:
Some Company X employees work in Building 1.
All Company Y employees work in Building 2.

Conclusion:
Brad, a Company Y employee, works in Building 1.

If the assumptions are true, is the conclusion:

A. Correct

B. Incorrect

C. Cannot be determined based on the information

The correct answer is B (Incorrect)

According to the second assumption, all Company Y employees work in Building 2. Thus, if Brad is a Company Y employee, he must work in Building 2.

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Types of Cognitive Tests 

Cognitive aptitude tests given by multiple different test providers such as, Cubiks Logiks, PLI/PI LI (Predictive Index Learning Indicator), CCAT (Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test), Wonderlic and RCAT (Revelian Cognitive Ability Test). Below is a table to give you a better idea which tests employers typically use:

Test

Questions

Time (min)

Popular Countries Listed by Flag

Popular Employers

Cubiks Logiks

50

12

Shell, MI5, Norwegian

PLI

50

12

Maersk, IKEA, Nestle

CCAT

50

15

Marketo, Tibco, Finastra

Wonderlic

50

12

PepsiCo, Delta, Subway

Revelian

51

20

Australian Government, NSW Firefighters, Telstra

Note: Each cognitive ability test is slightly different in form, timing and scoring method. It is best to find out which test provider will be used in your cognitive reasoning test.

How are Cognitive Abilities Tests used in Employment? 

Cognitive assessment tests are frequently used when it comes to testing incoming employees. The purpose behind the assessment is to better grasp your strengths. This method is more effective than a general interview, information taken from references or career background checks. Hence, your answers will help place you in the correct branch of your chosen company. Furthermore, the results of the exam will inform upper-management if any additional grooming is necessary when bringing you up to speed for a smooth transition to the company.


How to Prepare for the Test? 

A few things to remember:

  •  Cognitive ability tests are given under very short timeframes
  • They are repetitive and consist of tricky questions

Don’t allow these elements to frustrate you. Through smart and directed practice, you can overcome these obstacles. Here are a few tips:

  • Practise full-length simulations
  • Familiarise yourself with the time constraints
  • Dig deeper during your practice sessions
  • Determine which questions are similar
  • Learn common methods used for solving
  • Focus on the trickier bits

General Tips 

Below are a few tips that can further help you in the cognitive ability exam and future exams on any subject:

  • Don’t procrastinate: No matter how you decide to prepare, it’s best to prepare straight away. The longer you wait, the less familiar you will be with the material, test format and style.
  • Master the Calculator: Familiarise yourself not only with the material on the practice tests, but also with how to most effectively use your calculator. Having scratch paper on hand will also help you during the solving process. By taking a cognitive test online, you will likely feel less nervous and ready for the actual exam.
  • Stay Calm: Try not to feel overwhelmed if you don’t know the answer straight away. While you should not randomly choose answers, it’s best to move on compared to wasting 8 minutes on a single question. Many cognitive ability tests will allow you to go back to any questions you may have missed, within the time constraint of course. Remember time is ticking.
  • Practise Hard Questions: Everyone has a different tolerance level. Thus, after practising the most common cognitive ability questions such as graphs, tables and pie charts; it's a good idea to spend most of your time with what you consider difficult.
  • Practise a New Way When Tired: When you need a break, try reading "light" study materials such as cognitive ability pdfs. The pdfs will allow you to take a profitable break from your testing time and further grow your knowledge on the subject.

Answering Speedily vs Accurately

Should you speedily go through your exam opposed to accurately formulating your answers? This is a common question among testers. The fact of the matter is that wrong answers do not count terribly against you, rather, it is more damaging to leave them blank. Thus, the best policy is to find a balance of answering both quickly and accurately. Brush up on your testing skills now by practising with our free cognitive test.


Techniques and Strategies 

The tasks in a general ability test are fairly simple, yet with so many questions and very little time, test takers frequently become overwhelmed. Don’t give yourself time to stress out. Remember to read all the instructions and play with your strengths. If you consider yourself a time management person, it may help to quickly formulate a plan. For example, give yourself a 5-15 second timespan to answer the questions quickly.

Note: typically, the test consists of 50 multiple-choice questions with a 12-20 minutes timeframe. Questions can also be mixed or divided into sections to keep the applicants on their toes.


Test Scoring – How is the Cognitive Ability Test Measured

The passing marks for each test provider vary due to each having their own scoring method and average score. Furthermore, the ‘right score’ differs depending on the vacant position. Thus, it’s best to begin to research your chosen company and job title to find the average cognitive reasoning result then attempt to score higher.


What is Cognitive Ability vs Skill Tests? 

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


Understand your Cognitive Test Results 

There are a few ways your test results are given to you. The easiest result to interpret is the raw score. This simply tells you how many questions were correct on a single examination. Sub-scores, meanwhile, give you your overall performance for a series of tests. This, however, will not determine your final result. After you have completed all the exams, you will then fall onto a percentile board. This board will compare your results to other job candidates of the same profession. The goal is to score in or above the 50th-percentile range which indicates that you possess adequate general intelligence, higher than 50% of applying candidates.


Are Cognitive Ability Tests Reliable? 

For the most part, cognitive ability tests are reliable. However, there are some factors to consider. For instance, some test takers become rather nervous when it comes time for the test. Thus, results can be skewed. This is why practising beforehand is critical when preparing for the assessments. By the practising, the average test taker’s stress level decreases which will result in a higher score. Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed. Begin your practise now!

 

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