MI5 Tests – A Guide To Acing the MI5 Recruitment Process and Joining the Service

MI5 is Britain's domestic counterintelligence agency. Though MI5 operations are shrouded in mystery, its recruitment process is accessible to the public.

Whether it's through MI5 Graduate Schemes or simply through the MI5 careers webpage, Britain's best and brightest can join the service and become active members of one of the foremost British intelligence agencies.

However, joining MI5 as a security service officer will not be easy.

MI5's rigorous and selective application process and assessment centre ensures only the top candidates attain a position in the service. To secure a position, you must be among those few who successfully complete the arduous MI5 Tests and assessment centre. It is recommended to employ practice tests and guides to prepare yourself.

On our MI5 PrepPack, you can get the most accurate, comprehensive, and structured practice available for the following MI5 Tests:

Cubiks Logiks
MI5's Cognitive Test

PAPI Assessment
MI5's Personality Test

MI5 Situational Judgement Test

You can also add assessment centre practice for a discounted price. Start practising with us today and get your career started!

MI5 Tests Preparation

The PrepPack™ Includes:

  • Full Cubiks Preparation including:
  • Cubiks Logiks
  • Cubiks PAPI
  • Cubiks Situational Judegement
  • Study Guides
  • Mock Tests
  • Answers and Explanations

May, Cubiks Assessments Expert at JobTestPrep
Have a question? Contact me at:

MI5 tests are an umbrella term encompassing the various aptitude tests, personality assessments, and situational judgment tests used during the MI5 recruitment process for intelligence officers or other positions. The MI5 tests you take will depend on the role you are aiming for.

Two very common MI5 psychometric tests are the cognitive test and the personality test. both provided by a psychometric testing company named Cubiks.

MI5 also use a situational judgment test to evaluate the soundness of your decision-making and its compatibility with MI5’s organisational culture.

Other MI5 tests include the MI5 Investigative Challenge, MI5 telephone or video interview, MI5 assessment centre and specific exams regarding your subject of interest. 

Use this navigational menu to reach your desired part of the MI5 psychometric tests guide.

Boost your application to join MI5,

The MI5 Application stage

No matter the position, every MI5 application process begins with an application form. You must submit this application while you are based in the UK and above 17 years of age, although you won’t be able to start work at MI5 until you are 18. After submitting the online application form, pending your suitability for the role, you will receive an invitation to take the MI5 Test. This is done using pre-screening questions.

The chief purpose of the MI5 test is to ensure that you match the basic criteria that make you eligible for an MI5 career.

Another purpose is to confirm that you do, in fact, possess the qualifications required for the job. MI5 jobs are classified into “specialist” and “generalist” positions. Candidates for specialist jobs at MI5 will typically need to have achieved certain educational credits before applying, while generalist jobs will only require the psycometric tests and assessment centre.

MI5 Situational Judgement Test

Often the first MI5 Test candidates are faced with (after pre-screening questions), the MI5 Situational Judgement Test evaluates thought processes and prioritisation abilities when dealing with difficult or morally grey situations.

Let's review an example:

MI5 Test Sample Question - SJT

You are part of a team assigned to work on a project of critical importance at MI5. During a team meeting, you find yourself caught in a conflict between your direct supervisor and a senior MI5 officer. You are aware that they do not get along professionally and are constantly in disagreement. The present argument is about strategies for intelligence operations, and they turn to you and ask you to pick a side.

Which of the statements is MOST and LEAST like how you would respond?


You accept the senior officer's idea. Since she is more senior, she has more influence on your status in the company, and therefore it is in your best interests to support her.


You accept the idea your supervisor's idea. Since he is directly above you, he has more influence on your daily routine in the service, and therefore it is in your best interests to support him.


You weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each side and decide accordingly, without getting involved in their personal conflict.


You believe that getting involved in this dispute would be detrimental to you as both sides are superior to you. Therefore, you refuse to pick a side, saying that both strategies are equally successful.

Explanation: This item examines your ability to think analytically while juggling workplace politics.

Let's consider each response individually:

Response #1 and #2: Both responses are similar in character. Although you make a decision, you base it on workplace politics rather than on your analytical abilities. Therefore, they are not the best responses.

Response #3: This is the best response as you demonstrate an understanding of social situations involving your superiors, as well as the ability to analyse information and make an informed decision.

Response #4: This is a passive response as you avoid making a decision. You let fear of political complications get in your way and refrain from contributing professionally. Thus, this is the worst response.

There is a reason the Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is commonly the first among the MI5 tests: it ascertains whether the candidate possesses a vital quality for an MI5 agent. Namely, the ability to keep calm and level-headed and to make accurate split-second decisions even when stakes are high.

Our MI5 PrepPack™ Will prepare you for the MI5 situational judgement test by providing a detailed guide on how to remain sincere while manifesting the sides of you your MI5 recruiters will be looking for. In addition, there are 5 mock Cubiks SJT tests to help you learn to apply these principles in practice.

The pack also contains prep for other MI5 tests you might face during your recruitment process. Study with cognitive, personality, and verbal practice Cubiks tests.

MI5 Online Investigative Assessment

The MI5 Investigative Assessment is another MI5 Test, taken during the recruitment process for MI5 intelligence officers after the SJT and before the first interview.

It is a 90-minute assessment that simulates a real MI5 investigation. You will be presented with documents, emails, and images related to a fictitious case to which you are assigned as an MI5 agent. You will need to answer a number of questions, in a multiple-choice format, regarding the investigation.

The MI5 Online Investigative Assessment aims to determine whether you are capable of making wise decisions, making logical inferences without jumping to conclusions, and paying attention to small details. Unlike situational judgement tests, which are also a type of verbal reasoning test, this one relies more on reading comprehension and astuteness.

Investigation is the basis of all MI5 operations. Whether you are applying for the role of an MI5  intelligence officer or any other position, MI5 recommends you take their investigative challenge - a 15-minute version of the Investigative Assessment. 

💡 You can take other MI5 quizzes here.

The MI5 Investigative Assessment is a form of verbal reasoning test. Our MI5 PrepPack contains Verbal Reasoning Practice, which is a useful tool to prepare yourself for the MI5 Online Investigative Assessment.

MI5 Cognitive Ability Test & Personality Test

These MI5 tests are perhaps the most intellectually challenging.

  • The MI5 Cognitive Ability Test is used during recruitment for the MI5 intelligence and data analysis development programme, and other specialist positions within the organisation.
  • The MI5 Personality Test is used across various fields and recruitment processes at MI5. 

Both online tests are provided by Cubiks, a leading supplier of pre-employment assessment tests. The cognitive exam is a form of the Cubiks Logiks Exam, and the personality assessment is a form of the Cubiks PAPI Test.

Let's take a look at what Cubiks cognitive questions look like, with a question from out practice tests:

MI5 Test Sample Question - Cognitive Test

The combined ages of a dog and its owner are 96 years in total. The owner is three times older than his dog. How old is the owner?






View Explanation

If the owner is 3 times older than his dog, we can create an equation letting the dog be X and the owner be 3X (as 3X is three times greater than X), with a total sum of 96 (their combined ages)

3X + X = 96

4X = 96

X = 24

The owner is 3X = 3 x 24 = 72

If you don't feel that you have time to solve the question using a formula, you can also choose the answer that seems most reasonable, plug the numbers, and see whether it fits. This can be a good time-saving strategy if practised and done efficiently.

The correct answer is D: 72

💡 Note: The real MI5 cognitive exam is timed.

You can find out more about Cubiks exams, which are used for the MI5 Tests, by watching our video on the subject:


JobTestPrep offers practice aptitude tests, as well as comprehensive and precise Cubiks preparation, curated and written by our expert instructors, as part of the MI5 Aptitude Tests PrepPack. 

Purchasing the pack will give you access to study guides, mock tests, and focused practice for the MI5 personality. cognitive, and verbal reasoning test, as well as all other MI5 Tests.

MI5 Assessment Centre & Interviews

After taking at least one MI5 Test, applicants who have passed will be summoned to an MI5 assessment centre. There, you will meet other candidates, conduct face-to-face interviews with MI5 recruiters, and be given the opportunity to ask your own questions and show your leadership skills.

Depending on the role you apply to, the MI5 Assessment centre can include a group exercise, role-playing tasks, written assessments, and competency-based interviews. The final interview is typically a panel interview.

Before the MI5 assessment centre final interview, which is more competency-based and assesses your skills and previous work experience, you may also be faced with a phone or pre-recorded video interview, to gauge your motivation for joining MI5. Consider using the STAR method during your interview on the assessment day.

💡 Preparation for the MI5 Assessment Centre is not included in our MI5 Online Tests PrepPack, but we do offer assessment centre preparation.

MI5 Graduate Schemes

No matter your academic background, it is likely MI5 has an opportunity for you, to act as a springboard for your career.

MI5 Graduate Schemes, or MI5 Development Programmes, are exclusive and prestigious courses that aim to recruit the very best recent graduates. There are four MI5 Graduate schemes, each will lead you to a different career at MI5: Intelligence Officer Development Programme, Intelligence & Data Analyst Development Programme, Technology Graduate Development Programme, and Business Enablers Development Programme.

The following is a table representing which MI5 aptitude tests are taken by applicants for each MI5 graduate scheme.

MI5 Graduate Schemes
Intelligence Officer Development Programme• Application
• Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
• MI5 Online Investigative Assessment
• Telephone Interview
• MI5 Assessment Centre
• Final Selection Board
Intelligence & Data Analyst Development Programme

• Application
• MI5 Cognitive Ability Test
• Subject of Interest Test
• Telephone Interview
• MI5Assessment Centre
• Final Selection Board

Technology Graduates Development Programme• Application
• Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
• Video Interview
• MI5 Assessment Centre and final interview.
Business Enablers• Application
• Telephone Interview
• MI5 Assessment Centre
• Final Selection Boar

Are you ready to launch your career in defending national security at MI5?

Start by practising for the MI5 tests. Our PrepPack will give you all the tools you need to come prepared on the day of the test.  For a discounted price, you can also add practice tests for the mi5 assessment centre.


This length of your application will obviously depend on various factors, but typically amount to 6-9 months. This is due to the vetting process, which can take quite a while.

When applying to MI5, you must choose a specific role. You cannot apply for more than two roles at a time.

The MI5 recruitment process usually looks like this:

  1. Pre-screening questionnaires to ensure you are eligible.
  2. Application (including the MI5 Tests)
  3. Vetting

In order to apply for MI5 jobs, you must have UK citizenship.

Additionally, it is required that you will have spent seven of the last 10 years residing in the UK. Exceptions can be made, depending on your reasons for taking residence outside the country.

You must be 17 to apply, and you must launch your application from within the UK.

If you are a dual citizen. you may still apply for an MI5 career. 

After an initial questionnaire to gauge your eligibility, you will be invited to take the MI5 test.

The vetting process for MI5 job applicants is long and arduous, but essential given the sensitive nature of MI5's work. 

Vetting occurs after the MI5 Test.

You will have a long conversation with an MI5 vetting officer. It should be noted that these officers are not naive, and cannot be fooled. They are aware that many of the candidates will have tried illegal substances and/oror affiliate with persons of other nationalities. Neither of these will get you disqualified necessarily. Lying to your vetting officer will.

It is important to be completely honest and disclose any and all relevant information. Your vetting officer will make an informed decision based on your personality profile.

Your vetting officer may ask for all sorts of documents, so it is important to make sure you have everything updated and ready to use. This includes present and current passports. Photo ID, bank statements, and credit card accounts.

Exciting, versatile, and fulfilling.

MI5 understands that in the public sector, members of the current generation look for versatility. This is why as an MI5 agent you will be given the opportunity to move around jobs and even company areas. Throughout your MI5 careers, you will likely take part in counterintelligence, counter-espionage, investigation, and many other fields of discrete service.

Though it is advisable not to share the details of your work at MI5 with people outside the organisation, spouses and close friends are allowed to know you belong to MI5, as well as non-dangerous information about your day-to-day.

You may be allowed to retain a presence on social media as an MI5 agent. However, you will be strongly advised to keep your profiles discrete and to turn privacy settings on.

Only a spouse or close family member.

During your recruitment, you will be given a cover story and instructed on what to tell others and how to manage your image during the MI5 recruitment process.