Hire Top Talent with Cognitive Ability Tests

What is a Cognitive Ability test?

Recruiters and HR Managers use cognitive ability tests to evaluates a person's current capability level and their ability to learn, solve problems and process information on the job. Cognitive tests, also called a reasoning analysis, aptitude test or intelligence test, remove unconscious bias from the selection process and support organisations to make reliable hiring decisions.

Extensive research has shown that cognitive ability tests are the best predictors of success as they have the highest correlation to job performance. Companies commonly use FinxS Cognitive tests during the pre-employment process due to their predictive value. Candidates that achieve higher scores are more productive and require less training resulting in savings of time and costs during the on-boarding of the employee. The tests improve retention, decrease training time and help avoid costly mishires.

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Cognitive vs. non-cognitive skills?

Cognitive and non-cognitive skill assessments capture unique aspects of work-related competencies. Together, they provide a more robust, more comprehensive, and complete picture of an individual. Using our advanced online assessment platform, FinxS, organisations can administer talent development cognitive assessments and non-cognitive Assessments from one integrated platform. 

Cognitive skills involve intellectual effort such as thinking, reasoning and problem-solving. All jobs require employees to have cognitive skills associated with learning and completing tasks. The FinxS Cognitive Ability test measures cognition in up to nine different areas.

Non-cognitive skills or 'soft skills' are related to motivation, communication and interpersonal skills. Soft skills refer to an individual's personality and attitude rather than their general intelligence. Almost all jobs require employees to have soft skills to work well with others and function effectively in the workplace. A great example of a non-cognitive assessment is the Extended DISC behavioural assessment.

Predict Job Performance

Identify candidate's who have the capacity to quickly acquire job knowledge and will exceed in the job role.

What does a Cognitive Ability test measure?

A cognitive reasoning assessment measures a persons working speed and accuracy related to thinking and reasoning. Candidates with high cognitive ability can generally perform work tasks more accurately and efficiently, make effective decisions, use their reasoning skills to solve problems and respond intelligently to new or complex issues.

Each cognitive ability test measures a different aspect of intelligence, usually involving comprehension of numbers, written or graphical information. The FinxS Reasoning Analysis measures the following areas:

  • Abstract logical - measures an individual's ability to understand different concepts and identify their interrelationships.
  • Logical processing - analyses an individual's ability to understand cause-effect relationships.
  • Spatial reasoning - measures the individual's ability to comprehend visual entities and their components.
  • Social reasoning - measures the individual's general sensitiveness to observe a social phenomenon.
  • Numerical reasoning – measures an individual's ability to spot relationships and patterns in numerical information.
  • Verbal reasoning - measures a person's ability to understand written information, conceptualise it and find causal relationships.
  • Mathematical logical reasoning - evaluates a person's ability to interpret and criticise statistical information.
  • Word Association - measures the ability to rely on written information to understand relationships between different concepts.
  • Visual memory - is the ability to remember and process relevant visual information.

FinxS Reasoning Reports

Organisations with successful recruitment processes place emphasis on hiring employees with the right ability for a role. These organisations understand that robust talent development cognitive assessments help identify top talent, increase employee retention and avoid high turnover.

Dig deeper into the results and analyse a person's speed vs accuracy. FinxS Cognitive Reasoning Assessment tests help you decide if it is more consequential to hire a candidate who can perform under pressure or who takes the time to analyse correctly.

Benchmark Performance

Analyse candidates against a chosen comparison group. Compare results at an organisational, country and global level to provide additional meaning to the results. Understand where your candidates cognitive reasoning assessment results sit in comparison to your organisation, country and globally.


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Book a complimentary consultation with one of our team to discuss how cognitive ability tests can help you hire top performing candidates.

Cognitive ability test for employment

Cognitive assessments are powerful predictors of job performance and help confirm the selection of individuals with the highest chance of success during the employment recruitment process. Cognitive ability testing empowers recruiters and business owners, to make informed decisions when filing positions. Using FinxS Cognitive Ability tests during the hiring phase will help reduce recruitment costs and support informed people decisions using non-bias assessment technology. Your business will have a higher chance of increasing productivity, overall performance and decreasing employee turnover.

To learn how to apply the cognitive ability test for employment with our a reasoning course. Attending reasoning training supports recruiters to learn how to effectively evaluate candidates who have the reasoning capacity equal to the job requirements. A reasoning accreditation will equip you with the knowledge to test aptitude skills and measure cognitive ability. 

Can you fail a cognitive ability test?

A cognitive ability assessment is not a pass or fail test. Although there are right and wrong answers, a candidate cannot fail. Rushing through the questions and providing incorrect answers will result in lower scores. Candidates should answer the questions to the best of their ability, so the recruiter or manager can gain an accurate picture of your current capabilities.

What to expect during a cognitive ability test

Cognitive ability tests assess a person's skills, abilities, and cognitive function. The FinxS Cognitive Ability test measures nine different areas of cognition. The skills analysed vary based on the specific test. The tests involve a combination of maths, verbal concepts, abstract thinking, and others.

How to prepare for a cognitive ability test

Practice Tests

Practice tests will help you identify patterns, recognise question types, and give you confidence in your test-taking abilities. If there is a topic area you are not comfortable in, answer practice questions, as these provide a space for you to make mistakes and learn from them without damaging your overall score.

Time Yourself

Most ability-based tests require you to answer a set of questions within a specific time frame. Working under time restrictions is stressful and can impact on performance. The best way to work better under pressure is to set a time limit and practice answering a range of questions within the time frame.

Read the Instructions

Read the pre-reading material carefully, so you understand how to prepare for the questionnaire and know which type of questions will appear. Before you start the test, read the instructions carefully, note how much time you have and how many questions there are. This information will allow you to pace yourself accordingly.

Cognitive ability test questions

The cognitive ability test questions are formulated to measure specific reasoning skills. The question type will differ based on the test administered to the candidate. Some questions will ask candidates to evaluate if a conclusion drawn from the data is true or false, and other tests ask them to fill in the blanks within sets of data. Some questions are implicit and require candidates to read through the information carefully to pick up subtleties.

Cognitive ability test answers

All of the tests have a time limit, and questions usually become more difficult as the candidate progresses. The answering format of a cognitive test will vary depending on the test administered. Some will be multiple choice or instruct candidates to fill in the blanks. Other questions will require a written answer or ask candidates to interact with graphics on the screen. Candidates will see in-depth instructions on screen before taking the test that will provide information on how to answer the questions.

Next steps 

Cognitive ability tests streamline the recruitment and selection process. The test results help you to avoid costly miss-hires and remove unconscious bias during the interview process.  Get in touch with us to learn how to hire top talent and predict job performance.

Discover our Range of Cognitive Assessments

Abstract Logical Reasoning

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Word Association

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Spatial Reasoning

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Visual Memory

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Mathematic Logical

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Numerical Reasoning

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Understanding Logical Processes

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Verbal Reasoning

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Social Context

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Hire top talent and predict job performance