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Using Ability Tests For Staff Recruitment Purposes


As a follow up to a recent post about using ability tests for recruitment, Wyn Davies presents information about the assessments that TalentLens UK offer

Ability or, as they are sometimes called, reasoning tests measure the below abilities:

  • Verbal Reasoning and Critical Thinking Ability
  • Numerical Reasoning
  • Spatial Awareness
  • Mechanical Reasoning
  • Abstract Reasoning

As we explored in part one of this postnumerous research studies show that ability tests are powerful predictors of task performance at work – more so than academic achievements.

This is supported by the recent news that PwC has announced its intention to get rid of A-levels as a measure that it had previously used to screen potential employees. 

PwC will now rely on aptitude and behaviour tests, which their own research found to be more predictive of performance, alongside degree results to select for the 2,500 graduate scheme jobs it offers each year. 


Specific ability

Whilst they all provide insight into a person’s general intelligence (or ability), the additional information obtained by each test provides insight into an individual’s ability to put their brainpower into practice in specific areas.
Only measuring one element of general ability (a person’s prior knowledge and experience) may offer a less rounded picture of an applicant’s general ability.

The areas measured can be applied to particular disciplines. For example, an accountant may be typically required to display a certain level of numerical reasoning ability, whilst a lawyer may be expected to possess above average critical thinking ability.


TalentLens UK ability tests

Tests are available online as item-banks for unsupervised or supervised completion

Area Measured


Target Roles

Level of ability to think critically - analyse written information and reach correct and logical conclusions


Multiple. Any role where logical decision making is important 

Level of ability to reason with numerical data

Athena / RANRA

Multiple – anyone whose role involves budgeting, forecasting and working with numerical data to spot trends etc.  Finance, accounting and insurance sector roles – MBA and business schools

Level of ability to solve new and complex problems for the first time, without prior knowledge - abstract reasoning


Multiple. One of the most respected measures of general ability



View a recording of the recent The value ability tests bring to recruitment webinar

You can also request a free trial of our recruitment tools to try out within your teams. 


Connect with Wyn on LinkedIn



Critical Thinking

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