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Ability Tests

We can help you measure:

Critical Thinking | Numerical Reasoning | Inductive Reasoning | SJT


Our ability tests enable our customers to evaluate candidates’ thinking skills.

By measuring problem solving, verbal reasoning, critical thinking or numerical skills, we help to identify talent early in the process.

This page discusses what ability is and why it is measured. Feel free to jump straight to our graduate solutions


What is ability?

Cognitive abilities are the brain-based skills required to perform any task, ranging from the basic to the most difficult.

Cognitive ability assessments are psychometric tests used in the workplace to measure candidates' aptitude when encountering new problems and tasks.

Tests are normally timed and results compared to a general population or more specific group of working adults. The results are a powerful predictor of workplace task performance.


The different types of ability.

The ability to manage staff, ride a horse or build a house is called learned ability, which is acquired over time through practice. This is also referred to as crystallised intelligence.

The ability to solve new problems or tasks without prior knowledge is known as fluid intelligence.

Whilst there are connections between fluid and crystallised intelligence, a high level in one does not always correlate with a high level in the other. For this reason, recruiters use cognitive ability tests to support academic qualifications and prior knowledge.

How are tests used?

Nearly all (circa 95%) of occupational ability test usage is during the recruitment process - either as an online assessment of candidates’ general ability levels or in assessment centres, usually as a verification of an earlier score.

Some theorists believe that cognitive ability is innate. Others propose that it can be taught and developed. In practice, organisations look for graduates already possessing the required amount of general ability to be able to perform tasks effectively.


Having sifted unsuitable candidates and prior to interview / assessment centre, it is beneficial to measure candidates' personality traits and values.

By determining an individual's personality traits – stress resistance or original thinking for example, one can assess candidates’ suitability and use the results to inform interview questions.

BPS Training

To be able to use our ability and personality tools, the BPS Test User: Occupational Ability & Personality qualification is required.

We offer a Combined course, enabling both qualifications in 4 days.

We also hold individual BPS Ability and Personality training. Our training courses are held in central London and Manchester. We offer in-house training courses.