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Everything You Need to Know

Pre-employment assessment tests are known as accurate predictors of your job performance and training success in almost every occupation. They are powerful employment tools that measure various aspects of your mental abilities such as:

  • numerical reasoning
  • logical reasoning
  • verbal ability
  • memory
  • spatial reasoning
  • reading comprehension

If you are applying for a position, the recruiter might ask you to take one or more pre-employment assessment tests.

Test scores calculated via standardized tools and therefore, are valid and reliable enough to make an unbiased judgment on your candidacy. The information gathered on your cognitive abilities and overall aptitude is incredibly accurate and insightful, something that is impossible for a resume alone to convey.

There are different types of pre-employment assessment tests, and they are broadly classified into three main categories: (1) Aptitude tests (2) Personality tests, and (3) Skills tests.

There are many kinds of pre-employment assessment tests such as Matrigma Test, Wonderlic Personnel Test, Revelian Cognitive Ability Test, McQuaig Mental Agility Test, Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test, etc. Although all of these tests measure your mental abilities, their features do vary, including structure, content, time duration, style of questions, scoring system, and administration mode. For example, the Matrigma Test, which measures your problem-solving, logical ability and ability to draw conclusions, is distinguished for its high dependability due to its randomized items and responses. The Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test focuses more on your logical and math, verbal reasoning and spatial reasoning to determine success for various types of jobs. Similarly, Object Recognition Test is unique in assessing your visual abilities through complex x-ray images of luggage.

The pre-employment assessment tests are categorized into three main groups:

  1. Aptitude tests – measures your general mental intelligence and predicts your suitability for any particular mid or senior level position
  2. Personality tests – assesses your behavioral tendencies and indicate whether or not you are a good fit for the position.
  3. Skill tests – measures the knowledge you have acquired from previous work experience and/or education.

What are the Tests Used For

Pre-employment assessment tests are extensively used to gauge your mental potential in dealing with problems at the workplace before hiring you as an employee. Generally, such tests, especially the cognitive ability tests, assess various aspects of your mental abilities such as:

  • Reasoning
  • Perception
  • Memory
  • Verbal ability
  • Logical ability
  • Problem-solving

They have a standardized and reliable way of scoring for all different types of formats, including true-false, short answer, and multiple choice.

Some tests assess your more specific mental abilities like:

  • Spatial relations
  • Number series completion
  • Reading comprehension
  • Verbal analogies

The pre-employment tests enable recruiters to get to know your abilities in a way that resumes and interviews cannot. In addition, if you are assessed through one or more of such tests, you are less likely to be prone to any kind of subjective bias when hiring decisions. It is because they have all the objective and reliable information gathered with the help of standardized tools. All of these things mean the best hiring decisions and huge saving for the employers.

Tests Categories

Pre-employment assessment tests are of different kinds and they are broadly classified into three main categories: (1) Aptitude tests (2) Personality tests, and (3) Skills tests.

(1) Aptitude Tests:

Aptitude is considered the most accurate predictor of your job success. Pre-employment aptitude tests emphasize critical thinking, problem-solving, and the ability to learn new things and apply new information. They are used to test your general mental capabilities. They are especially beneficial if you are applying for mid- or higher-level jobs.

Qualities like problem-solving skills and the ability to learn new concepts are especially valuable to most employers but they can’t assess these qualities via a resume. Pre-employment aptitude tests do all this for employers, giving them accurate insight about your aptitude through a report that is two times as powerful in predicting job success as a job interview, three times as powerful as your previous work experience, and four times as powerful as your education record. An example for one such known test is the Criteria Cognitive Ability Test.

(2) Personality Tests:

If you are applying for a job, you may be asked to take a pre-employment personality as personality tests are becoming much more popular among recruiters today. Unlike many other pre-employment assessment tests, these tests have no right or wrong answers. However, they are powerful recruitment tests that reveal whether or not you will be comfortable in a particular role and have the necessary behavior traits required for the position. In other words, they are indicators of how good a match you are to not only the job role, but also a company’s overall culture. Big Five or Five Factor Model is the most widely used personality test which measures five aspects of your personality: (1) Agreeableness, (2) Conscientiousness, (3) Extraversion, (4) Openness, and (5) Stress Tolerance.

Personality tests seek to find out whether you are comfortable in doing a job rather than whether you are capable of that.

For instance, if you are applying for a sales or customer service position, it might be expected that you will score high on extraversion and openness and low on stress tolerance and agreeableness. Personality tests seek to find out whether you are comfortable in doing a job regardless of your capabilities. Customer service personality tests and integrity tests are two popular kinds of personality tests.

(3) Skills Tests:

Throughout your education and career, you have amassed a number of skills. Skill tests gauge the kind of knowledge you have gained through experiences, such as verbal skills, math skills, communication skills, and even typing, printing, office skills, etc. Most often skill tests assess your micro skills such as typing speed or ability to use specific software, which indicates your readiness skill or competency for the job. However, such skill tests, unlike aptitude tests and personality tests, never predict your job performance in the long run.

Pre-Employment Assessment Tests – Covered on

Following are brief explanations of ten kinds of popular pre-employment assessment tests – all covered on

Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT)

Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT) is a cognitive ability test which accurately predicts your success on every type of job. Developed by Criteria, this scientifically valid and accurate online test is widely used by recruiters to test your critical thinking, problem-solving, learning ability and ability to apply new information. In this test, you are assessed on three main aspects of cognition: (1) Logic and Math (2) Verbal Reasoning, and (3) Spatial Reasoning with 50 questions to be answered within 15 minutes.

Because the CCAT delivers a quick and insightful report, several organizations rely on this recruitment test for their hiring process. A CCAT report consists of raw scores, percentile ranking, and sub-scores which clearly reveal your individual cognitive ability as well as your relative cognitive ability with respect to other participants of the test.

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Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT)

Elevator Industry Aptitude Test (EIAT), developed by International Union of Elevator Construction and National Elevator Industry, is a pre-employment assessment test which helps enhance your skills and knowledge within the elevator industry. As the name indicates, the EIAT measures your ability to work in the elevator industry. This cognitive aptitude test has two parts: (1) A pre-apprenticeship aptitude test in which you need to obtain a minimum score of 70% in order to pass, and (2) A 15-20 minutes test-interview conducted by the Joint Apprenticeship Committee where you will be interviewed by several interviewers and your final interview score will be the average of two of their highest scores.

The first part assesses your reading comprehension, mechanical ability, and numerical ability, whereas the second part assesses your behavior, personality, work experience, school report, and mechanical skills. The final EIAT score is created by the 4-tier system in the final assessment.

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Matrigma Test

The Matrigma test is Assessio International’s classic recruitment tool to determine your job success by assessing your cognitive abilities. It measures problem-solving, logical ability, and ability to draw conclusions with 35 questions to be answered within 40 minutes. Also known as Hogan Matrigma, this cognitive ability test gives you an instant report, which contains reliable and accurate information, immediately after you complete the test.

You also get a relative score which is the score against other people who took Matrigma test. The Matrigma Test is flexible to administer which, here, implies that you can have it with or without supervision. Due to the randomization of questions, no two people will take the same test making it one of the most reliable pre-employment tests.

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McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT)

The McQuiag Mental Agility Test (MMAT), formerly known as McQuiag Occupational Test, measures your normal mental agility, like the speed of thought and other aspects of intelligence needed to perform a job. With a set of 50 multiple choice questions and a time limit of 15 minutes, the test aims to assess your ability to think, learn, and quickly grasp new information. The questions are based on vocabulary, reasoning, and mathematics.

The result of the test determines your mental intelligence for performing a job, which is impossible for a recruiter to assume with just a resume. The MMAT is, in fact, also a personality test to assess your core temperament as an employee. There is no passing or failing the test but rather it measures your fit for a particular position.

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NJATC Aptitude Test

The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) in collaboration with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Association (NECA) formed the Electrical Training Alliance which aims to provide those who want to be electrical apprentices the latest training programs of the electrical construction industry.

If you’re looking forward to becoming both licensed electrician and certified technician, the NJATC aptitude test is going to help you. This pre-employment assessment test consists of two sections: (1) algebra and (2) reading comprehension. You are required to complete these sections in 2.5 hours. In order to pass the test, you must obtain a minimum score of 4 out of 9. If you’re interested in enrolling in an electrical apprenticeship program, you can take this test by first filling out an application form online.

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Object Recognition Test (ORT) and XRAY Test

The Object Recognition Test (ORT) and XRAY Test are part of the Transportation Security Test (TSA) and must be passed if you are looking to be hired as a pre-boarding screening officer. After you are assessed on basic English skills in the first section, you need to identify particular objects in X-ray images in the second section of the ORT. Here you will be presented with complex X-ray images of luggage, out of which you will need to identify objects like a hammer, gun, knife…etc. that are hiding behind or blending with other objects. And this, you must do it within 15 seconds. Sometimes, the objects to be identified are less threatening such as bottles, chargers, shoes…etc.

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Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment

The Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment (aka PILI or PI Learning Indicator) is a comprehensive employment test for measuring your mental abilities. It was formerly known as Professional Index Learning Indicator (PILI). It primarily tests your current skills and readiness to perform a role. The degree mentioned in your resume doesn’t necessarily indicate how well you have performed while earning it even though it might be relevant to the applied position.

The PILI, therefore, highlights your ability to learn and grasp new things apart from your degree. With 50 questions and a time limit of 12 minutes, it accurately judges your learning capacity, thinking capacity, and knowledge acquisition capabilities. Like many other pre-employment tests, this test is scientifically approved and produces a report that reveals accurate and reliable information regarding your cognitive abilities.

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Revelian Cognitive Ability Test (RCAT)

The Revelian Cognitive Ability Test or RCAT is a well-known test used by the recruiters who seek to hire innovative employees. If you have the ability to easily process numeric, abstract, or verbal information, this test should be a cinch. It is comprised of 51 questions that need to be answered within 20 minutes. It is all about being tested for a high mental ability and great problem-solving skills which cannot be presented through your resume or interview.

The RCAT is an assessment tool distinguished for its ability to measure your above-average thinking capacity or higher level of cognitive skills with a broad range of tough questions. If you want to take the RCAT, it is readily available online.

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Watson Glaser Test (WGCTA)

In order to measure your critical thinking skills, the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test (WGCTA) or Watson Glaser Test was created by Goodwin Watson and Edward Glaser. Critical thinking means thinking creatively and reasonably by linking information from various sources to a particular problem. WGCTA is a pre-employment test which has 40 questions and a 30 minutes time limit, to accurately assess different aspects of your critical thinking skills such as:

  • Recognizing assumptions
  • Evaluating arguments
  • Drawing conclusions

Since this is all about your critical thinking skills, you might be expected to have high problem-solving skills as well as the ability to analyze the pros and cons before making a conclusion. It is used by recruiters who want to hire talented people for the position of managers or future leaders. It is available for you to take online as well as on paper and it is administered in English, French, Dutch, and Spanish.

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Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT)

The Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) specializes in assessing your cognitive abilities, such as learning a specific task, solving problems, following instructions, and adapting existing knowledge to new situations. The result of this test gives hiring managers an idea of your future job performance and retention, enabling them to make the best hiring decision. WPT questions are based on math, vocabulary, and grammar and test your complex mental abilities like abstract thinking, logical thinking, serial thinking, critical thinking, and complex math problems.

Wonderlic’s scoring system is advanced, standardized, and accurately predict your job potential. The WPT consists of two versions: Wonderlic Personnel Test Quickest (WPT-Q) with 30 questions and an 8 minutes time limit, and Wonderlic Personnel Test-Revised (WPT-R) with 50 questions and a 12 minutes time limit. If you successfully pass WPT-Q, then you might be asked to take the WPT-R which is a full-length test. It is available online and can be taken individually or in a large group.

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Sample Questions

Sample Question 1

Complete the following sequence: 16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 0.5, 0.25, ___

Sample Question 2

A bus covers 40 meters in 0.4 seconds. With that speed, how much distance can it cover in 1.6 seconds?

Sample Question 3

In the following set of words, which word is different from the others?

A. Indian
B. Turkish
C. French
D. Catholic
E. Czech

Sample Question 4

Select the next number in the sequence: 2, 6, 10, 30, 34, ?

A. 37
B. 42
C. 60
D. 64
E. 102

Sample Question 5

The wrench is to tool as a toaster is to

A. appliance
B. burn
C. aroma
D. coffee



Tips for Passing

Below are some valuable tips for passing your pre-employment assessment test:

  1. At first, you should get information about the type of test you’re going to take from your employer. If no information was provided, reach out to them and ask for it.
  2. Take advantage of practice pre-employment tests available to get familiar with the format and timeframe of the test.
  3. Especially remember to pay attention to what kind of questions are there and how they are presented. Try to complete your practice tests within the given time limit. Using a stopwatch is helpful.
  4. It is always a good idea to calculate the amount of time you can spend on each question so that you can spend your time wisely during the practice and actual employment tests.
  5. If you are going to take it online, have a piece of scrap paper and pencil ready.
  6. Try to be quick and careful at the same time. Stay alert as the questions may be tricky.
  7. While doing your practice tests, ensure that your environmental conditions are realistic. Choose a quiet place.
  8. Some pre-employment tests might not allow you to take notes or use scrap paper. So be informed about such details beforehand.
  9. Don’t get stuck on any one question for a long time. You can usually come back to the remaining or unanswered questions after responding to the ones that you are sure of.
  10. Remember to double-check your answers on the easier questions. These are easy points that you want to make sure to get.
  11. In the case of multiple choice questions, stop the normal urge to guess the right answer. Instead, take a deep breath and use logic.
  12. Maintain a calm and confident attitude before and during the test. If you feel stressed, you might be careless, indecisive or irritated which might affect your cognitive ability.
  13. Some aptitude tests do not allow you to skip questions. If you find yourself bogged down on some difficult questions, make the best guess or simply move on after spending a reasonable amount of time on them.
  14. And yes! Don’t forget to go thoroughly over the instructions or guidelines before beginning to answer the questions.



Free Tests Resources


Covered Pre-Employment Tests


PI Cognitive Assessment test, formerly known as Predictive Index Test and Professional Learning Indicator (PLI) is a comprehensive test, designed to assess the cognitive abilities of the hires.
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Previously known as OCAT, the RCAT is a psychometric test from Revelian Company which requires candidates to process numeric, abstract or verbal info to have innovative people on board.
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XRAY Test is one of the most challenging and competitive tests of Transportation Security Administration Test (TSA) for you to pass if you are looking for a position of Transportation Security Officer (TSO) at an airport. In general, TSA Computer Based Test consists of two sections.
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Initially developed by Goodwin Watson and Edward Glaser, Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal test is designed to understand candidate’s critical thinking skills.
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Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT) by Wonderlic Inc. is a powerful assessment tool that measures your cognitive abilities for companies to decide your suitability for a job position.
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Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test is an aptitude test created by Criteria and it measures your critical thinking, problem-solving skill, learning ability and ability to apply new information.
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Created by the International Union of Elevator Construction (IUEC) and National Elevator Industry, Inc., the NEIEP (National Elevator Industry Educational Program) is a joint labor-management and education program that serves the IUEC industry.
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Previously known as McQuaig Occupational Test, McQuaig Mental Agility test or MMAT is a 15-minute, time-bounded test aims to measure one’s general mental agility, the speed of thought and other aspects of intelligence that are required for the job.
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The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training committee along with International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and National Electrical Association (NECA) form an Electrical Training Alliance to help electrical apprentices to get up-to-date training initiatives of the electrical construction of industry.
Read more


Matrigma, developed by Assessio International, is a classical assessment that measures your cognitive ability on a modern and safe web platform. It is a powerful tool to determine or predict your job performance.
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