Passing a Cognitive Ability Test can be challenging. Use these easy preparation tips — from smart-guessing to time management — and breeze through it.
Are you anxious about your coming test? It is easy to just take it, and waste the opportunity – something you will surely later regret. However, it is not too late! Take a few moments to review these tips and get ahead of the competition.
1. Aim for Excellence, Not Perfection
Your absolute goal is to answer enough questions correctly – not to answer all the questions of the test correctly. Only a small fraction of test takers manage to finish the test and even fewer people answer all the questions correctly. It is that difficult!
On average, people answer correctly only 48% of the Cognitive Ability Test questions. For the vast majority of the jobs, if you manage to get 56% of the answers, you will very likely secure the next step of the recruitment process.
2. Know Your Strengths
Through practice, you will be able to identify question types that you answer more intuitively, thus faster. Try to answer all of them.
Equally important, you will probably identify question types that you find to be more difficult. Some of us are slow readers, some are confused by percentages, and some have a weaker command of grammar. If you encounter a question for which you know you will need more time, simply move on. It is not worth it to lose precious time on a question and only then to decide to move on.
3. Keep an Eye on the Time
Do not spend too much time on any one particular question. Remember that you have only a short time to complete your Cognitive Ability Test. Typically you can only spend around half a minute per question. Try solving shorter easier questions faster so you can leave the lengthier more difficult questions more time.
If you’ve found the correct answer or pretty sure that you have found it, mark it as the correct answer and move forward. Do not spend time going over the rest of the answers nor to verify that they are indeed incorrect.
Finally, If you find yourself stuck on a question for too much time, simply move on to the next one.
4. To Skip or to Guess?
Two absolutely critical pieces of information you will need to gather before the exam are:
- Is there a penalty for a wrong answer?
- Can you go back to previous questions?
Your strategy during the exam will vary based on the answer to these two questions. If there’s no penalty then there’s no harm in guessing. However, if there’s negative scoring in the exam, try to avoid wild guesses.
Additionally, if you cannot go back to previous questions, or if the time limitation practically prevents it, make sure to address all the questions as you go along through the test.
5. Be Prepared!
And finally – practice makes perfect. Invest your time now in preparing for the test and simulate the test as many times as possible. It can take as little as half an hour, and there are plenty of online sources for practicing Cognitive Ability Tests.
Many people believe there is no way to improve by preparing for these tests. However, it’s not true! Cognitive Ability Tests tend to reuse a similar format for the types of questions they use. Reviewing different kinds of questions in advance will give you a head start on your competition!
Cognitive Ability Tests Resources
- Sample questions
- An Academic overview
- The US government’s view
- Additional sample questions
- An article by Wonderlic, a leading assessment company
- An article by Korn Ferry, a leading assessment company