The Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment is the new name for the test previously known as the Predictive Index Test or Professional Learning Indicator Test (PLI Test). While the PI Test was re-branded at first as The Predictive Index Learning Indicator or PILI test, this name was discarded, and the PI Cognitive Assessment is the new official moniker of this PI Test. Therefore, if you are told that you are about to take a test that follows any of the names above – know that they all refer to the same PI Test.

The PI Cognitive Assessment is a 12-minute test with 50 questions. It is given to potential employees to assess the skills that interviewers can’t gauge through the candidate’s resume or in person. When hiring to fill a position, employers often assume that if the person has a degree in the required area, he or she will suffice. However, the degree only shows that the candidate has completed the curriculum, not how well they have performed while doing it.

Did you know?

The PLI Test consists of three sections: (1) numerical reasoning, (2) verbal reasoning, and (3) non-verbal reasoning. The average test taker gets 20 answers right, so you will want to score higher than that to stand out. Candidates who can work quickly on this tightly timed test tend to perform better.

Hence, the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment is supposed to find those who have earned not only a diploma or a specialization in the respective courses, but also have the desire and the capability to learn and grasp new things. It measures the candidate’s capability under set time-constraints. It is one of the best scientifically-approved management tests in measuring the learning capabilities of job applicants. It predicts thinking capabilities, knowledge acquisition, and much more.

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Icon Questions Explained White PI Question Types Explained

The creators of the assessment test have divided the test’s 50 questions into three sub-categories:

  1. Numerical Reasoning: Number series, math problems, and word problems
  2. Verbal Reasoning: Analogies, formal logic, antonyms
  3. Non-verbal Reasoning: Spatial awareness, logical reasoning, inductive reasoning

Numerical Ability

These questions assess your ability to reason using numbers and numerical concepts, and they measure analytical thinking.

In order to solve the questions of this category, you need to have previous knowledge of the following:

  1. four basic math operations
  2. how to approach and solve problems that involve fractions, percentages, and decimals
  3. the basics of calculating an average
  4. working with probabilities and ratios.

The three types of questions that comprise this section are:

(Click the “+” sign to expand each question type)

Word Problems

  • Question Format / Instructions
    You need to solve a mathematical word problem. These math problems involve different types of math calculations—anywhere from basic operations to statistics and probability. Like the rest of the questions, you only have about 15 seconds to solve each one, which can make you feel tremendous time pressure, especially as word problems are perceived as more difficult and stressful.
  • Winning Tip for Word Problem Questions
    The best usual course of action is to not complete the calculations but to eliminate answers until you are left with one. Since there must be a correct answer, you can mark it and move onwards. iPrep’s detailed solutions include many elimination techniques.
  • Try It Yourself – Word Problem Sample Question

Number Series

  • Question Format / Instructions
    You must decipher the underlying logic of a series of numbers and find the next number in the series. 
  • Winning Tip for Number Series Questions
    For this type of question, the most important concept you should have in mind is “Times 2.” In many sequences, either the numbers are multiplied or divided by 2 or the differences between the numbers are multiplied or divided by 2.
  • Try It Yourself – Number Series Sample Question

Value Estimation

  • Question Format / Instructions
    Your goal is to determine which numerical expression has the highest or the lowest value. The expressions usually consist of fractions and decimals.
  • Winning Tip for Value Estimation Questions
    It is highly recommended to know simple conversions of decimals to fractions, and vice versa, by heart, which will be an outstanding time-saver.
  • Try It Yourself – Value Estimation Sample Question

Verbal Ability

This category assesses reasoning and comprehension of words, constructive thinking, and logical reasoning ability.

These questions do not focus on the basic command of English grammar rules but focus more on your vocabulary, mainly through various comparisons of words and their meanings like word analogies and antonyms/synonyms.

The three types of questions in this section are as follows:

(Click the “+” sign to expand each question type)

Word Analogies

  • Question Format / Instructions
    Your goal is to find a meaningful relationship between two words (WORD A : WORD B). Once you have established the relationship, you will locate another pair of words that has the same relationship so that the sentence WORD A is to WORD B like WORD C is to WORD D” will be correct.
  • Winning Tip for word analogy questions 
    While solving analogies, the most important rule is to maintain the order of the analogy. If the analogy between word A and word B is “A works at B”, then an answer that presents a perfect analogy but in the reverse order (“D works at C”) can never be the correct answer.
  • Try It Yourself – Word Analogy Sample Question

Finding the Antonym

  • Question Format / Instructions
    You need to find a word whose meaning is the opposite of the given word.
  • Winning Tip for Finding the Antonym Questions
    Have in mind that some words are homophones, which are pronounced the same but have different meanings. The tricky answers often rely on that and offer you words that are the opposite of a word that sounds the same. Take 2-3 seconds and make sure that the given word is spelled as you expect.
  • Try It Yourself – Finding the Antonym Sample Question

Formal Logic

  • Question Format / Instructions
    Your goal is to analyze several assumptions and determine whether a suggested conclusion is true, false, or cannot be determined to be true or false, based on the assumptions.
  • Winning Tip for Formal Logic Questions 
    If a conclusion is definitely not true, this doesn’t mean that it is definitely false. A conclusion must directly contradict the premises in order to be considered “false.” If it is definitely not true but it does not directly contradict the premises, the correct answer is “cannot be determined.”
  • Try It Yourself – Formal Logic Sample Question

Non-Verbal Ability

This category assesses your ability to visualize, make spatial judgments, and solve problems.  This category is also known as Abstract Reasoning and Inductive Reasoning, and it is used to test general intelligence. In most cases, you are required to compare several elements in order to complete one of two tasks: 

  1. to find another element that completes a pattern
  2. to find an element that doesn’t follow the same pattern as the rest of the elements.

The most common types of questions in this section are as follows:

(Click the “+” sign to expand each question type)

Series Completion

  • Question Format / Instructions
    You must decipher the underlying logic of a series of shapes to find the next shape in the series. 
  • Winning Tip for Series Completion Questions
    If the element includes multiple shapes or features, start by focusing on just one of them. Check whether you find some underlying logic to its progression along the sequence. If you do, try locating that feature within the given answers. From here on, you can continue examining only the answers that include that feature in the correct position. You can eliminate the rest of the answers. Repeating this process 2-3 times is usually sufficient to eliminate all the answers but one, which must be the correct answer.
  • Try It Yourself – Series Completion Sample Question

Shape Analogy

  • Question Format / Instructions
    Your goal is to find a meaningful relationship between two shapes/constructs and locate a shape that possesses a similar relationship with another given shape.
  • Winning Tip for Shape Analogy Questions 
    Usually, the analogy is based on a single feature but there are cases in which it is based on more than one single feature. In these cases, there is a good chance that more than one option adheres to the analogy based on one feature but only one option adheres to all the features. Be sure to rule out this option before you mark your answer.
  • Try It Yourself – Shape Analogy Sample Question

Finding the Odd One Out

  • Question Format / Instructions
    You are presented with an original pair of shapes that share a common feature, which you must identify. Then, you will see four additional shapes of which three of them share that same feature. The one that doesn’t share the same feature as the others is the correct answer.
  • Winning Tip for Finding the Odd One Out Questions
    The top figures probably share more than one common feature but only one is the significant one. While practicing, do not settle for understanding what the correct answer is. Challenge yourself by recognizing all the common features, then examine the answers again and try to understand why those features were not the significant ones. This will boost your inductive reasoning skills and raise your chances of success.
  • Try It Yourself – Finding the Odd One Out Sample Question

Icon Preparation Strategies White PI/PLI Preparation Strategies

1. While you are preparing, it’s important to keep trying to beat your time. 

It’s true that none of the PI Cognitive Assessment questions is truly difficult, but answering 50 questions in 12 minutes can be stressful. Here are some tips:

  1. While you are practicing, look at the questions again and ask yourself if you can be faster in answering them the next time. 
  2. It is not always imperative for you to do the calculations in order to find the correct answer; you can usually cancel out all the wrong answers faster than checking if your answer is correct. 
  3. Use the explanations to help you find time-saving solving tips, learn how to avoid taking too much time on one question, and develop your own practices for test-taking.

2. Zero in on your strengths and learn how to score easy points. 

The average score on a PI Cognitive Assessment test is 20 points. For most companies and positions, a passing score is 24 points. You will need between 28-32 points if you want to be considered a top candidate. A score of 35 points will want a recruiter to hire you immediately. This information should help you see that if you get a high score, you will be perceived in a better way than if you try to answer all the questions correctly. While you are preparing, find strategies that will help you get more answers correct even if you get some wrong along the way. This way, as you answer the questions on the real test, you can zero in on questions that are easier for you to answer correctly and with speed and forget about the questions that take you longer to answer. 

  • There are three main categories of questions: verbal, math & logic, and spatial reasoning. It is important to be well-prepared with these basic skills. If any of these categories is difficult for you, it is imperative for you to get advance practice so you are better equipped to handle them. However, if there is only one kind of difficult question for you within a category, skip it and concentrate on your strengths.

3. Rest and refresh between preparation sessions.

Keeping your brain working at its optimum level requires rest. Taking a significant break between practice sessions and between the test will allow you to better process the information you have learned, and put you in a better position to succeed. Try to schedule two serious preparation sessions prior to the test, and avoid last minute cramming – you will probably find you remember a lot of the material that you studied.

  • Before starting the test, answer 3-5 practice questions, which will help get your brain focused on the real test and help you succeed.

4. Understand what the test will ask of you.

Instructions in the PI Assessment Test may be a bit confusing or unclear. Understanding what is required of you before taking the test serves two purposes. First, you will feel more confident as you go through the test. Second, you won’t have to spend as much time reading instructions, giving you more time to take the test.

5. Simulate testing conditions.

When you practice using actual testing conditions, your body and mind will feel more comfortable during the actual test, and you will feel less intimidated. Your practice test should have the full 50 questions, with a strictly enforced 15-minutes time limit. Don’t take breaks once you’ve started the clock, and do not have your mobile device or calculator accessible. Follow all test taking rules, including no skipping questions.

6. Find your optimal test-taking zone.

Stress affects everyone differently. Some people thrive on pressure, while others find that stress impairs their performance. Find the balance that works best for you, and try to place yourself in that state of mind during the actual test.

7. Get your body right.

Eating and sleeping well the day before and day of the test can improve your concentration and focus, which will help you perform well on the test. Reduce disturbances and distractions as much as possible.

Icon Test Features White Test Features

1. Scientifically valid

Companies rely on the PI Cognitive Assessment test because it is reliable, readily applicable, and is science-based. It has a long history of resolving business challenges by providing a positive impact on the company’s performance metrics. It measures the general ability of an employee by following the stringent standards set by organizations like SIOP (Society for Industrial and Psychology), ITC (International Test Commission), and APA (American Psychological Association).

2. Measure employee’s Intellect

The test was previously named Professional Learning Indicator (PLI Test) since it measures employees’ intellect as it applies to specific job placements. It measures one’s capability to adapt, learn, and grasp new concepts in the workplace. When cognitive tests are used for hiring, people with a higher intellect such as swift learners, problem solvers, and decision makers, are usually the ones who receive job offers.

3. User-friendly

The PILI Test is quite simple – it consists of 50 questions that you will need to complete in 12 minutes. It has different categories of questions including general ability, verbal, and reasoning. The test aims to measure the candidate’s intellect and processing skills.

Maersk PI Cognitive Assessment (PLI Test)

Maersk, a Danish conglomerate, has been the world’s largest naval vessel operator for the past 20 years. The company is one of many companies using the PI Cognitive Assessment to evaluate job candidates.

The Maersk recruitment process takes typically 4-6 weeks and starts when you submit your Maersk online application. Upon reviewing your application, you will probably be requested to take the PI Assessment Test. If you pass that stage, you will be called in for a hiring manager professional interview.

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Icon Technical Facts White Technical Facts

Fast Facts (tl;dr)

  • Total of 50 questions.
  • The test is 12 minutes long.
  • Question types: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning.
  • Calculators are not permitted.
  • Bring a form of ID.

Common and past names of the PI Test:

  • Predictive index cognitive assessment
  • PICA (PI Cognitive Assessment)
  • Professional Learning Indicator Test (PLI Test)
  • The PI Learning Indicator Test (PI LI Test)
  • Predictive Index Test

Time limit

The test has a time limit: You will be given only 12 minutes to complete the test and answer as many questions as possible.

The questions

The PLI Test offers 50 multiple choice questions. The difficulty level increases as you advance through the test.

The PILI Test is divided into three different sections:

  1. Numerical Reasoning
  2. Verbal Reasoning
  3. Non-verbal Reasoning


  • Each screen will have 5 questions; you can hop on to any question using the ‘Previous’ and ‘Next’ icons placed at the bottom of the page.
  • The time will keep running on the right side of the screen.
  • Calculators are not permitted.

Availability and language support

Currently active in 50+ countries, the test is available in 70+ languages.


Any organization can take the test for any respective position they wish to hire for.

Results and score

Once the test is over, scores are made available to the candidate instantly.

Icon Results Scale & Interpretations White Results Scale and Interpretations

The Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment test (aka Professional Learning Indicator or PLI Test) has been the most widely used method of hiring employees in organizations. Scoring high on this test will bring you closer to your desired job and position. Organizations who are looking for candidates with strong cognitive abilities – like problem-solving, logical reasoning, processing complex information, grasping new things or implementing new solutions – welcome candidates who pass this test into their workspace.

Organizations believe that cognitive tests reflect the candidate’s ability to comprehend new information and perform well in the workspace. It reflects the mechanism of how the candidate learns, remembers and applies freshly learned things at work, and their ability to carry out difficult tasks. Although these things are very valuable while hiring a person, other factors like experience, personality, knowledge, and cultural-job-fit should also be considered.

Each test is created in such a way such that every candidate receives a unique questionnaire. This minimizes the possibility of cheating and the necessity of repeat assessments. Once the test is completed, the results bar pops-up, with the candidate’s name on the left side and respective score on the right. You will see the complete details of your score in all the subjects – meaning the ratio of answers to questions.

Predictive Index raw score
Predictive Index raw score. Source: Predictive Index LLC

High score

Candidates with a high score (1st quartile) are more likely to have broad and in-depth knowledge of many subjects. They are capable of handling job complexities and are expected to have exceptional learning skills.

Above average score

Candidates with above average scores (2nd quartile) are expected to have the ability to adapt to the changing workplace environment with ease. They are quick learners and are best fit for jobs that have complex challenges.

Below average candidates

These individuals (3rd quartile) can only handle tasks that require a specific kind of knowledge. They need some time to adapt to new skills and absorb changes. Some of them may also be risk takers and may love being challenged.

Low score candidates

The low score candidates (4th quartile) will take more time than any other candidate, but once they are on the job, they will use their experience and skills to learn new things. They are good at doing habitual activities and can solve less complex problems.

As can be seen in the diagram, the scores are reported on both a normalized graph and a quartile distribution scale where The first quarter represents the lower 25% of test takers, and the fourth quarter the upper 25% of test takers.

Predictive Index normalized & quartile distribution score
Predictive Index normalized & quartile distribution scores. Source: Predictive Index LLC

Icon Frequently Asked Questions White PI/PLI FAQs

What is the PI Cognitive Assessment Test?

The PI Cognitive Assessment is a pre-employment test that measures a candidate’s abilities in numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and non-verbal reasoning. Companies will determine from the results whether you are a good enough candidate to move on to the next step in the hiring process.

PI PLI Cognitive Assessment Test at a glance

If you get a high score on the test, recruiters feel more confident in your ability to catch on quickly in your new role and become an asset to the company.

What to Expect on the PI Cognitive Assessment Test?

The PI Cognitive Assessment Test is comprised of a total of 50 multiple choice questions in three different sections:

1. Numerical reasoning
2. Verbal reasoning
3. Non-verbal reasoning

You will be given a total of 12 minutes to complete the test answering as many questions as you can in the allotted time, which means that you have an average of 15 seconds to answer each question. The timer will be visible at all times and you can jump from question to question in any order, and the difficulty level increases as the test goes on. Don’t worry about answering all the questions. Most people cannot, and you don’t lose points for unanswered questions.

Upon completing the test, you will receive your score immediately with the necessary details.

Icon Tips White PI/PLI Test Tips

To do well on a timed test that includes English, diagrams, and numbers, all you need is precision, plan, and practice. Although it may be difficult, the following tips will help:

1. Keep the time in mind

There will be 50 questions and a time limit of 12 minutes, which means the critical factor is TIME. And practicing is the main thing that can help you; so practice as many questions as possible.

2. Know your weaknesses and strengths

While practicing, you will come across topics that you might find tricky aside from topics that are easy; identify them and work on them. Leave the topics you are most fearful of and practice the one you enjoy.

3. Keep calm

Being stress-free doesn’t mean you start cracking lame jokes of course. Just stay calm and focus on the test; feel out every question and begin with the ones you find easy to answer.

4. Analyze

Before making an attempt, take one second to analyze the question. If you think the question is too tricky and is not for you, don’t waste time trying.

5. Skip and move on

Skip questions that take too much time. 12 minutes mean you have approximately 15 seconds to finish each question. Skip the ones that require more time and move on to those that are easier.

Icon Administration White Administration

How is PI Learning Indicator administered?

The PI Cognitive Assessment Administrator sends an email with a link and instructions to the assessment. Each link is different and available for one-time use.

Can I retake the test?

Since the Professional Learning Indicator (PLI Test) is a dynamic assessment system, one can issue a second and third assessment online anytime. However, candidates are usually given only a single attempt to successfully pass the test.

Do incorrect answers count?

No. Even if you guessed wrong on a few questions, you don’t lose points for wrong answers. When in doubt, eliminate some of the obviously wrong answers, guess, and move on.

When will I get the results?

After you complete the test, the result will be generated immediately. The report will show your scores with all the necessary details.

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Icon Test  Provider White Test Provider

The Predictive Index Company (PI) caters to employers who wish to transform their workforce and hire highly people who are a perfect fit for the position. The company will compare the shortlisted candidate list with the employer’s pre-set job requirements and help them hire the best candidates for the job.

The Predictive Index Company (PI) makes hiring an easy task for the employer. The employer sends a shortlist of candidates to be tested and they do the rest. They will measure the candidates’ capabilities vis-a-vis the specific job requirements and provide a score list based on the employer’s job profile. The PI Company will also assist in behavior assessment, cognitive assessment, job targeting and much more.

In addition, the Predictive Index Company will create the PI interview questions per the employer’s behavioral pattern for the desired job. It will ensure the employer asks the right questions consistently during each interview.

Disclaimer – All the information and prep materials on iPrep are genuine and were created for tutoring purposes. iPrep is not affiliated with the Predictive Index Company, which is the owner of the Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment.

About this Course

(146 Ratings)

Welcome to iPrep’s Predictive Index (PI) Cognitive Assessment Course.

This course will help you boost your skills and with it your confidence towards your upcoming PI test. The course will provide you with the following tools and benefits:

  • You will become familiar with the test’s various types of questions.
  • You will be given four full-length PI-style simulation tests. These simulations include similar questions to those you will encounter in the real test with the same level of difficulty. They also have the same time limit as the real test. Experiencing the test’s time pressure will ensure it will not come as a surprise on test day.
  • You will be provided with a great variety of helpful tips for the different types of questions. Some of the tips are in the introductory sections while most are in the detailed explanations that follow each question.

3.5 Learning Hours5 Practice Tests220 Questions30 Day Access

By the end of this course, you will be more knowledgeable and comfortable with the PI Cognitive Assessment – Knowledge and familiarity with the test are the two most significant factors that can help you maximize your score and improve your chances of success.

The course is comprised of both practice and learning sessions. But first, you will go through an introductory sample test to get a feel for the challenge ahead. In it, you will solve questions with a time limit. Once done, you will have the option to review your answers and question explanations.

Following the introductory test experience, we will guide you through learning lessons with essential information about your upcoming PI assessment. These lessons will help you understand the underlying technics that are essential for succeeding in the test.

The course is then concluded by simulating full-length tests that accurately follow the structure and concepts of the PI Cognitive Assessment. Once done, you will be able to get full question explanations and even see how well you performed in comparison with other people who have taken the test.

Wishing you an enjoyable learning experience!

Skills You Will Learn



  1. Course Introduction
  2. Warming Up – 15-Question Speed Test
  3. Question Types Introduction
  4. Time Management Tips
  5. Full-Length PI Cognitive Assessment-Style Simulations
  6. Course Conclusion


M.A. Tamir Rubin

Psychology and Cognitive Sciences Expert

Tamir Rubin has been working in the field of Psychology and Cognitive Sciences for over ten years. His experience includes the development of tens of assessment test preparations in subjects such as Abstract Reasoning, Cognitive Ability, Critical Thinking, Deductive Reasoning, Inductive Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Verbal Reasoning, and more.

Rubin has been the Head Of Products for TestPrep, a global leader in assessment test preparation, and holds a Master’s degree from the Bar-Ilan University and a Bachelor’s degree from the Hebrew University.


Take This Course


This test helped me a lot to pass the real test, scoring 70% more than the average as the HR manager informed me. The preparation course helped me a lot for understanding the three types of question, how to organize my time efficiently, and how to think on numeric questions and also to non verbal ones.

Paris Owen

November 18, 2019 at 2:52 PM


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(146 Ratings)

Get to know what the PI Cognitive Assessment (Predictive Index Test) will be like by practicing with these sample questions: