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Use the Cognitive Test for Predicting Natural Learning Aptitude and Job Performance

Cognitive tests are a form of psychometric assessment to assess distinct aspects of thinking abilities, such as perception, memory, reasoning, problem-solving and verbal abilities. Also known as cognitive ability tests, these tests conveniently enable employers to find high-potential candidates.

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Inside This Cognitive Skills Test

The cognitive ability test focuses on two of the most critical competencies required to perform well in any role. This test assesses an individual's ability to assimilate information and apply that learning to solve problems and take prompt actions. These abilities are assessed through abstract reasoning questions and critical thinking problems. This cognitive test is designed to help gauge a candidate's ability to understand ambiguity and formulate new concepts when faced with novel information. It includes questioning assumptions and making fair and accurate evaluations and requires the skills to identify and focus on relevant information when reaching conclusions.   

Designed by subject matter experts, this test contains 44 questions to be completed in 60 minutes

Prominent Use Cases:

Identifying the high potential: Abstract reasoning and critical thinking are "must-have" skills for roles involving strategic thinking, creative problem solving and decision making. These skills require high levels of clear and accurate thinking, problem identification, holistic situation assessment, and evaluation of tentative solutions for consistency with all available information.

Hiring and Succession Planning: You must consistently identify the best candidates who check all the boxes to hire and promote the best. You can use this cognitive assessment to assess if a person has a logical way of thinking and focuses on how ideas are approached with clarity and precision. 

Training and Development: Training and development managers can leverage assessment reports to help employees develop their skills to become more effective and productive in their jobs, enabling them to improve their decision-making and strategic thinking ability.


A cognitive assessment is a pre-employment test that employers use to assess the candidates' cognitive skills. These tests make for an excellent screening tool to identify the most suitable candidates and accelerate and streamline the hiring process. Since these tests are reliable predictors of general intelligence, they found favor with most employers who use them to gain a comprehensive overview of each candidate's strengths and weaknesses and the likelihood of success in their new roles.

Cognitive assessments, in general, are about assessing mental agility, which can be as specific as solving a numerical problem or as broad as understanding an individual's general intelligence. They can help determine an individual's problem-solving and logical thinking through questions based on mechanical, spatial, verbal, logical reasoning, etc.  

These tests focus on an individual's

  • Competencies that will vary in the extent to which they are inherent or acquirable  

  • Logical reasoning approach, whether it be inductive or deductive, and problem-solving skills  

  • Knowledge acquisition and application, sensory perception, retention, etc.  

Importance of cognitive tests 

Helps in predicting work performance 

Cognitive ability tests allow recruiters to determine how capable an individual is of thriving in a continuously changing work environment, indicating how agile they are at learning new skills at work. Hence, we have ample reasons to believe that a person with high cognitive ability is: 

  • able to learn new skills faster 
  • adapt to change more quickly 
  • find unique, innovative solutions to unfamiliar problems 

Helps identify the diamond-in-the-rough talent  

There is only so much that CVs and qualifications can narrate about a candidate's potential. However, cognitive ability tests help identify the best talent with skills needed to thrive in any organization.

Helps save time and money

Cognitive ability assessments are cost-effective and efficient tools for recruiting the best talent. Prescreening candidates for cognitive skills can help recruiters speed up the interview process, helping them refrain from meeting too many candidates at once. Moreover, these tests are efficiently conducted online using advanced platforms like Mercer|Mettl, enabling recruiters to save time and money.

Helps improve organizational retention 

Cognitive skills tests are instrumental in improving organizational retention by enabling employers to hire and engage the best candidates from the beginning. However, the exorbitant cost associated with losing employees can pose problems for organizations, so employee retention is one of the crucial KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for HR (Human Resource) managers. Furthermore, with underlying costs that add up to the hiring costs (such as the advertising cost, expenses pertaining to interviewing, prescreening, onboarding, induction, and training, impact the bottom line due to poor hiring decisions, job errors, lost customers etc.), employee retention becomes a matter of utmost importance.

Why is it so beneficial for employers?

The cognitive test is a fail-safe process to determine a candidate's suitability for a particular job. It considers various facets of cognitive performance before ascertaining an individual's suitability for a given job/role. For example, it measures an individual's general aptitude, assesses whether a person can work under challenging situations, and is flexible enough to address various challenges or questions. In addition, it can delve deeper into all those skills that all employers might consider invaluable in candidates, such as the ability to think on their feet, etc.  

It is incontestable that cognitive ability tests are used across various industries as multifaceted as finance and the defense forces. These tests are equally helpful for assessing candidates for challenging domain-specific roles, such as engineers, doctors, pilots, lawyers, etc. The reason is that cognitive test scores are strongly predictive of a candidate's overall job performance. Administering a cognitive assessment can give employers several advantages: better talent decisions, identifying training needs, improved retention, and a plethora of financial benefits.


This Cognitive Test is a part of following Skills Libraries

Abstract reasoning and critical thinking are essential skills for roles involving problem-solving and decision-making, strategizing and analyzing, etc. This cognitive test measures the ability to analyze, organize ambiguous thoughts and solve problems.

Cognitive Test Competency Framework

Get a detailed look inside the test

Cognitive Ability Assessment Competencies Under Scanner

Cognitive Abilities


Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking - Drawing Conclusions, Critical Thinking - Evaluating Arguments, Critical Thinking - Recognizing Assumptions.

Abstract Reasoning

Abstract Reasoning

Analytical Ability and Problem Solving

This executive aptitude test can help assess the ability to analyze the given information from different perspectives by breaking it down into simple components, structuring the information logically, and analyzing the relationship between different information points to arrive at a solution.

Verbal Ability

This online executive assessment can help assess candidates who have a good command of the English language and can understand, comprehend, and convey written messages precisely and clearly by formulating grammatically correct sentences.

Customize This Cognitive Test

Flexible customization options to suit your needs

Set difficulty level of test

Choose easy, medium or hard questions from our skill libraries to assess candidates of different experience levels.

Combine multiple skills into one test

Add multiple skills in a single test to create an effective assessment. Assess multiple skills together.

Add your own questions to the test

Add, edit or bulk upload your own coding questions, MCQ, whiteboarding questions & more.

Request a tailor-made test

Get a tailored assessment created with the help of our subject matter experts to ensure effective screening.

The Mercer | Mettl Cognitive Ability Test Advantage

The Mercer | Mettl Edge

  • Industry Leading 24/7 Support
  • State of the art examination platform
  • Inbuilt Cutting Edge AI-Driven Proctoring
  • Simulators designed by developers
  • Tests Tailored to Your business needs
  • Support for 20+ Languages in 80+ Countries Globally

Cognitive Assessment Can Be Setup in 4 Steps

Step 1: Add test

Add this test your tests

Step 2: Share link

Share test link from your tests

Step 3: Test View

Candidate take the test

Step 4: Insightful Report

You get their tests report

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Cognitive ability is the ability of the brain to carry out core tasks like thinking, memorizing, paying attention, visualizing, and interpreting the surroundings. Together, these skills form crystallized and fluid intelligence, constituting a person's general intelligence (cognitive ability).

The cognitive skills used to carry out tasks determine our cognitive performance. It includes a person's ability to use reasoning and problem-solving skills to perform day-to-day activities.

A cognitive assessment assesses candidates' critical thinking and abstract reasoning skills, revealing their true potential.

Yes, a web-based cognitive ability test is to be taken online, enabling a test taker to write the assessment from the comfort of their place using a computer with an internet browser or via the help of specific mobile apps for Android and iPhone/iPad.

Administering a cognitive test online is the most efficient way of evaluating cognitive skills.

Cognitive ability tests assess a person's reasoning abilities and intellectual functioning. These tests are not only used for recruitment but are also used extensively in clinical settings. 

The Mercer | Mettl cognitive ability test is tailored for recruitment. We can do benchmarking for custom sample sets as well. Please write to us about your request; we will gladly assist you.

We have previously customized cognitive assessment reports based on the client’s requirements. So please write to us with your request, and we will be glad to provide you with a solution.

Listed below are the examples of the most widely used commercial cognitive tests:  

  • Verbal reasoning test
  • Error checking aptitude test
  • Spatial reasoning test
  • Numerical reasoning test
  • Mechanical reasoning test
  • Inductive and deductive reasoning tests
  • Critical thinking test
  • Diagrammatic reasoning test
  • Logical reasoning test

Research has shown that cognitive assessment tests have better predictive validity than other often-used talent assessment tools for recruiting candidates. They can accurately and comprehensively indicate a person's job performance instead of other tools.

Listed below are some tips to become familiar with the aptitude test:  

  • Practice  

Practicing paves the way for cognitive test success. In addition, familiarizing themselves with the test's format and style will help aspirants develop an understanding and awareness of the exam, significantly alleviating test anxiety.  

  •  Understand the test type  

Prior knowledge of the cognitive assessment candidates will appear for is critical. Besides, it helps them familiarize themselves with the format and focus on the skills they must improve for their specific test.  

  • Integrity is a must-have  

Since the test is online, it looks compelling to seek help from others. Most importantly, seeking support from a friend during an online cognitive test is immoral and detrimental to the candidates' preparation. However, if someone cheats their way through the screening test, they might be invited to an assessment center where they will undergo another exam to verify their test performance.  

  • Be focused and attentive  

Concentration and agility are of the essence in timed cognitive tests. If the candidate loses focus during the test, it will waste valuable time of the candidate. However, they should ensure that they rest properly and keep their mind focused and simulated for a prolonged period.  

  • Allocate your time wisely  

Sometimes aspirants will face questions that take more time than usual. Continuous practice develops the wisdom to understand whether a question will be labor-intensive and time-wasting. If this is the case, candidates should leave that question and move on to the next one.