Cognitive Function Test - Use Cognitive Ability Tests to Find the Right Employees


The ID-Cognitive (Cog), previously Work Applied Cognitive Ability Test (WAC-AT), is an assessment tool that measures various cognitive skills associated with general intelligence. More specifically, it measures the ability to reason logically and the ability to perform verbal, numerical, and spatial mental operations.

Characteristics of our cognitive test

Available languages

English | French | Spanish

Required time

Cog-B: 25 minutes
Cog: 50 minutes


Cog-B: 25 questions | multiple choice
Cog: 50 questions | multiple choice

Target audience

Positions at various levels that require good verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning skills.

Skills assessed by HRID’s cognitive test

Our standard report offers a comprehensive portrait of an individual’s cognitive abilities

Our cognitive ability tests (Cog and Cog-B) are used to measure one’s ability to think in different ways (such as spatial reasoning, verbal reasoning, reading comprehension, problem-solving, attention to detail, critical thinking, and numerical reasoning). They can be used to figure out the test taker’s ability to solve problems and apply his or her cognitive abilities in a work environment.

More precisely, it evaluates the following six criteria:

  • Quantitative reasoning
  • General sequential reasoning
  • Language development
  • Written verbal language comprehension
  • Spatial ability
  • Perceptual speed


Get clear and concise reports instantly

HRID goes beyond testing a candidate’s cognitive abilities: it offers employers comprehensive reports and analyses allowing them to make the best selection for a position. Our team presents the test results instantly both in aggregate and in detail for each of the criteria evaluated.

Who should take the ID-Cognitive test?

Our cognitive test can be used during the hiring process for any position within an organization that will require good verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning skills. Since it is a good indicator of job success, it can be used for internal as well as external hires.

When interviewing for senior management roles, businesses will be looking for candidates that demonstrate the ability to act under pressure and make complicated decisions in light of various factors. On the flipside, they will also be looking for candidates with great potential, that are fast learners.

Key points

HRID’s cognitive ability assessments provide many advantages:

  • Predict job performance;
  • Precise and reliable results;
  • Increase your organizational efficiency;
  • Reduce your employee turnover;
  • Hire employees able to handle complex situations.

What is cognition?

Learn more about cognitive testing

The term cognition refers to the mental processes involved in gaining knowledge and comprehension. Examples of these include thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, problem-solving, and so forth. Cognition is used in everyday decisions and influences even small actions, particularly in the work environment. Organizing your day, prioritizing different tasks, realizing what can be done and what will take more time: these thoughts are some examples of cognition.

Simply put, cognition is the functions of the human mind that deal with thinking, planning, feeling, knowing, and the ability to communicate.

What is a cognitive ability test?

Cognitive ability is a good indicator of a future or current employee’s performance in an organization and predictor of job success. Elements such as attention to details, critical thinking and problem-solving are highly sought after by employers when looking for potential employees at any level requiring good verbal, numerical and spatial reasoning skills. This is what is measured by a cognitive ability test such as HRID’s.

Simply put, cognitive testing is a measurement of mental or cognitive performance. Cognitive tests are aimed at better understanding the abilities of a candidate through a broad range of questions and tests.

Why use cognitive tests in the hiring process?

It is essential to know the cognitive abilities of a job applicant in order to predict how they will perform on the job. General cognitive ability is the number one predictor of job success across job types, skill levels, and industry across many organizations.  Thus, many employers use the ability tests to improve their quality of hire.

Cognitive ability tests provide employers with relevant insights on a candidate’s potential in the organization, but they also serve another purpose. HRID’s tests are an efficient way to screen qualified candidates in order to accelerate and simplify the recruitment process.

Why measure cognitive ability in the work environment?

Interviews and resumes provide direct information about the job applicant, such as their work experience and their education. However, the classic hiring method can’t provide complete insights about a candidate’s potential to succeed in a given role.

A cognitive ability test is a predictor of job performance, allowing an employer to learn more about an applicant’s future potential, such as whether someone will be able to overcome obstacles.

Cognitive ability tests are efficient in predicting an employee's performance

Cognitive ability is a reliable predictor of job success when the test is administered correctly, and the data analyzed properly. By measuring verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, critical thinking skills and many more, a cognitive ability assessment can complement interviews in the selection of the best candidates. These cognitive ability assessments can be used for pre-employment testing, but also when conducting interviews for internal hiring or promotions.

Using cognitive testing when hiring can reduce employee turnover

Cognitive tests can help to determine whether people are the right fit for your company and make it easier to hire and impress qualified people from the get-go. Considering the cost of losing an employee is anywhere from tens of thousands of dollars to several times the annual salary he or she earns. Hiring the best candidates puts you in a favourable situation. It may seem like a lot of money, but when you estimate all the costs factored in, such as a job ad for an open position, interviewing, screening, and hiring, it usually entails a significant amount.

Cognitive assessment tests can save human resources time and money

Cognitive assessment is more predictive than a lengthy job interview. Studies found that cognitive tests were the most effective method of hiring great employees. Cognitive tests also help employers shorten the hiring process by narrowing the number of people they have to personally interview. They also are one of the least expensive options available to businesses and organizations.

Tests are a simple method to avoid biases

When looking for new employees or promoting current workers, it is essential to remove any potential biases that might affect the process. Such biases could be to disregard female candidates or other qualified candidates for irrational reasons. Cognitive ability testing brings an objective perspective to the screening process, making it an excellent tool to remove biases from the process and a great complement to interviews.

What are the different types of cognitive ability testing?

There are many different types of cognitive ability testing methods, but all the cognitive ability assessments aim at better understanding specific mental abilities and predict a candidate’s future performance in an organization.

Numerical reasoning

The questions on numerical aptitude tests are used to measure numerical reasoning, to detect people’s math skill and how good they are with numbers. These questions include both math problems and questions that cover subjects such as ratios and percentages, but some go as far as to require data interpretation and financial analysis to find qualified candidates.

Examples of numerical reasoning are:

  • Basic math such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, as well as averages, fractions, and proportions;
  • Finding the correct answers to mathematical problems given in written form;
  • Identifying and investigating patterns in a given set of numbers.

Verbal reasoning

Verbal ability tests assess your comprehension and communication skills. After reading text passages, potential employees will answer multiple-choice questions that will test their level of comprehension and their ability to absorb a lot of information quickly. A verbal ability test gives employers insight into an individual’s performance, and can indicate if they are able to understand large volume  of information, difficult concepts and can differentiate facts from fiction.

Examples of verbal reasoning are:

  • Show your understanding of vocabulary, as well as your knowledge and ability to use words in communication;
  • Look at two given words, determine their relationship and apply this knowledge to a third one.

Logical reasoning

Logical ability tests assess logical thinking, deductive reasoning and problem-solving skills. It measures an individual’s ability to interpret pieces of information, apply basic logical reasoning techniques, and reach a conclusion. The test contains multiple-choice questions and requires candidates to answer them based on clues and deduction rather than on prior knowledge.

Mechanical ability tests

In this type of cognitive ability assessment, mechanical skills are measured using a variety of tests that cover everything from energy and transformation, to levers, pulleys, and pressure. These tests are often used when hiring  engineers or the military because they test your understanding of how the different parts function.

Spatial reasoning

Tests to assess your ability to manipulate images, shapes, and ideas, and determine their two- and three-dimensional forms. Many architecture and engineering firms use a spatial awareness test when screening potential job candidates to make the right selection.

Learning agility

In the job market, employers gauge learning agility in order to determine which candidates can adapt the fastest to new situations and changes. By being able to learn from experience and applying it to your work, a candidate can show potential employers their ability to perform in new environments and a new job role.

Learning agility assessments are often used when picking the best candidates for higher-level roles with more responsibility. The assessments can also be used as a predictor of job performance for junior roles that require a boost in skills.

Critical thinking

This test evaluates candidates’ skills at using logic to identify problems, think critically and find solutions and test their problem-solving skills using their analytical skills.

Why use multiple cognitive assessments?

Cognitive assessments are used to measure how intelligent a person is. However, as as there is no agreed upon definition of intelligence,, there are multiple tests for multiple facets regarding intelligence.

Are there multiple types of intelligence?

Howard Gardner first proposed the idea of multiple intelligence way back in 1983. Based on brain damage studies, evolutionary history, and other factors, he proposed that intelligence should instead be broken into eight different cognitive abilities that are not highly related with each other.

He argued this approach would be the most efficient way to evaluate individuals for certain jobs. Gardner’s eight different types of intelligence were:

  • Musical-rhythmic
  • Visual-spatial
  • Verbal-linguistic
  • Logical-mathematical
  • Bodily kinesthetic
  • Interpersonal
  • Intrapersonal
  • Naturalistic

Today, most modern theories of intelligence have some form of multiple intelligences. As a result of this, HRID and other companies use separate tests to assess different skills, including verbal skills, math skills, logic, creativity, and even emotional intelligence.

Is cognitive ability the same as IQ?

Cognitive ability and Intelligence Quotient are not exactly the same, but in some ways, they are similar and intertwined.

In practice, cognitive abilities are the brain skills and mental processes needed to carry out any task, and depend on how you learn, remember, and pay attention. Cognitive abilities are not based on your knowledge. It is not something you would necessarily learn in school.

The term ‘IQ’ refers to a score that measures your cognitive ability with other people. The test rates your cognitive ability when compared to the average of people your age: the more standard deviations away from the mean you are, the better your IQ score.

Intelligence tests are designed to measure your knowledge about problems and concepts. There is a high correlation between higher IQ and success in a career or school as students. IQ was found to be one of the best predictors of job performance.