Cognitive ability test - Use cognitive skill 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-C: 25 minutes
Cog: 50 minutes


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

Our ID-Cognitive-C test is designed to measure various cognitive skills associated with general intelligence. This version eliminates all problematic items for reading software, such as text-to-speech, which is primarily used by individuals suffering from visual impairments. As a result, all items in the “Language Development,” “Perceptual Rapidity” and “Spatial Ability” sub-dimensions have been removed. This version of the test is available in both French and English.

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.
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What is cognition?

Learn more about cognitive testing

Cognition encompasses the mental processes that facilitate knowledge acquisition and understanding, including thinking, knowing, remembering, judging, problem-solving, and more. These cognitive functions influence daily decisions and actions, particularly in professional settings, where organizing, prioritizing, and strategizing play a crucial role.

In essence, cognition pertains to the human mind’s abilities related to thinking, planning, feeling, knowing, and communication.

Cognitive functioning encompasses various mental processes, including memory, executive functions, and cognitive load, all of which contribute to an individual’s overall cognitive performance. Neuropsychological assessments and cognitive tests aim to evaluate these aspects of cognitive function in both healthy individuals and adults and those experiencing cognitive dysfunction or brain injury.

Exploring the Best Cognitive Functions Test: The Cognitive Ability Test

Cognitive ability is a reliable predictor of an individual’s performance within an organization, as well as their potential for job success. Employers value attributes such as attention to detail, critical thinking, and problem-solving, along with strong verbal, numerical, and spatial reasoning skills. These elements are assessed by cognitive ability tests, like those offered by HRID.

Cognitive tests typically assess a range of abilities, such as short-term memory, long-term memory, verbal fluency, and reaction time. These assessments may take various forms, including cognitive tasks, telephone assessments, and more comprehensive cognitive test batteries.

Several factors can influence cognitive performance, including age, education level, and individual differences in mental function. Demographic variables, such as sex differences, can also play a role in cognitive functioning. Neuropsychological testing and analysis account for these differences to provide accurate, reliable measures of cognitive performance.

In simpler terms, cognitive testing measures mental or cognitive performance, helping to better understand a candidate’s abilities through a wide array of questions and evaluations.

Why do Cognitive Tests for Hiring?

Cognitive tests play a vital role in the hiring process by evaluating candidates’ cognitive abilities, such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, spatial reasoning, abstract reasoning, mechanical reasoning, deductive reasoning, and logical reasoning. These assessments enable employers to identify applicants with the necessary cognitive skills and knowledge for success in a particular job role.

These tests, which include various types of questions, help gauge a candidate’s mental ability, intelligence, and problem-solving abilities.

Our cognitive ability tests include time constraints, which challenge candidates to provide correct answers within a set time limit. The results are then presented as raw scores, which can be compared to grade norms or other standardized benchmarks.

Cognitive ability tests are strong predictors of job performance

Employers use cognitive assessments as a powerful tool in their recruitment and selection processes, as these tests are strong predictors of job performance and organizational retention. By incorporating cognitive testing into the interview process, companies can draw accurate, data-driven conclusions about candidates’ aptitude for specific job roles.

Cognitive tests offer a wide variety of question types, such as comprehension questions, critical thinking questions, numerical reasoning questions, and spatial reasoning questions. By evaluating candidates’ performance over time, employers can identify gifted students, assess grade levels, and determine education levels.

Cognitive functions tests minimize bias

These tests also help maintain fairness in the selection process by minimizing bias and promoting a diverse workforce. By utilizing a variety of selection criteria, employers can create an intelligent, efficient screening process that supports long-term success.

Cognitive ability testing tools enable effective communication with candidates, offering transparency and fostering trust. By incorporating cognitive tests into their hiring process, employers can assess candidates’ higher-thinking skills, emotional intelligence, and job knowledge, ultimately making more informed decisions about candidate selection.

Why measure cognitive skill in the work environment?

Measuring cognitive ability in the work environment is essential for several reasons, as it provides valuable insights into employees’ cognitive skills, potential for growth, and overall job performance.

Here are some key reasons why assessing cognitive ability in the workplace is important:
  1. Enhancing Job Performance: Cognitive abilities, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making, are strongly correlated with job performance. By assessing employees’ cognitive skills, employers can identify areas for improvement and implement targeted training or development programs, ultimately boosting productivity and overall job performance.
  2. Identifying Strengths and Weaknesses: Measuring cognitive ability helps organizations identify employees’ strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to allocate tasks and responsibilities more effectively. This ensures that employees are placed in roles that maximize their potential and contribute to the organization’s success.
  3. Facilitating Employee Development: Assessing cognitive ability in the workplace enables employers to identify skill gaps and develop tailored training programs for employees. This not only helps enhance their current performance but also prepares them for future roles, promotions, or leadership positions.
  4. Improving Team Dynamics and Collaboration: By understanding the cognitive abilities of their employees, managers can create more balanced teams that complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. This enhances teamwork, communication, and collaboration, leading to better overall results and a more harmonious work environment.
  5. Reducing Turnover and Increasing Retention: Employees who are well-suited to their roles and have opportunities for growth and development are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs. By measuring cognitive ability and using the insights to make informed decisions about recruitment, training, and career progression, employers can reduce turnover rates and increase employee retention.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusion: Cognitive ability assessments can help promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace by identifying employees with varied cognitive strengths and skillsets. By recognizing and valuing these differences, organizations can foster a more inclusive work environment that supports innovation, creativity, and overall business success.

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

Cognitive skill test 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

Using cognitive testing during the hiring process can indeed reduce employee turnover by helping employers make more informed decisions about candidate selection. By assessing an applicant's cognitive abilities, organizations can better predict job performance and ensure a good fit between the candidate and the role. Here are some ways cognitive testing can contribute to lower employee turnover:

Improved Candidate Selection

Cognitive tests provide objective insights into an applicant's mental abilities, such as problem-solving, critical thinking, and decision-making. By selecting candidates with the necessary cognitive skills for the job, employers can increase the likelihood of a successful hire and reduce the chances of turnover due to poor job fit or underperformance.

Enhanced Job Performance

Cognitive ability is a strong predictor of job performance. By hiring candidates with the appropriate cognitive skills, organizations can expect better overall performance, higher job satisfaction, and increased employee engagement, all of which contribute to lower turnover rates. H4: Efficient Allocation of Resources By using cognitive tests to identify employees' strengths and weaknesses, employers can allocate tasks and responsibilities more effectively. This ensures that employees are placed in roles that maximize their potential, leading to increased job satisfaction and lower turnover rates.

Reduced Hiring Bias

Cognitive tests provide an objective measure of an applicant's abilities, reducing the risk of bias and promoting a more equitable hiring process. By focusing on cognitive performance, employers can minimize the influence of factors unrelated to job performance, such as personal connections or physical appearance, and ensure that the best candidate is selected for the role.

Better Team Dynamics

Understanding employees' cognitive abilities can help create more balanced teams with complementary strengths and weaknesses. This enhances teamwork, communication, and collaboration, leading to a more harmonious work environment and lower turnover rates.

Support for Employee Growth and Development

By identifying skill gaps through cognitive testing, employers can develop tailored training and development programs for employees. This not only enhances their current performance but also prepares them for future roles or promotions, increasing job satisfaction and reducing turnover.

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 critical thinking 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.

HRID’s Cognitive ability tests include a wide variety of question types and may have time constraints, challenging individuals to provide correct answers within set time limits. These tests are used in various settings, such as the hiring process, student selection for gifted programs, and secondary schools to measure cognitive abilities and predict success.

Cognitive Ability Testing and Job Performance

Cognitive ability assessments have been shown to have positive correlations with job performance across a wide range of positions, from junior roles to senior leadership positions. This makes cognitive ability testing a valuable tool for predicting job success, regardless of the position in question.

Integrating Cognitive Ability Tests with Interviews

Cognitive tests can be used in conjunction with traditional interviews to provide a more comprehensive evaluation of a candidate’s skills and potential for success. By combining test scores with interview insights, companies can make smarter hiring decisions that align with company values and drive organizational growth.

Why use multiple cognitive skill tests?

Cognitive skill tests are used to measure how intelligent a person is. However, 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 IQ (Intelligence Quotient) are related concepts, but they are not exactly the same. Cognitive ability refers to the mental processes that involve thinking, learning, problem-solving, memory, and attention. It encompasses a broad range of mental skills and capabilities.

IQ, on the other hand, is a specific measure of a person’s cognitive ability. It is typically derived from standardized tests designed to assess an individual’s intelligence in comparison to others in the same age group. The IQ score is intended to provide a single numerical value that represents a person’s overall cognitive abilities.

While IQ is an aspect of cognitive ability, it does not cover all facets of cognitive functioning. Cognitive ability is a broader concept that includes various types of intelligence, such as verbal, mathematical, spatial, and emotional intelligence. Moreover, cognitive abilities can be influenced by factors such as education, socio-economic background, and cultural exposure, which may not be fully captured by an IQ score.

Which job positions require a pre-employment test?

Many job positions across various industries and organizations may require pre-employment tests as part of the hiring process. These tests help employers assess the skills, knowledge, aptitude, and personality traits of potential candidates to determine their suitability for the role.

Some job positions that often require pre-employment tests include:
  1. Administrative and Clerical Positions: Candidates may be tested on their typing speed, data entry accuracy, and basic computer skills.
  2. Sales and Customer Service Roles: Employers may administer personality tests, communication skills assessments, and situational judgment tests to evaluate candidates’ interpersonal abilities and customer service aptitude.
  3. Technical and IT Positions: Technical skills tests, such as programming, software knowledge, or networking assessments, may be used to evaluate candidates’ expertise in specific technologies.
  4. Finance and Accounting Roles: Employers may require candidates to complete numerical reasoning tests or assessments related to financial analysis, accounting principles, or tax regulations.
  5. Management and Executive Positions: Assessment tools, such as leadership potential tests, problem-solving exercises, or even personality tests, may be used to evaluate candidates’ managerial and decision-making abilities.
  6. Manufacturing and Production Roles: Mechanical reasoning tests, spatial reasoning assessments, or physical ability tests may be administered to evaluate candidates’ aptitude for working in a manufacturing environment.
  7. Healthcare Professionals: Pre-employment tests for healthcare roles, such as nursing or medical positions, may include assessments of medical knowledge, patient care skills, or even ethical decision-making.

Please note that the specific tests administered may vary depending on the organization, industry, and job requirements. Many employers customize their pre-employment testing process to better align with the specific skills and qualities needed for the roles they are hiring for.