Your Top 6 Questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment Answered

The Predictive Index® continues to offer new and exciting tools like The PI Cognitive Assessment™. We field many questions on the tool, so we wanted to summarize the assessment and share some helpful facts! Below, you’ll find our top 6 most-asked questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment. We’ll also discuss how it can make an impact on your leadership development and talent initiatives.

What is The PI Cognitive Assessment™?

The PI Cognitive Assessment™ measures an individual’s capacity to learn, adapt, and grasp new concepts in the workplace. Although there are similarities, The PI Cognitive Assessment is different from IQ which tells us about someone’s actual intelligence. The PI Cognitive Assessment focuses on learning speed, ability to apply knowledge to new situations, and problem-solving. The PI Cognitive Assessment is a 12-minute, multiple-choice, test that includes a mix of numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning questions.

How is this different from The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment™?

By using resumes, interviews, and job samples, we can learn about someone’s experience, knowledge, and skills. With the Behavioral Assessment, we understand drives, what motivates people, and whether someone is likely a fit for a job. The PI Cognitive Assessment gives us unique information about job candidates. It measures the likelihood someone will be capable of learning the job, independently figuring things out, and demonstrating problem-solving skills.

Why should I use The PI Cognitive Assessment?

Cognitive assessments can significantly boost your ability to select the best candidates during talent acquisition. Research shows that, universally, cognitive ability is among the most powerful single predictors of job performance. When considering your average pre-employment screening – a combination of resumes, unstructured interviews, and reference checks – employers only stand about a 14% chance of making a strong hire. Adding a behavioral assessment to your hiring tools, like the PI Behavioral Assessment, raises that chances to 38%. But adding a cognitive measure like The PI Cognitive Assessment increases your chances to 54%!

If these statistics seem low, it’s important to remember we’re measuring one of the most unpredictable forces in science: human behavior. At 54%, cognitive ability assessments are one the most predictable HR tools that exist in talent acquisition.

Give me an example of how this PREDICTS JOB PERFORMANCE.

One of our clients, a large, North American research institution, conducted a study to measure the relationship between cognitive ability and job performance for research technicians. The research technician faces high-turnover and is filled by folks who often have less than a 4-year degree. They conduct repetitive and tedious, but incredibly precise work.

To measure the impact of cognitive ability on job performance, the company administered the Cognitive Assessment to 70+ job incumbents. They also simultaneously collected research-specific performance data about each employee’s problem-solving skill, independence, and performance in job tasks. The results showed the Cognitive Assessment significantly predicted performance in areas like demonstrating sound judgment, problem-solving and executing procedures accurately. It also included figuring things out quickly and independently, following protocol, developing new skills, and suggesting process improvements. Further, the data allowed the company to set target scores that had a 61% likelihood of identifying candidates who would receive a performance rating of at least four on a 5-point scale. In other words, The PI Cognitive Assessment became a powerful predictor of job performance.

How do I score The PI Cognitive Assessment?

One of the most important decisions you will make when using The PI Cognitive Assessment is choosing a target score. The target score will help identify candidates with the required amount of cognitive ability for the job and distinguish those who are and are not likely to be high performers. The Predictive Index provides a target scoring guide to help you identify target scores for different types of jobs. It also recommends creating a scoring band around your target score rather than using your target as a cut score. Putting wiggle room around your target score adds fairness to your process and also leaves room for strong candidates.

Distribution of Cognitive Ability

How can I learn more and start using The PI Cognitive Assessment?

The PI Cognitive Assessment is built into the Predictive Index platform and provides a seamless user and candidate experience. Most importantly, it provides a scientifically validated measure of general cognitive ability that you can benchmark against your target score.

To learn how to implement The PI Cognitive Assessment into your talent program, reach out to your Leadership Consultant today. If you’re new to PI, get in touch here.

4 thoughts on “Your Top 6 Questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment Answered

  1. Are there any materials available that can be used to prepare for the PI Cognitive Assessment?

  2. Hi Lisa! The PI Cognitive Assessment is best taken “cold”–since it draws randomly from a set of questions, there is no way to prepare for the assessment.

  3. I was not able to finish answering all the the questions in PI Cognitive assessment because I process deeply each question. If I just finish 21 questions in 12 minutes, would it affect greatly to my job application?

  4. The cognitive assessment is not meant to be completed. Participants should answer as many questions as possible in the time allotted with a competitive spirit. Cognitive is just one data point in the hiring process along with many other data points (i.e., resume, experience, needs, culture, values, etc.) that helps organizations assess fit and alignment. All of these data points are weighted differently by different companies.

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