Your Top 6 Questions about The PI Cognitive Assessment Answered

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ADVISA partners with The Predictive Index® to offer leaders with helpful tools like The PI Cognitive Assessment™. We field many questions on this specific tool, so we wanted to summarize the assessment and share some helpful facts. Below, you’ll find answers to our most-asked questions about the 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 Cognitive Assessment is different from IQ which tells us about someone’s actual intelligence. The Cognitive Assessment focuses on learning speed, ability to apply knowledge to new situations and problem-solving. It is a 12-minute, multiple-choice test that includes a mix of numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning questions.

How is this tool 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. However, the 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, 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 those 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.

Can you share an example of how this tool 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 four-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.

Ultimately, the data allowed the company to set target scores with a 61% likelihood of identifying candidates who would receive a performance rating of at least four on a five-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 identify target scores for different types of jobs. It also recommends creating a scoring band around your target 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.

cognitive ability chart

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

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, start here.

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Interested in learning more about the PI Cognitive Assessment? Request a software demo of The Predictive Index with one of our consultants.

Additionally, be sure to read “The Cognitive Assessment: A Data Hiring Point” by Learning Experience Consultant Nora Elder.