The Predictive Index Assessments: A Brief Guide

The Predictive Index Assessments: A Brief Guide
Last Updated: March 2, 2023

Of the many different tests in the pre-employment testing industry, the Predictive Index Assessments are considered to be some of the most challenging. This is due to some unique characteristics that are designed to reveal essential elements of your cognitive abilities and personality. Let’s explore the two main Predictive Index Tests – the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment, and see what they are all about.

Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment

The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment is a fast-paced assessment that measures the three main pillars of cognitive ability – verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning. In the test, you will need to answer 50 multiple choice questions in only 12 minutes, leaving 14 seconds per question on average. This intense time-pressure coupled with challenging questions means that preparation is essential to improve your chances of getting a good score. 

Potential employers learn many things from your performance on the PI Cognitive Assessment, such as your ability to think on your feet, and to continue thinking logically under pressure.

Let us review the three sections of the test:

  • Verbal Reasoning – This section assesses your verbal ability through a variety of multiple-choice questions. These include synonyms or antonyms, formal logic questions also known as syllogisms, analogies, and more.  
  • Abstract Reasoning – In these questions, you must identify hidden information and patterns in symbols or matrices and draw conclusions from it in order to solve the problem. These questions come in “next in series”, odd one out, and analogy form. 
  • Numerical Reasoning – This section measures your numerical cognitive capacities through questions ranging from basic math to more complex numerical problem solving. In this section, you will either need to answer number series or word problems, in which numerical information must be identified and calculated in texts. 


Although the questions can be challenging, the main element that test takers struggle with in the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment is the intense time pressure. The impact of the time limit on your exam performance is massive, and can significantly affect their score. The ticking clock induces significant stress during an exam, and it is through this that the test measures how well you operate under pressure.

Preparation is the best proven way to improve your chances of passing the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment, and on JobTestPrep’s Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment page you can find accurate preparation materials, free sample test questions. and detailed explanations of aspects of the test. 

Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a unique personality test in which you must create two lists of adjectives – one that describes your behavior as you perceive it, and another that describes how you think others expect you to behave. Through your answers, the discrepancies between the two lists, as well as other factors, you are ranked across four main personality factors:

  • Dominance – This factor reflects your tendency to influence other people, or events. Individuals with a high dominance score achieve this by sharing their ideas or encouraging others to get things done. This is something that employers will be looking for if you are applying for a position as a team lead or a manager.
  • Extraversion – This factor reflects your tendency and ability to interact socially with others, a useful trait in roles which see employees working in teams or facing customers. A high level of extraversion suggests the individual is outgoing self-confident, and persuasive, which is something an employer will be looking for if they’re recruiting for a leadership or sales position.
  • Patience – This factor reflects your ability to perform tasks in a consistent and stable manner. This is a desirable trait in certain jobs because it points to an ability to work methodically over time, including performing tasks that are perceived as repetitive or which take up substantial time investments to see a result.
  • Formality – The ability and tendency to conform to rules and structures. This is a trait that is necessary in many jobs because it is associated with high attention to detail and an ability to follow workplace rules. This is useful for positions in QA, laboratory work, as well as positions in the financial industry.


Your scores across these four factors will form a personality profile– for example, a candidate with high Dominance and Extraversion scores might be ideal for a leadership role, whereas someone with high Formality and Patience scores would work better as a lab researcher. 

Your responses will also categorize you according to the 17 Predictive Index Reference Profiles, which are personality types defined based on work styles and personal traits. For example, if a company is looking for a researcher, the ideal personality type for such a position is called the Scholar.

Scholars have high Formality scores and above-average Dominance and Patience scores, while their Extraversion scores are relatively low.

Scholars are highly analytical and disciplined and have a tendency to develop a high level of professionalism in their work, but don’t do very well in social situations.

While officially the PI Behavioral Assessment is not timed, candidates are broadly expected to answer the test within about 10-15 minutes. The philosophy behind the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is that candidates who answer the test quickly are giving answers that are more spontaneous and are not ‘playing the system’ in some way.

The best way to prepare for the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is to do your research about the position you are applying for and be clearly aware of the specific traits that the employer will be looking for in a candidate. You need to be able to answer truthfully while still putting your best foot forward.

JobTestPrep’s page on the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment provides a comprehensive guide to the test itself as well as the 17 PI personality profiles. It also includes a preparation pack containing accurate practice tests and detailed study and research guides, that will help you understand how to approach the test and present your strengths in the best way. 

Cindy Baker
Editorial Team
The editorial team behind is a group of dedicated HR professionals, writers, and industry experts committed to providing valuable insights and knowledge to empower HR practitioners and professionals. With a deep understanding of the ever-evolving HR landscape, our team strives to deliver engaging and informative articles that tackle the latest trends, challenges, and best practices in the field.

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