Predictive Index Test: What It Is and How to Prepare


A predictive index (PI) test allows recruiters to assess the cognitive abilities, personality traits and behavioral tendencies of a potential employee, in order to determine if they are suitable for them. In this article, we describe what a predictive index test is, the two main types, and the best way to prepare for and pass it.

Employers use two main types of predictive index tests to screen for potential new hires: the cognitive predictive index assessment (PICA) and the behavioral predictive index assessment (PIBA).

Rather than testing individual skills, these tests measure your abstract intelligence or personality characteristics such as dominance, extroversion, patience, and formality. They are used by thousands of companies around the world to predict the likelihood of a candidate being suitable for the job.

Cognitive assessment of the predictive index

The PICA objectively tests a candidate’s cognitive abilities and abstract intelligence. Since your cognitive abilities are indicative of your future performance as an employee, this assessment helps you and your potential employer determine if you are suitable for the job.

The PICA aims to eliminate unconscious bias in the hiring process by assessing your ability to learn new skills and how quickly you can adapt to changing conditions in the workplace. It tests verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning. Candidates are given 50 questions and are required to answer as many as possible within the allotted time.

Related: Cognitive Skills: What They Are and How To Improve Them

Behavioral assessment of the predictive index

The PIBA tests your cultural suitability for work by discovering your motivations and personal needs. It helps employers select employees with the personality traits that will help them be successful in their jobs and in the work environment.

Applicants receive two lists of adjectives in the PIBA. One list contains words that others would use to describe them and how they are likely to behave, and the other is words that they would use to describe themselves.

Read more: What are personality tests for jobs?

How to prepare for a cognitive assessment of the predictive index

Since the PICA tests your ability to solve a variety of problems, it is possible to prepare in advance for a higher score. Keep in mind that this is not only a tool for employers to select candidates, but also a tool for candidates to find the jobs that are right for them. Here’s how to prepare for the PICA:

1. Understand the types of questions

Here are the nine types of questions you will see on the PICA:


  • Series
  • Lowest value
  • Number problems


  • Antonyms
  • Analogies
  • Analysis


  • Series
  • Analogies
  • An odd

2. Take practical tests

Knowing what to expect is an important part of preparing for the test. The PICA has 50 questions that must be completed in 12 minutes, so practice within that allotted time. s. While you don’t have to complete all 50, your goal should be to answer honestly.

Preview all questions in advance to assess which ones will be easier to resolve. Start with these and gradually move on to the more difficult questions. For example, if you are more proficient with verbal skills than numeric skills, answer the verbal question first.

How to Prepare for a Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment

The PIBA is straightforward, relies on honest and personal information, and takes 10 minutes to complete. Here’s how to prepare:

1. See sample questions

Check out sample questions to get an idea of ​​what to expect for the real test and practice answering them. Knowing what to expect and being prepared to answer it will make you more confident about the test.

2. Consider what the test measures

It is important to remember that this test measures your personality traits. Consider the four categories in which these traits will be assessed. These include:


People who score high in Dominance tend to be successful in leadership roles and are independent, confident and assertive. They are comfortable with challenges and managing conflict. Those with a low dominance score are more likely to cooperate with team members, collaborate, and help others.

Related: All About The 12 DISC Personality Types


Those who score high in extroversion tend to engage easily with other people, are influencers, and enjoy public recognition. People with low extroversion – or “introverts” – tend to trust others less, prefer to work with facts or creative endeavors, and value privacy and time alone.

Read more: Introversion vs extraversion: what they are and 7 key differences


Very patient people tend to work at a brisk pace, avoid changing circumstances, and are good at building long-term relationships, both professionally and socially. Conversely, those who don’t have a lot of patience need variety in the workplace and tend to work at a faster pace for shorter periods of time.

Related: 5 Ways To Be More Patient Can Help Your Career


People who score high on formality like to have clear and organized expectations and tend to be detail-oriented and disciplined. People with lower formality scores appreciate spontaneity and informality and need a certain degree of freedom from strict rules and controls.

A high or low score in a given area does not indicate poor or excellent performance. Employers look for certain qualities in an employee and it is up to them to decide whether or not a candidate is suitable for their company.

How to Pass a Predictive Index Test

A predictive index test does not have a pass or fail measure. Providing honest answers will benefit both you and the employer. Not only does this help employers assess a candidate’s suitability for the job, but it also helps candidates get hired for jobs that are right for them.

Since the PICA is a free choice assessment, meaning you can select as many or as few descriptors as you want, its methodology ensures that candidates provide more accurate answers than other types of assessment tests. personality. While you can ask the employer questions or research the company beforehand to understand its culture and values, your perception of what is expected may differ from what the hiring manager is looking for.

General test preparation tips

Here are some tips that will help you pass any type of screening test:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before the test.
  • Do not take the test when you are hungry or sick.
  • Keep an eye on the clock and budget your time.
  • If you are doing the test at home, make sure you allow enough time to complete the test without interruptions or distractions.
  • Make sure you take the test in your native language.

Although the PI tests are offered in 70 different languages, it is in your best interest to take the test in your native language, even if you will not be using that language when working in the company. This will give you a better chance of understanding each question, which may involve subtle nuances that alter the meaning of certain sentences.

The reliability of predictive index tests

It is important to note that PI tests are used by thousands of companies all over the world and, to date, more than 18 million candidates have taken them. These very precise tests were designed to comply with the standards of the American Psychological Association, as well as other testing boards.

Despite this, the success of the tests depends on the ability of a human resources department to determine the qualities best suited to the roles they occupy. PI tests are only one part of a larger selection process for job applicants.

As a job seeker, it is important to understand what PI testing is and how to prepare for it. Knowing what to expect will help you prepare well for it and, hopefully, find a job.

Related: 7 Types of Pre-Employment Tests Given By Employers

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