Cognitive Ability Tests (Employment Testing)

Cognitive ability tests typically use questions or problems to measure the ability to learn quickly, logic, reasoning, reading comprehension and other enduring mental abilities that are fundamental to success in many different jobs.  Cognitive ability tests assess a persons aptitude or potential to solve job-related problems by providing information about their mental abilities such as verbal or mathematical reasoning and perceptual abilities like speed in recognizing letters of the alphabet.

Advantages of Cognitive Ability Tests

  1.  Have been demonstrated to produce valid inferences for a number of organizational outcomes (e.g., performance, success in training).
  2.  Have been demonstrated to predict job performance particularly for more complex jobs.
  3.  Can be administered via paper and pencil or computerized methods easily to large numbers.
  4.  Can be cost effective to administer.
  5.  Does not typically require skilled administrators.
  6.  Can reduce business costs by identifying individuals for hiring, promotion or training who possess the needed skills and abilities.
  7.  Will not be influenced by test taker attempts to impression manage or fake responses.

Disadvantages of Cognitive Ability Tests

  1. Are typically more likely to differ in results by gender and race than other types of tests.
  2. Can be time-consuming to develop if not purchased off-the-shelf.

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