How to Ace the PI Cognitive Assessment: Winning Tips for 2020

This guide will help you cope with every aspect of the PI cognitive assessment in 2020. 

Get the 5 most important tips for success and join the discussion to receive answers to your questions. Let’s start!

Tip 1: Know the 9 Question Types

There are 9 question types on the PI cognitive assessment, and you better familiarize yourself with each one of them if you want to do well on the test. It’s not necessarily about mastering each question type; It’s more about knowing what you’re good at and what makes you waste too much time. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses at this step will help you perform better on the test, as you’ll be able to make quick decisions on whether to skip a certain question or not. You can approach this preparation step in a more “relaxed” manner, i.e. without timing yourself yet. I recommend that you see how well you fare with each question type by practicing sample questions. I’ve listed some great resources below.

9 question types of PI cognitive assessment

Start with the official sample questions! 

Not many candidates are aware of the 20 official PI cognitive assessment sample questions which are found on the Predictive Index website. Here are links to the sample questions and to my PDF which explains them in detail: 

Tip 2: Take a Practice Test

Taking a PI cognitive assessment practice test is beneficial as it will add the time-pressure element to the topics presented above. A full-length PI assessment lasts 12 minutes and includes 50 questions. Taking it straight away without some preliminary preparation may be overwhelming in the beginning, and you can start with a shortened, compact version of the test (e.g. 25 or 30 questions, with respective time constraints) to get the hang of it prior to committing to the real deal.

12-minute-timer

You’re welcome to try my free sample test with 30 questions and 8 minutes, which is provided as part of the prep course I just mentioned in the previous section.

I offer a tailored prep course for the PI cognitive assessment, which includes lots of practice materials, video lessons and practice drills. Most importantly, it also includes 4 full-length mock tests (12 minutes, 50 questions each).

Join over 2,400 candidates who’ve increased their score potential with my prep course.

  • Predictive prep: This resource nicely displays 12 original sample questions that adhere to the PI cognitive assessment style. Good brain teaser!
  • JobTestPrep: a 20-question timed test

Tip 3: Speed is Key 

Similar to other pre-employment cognitive ability tests, the PI cognitive assessment is all about completing as many questions as possible in 12 minutes. Your ability to answer correctly more questions indicates your ability to process complex information and your capacity to deal with the cognitive demands of the job. 

However, you are NOT supposed to correctly solve all the questions in the allotted time: only 1% of the population are able to correctly answer more than 40 questions on the test.

Your main goal is to see ALL 50 questions so that you increase your chances of solving as many questions as possible that fall under your strengths. 

You do not want to run out of time at question 14/50 and discover that you haven‎’t had a chance to look at 36 other questions on the test. Many candidates fall into this trap and underperform.

Learn more about this in my blog article, how to solve 50 questions in 12 minutes.

correlation graph

Tip 4: Take the Assessment in Your Mother Tongue 

The first step before taking the test will be choosing your language. 

The PI cognitive assessment is available in over 50 languages and I urge you to take the test in your mother tongue, given of course that your reading speed and vocabulary are indeed better in your mother tongue.

If you take the test in a second language, you will likely read slower, stumble upon more unknowns, and this can affect your score by up to 6 or 8 missed answers – a huge impact that can take your score from the 90th percentile to the 50th percentile! 

Here is the list of available languages for the PI Cognitive Assessment:

Afrikaans; Albanian; Arabic (Gulf); Arabic (International); Armenian; Azerbaijani; Basque; Bengali; Bulgarian; Catalan; Chinese (Simplified); Chinese (Traditional); Croatian; Czech; Danish; Dutch; English; Estonian; Farsi; Filipino; Finnish; Flemish; French; Georgian; German; Greek; Hebrew; Hindi; Hungarian; Icelandic;  Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Kazakh ; Khmer; Korean; Lao; Latvian Lithuanian; Macedonian; Malayalam; Malay; Norwegian (Bokmål); Polish;  Portuguese; Portuguese (Brazil); Punjabi; Romanian; Russian; Serbian (Latin); Slovak; Slovenian; Spanish (Modern Sort); Swahili; Swedish; Tamil; Thai; Turkish; Ukrainian; Urdu; Vietnamese; Xhosa; Zulu

Tip 5: Stand for Your Rights as a Test Taker! 

megaphone

You must be aware of the below two points.

1 Requesting to be retested.  The test can be administered in two rounds or a single round. This depends on the employer.  If it’s two rounds, then round 1 is done from the convenience of your home and round 2 is done at the employer’s premises.

Anyone can have a bad day or a misfortunate incident that could lead to a lower score than expected. If you feel like you’ve done poorly on any of the rounds, speak it out! Tell the employer or recruiter what prevented you from performing well and ask to be re-tested. Hopefully, your request will be approved.

Here are important quotes from the official PI cognitive assessment admin guide regarding retesting:

Allowing respondents to retest may also help to more accurately assess respondents who perhaps are less familiar with timed, computerized assessments.

As you can see, the PI company believes that it’s beneficial to allow a candidate to be retested.

 

And here’s another important quote: 

[The employer] may need to communicate the results to the respondent to help them decide whether they would like to retest. Respondents will see a different configuration of items at each administration; however, respondents should not be allowed to take the PI Cognitive Assessment more than three times. If a respondent takes the PI Cognitive Assessment multiple times, the selection decision should be based on his or her highest score, regardless of which attempt is associated with that score.

If company chooses to only assess respondents once, there are still some conditions under which a retest may still be warranted:
• A respondent reports technical problems, like internet disconnection.
• A respondent reports being highly distracted during the assessment due to unforeseen
circumstances, like a fire alarm.

From the above, we learn that communicating your difficulties to the employer/recruiter can help prevent your application from being disqualified. If you come across any unexpected issues during the assessment, you should ask for a second chance. 

 

2 Disabilities and time additions. I’m quoting again from the official admin guide:

The Predictive Index offers two extended time formats of the PI Cognitive Assessment: 18-minute and 24-minute versions, which allow for time-and-a-half or double the original time limit, respectively. 

If you have a case for reasonable accommodation, use it! This can completely change your score. 

Tip 6: Understand What is a Good Score for Your Job

Knowing how PI cognitive assessment scoring works is important, as you will be able to set yourself a goal according to the employer’s expectations. Read more about PI cognitive assessment scores or take a free sample lesson that explains this topic further.

higher-than-average PI cognitive assessment score range

Take My Prep Course to Get Started

Your journey to a higher PI cognitive assessment score starts here. Join over 2,400 candidates who’ve benefited from my pi cognitive assessment prep course. Rated 4.9/5!

Nice to meet you! I am Gideon, Founder at 12 Minutes

My prep courses have been taken by over 50,000 candidates.
I know pre-employment cognitive ability tests inside out and I am passionate about helping you succeed. Join the discussion below if you have any questions, or simply use the chatbox at the bottom right corner.

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  string(15573) "[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]This guide will help you cope with every aspect of the PI cognitive assessment in 2020. 

Get the 5 most important tips for success and join the discussion to receive answers to your questions. Let's start![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tip 1: Know the 9 Question Types

There are 9 question types on the PI cognitive assessment, and you better familiarize yourself with each one of them if you want to do well on the test. It’s not necessarily about mastering each question type; It’s more about knowing what you’re good at and what makes you waste too much time. Identifying your strengths and weaknesses at this step will help you perform better on the test, as you’ll be able to make quick decisions on whether to skip a certain question or not. You can approach this preparation step in a more "relaxed" manner, i.e. without timing yourself yet. I recommend that you see how well you fare with each question type by practicing sample questions. I've listed some great resources below.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="21267" img_size="large" alignment="center"][vc_empty_space][vc_column_text]Start with the official sample questions!  Not many candidates are aware of the 20 official PI cognitive assessment sample questions which are found on the Predictive Index website. Here are links to the sample questions and to my PDF which explains them in detail: [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_btn title="Sample Questions PDF" i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-external-link" add_icon="true" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fpredictiveindex.my.salesforce.com%2Fsfc%2Fp%2F%23i0000000Z3X6%2Fa%2F0Z000000PmNy%2Fl0X1VH.LwCq6CSbjZCjaaxIcDp8uSiyQzVcVD1Ga3ZY||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_btn title="Explanations and tips PDF" color="success" i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-chevron-circle-right" add_icon="true" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.12minprep.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2FPractice%2520Resources%2FCourses%2FPILI%2Fpi-li-test-answers-explanations.pdf||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tip 2: Take a Practice Test

Taking a PI cognitive assessment practice test is beneficial as it will add the time-pressure element to the topics presented above. A full-length PI assessment lasts 12 minutes and includes 50 questions. Taking it straight away without some preliminary preparation may be overwhelming in the beginning, and you can start with a shortened, compact version of the test (e.g. 25 or 30 questions, with respective time constraints) to get the hang of it prior to committing to the real deal.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="21287" img_size="640 x 196" alignment="center"][vc_tta_accordion active_section="" collapsible_all="true"][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-clock-o" add_icon="true" title="30-question, 9-minute free practice test" tab_id="1589788350989-0a4dace0-10fe"][vc_cta h2="" color="white" add_button="left" btn_title="Take the test" btn_color="green" btn_link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.12minprep.com%2Fcourses%2Fpi-cognitive-assessment-practice%2Flessons%2Flesson-6-pili-style-mini-assessment%2F|||"]You’re welcome to try my free sample test with 30 questions and 8 minutes, which is provided as part of the prep course I just mentioned in the previous section.[/vc_cta][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-check-square" add_icon="true" title="My best-selling PI prep course" tab_id="1589788920791-a1f1a130-9ba1"][vc_column_text]I offer a tailored prep course for the PI cognitive assessment, which includes lots of practice materials, video lessons and practice drills. Most importantly, it also includes 4 full-length mock tests (12 minutes, 50 questions each). Join over 2,400 candidates who've increased their score potential with my prep course. [/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_btn title="Take my PI prep course now, only $29!" color="green" i_align="right" i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-chevron-circle-right" add_icon="true" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.12minprep.com%2Fcourses%2Fpi-cognitive-assessment-practice%2F||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width="1/2"][vc_btn title="Start with a free sample lesson" color="green" i_align="right" i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-chevron-circle-right" add_icon="true" link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.12minprep.com%2Fcourses%2Fpi-cognitive-assessment-practice%2Flessons%2Flesson-1%2F||target:%20_blank|"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-external-link" add_icon="true" title="External resources that offer free practice" tab_id="1553698349924-a18a9588-0da8"][vc_column_text]
  • Predictive prep: This resource nicely displays 12 original sample questions that adhere to the PI cognitive assessment style. Good brain teaser!
  • JobTestPrep: a 20-question timed test
[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tip 3: Speed is Key 

Similar to other pre-employment cognitive ability tests, the PI cognitive assessment is all about completing as many questions as possible in 12 minutes. Your ability to answer correctly more questions indicates your ability to process complex information and your capacity to deal with the cognitive demands of the job.  However, you are NOT supposed to correctly solve all the questions in the allotted time: only 1% of the population are able to correctly answer more than 40 questions on the test. Your main goal is to see ALL 50 questions so that you increase your chances of solving as many questions as possible that fall under your strengths.  You do not want to run out of time at question 14/50 and discover that you haven‎’t had a chance to look at 36 other questions on the test. Many candidates fall into this trap and underperform. Learn more about this in my blog article, how to solve 50 questions in 12 minutes.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="21365" img_size="large" alignment="center"][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tip 4: Take the Assessment in Your Mother Tongue 

The first step before taking the test will be choosing your language.  The PI cognitive assessment is available in over 50 languages and I urge you to take the test in your mother tongue, given of course that your reading speed and vocabulary are indeed better in your mother tongue. If you take the test in a second language, you will likely read slower, stumble upon more unknowns, and this can affect your score by up to 6 or 8 missed answers - a huge impact that can take your score from the 90th percentile to the 50th percentile!  Here is the list of available languages for the PI Cognitive Assessment: Afrikaans; Albanian; Arabic (Gulf); Arabic (International); Armenian; Azerbaijani; Basque; Bengali; Bulgarian; Catalan; Chinese (Simplified); Chinese (Traditional); Croatian; Czech; Danish; Dutch; English; Estonian; Farsi; Filipino; Finnish; Flemish; French; Georgian; German; Greek; Hebrew; Hindi; Hungarian; Icelandic;  Indonesian; Italian; Japanese; Kazakh ; Khmer; Korean; Lao; Latvian Lithuanian; Macedonian; Malayalam; Malay; Norwegian (Bokmål); Polish;  Portuguese; Portuguese (Brazil); Punjabi; Romanian; Russian; Serbian (Latin); Slovak; Slovenian; Spanish (Modern Sort); Swahili; Swedish; Tamil; Thai; Turkish; Ukrainian; Urdu; Vietnamese; Xhosa; Zulu[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tip 5: Stand for Your Rights as a Test Taker! 

megaphone You must be aware of the below two points. 1 Requesting to be retested.  The test can be administered in two rounds or a single round. This depends on the employer.  If it's two rounds, then round 1 is done from the convenience of your home and round 2 is done at the employer's premises. Anyone can have a bad day or a misfortunate incident that could lead to a lower score than expected. If you feel like you've done poorly on any of the rounds, speak it out! Tell the employer or recruiter what prevented you from performing well and ask to be re-tested. Hopefully, your request will be approved. Here are important quotes from the official PI cognitive assessment admin guide regarding retesting:
Allowing respondents to retest may also help to more accurately assess respondents who perhaps are less familiar with timed, computerized assessments.
As you can see, the PI company believes that it's beneficial to allow a candidate to be retested.   And here's another important quote: 
[The employer] may need to communicate the results to the respondent to help them decide whether they would like to retest. Respondents will see a different configuration of items at each administration; however, respondents should not be allowed to take the PI Cognitive Assessment more than three times. If a respondent takes the PI Cognitive Assessment multiple times, the selection decision should be based on his or her highest score, regardless of which attempt is associated with that score. If company chooses to only assess respondents once, there are still some conditions under which a retest may still be warranted: • A respondent reports technical problems, like internet disconnection. • A respondent reports being highly distracted during the assessment due to unforeseen circumstances, like a fire alarm.
From the above, we learn that communicating your difficulties to the employer/recruiter can help prevent your application from being disqualified. If you come across any unexpected issues during the assessment, you should ask for a second chance.    2 Disabilities and time additions. I'm quoting again from the official admin guide:
The Predictive Index offers two extended time formats of the PI Cognitive Assessment: 18-minute and 24-minute versions, which allow for time-and-a-half or double the original time limit, respectively. 
If you have a case for reasonable accommodation, use it! This can completely change your score. [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Tip 6: Understand What is a Good Score for Your Job

Knowing how PI cognitive assessment scoring works is important, as you will be able to set yourself a goal according to the employer's expectations. Read more about PI cognitive assessment scores or take a free sample lesson that explains this topic further. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image="21256" img_size="medium" alignment="center"][vc_column_text][/vc_column_text][vc_cta h2="Take My Prep Course to Get Started" add_button="bottom" btn_title="See full course details" btn_color="success" btn_align="right" btn_i_align="right" btn_i_icon_fontawesome="fa fa-chevron-circle-right" btn_add_icon="true" btn_link="url:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.12minprep.com%2Fcourses%2Fpi-cognitive-assessment-practice%2F|title:PI%20Cognitive%20Assessment%20Practice%3A%20The%20%231%20Prep%20Course%20Online|target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow"]Your journey to a higher PI cognitive assessment score starts here. Join over 2,400 candidates who've benefited from my pi cognitive assessment prep course. Rated 4.9/5![/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]

Nice to meet you! I am Gideon, Founder at 12 Minutes

My prep courses have been taken by over 50,000 candidates. I know pre-employment cognitive ability tests inside out and I am passionate about helping you succeed. Join the discussion below if you have any questions, or simply use the chatbox at the bottom right corner.

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8 Comments

  1. Elaine Watson
      September 8, 2020 at 7:14 AM

    Please send me references of 2 people in Southern California. Thank you.

  2. Asma Mahjabeen
      September 1, 2020 at 5:38 AM

    This is my first experience without any course or any preparation. I just sit for the assessment test to know what it is. Its really fun and works to build up the confidence level.

  3. Elgee
      May 10, 2020 at 6:47 AM

    for PI Cognitive test: is it good to skip questions and go to other easier questions? Thanks

    1. Gideon
        May 10, 2020 at 7:02 AM

      Hi Elgee,

      Most definitely yes. Please read about this in my other article about solving 50 questions in 12 minutes.

      Sincerely,

      Gideon

  4. swapan
      May 7, 2019 at 6:15 AM

    Hello,
    I wish to know if CCAT cram prep and PI Cognitive assessment course are different ?

    I have to prepare for CCAT,

    Thanks,
    Swapan

    1. Gideon
        May 7, 2019 at 9:18 AM

      Dear Swapan,

      Thanks for your comment.

      PI cognitive assessment and CCAT are two different tests that share some common features in terms of question styles. I offer separate preparation courses for each of them.
      For CCAT, Please have a look:
      https://www.12minprep.com/courses/ccat-practice/
      Here, it’s best to start with my free course.https://www.12minprep.com/courses/free-cognitive-ability-test-practice/ and then for the paid part.

      I hope this helps,

      Gideon

  5. george_amador
      March 29, 2019 at 4:26 PM

    it is good. did better than I thought I would.

    1. Gideon
        March 29, 2019 at 11:20 PM

      Thank you for the feedback. When are you going to take the assessment?

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