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Cognitive ability assessment

Professional woman demonstrating improved job performance after a cognitive ability assessment.

Cognitive Ability Assessment

Cognitive abilities have been found consistently to be one of the best predictors of job performance ever discovered.

Research shows that cognitive ability has a strong genetic component and does not change much over a person’s lifetime.

We know that intelligence gives us:

  • Speed​
  • Power
  • Trainability
  • Less counterproductive work behaviours (Dilchert et al., 2007)

A person’s IQ is most commonly measured in three forms, based on the main types of cognitive reasoning:​

  1. Verbal reasoning – Understanding and reasoning using concepts framed in words. Can the person understand words and sentences and use them effectively and quickly?​
  2. Numerical reasoning – Understanding and reasoning using concepts framed in numbers. Can the person draw conclusions quickly based on numerical information?​
  3. Abstract reasoning – Lateral thinking skills or fluid intelligence. The ability to quickly identify patterns, logical rules, and trends in new data, integrate this information and apply it to solve problems. The ability to forecast the implications of things.​

SACS uses the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) cognitive ability assessments including:


Verbal Reasoning

  • The capacity to use words at work, drawing upon a broad vocabulary and adjusting one’s communication style to suit the audience.
  • People higher on this measure are better able to express ideas easily and to influence others.
  • A good predictor of communication success – both written and verbally.


Numerical Reasoning

  • The capacity to use and understand numbers and arithmetic at work.
  • Large impact on the ease of dealing with finances, performance measures, statistics etc.


Abstract Reasoning

  • The capacity to solve problems at work which do not have verbal or numerical elements.
  • The ability to foresee outcomes in the decision making process as well as the implications of one’s behaviour.
  • Very important ability in areas such as strategy, planning, problem solving.

How intelligent will your next hire be?
Arrange a Cognitive Ability Assessment with SACS Consulting.

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