Cognitive Ability Testing

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: May 17, 2020

What is Cognitive Ability Testing?

Cognitive ability testing is a common selection method used to test the knowledge & capabilities of a person. The process is done through a Cognitive ability test (CogAT or CAT) which is characterized to measure the level of aptitude that determines a person’s ability to learn. Cognitive ability tests include measures of verbal, mathematical, memory & reasoning abilities.


Importance of Cognitive Ability Testing

Cognitive ability testing is one of the most effective predictor of job performance across job types. Though it is a widely agreed and followed technique some controversy also looms regarding the use of this method. In some companies, this test is used as the sole basis to hire a person. This paves way for discrimination as there are certain low scoring ethnic groups. It is one of the ways to understand and evaluate the people through a cognitive test. These are important in business during employee recruitment or even appraisal.


Cognitive Ability Test Advantages & Disadvantages

Advantages of Cognitive Ability Test

1. verbal reasoning sections and numerical tests sections have shown large validity for numerous number of jobs

2. As the job complexity increases, so does the validity

3. When many applicants are to be tested ,in that case it can be administered in group settings

4. Scoring of the tests can be completed by computer scanning equipment

5. Lower cost than personality tests

6. Highly reliable


Disadvantages of Cognitive Ability Test

1. Often, non-minorities score one standard deviation higher than minorities thus leading to adverse impact depending on how the scores are used in the selection process

2. Ability differences between male and female differences (e.g., knowledge of mathematics) may negatively impact the scores of female applicants


This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

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