PI Cognitive Assessment - Free Practice & Expert Tips [2021]


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What is the PI Cognitive Assessment?

The Predictive Index (PI) cognitive assessment, formerly known as the PLI Test, is a demanding 12-minute cognitive test that includes 50 questions. On this test, you’ll be asked numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning questions, to assess your ability to make decisions, learn, and adapt to different roles and situations.

To get a quick overview of the PI cognitive assessment question types, test features, and preparation tips, watch this video:


Play what is the PI cognitive assessment

Still have questions? Check out the PI Cognitive Assessment FAQs.

What Kind of Questions Should You Expect?

The PI Cognitive test consists of multiple-choice questions that assess three types of cognitive abilities: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and abstract reasoning. Each type of ability is examined by three question types, resulting in nine types of questions:

Numerical Reasoning

Verbal Reasoning

Abstract Reasoning

Number series


Visual series

Math problems


Visual analogies

Word problems

Formal logic

Common features

To get the feeling of the type of questions you'll encounter on the PI cognitive assessment, try:

The Official predictive index Sample Questions (updated to 2021).

Our Free Practice Test 

Here are sample questions for each type of question on the PI cognitive assessment:

Numerical Reasoning

Questions on this section would require you to perform simple calculations, either mentally, or using scrap paper, since calculators are not allowed. 

Sample question- word problems

Ann, Matt, and Zack are working for a cleaning company. Together, they can clean a house in 2 hours. If Ann does the job alone, she can finish it in 5 hours. If Matt does the job alone, he can finish it in 6 hours. How long will it take Ann and Zack together to complete the job?

  1.  3 hours
  2. 4 hours
  3. 5.5 hours
  4. 6 hours
  5. 7.5 hours



The correct answer is 3 hours.

Step 1
In order to solve this problem we will first find out Zack's work rate (indicated as Z).
We know the total work rate of all three people together: 1/2 (1 house in 2 hours), Ann's work rate is 1/5 (1 house in 5 hours), and so on. Each person contributes his share to that total rate, meaning:
Ann + Matt + Zack = total
1/5 + 1/6 + 1/Z = 1/2
=> 1/Z = 1/2 – 1/5 – 1/6          /*30  (the Lowest common denominator)
=> 30/Z = 15 – 6 – 5 = 4         /*Z
=> 30 = 4Z
=> Z = 7.5
Thus, Zack's work rate: 1/7.5

Step 2
The total time it will take Ann and Zack to clean a house:
1/t = 1/5 + 1/7.5                         /*15
15/t = 3 + 2 = 5                           /*(t/5)
=> t = 3 hours.


Verbal Reasoning

Verbal reasoning questions will test both your vocabulary and ability to analyze new information and draw conclusions.  

Sample question- formal logic

Read the facts and determine if they prove the conclusion or not:

FACTS: If Jason is late to the meeting, Kevin will have to work late. Lois will not cook dinner for Kevin unless Kevin gets home from work on time. If Lois does not cook dinner for Kevin, Kevin will order pizza for dinner. Lois cooked dinner for Kevin.

CONCLUSION: Jason was late to the meeting.

choose the correct answer:

  1. The facts prove the conclusion
  2. The facts disprove the conclusion
  3. The facts neither prove nor disprove the conclusion

Answer+ Explanation

The correct answer is - (B)

 If Jason is late to the meeting, then Kevin will not get home from work on time because he will have to work late. Lois will cook dinner for Kevin only if Kevin gets home from work on time. Thus, if Lois cooked dinner for Kevin, Jason could not have come late to the meeting.

Abstract Reasoning

Abstract reasoning questions will examine your ability to mentally rotate images, and to analyze and identify visual patterns.

Sample question- abstract reasoning

Choose the correct shape:





The correct answer is:

The relationship between figure X and figure Y is as follows: Each line that appears only in one of the two shapes in figure X also appears in figure Y.


So, the correct answer must have the same relationship with figure Z. That is shape E.

Looking for more practice? get our full preparation pack with 843+ more practice questions, full simulations, score reports and solving tips.

What Is a Good Score on The PI Cognitive Assessment?

Your PI cognitive assessment score may appear as a raw score- the number of correct questions (0-50) or a scaled score- calculated based on your raw score in relation to other candidates’ scores (100-450). The PI cognitive assessment average score is ~20/50, which is equivalent to 250 for the scaled score.

However, passing the average score is often not enough. Since the cutoff score changes according to the position you’re applying for and other candidates’ test scores, you’ll have to get the highest score among candidates to advance to the next hiring stage.

How to Prepare for the PI Cognitive Assessment?

  1. Practice the most relevant questions

Research has shown that cognitive ability test results improve greatly when practicing the exact type of tasks as on the test.

Practice the same question types as on the actual test to reduce stress on the actual test and reach the highest score possible.

  1. Personalize your practice

To make the most out of your PI cognitive assessment practice, start by identifying your weaknesses and strengths. Then, instead of getting exhausted from solving all types of practice questions, focus your effort on those question types that are most difficult for you, in which you have the highest potential to improve.

  1. Focus On Speed

The main challenge on the PI cognitive assessment is TIME.

You'll have approx. 14 seconds per question.

However, many questions take a lot longer than that to solve when encountered for the first time.

Take this question for example:

PI cognitive assessment sample question

This is because people don’t know what to look for. So, they get creative, trying to spot any possible relationship as the clock keeps on ticking…

When practicing, go over the PI cognitive assessment answers and explanations to develop the ability to approach and solve questions more quickly.

Why Practice with JobTestPrep?

Our full PI Cognitive Assessment PrepPack was created by experienced experts to accurately resemble the questions you’ll face on the actual test.

Preparing using our PrepPack has helped hundreds of candidates get the score they need and pass the PI assessment, even with just a couple of days practice- go to reviews.

This is how your preparation would look like:

  • Start by taking a PI diagnostic test- exclusively developed by JobTestPrep to provide you with a detailed score report, showing your weaker and stronger question subjects.
  • Focus your practice with 843 questions of all question types - dedicate more time practicing questions you’re weaker at, so that you can improve your score most efficiently.
  • Read thorough answers and explanations for every practice- learn all the shortcuts and tips to quickly solve questions.
  • Use study guides containing all the mathematical knowledge and skills needed to be revised.
  • Take our PI cognitive assessment 50 questions 12 minutes practice simulations +answers.
  • Get an additional behavioral guide and practice for the PI behavioral assessment.

5 Tips to Boost Your PI Cognitive Assessment Score

Use these tips to skyrocket your PI assessment test score:

  1. Take the test on your first language
    You can choose the language in which you’ll take the test. Choose your first language, in which your verbal skills- reading speed and understanding, are the highest.

  2. Don’t be afraid to guess
    Answering questions wrong doesn’t cost you points; you can only gain points on this test. Therefore, even if you’re not sure, try and take your best guess.

  3. Manage your time
    As mentioned, time is the most important and challenging aspect of this test.
  • Aspire to SEE all 50 questions to “collect” as many questions you’re confident at as possible.
  • As you go through questions, first answer those you’re most confident in.
  • Don’t spend more than 25 seconds per question. If you feel stuck, take a guess and try to go back to the question later-on.
  • Answer ALL questions, even if you’re not sure of the answer. For questions you are not sure about, write down the question number so that you can go back to it later.

  1. Get familiar with the behavioral assessment
    In many cases, candidates are given the PI behavioral assessment along with the cognitive assessment. If this is the case for you, read more about the behavioral test on our PI Behavioral Assessment page.

  2. Reduce stress
    The PI cognitive test time pressure can make it quite stressful. There are a couple of important ways to deal with this stress:
  • The first step to feeling more at ease on the test is getting familiar with the test questions, that is by PRACTICING sample questions and simulations.
  • If you’re taking the test online, make sure to find a comfortable environment in which you feel relaxed and undistracted.
  • Before taking the actual test, take a break from practicing for as much time as you need, so that you feel fresh before starting the test.
  • When facing questions, make sure to fully read the instructions. If you feel overwhelmed at the beginning of the test, take a guess, and start with a simple question to boost your confidence.


Should you guess on PI cognitive assessment?

Getting a question wrong doesn’t cost you points. Since you can only gain points by answering questions, it is better to guess even if you’re not sure of your answer.

Can you answer 50 questions in 12 minutes?

Most people DO NOT answer all 50 questions in 12 minutes. In fact, only 1% of the population answers more than 40 questions correctly.

You should aim to answer as many questions as you can. This means taking a guess even if you’re not sure of the answer, and especially when you feel like you’re stuck. You can always go back to earlier questions, so try to first move forward and solve questions you feel confident at. 

Why do employers use the PI test?

The overall purpose of the test is to provide the employer with a broad holistic evaluation of the cognitive capacity of incoming job applicants.

The test aims to reveal how your brain functions in terms of attention, speed, memory, and visualization.

These skills are necessary to ensure that you are capable of handling certain roles and their complexities.

How many people other than me take the PI test?

Over 7,600 people look to us for PI Cognitive Assessment practice material every month from all around the world.

We also know that the test is accessible in over 70 languages and is offered in over 50 countries worldwide.

So... we can safely assume that about 5 times the people that come to us take the test. Around 35,000 every month. 

This is good news, because it means that only a 5th of test-takers take the time to prepare. Preparation gives a huge edge in test performance over the competition who decided to just wing it.

Is the PI test hard?

The PI is a standard Cognitive Ability Test and isn't considered especially difficult in this category. 

However, cognitive ability tests are designed to be challenging, and the PI Cognitive Assessment is no exception.

The challenge lies in the test's format, which requires you to answer a large number of questions in a very short time span.

The challenge is staying calm and not sacrificing accuracy for speed (i.e., answering quickly but incorrectly).


We have helped tens of thousands of job seekers before you to prepare for this type of test, and we can help you too!

Check out our tailored PI practice pack if you're serious about preparing.

Does the test score indicate my IQ level?

Even though the PI Cognitive Assessment shares some common features with IQ tests, it does not examine your IQ level.

Its purpose is to check your adaptability and assess your ability to handle complex problems deemed necessary for certain jobs.

What does the PI Learning Indicator measure?

The test measures your ability to do the following:

  • Understand complex ideas
  • Adapt effectively to a new environment
  • Learn from experience
  • Reason
  • Overcome obstacles

The PI Cognitive Assessment is backed by science and meets the standards of both the APA (American Psychological Association) and the SIOP (Society of Industrial & Organizational Psychology).

Where and how will I take the test?

You will most likely receive an email with a link to a PI Learning Indicator online testing platform containing instructions for your specific test.

Some employers choose to conduct the test in a controlled environment at their offices or at a testing center. If you have to take the test at a testing center, you'll be notified and given a date and location.

Can I improve my score on the PI test?

Yes you can, and you should. After all, your future employment depends on it.
The test provider, PI Learning Indicator, discuses the benefits of preparation on its website:

"Experience shows that if someone is used to these types of assessments, he or she will be able to get consistently closer to his or her ‘capacity’ or maximum score.

In other words, it is actually ideal when an assessment taker is trained or familiar with the PI Learning Indicator item types, as it gives the company the best possible insight into the candidate’s true potential."

You can reach your full capacity within just a few days by preparing with our specially tailored PI test simulations and practice drills. 

This way, by the time you take the test you'll be very familiar with the questions and format.



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