Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness (TMA) Practice

What Is the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness (TMA)?

The Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness comprises of 126 questions to answer in 20 minutes – less than 10 seconds for each question.

These mental tasks assess four main capabilities –

  • Thinking flexibly
  • Learning new information and skills
  • Adjusting to situations
  • Understanding relationships

There are two types of questions that vary in difficulty and complexity –

  • Numerical –arithmetic (word problems) and number series (logic)
  • Verbal – definitions and same-opposite (synonyms or antonyms)

All these question types are provided in this PrepPack™. We have split them into different sections to increase your skill level linearly.

Each simulation focuses on enhancing your skills so you can succeed on the test:

  • Arithmetic (word problems): 7 tests that take you from the basic to the advanced level.
  • Number series (logic): 9 tests that range in difficulty from basic to advanced.
  • Same-opposite (synonyms or antonyms): 6 practice tests practicing both your synonyms & antonyms as well as synonyms in context.
  • Definitions: 3 full-length Thurstone definitions practice tests

Click the button below to start your preparation for this test!

Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness Sample Questions and answers


  • TMA Sample Question #1 – Arithmetic – Word Problems

Jack and Jill have 44 cookies together. Jack has three times more cookies than Jill, how many cookies does he have?

None of these
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

If Jack has 3 times more cookies than Jill, we can build the following equation letting Jill be X and Jack be 3X:


3X + X = 44

4X = 44

X = 11

3X = 33

/ combine like terms

/ divide both sides by 4

/ multiply by 3


Therefore, Jack has 33 cookies.


TIP: Look for the words that provide hints as to how to set up your equation –

Addition: add, increase, total, sum, more than, etc.

Subtraction: decrease, less than, difference, etc.

Division: per, ratio, out of, etc.

Multiplication: times, multiply, double, etc.


  • TMA Sample Question #2 – Number Series – Logical Order

Which number can replace the question mark?

36 | 30 | 28 | 20 | 10 | ?

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The differences between the terms in this series follow the Fibonacci sequence principle: the difference between two terms equals the sum of the two previous differences.

Following this rule, the difference between 10 and the term we're looking for should be 18, which is the sum of 10 (20-10) and 8 (28-20).

10 - 18 = -8

Therefore, the answer is -8.


TIP: Master your basic arithmetics to identify the pattern of the series quickly.


  • TMA Sample Question #3 – Same-Opposite (Synonyms-Antonyms)

SPITE      |      RESPITE
The meanings of these words are

Neither Similar nor Contradictory 
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Spite is a word used to describe a malicious feeling, while respite is a word used to describe a short interval of rest.

Therefore, the words are neither similar nor contradictory.


TIP: Divide the word into prefixes and suffixes to see its root. Once you know the root, it will be easy to determine its meaning.


  • TMA Sample Question #4 – Definition

Choose the first letter of the word that is defined below.

A sweet confection made out of crushed almonds, often used as decoration on cakes

Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

The word that matched the above definition is “marzipan.”

Therefore, the answer is M


TIP: Break the description into different parts and rebuild it visually. Pay attention to every detail to get the full picture of the definition.

Additional questions, practice tests, and study resources are available within the Thurstone Test of Mental Awareness PrepPack™.

TMA Score

Your Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness result depends on how many items you answer correctly and is scored using a percentile bell curve.

This means that only a few points may measure the difference between an average score and a great score. For example, a score of 80 translates to the 74th percentile, while a score of 90 is in the 90th percentile—a huge difference when choosing whom to hire.

Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with the test’ time-limited format and questions and have the upper hand over the other candidates.

What Is Thurstone's Theory of Intelligence?

Louis Leon Thurstone was an American psychologist who, in 1957, introduced the idea of standardizing the mean and deviation of IQ scores, as used today.

According to Thurstone’s theory, seven primary mental abilities comprise intelligence –

  • Verbal comprehension – the ability to understand verbal analogies, ideas, and concepts and comprehend reading passages
  • Word fluency – the ability to use and manipulate words and vocabulary quickly and fluently.
  • Numerical Ability – the ability to solve arithmetic word problems.
  • Spatial visualization – the ability to visualize forms and figures.
  • Associate memory – the ability to recall information and the relationships between unrelated words and objects.
  • Perceptual speed – the ability to quickly recognize similarities and differences between numerical or textual data.
  • Indictive Reasoning – the ability to reach conclusions out of rules and principles.

Preparing for the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness

The best way to prepare for the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness is by completing as many practice tests as possible, and thus be acquainted with the test’s type of questions and be ready for the limited real-time test.

To help you with that, we created the TMA PrepPack™, which includes the following:

  • 7 word problem practice tests
  • 9 number series practice tests
  • 6 synonyms and antonyms practice tests
  • 3 definitions practice tests


 Frequently Asked Questions

What Does the Thurstone Test Measure

The Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness assesses four main capabilities – Thinking flexibly, learning new information and skills, adjusting to situations, and understanding relationships.

What Are the Challenges to Passing the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness?

The Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness shifts between verbal and quantitative questions as they increase in difficulty. The test comprises 126 questions, and you have 20 minutes to complete it, less than ten seconds per question. That is why it is necessary to practice making quick, confident decisions.

What Happens If I Achieve a High Score on Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness?

To get a job in a managerial position, in sales, or as a bank teller, you will likely be required to take an assessment test like the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness. Along with a good interview and a stellar resume, your high score will push you forward in the hiring process and help you beat out the competition. By achieving a high score on the Thurstone Test of Mental Alertness, the door will be open to a career in a high-paying, secure job.

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