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Cognitive ability and reasoning are critical to work performance and handling the demands of the job.  The Applied Reasoning Test for Vocational and Technical roles is an ability test that measures an individual’s ability to reason, problem solve, learn new concepts, and understand complex relationships.  It has been carefully designed to be highly relevant for hourly (clerical, administrative, labor, vocational, and paraprofessional) jobs that typically require a high school or vocational/technical degree, vocational or technical training of one to three years, or an apprenticeship.  Extensive research and development has been invested to ensure the test is job-related and represents the type of reasoning and cognitive abilities required of employees to perform the job.

Also, see our Applied Reasoning Test for Managerial and Professional positions.

Applied Reasoning Test – Vocational & Technical
  • Applications
  • 3 Primary Cognitive Abilities
  • Benefits

The Applied Reasoning Test – Vocational/Technical is most often used in pre-employment or selection settings to identify candidates who have the necessary reasoning skills for the job and to match applicants with jobs that are in alignment with their abilities.

  • Pre-employment Screening.  The Applied Reasoning Test is a cost-effective method to screen applicants and shrink large applicant pools.  A cut-off score can be used to eliminate unqualified applicants or those highly unlikely to succeed.
  • Selection.  The Applied Reasoning Test is used in selection to measure whether a job applicant possesses the necessary reasoning skills to succeed on the job.
  • Job Matching.  The Applied Reasoning Test can be used to identify specific cognitive abilities or reasoning skills and match job applicants to the appropriate position.  For example, a person high on numerical reasoning may be suited for a job requiring a lot of mathematics.
  • Development.  Though cognitive ability overall tends to remain relatively stable throughout adulthood, it is possible to develop specific reasoning skills and the Applied Reasoning Test can help identify where potential development may be beneficial.

The structure of the Applied Reasoning Test is based on widely cited literature on the structure of cognitive ability and the items have been carefully developed to simulate the types of reasoning required in vocational and technical roles (high school or vocational/technical degree).  The test is broken into three timed sections, one on each ability assessed:

Items Time Limit
  1. Verbal Reasoning. This includes reading comprehension, reading speed, and drawing accurate inferences.
40 20 minutes
  1. Numerical Reasoning.  This is the ability to comprehend, interpret, and draw conclusions from numerical information.
24 15 minutes
  1. Abstract Reasoning.  This is the ability to identify patterns and logical sequences in a set of abstract symbols.
25 15 minutes
  • Understand job candidates or employees’ reasoning abilities
  • Accuracy and precision in assessing and matching candidates to the job
  • Greater objectivity and consistency in assessing candidates
  • Identify more qualified applicants
  • Distinguish applicants  likely to be successful on the job from those who may be less successful
  • Fairness by providing the same job-relevant measures to all job candidates