How do I decide between different types of tests?

When searching for tests either in the library or when adding tests to an assessment, you have the option to filter by type. 

Tests are categorised by topic more so than format. This article will describe the options to help you decide which tests might fit your needs best. 


We have several aptitude tests that cover different areas of reasoning or cognitive ability, such as numerical, verbal, or logical reasoning. We also offer tests on error checking, emotional intelligence, and a few others that fit within the aptitude category. 

These tests are multiple choice and each question only has one correct answer. They are all timed and may include graphs, images, or other media as part of the question. 

The aptitude tests broadly apply to many jobs as they focus on predicting general job success rather than measuring job-specific knowledge or skills. They are very useful for evaluating a candidate’s potential. 

Example question from an aptitude test.

See ‘How are our aptitude tests developed?’ for more information on this group of tests.


Our personality test suite reveals individual differences that help you understand how a candidate will show up and what they will be like to work with. These tests include our HEXACO personality test, drives test, and interest inventory. 

These tests use Likert scales where candidates indicate the extent to which they agree with a statement or point allocation tasks which allow candidates to indicate a priority among items to reflect personal preferences.

They are broadly applicable across jobs and useful for understanding how best to manage and support employees post-hire.

Example questions from our personality test.

See ‘How was our personality test developed?’ ‘How was our drives test was developed?’ or ‘How was our interest inventory developed?’ for more information on these.

Soft Skills

The soft skills tests are very popular as they measure work behaviours, such as problem solving, communication, and time management, that are important for many jobs. These skills can be very difficult to train which is why these tests can be helpful to hire the right people.

These are situational judgement tests where the candidates are presented with a scenario and then need to select both the most effective and least effective actions to take in response. This format assesses candidates’ propensity to identify the optimal behaviour in a typical workplace scenario that challenges their soft skills. 

Example question from a soft skills test.

For more detailed information on this test group, see ‘How were our soft skills tests developed?’.


These tests assess language skills at an upper-intermediate level, or B2 on the Common European Framework. This level reflects being able to communicate with native speakers and understand some complex ideas and topics. We consider this working proficiency. 

The questions all follow a multiple-choice format and require the candidate to demonstrate knowledge of vocabulary, grammar and reading comprehension in that language. Language can be hard to train and difficult to assess objectively without using an assessment of some sort. For foreign or international roles, these tests can provide very useful information about candidates.

Example question from a language test.

See ‘How were our language tests developed?’ for more information on this group of tests.

Programming & Software

These two groups are quite similar. These tests follow the multiple-choice format and assess knowledge and skills related to software and programming languages. They target an intermediate level of proficiency and are designed to measure general knowledge of that skill so as to be as widely applicable as possible. 

The questions range from basic knowledge to solving problems and identifying errors that require the candidate to make an evaluation. They are meant to be used when a specific hard skill is a requirement for the job from day one. It is worth considering whether the skill can be trained on the job or needs to be assessed when hiring.

Example question from a programming test.

See ‘How are our programming and software tests developed?’ for more information on both of these groups of tests.