top of page

Aptitude Tests - All the Tests Companies use

Large employers often receive many more applications than there are vacancies available. It is not practical to interview all applicants for the job and therefore they use filtering mechanisms to reduce the applicant pool down to a manageable number. 


Originally a resume alone was enough to reduce the candidate pool and candidates were filtered based on academic and professional achievements alone. For the last couple of decades tests such as numerical and logical reasoning have been used to assess candidates and more recently psychometric testing, including games, have been used to qualify and reduce the candidate pool.


The types of aptitude tests in use today are:


  1. Numerical Reasoning

  2. Logical reasoning

  3. Situational judgement

  4. Pymetrics games

  5. McKinsey Problem solving game

  6. BCG potential test

  7. Oliver Wyman Numerical

Numerical Reasoning


The focus of numerical reasoning questions are data interpretation and quantitative skills. Data is presented in graphs and tables but not always in a helpful way. The question normally includes a calculation such as conversion of units or currencies.


The maths involved in numerical reasoning questions is usually basic and consists of:


  • Addition

  • Subtraction

  • Multiplication

  • Division

  • Percentages

  • Ratios


The maths requirements can be revised and mastered in isolation but the key is to practice these in numerical reasoning questions so as to extract the right data.

Diagrammatical Reasoning


Logical reasoning tests are one of the less common aptitude tests used by companies to screen potential candidates. Logical reasoning questions involve pattern recognition, they usually involves a series of shapes in a sequence and the candidate is required to identify the next shape in the sequence.


Logical reasoning tests are a test of the ability to apply logic to an abstract problem that is the same for each candidate. As with other aptitude tests, logical reasoning questions get easier with practice.

Situational judgement


Situational judgement tests are designed to extract personality traits, and in turn build a corresponding personality profile of the applicant. 


Situational judgement tests present the candidate with a scenario they may encounter in a work situation. The candidate is then required to choose the best course of action given the situation presented. 


Historically the situation has been written down but more recently companies have been using pre-recorded videos to present the situation to the candidate. The premise remains the same in both formats.

Pymetrics Games

Numerical Reasoning
Diagrammatical Reasoning
Situational Judgement
Pymetrics Games

Pymetrics is a psychometric games provider. They combine neuroscience with machine learning to recognise high performing candidates from a games based assessment.


They work with some of the world’s largest employers to develop fair, unbiased games to assess candidate personality traits in order for them to filter their pool of applicants to a manageable number.


The Pymetrics games assessments build a picture of the candidate around 9 personality attributes in 12 games played on a desktop.


McKinsey Problem solving game


McKinsey has replaced its famous McKinsey PST online test with a new digital game developed with a company called Imbellus. The game uses fictional scenarios to test candidates ability to make sound judgement decisions.


In 4 scenarios such as ecosystem creation candidates are presented with an abundance of information and asked to build, plan or create solutions that are sustainable under the circumstances.


BCG potential test


Similar to numerical reasoning tests, BCG test candidates abilities to consume and understand data sets in order to answer questions. All of the data is provided in an information pack and candidates must use this information pack to answer a set of 23 questions.


The BCG potential test is an aptitude test unique to BCG but can be practiced ahead of time. As the test can usually be taken with a calculator the key to success in the BCG potential test is the extraction and interpretation of data.


Oliver Wyman Numerical


Oliver Wyman have been using their online numerical test for many years and although the questions occasionally change, the style of the questions remain the same. This aptitude test differs from the others as it is based on much more pure maths ability. 


The questions are a mix between brainteasers and maths questions but few involve data interpretation. They are simple in style but include some difficult questions with a high level of time pressure.

McKinsey Problem Solving Game
BCG Potential Test
Oliver Wyman Numerical
bottom of page