Adaptive Reasoning Test

Use the Adaptive Reasoning Test to screen applicants for cognitive ability as it relates to success on the job.

About this Test

Use the Adaptive Reasoning Test to screen applicants for cognitive ability as it relates to success on the job.   Before you invest the time and money to train a new employee, test your applicants.

This test provides the answers you need to make informed hiring and promotion decisions.

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PSI’s Adaptive Reasoning Test (ART) is a brief, online assessment of one’s cognitive ability as it relates to success on the job. The ART is for us in the USA only.  Its primary purpose is to predict success in cognitively-oriented jobs and it is most useful as an instrument for selecting external candidates. We recommend against using the ART for incumbents and for development.

Primary Use: Selection
Assessment Type: Cognitive
Job Level: Professional through executive
Job Type: All
Number of Items: 15
Estimated Time: 25 minutes (timed)
Administration Format: Unproctored
Language: English

What the Adaptive Reasoning Test Measures:

  • Cognitive Skills

There are two types of figural reasoning items in the ART, figure matrix and figure series items. Figure matrix items require the test taker to determine which of five answer options (the bottom row of symbols, labeled A, B, C, D, and E) best completes the matrix.

A second type of item is the figure series item. Here, the test taker is asked to identify which figure in the bottom row best complements the series in the top row. The test taker needs to identify rules displayed within the sequence of figures in the top row and select the answer option that best follows these rules.

Although cognitive ability tests are among the most predictive personnel selection instruments available, some organizations still do not leverage cognitive ability testing in their hiring and promotional processes. There are three reasons for this.  First, traditional cognitive ability tests do not lend themselves to online administration, as hiring managers and test providers alike are wary of offering cognitive ability tests in unproctored settings (e.g., test security, candidate faking issues).   Second, traditional cognitive ability tests, when used as the only tool in the selection or promotional process, have greater propensity to show bias against minority groups. Third, companies doing business overseas often had the additional challenge of administering traditional cognitive ability tests in a variety of languages, and often in locations where cultural differences might skew the interpretation of test items.  Some of the most valuable types of cognitive ability measures, such as reading comprehension or reasoning items based on long verbiage strings seemed particularly susceptible to this challenge.

The Adaptive Reasoning Test leverages item rotation and presentation based on prior candidate responses.  As a result, no two candidates experience the same exact set or sequence of test items.  This varied testing experience between users eliminates the potential of candidates sharing item responses, thereby eradicating one of the greatest test security challenges of traditional unproctored test administration. Second, when paired with non-cognitive measures (e.g., personality, background experience), such as the PSI 16pf, score differences associated with socio economic background can be eliminated, while enhancing the accuracy of the overall hiring and promotional process.  Finally, language and cultural barriers are eliminated through use of the Adaptive Reasoning Test, as the format in which items are presented is language agnostic.  As a result, the test, currently in use by hundreds of thousands of candidates each year across more than 20 countries, is equally predictive across geographic region, culture, native language, and nation of origin.




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Use the Adaptive Reasoning Test to screen applicants for cognitive ability as it relates to success on the job.

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