Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI) Test: Full Guide + Example Questions + Expert Tips

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI) is a scientifically-based aptitude test.

It is designed to assess cognitive ability and a candidate’s preferences for using qualitative and quantitative reasoning skills.

The HBRI is a popular tool for pre-employment screening, particularly in the management, sales and marketing sectors.

If you have been asked to take the HBRI, your test results will offer prospective employers insight into your decision-making skills, problem-solving abilities, approach to processing information and ability to learn from past experiences. 

In this article, you can learn what to expect when taking the HBRI test, see examples of the type of questions you might be faced with and guidance on how to prepare for the assessment. 

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Article Contents

What Is the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

Who Created the Test?

The HBRI cognitive aptitude test was produced by Hogan, a company created by Joyce and Robert Hogan in 1987. 

Since then, the Arizona-based company has grown significantly and now operates in more than 50 different countries worldwide. 

Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies use Hogan’s highly regarded assessments. 

What Is the Purpose of the Test?

The HBRI is designed to be used in a business context. It is widely considered to be a reliable indicator of a person’s future performance potential in the workplace. 

The HBRI forms part of the Hogan Assessment, which also includes the following tests:

The questions on the HBRI test will assess your aptitude for data evaluation and extracting relevant information from text, tables, charts and graphs. 

It will also test your problem-solving abilities and your ability to make sound decisions in a business context.

Who Might Use the HBRI Test?

The HBRI test is a popular choice for employers hiring for management, sales and marketing positions.

Pre-hire is used as a pre-employment screening tool, and post-hire, it is used for on-the-job career development programs. 

If you are interested in learning more about your reasoning skills, you can take the HBRI test as an individual (without requiring sponsorship from an employing organization). 

What Does the Test Measure?

The HBRI tests tactical and strategic reasoning skills to identify a candidate’s aptitude for qualitative and quantitative reasoning within various business scenarios.

What Is Strategic Reasoning?

Strategic reasoning refers to a person’s ability to find problems

This can be achieved through identifying gaps or missing information in a data set or finding errors, gaps or inconsistencies in written arguments or verbal information. 

In strategic reasoning, information on previous errors or gaps in the data is used to identify new solutions to a problem. 

What Is Tactical Reasoning?

Tactical reasoning refers to a person’s ability to solve problems.

To excel in tactical reasoning, you must have the ability to consider all of the factual information available to find a logical solution to the problem you are faced with. 

Employers are usually looking for candidates who can use their tactical reasoning skills to make important business decisions, even if very little factual information is provided. 

What Is Qualitative Reasoning?

Qualitative reasoning relates to your ability to solve problems using logic, verbal data and visual information.

What Is Quantitative Reasoning 

Quantitative reasoning relates to your ability to solve problems using spatial information and mathematical data.

In the HBRI, your skills will be assessed through decision-making and problem-solving questions. 

You will be provided with data in various formats, including statistical information, graphs and charts and passages of text. 

Your results from the HBRI will be used to work out which of the following cognitive style categories you fall into:

Expedient Thinker

  • Analyzes problems in an opportunistic manner
  • Selects quick and easy answers
  • Finds it difficult make to make choices reflectively
  • Makes intuitive decisions, which often lead to low-quality outcomes

Contextual Thinker

  • Able to identify important problems
  • Tends to ignore potential obstacles in their chosen solution
  • Minimizes the importance of having a detailed plan to solve a problem

Analytical Thinker

  • Tends to focus closely on the problem and the likely obstacles 
  • Finds it difficult to consider the problem as part of a wider context
  • Finds it difficult to prioritize problems to be solved 

Critical Thinker

  • Able to identify problems effectively
  • Applies a combination of high-quality qualitative and quantitative reasoning skills to approach problems critically
  • Able to visualize the short-and-long-term benefits of a proposed solution
  • Able to apply the most effective solution to the task at hand
Practice Business Reasoning Inventory Test

What Is the Format for the HBRI Assessment?

The HBRI assessment is made up of 24 multiple-choice questions. 

There are two versions of the test

  • Timed –⁠ Must be completed within 30 minutes
  • Untimed –⁠ Most people take between 25 to 30 minutes to answer all of the questions 

The hiring manager or employer will choose whether to use the timed or untimed version of the test

There are three types of questions on the HBRI test

The questions are not grouped into categories, which means they can appear in any order during the test

Some questions do not have a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer, adding another difficulty to the test

  • Verbal reasoning and logicThese questions include logic riddles, word analogies and comprehension assessments.
  • Numerical reasoning and mathThese questions include math problems, math calculations, and data interpretation from graphs, tables and charts.
  • Abstract reasoningFor these questions, you will be asked to study 2D and 3D images, then analyze and manipulate them according to the instructions provided.

Hogan HBRI Sample Questions

Example Question 1 – Verbal Reasoning

‘Detailed’ is to ‘elaborate’ as ‘plucky’ is to:

a) Weak
b) Fussy
c) Brave
d) Nervous 

The correct answer is: c) Brave.

This is a word analogy question. ‘Detailed’ is a synonym of ‘elaborate,’ so you need to find a synonym for ‘plucky’.

This removes ‘weak’, ‘fussy’, and ‘nervous’, leaving ‘brave’ as the correct answer. 

Example Question 2 – Logical Reasoning

Maya has $7.49. Tomas has $20.57. Lars has $17.55.

Two of the three friends could not have:

a) $28.06
b) $38.12
c) $27.69
d) $25.04

The correct answer is: c) $27.69.

  • Adding together Maya and Tomas’ money gives a total of $28.06.
  • Adding together Tomas and Lars’ money gives a total of $38.12.
  • Adding together Lars and Maya’s money gives a total of $25.04.

This leaves c) $27.69 as the only figure that cannot be reached with the sums of money given in the question.

Example Question 3 – Abstract Reasoning

Study the following image:

Which image below is a rotation of the image above?

The correct answer is: b) This is the only one where the images with the star haven’t moved positions.

How Is the Test Scored? 

Every employer will set its own criteria for a ‘good’ score on the HBRI test. There is no set ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ score for the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory test

Once you have completed the test, you will be issued with a detailed results report, which is divided into three sections:

  • Overall business reasoning
  • Qualitative and quantitative reasoning
  • Cognitive style

Your test results will be presented as a normative score. This means that they are reviewed on a sliding scale compared with others within a specific norm group. 

The sliding scale is split into four sections: low, average, high and very high. Candidate scores are given as a percentage. 

If your score is 95%, this means that you have performed to the same standard or better than 95% of the normative group. 

This would put you at the very high end of the sliding scale.  

How to Prepare for the HBRI test?

Whether you are applying for a job with a new employer or seeking opportunities for promotion, a high score on the HBRI could help you to achieve your career goals. 

For the best chance of success, it is important to build time into your schedule to prepare for the test.

Here are some strategies on how to prepare for the HBRI test.

Consider the Role You Have Applied For

As mentioned above, some of the HBRI questions do not have a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer. 

While it is important to answer these questions truthfully, you should also consider the requirements of the job role and how the ideal candidate is likely to behave in the situation outlined. 

Dedicate Time to Completing Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory Practice Test Papers

The HBRI is designed to measure cognitive skills and abilities. 

Although it is not possible to ‘revise’ in the same way as you would for a knowledge-based exam, practicing your cognitive abilities will help you to apply your natural abilities when it comes to the real test

The more practice assessments you complete, the better you are likely to perform on the day of the real test

By honing the skills that you already have, you will be able to solve problems quickly, accurately and confidently. 

There are a number of different websites offering HBRI preparation packs, including JobTestPrep’s practice tests, which are designed to mirror the official HBRI test. 

Get practice tests from JobTestPrep

Whether you are going to sit the timed or untimed version of the test, it is important to work at your pace. 

By practicing answering questions against the clock, you will be able to improve your time management and ability to work accurately under pressure. 

The time it takes to answer each question will have an impact on your overall score, so the faster you can work, the better. 

Answer the Questions From a Business Perspective

When answering the questions, it is important to consider the problem from a business viewpoint, choosing the option that offers the best outcome for the team or business overall.

Become Familiar With the Question Formats

The HBRI test includes several different types of questions. Each question type is designed to test a different element of your reasoning abilities. 

To achieve the best score, you must familiarize yourself with all of the question types. 

This will help to minimize any stress or confusion on the day of the test

When completing Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory practice test papers, study each question carefully to ensure you fully understand what you are being asked to do.

For each question, think about the reasoning skills you need to use in order to answer the question or solve the problem you are faced with. 

Practice All Aspects of the Test

Don’t be tempted to only practice the areas you are already skilled in. 

Although this might be the most enjoyable approach to test preparation, it is important to challenge yourself and improve any areas of weakness. 

Your overall score will incorporate results from both quantitative and qualitative questions, so it is important that you perform well in all areas of the test

Concentrate on Your Physical and Mental Fitness

When it comes to the day of your official test, it is important that you feel focused, confident and alert. 

Take steps to ensure you get plenty of rest the night before, eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the test, and remember to stay hydrated. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

The Business Reasoning Inventory Test assesses cognitive ability in a business context. 

Used by many successful organizations, it is highly regarded by employers all over the world. 

The test assesses a candidate’s ability to use qualitative and quantitative reasoning skills to identify and solve problems. 

What Does HBRI Stand For? 

HBRI stands for Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory

This is a type of cognitive ability test used by employers as part of the pre-hire screening process and employee development programs. 

Where Can I Find a Guide and Sample Questions for the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

There are many online resources for the Business Reasoning Inventory test

If you are looking for a comprehensive guide and sample questions, JobTestPrep offers an HBRI PrepPack, which contains everything you need to prepare for the assessment and feel confident on the day of your test

In this pack, there are more than 1,300 sample questions and five full-length practice tests

What Are the Requirements to Be Eligible for the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

The Business Reasoning Inventory test is aimed at college-educated professionals and management staff. 

Test-takers should have completed a Bachelor’s degree (in any topic), the ability to read English to ninth-grade level, and not have taken another HBRI test during the past six months. 

Is the Business Reasoning Inventory Test Easy to Pass? 

The pass rate for the Business Reasoning Inventory test is different for each employer. 

However, in many cases, the answer to the question is contained within the information provided in the test – your task is to find it. 

If you are asked to take the timed version of the test, this may add another dimension of difficulty to answering the questions. 

How Can I Pass the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

To achieve the best possible score on the Business Reasoning Inventory test, preparation is key. 

By answering practice questions, you will become familiar with the test format and improve your time management. 

You will also be able to identify any areas of weakness, addressing these as necessary. 

Where Can I Prepare for the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

There are many online resources to help candidates prepare for the Business Reasoning Inventory Test

One of the most comprehensive options is the HBRI PrepPack from JobTestPrep, which provides access to five full-length practice assessments, and more than 1,300 practice questions. 

The pack covers all aspects of the test, including mechanical, numerical, quantitative and verbal reasoning questions. 

How Much Time Is Given to Take the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

There are two versions of the Business Reasoning Inventory test: one is timed, and the other is untimed. 

If you are taking the timed test, you will have 30 minutes to answer all of the questions. 

If you are taking the untimed test, there is no maximum timeframe. 

However, most people take between 25 and 30 minutes to answer all of the questions on the HBRI test

When Can I Try Again if I Fail the Business Reasoning Inventory Test the First Time? 

If you do not achieve the minimum score set by your prospective employer, you must wait six months before you will be allowed to sit the Business Reasoning Inventory test again. 

This is to reduce the impact of practice on HBRI test results. 

How Much Does It Cost to Take the Business Reasoning Inventory Test?

In most cases, the Business Reasoning Inventory test is administered to candidates applying for a specific job role, so there is no cost associated with the person sitting the assessment. 

How Many Questions Are on the Business Reasoning Inventory Exam?

The Business Reasoning Inventory exam comprises 24 questions. 

What Is the Business Reasoning Inventory Test Meant to Assess?

The Business Reasoning Inventory test is an aptitude test. It assesses a candidate’s business skills in the following areas:

  • Problem-solving abilities
  • Aptitude for making sound business decisions
  • Ability to use quantitative data
  • Abstract reasoning skills

Final Thoughts

The HBRI is a helpful resource for employers who want to hire new people or develop existing staff. 

It can be used in the hiring stage to pre-screen applicants, but it is also a useful tool for identifying leaders and supporting staff with their professional development. 

It is highly regarded in the business sector, with many organizations using it to filter out unsuitable candidates during the hiring stage and identify high-potential employees suitable for leadership roles, promotion opportunities or further training. 

HBRI test results can be used to make objective decisions on whether a candidate is suitable for a particular job role. 

However, they should only be used as one aspect of the decision-making process.

Other factors should also be considered, such as workplace performance, qualifications, and relevant experience. 

If you have been asked to sit the HBRI test, putting in plenty of preparation will help you to demonstrate your natural skills and abilities. 

You can find many Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory practice test resources online, including the JobTestPrep website

Cognitive assessments such as the HBRI are a great way to work on your cognitive abilities and improve your critical thinking skills. 

Achieving the highest possible score on the HBRI will help you to stand out from other candidates, improving your chances of securing employment and promotion opportunities. 

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