A Full Guide to the Predictive Index Test

A Full Guide to the Predictive Index Test

Updated July 21, 2023

By Edward Mellett
A Full Guide to the Predictive Index Test
A Full Guide to the Predictive Index Test

The Predictive Index Test is a useful tool that is frequently used by employers around the world as part of their recruitment plans. Typically used in the early stages of the application process, the Predictive Index Assessment can identify an applicant’s cognitive capabilities as well as their behavioral traits. This helps them to quickly assess whether the applicant is right for the job.

The Predictive Index (PI) Test is a behavioral assessment tool often used by hiring managers (and HR managers) to measure an individual's personality and work-related behavioral traits.

Predictive Index tests are designed to predict how an individual may perform in a specific role or position based on their innate behavioral tendencies and personality traits.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn more about Predictive Index assessments. You will discover what to expect from a PI test and figure out how to fully prepare for the test day.

What Is a Predictive Index Test?

The Predictive Index Test typically includes two types of assessments: the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA)™ and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA)™.

The PICA measures an individual's cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills.

The test usually consists of multiple-choice questions that require individuals to apply their cognitive skills, such as verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning abilities, to solve problems and answer questions.

The PIBA allows an employer to assess your cultural fit for a position. The assessment measures an individual's personality traits and behavioral tendencies, such as dominance, patience, extraversion, and formality.

The test consists of a series of questions that require individuals to choose between two different behavioral options based on what they believe is most descriptive of their personality.

When Are Predictive Index Assessments Used Within the Hiring Process?

Predictive Index (PI) Assessments can be used in multiple ways within an organization's hiring and management process.

The tests are most commonly used early on in the hiring process. This could be during the initial screening or interview stage to help employers identify potential candidates who possess the required behavioral and cognitive traits needed for success in the role.

If a candidate achieves a low or poor score compared to their peers, they will unlikely pass through to the next stage of the hiring process.

However, while that is the most common usage of the test, some companies use PI Assessments later in the hiring process to compare and contrast those candidates who are being seriously considered for the position.

The assessments can give hiring managers additional insights into each candidate's behavioral tendencies and cognitive abilities. This can help employers make a more informed hiring decision.

It should also be noted that some firms may use PI Assessments to identify potential areas for development or improvement for current employees. This can help managers and HR professionals create development plans that leverage each employee's strengths and address any potential areas of weakness.

However, this is less common.

But as technology becomes more accurate, accessible and affordable, we may start to see more businesses use these tools for current staff as well as potential candidates.

Should Predictive Index Tests Be Relied on for Hiring Decisions?

It's important to note that while PI Assessments can be a useful tool in the hiring process, they should not be the sole determining factor in the hiring decision.

Employers should also consider other factors, such as work experience, education, references, and cultural fit, when making a hiring decision.

What Is Included in the Predictive Index Assessments?

As the Predictive Index assessment has two distinct components, it's important to be aware of how they each differ.

The differences between the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA)™ and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA)™ were briefly mentioned above, but let's now look at them in more detail.

The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA)™ Test Format

The PICA is considered to be a difficult ability assessment. That is primarily because test takers are only given a limited amount of time to respond to the questions. You can expect to answer 50 questions and have a timescale of just 12 minutes.

This means you must answer nearly four questions every single minute.

The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment questions will be a mix of verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning questions.

Realistically, the examiners will know that you are unlikely to answer all 50 questions. However, the quicker you can answer each question correctly, the better your chance of achieving a high score.

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA)™ Test Format

The PIBA test is more focused on identifying your personal motivations and interests. Employers use this test to see whether a candidate would work well in the business by focusing heavily on cultural fit.

By understanding personality and behavioral drivers, a potential employer could use the PIBA to get a stronger insight into how you might like to work.

For example, if you are a highly driven candidate who likes to take charge, you may struggle to fit into a relaxed and informal environment.

Similarly, if you are an introverted personality, you could struggle to have your voice heard surrounded by alpha personality types.

Typically, you can expect to be presented with a list of adjectives.

One list is based on how people would describe you and your behaviors. The other list is how you would describe yourself.

The two lists combined give an insight into how you believe that others perceive you and how you perceive yourself.

Within this Predictive Index survey of sorts, you will normally take between six-to-10 minutes to select the adjectives and attributes that perfectly match the job role's characteristics.

For example, if you are applying for a nursing job role, you would want to select adjectives that portray you as kind, caring, or empathetic.

The PIBA test will measure four key traits:


A person's level of dominance shows how much power they like to have over other people and events.

People with a high dominance factor have what is sometimes called the ‘A Drive'.

They are independent, confident, and enjoy working on their own. In contrast, those with low dominance may be seen to be more willing to work as a team and go along with what other people want to do.


Extraversion is also called the ‘B Drive.’

Those with a low extraversion drive will value their privacy. They may like working with facts and figures or disappearing into their own imagination.

Those classed as high extraversion are outgoing and typically get along well with others. They want to be accepted by their peers and will often be highly social and enthusiastic.


This drive is sometimes called the ‘C Drive'. This is because it's often a characteristic that portrays itself as consistent and stable.

People with a high patience factor like to work steadily and need a stable work environment. Therefore, they are usually calm, patient, and peaceful.

Low-patience candidates like to try new things. They can work quickly and are good at multitasking. However, they could also be described as intense or restless.


The ‘D drive’ is focused on rules and structure.

People who have a high formality drive tend to like working with clear goals and enjoy becoming experts in their field. They are usually well-behaved and careful.

Candidates with a low formality factor are flexible and like to work in a free-structured environment with few rules and limits. They'd rather not worry about the small stuff and focus on the big picture. As a result, they often delegate tasks to other people.

Can You Fail the Predictive Index Test?

As a Predictive Index examination does not produce a pass or fail mark, there is no possible way to receive a poor score on a PI exam.

However, since this test aims to evaluate certain personality characteristics, you need to select honest responses. This will benefit both you and the employer.

When it comes to personality or psychometric testing, it's always worthwhile remembering that these tests are not just beneficial for potential employers.

Yes, they can be used by hiring managers to determine whether a candidate is qualified for the position they are hiring for.

But, conversely, any Predictive Index results can also assist candidates in securing employment in positions that are a suitable match for their skills and experience.

Predictive Index Test Sample Questions

Now that we know what to expect from the Predictive Index Assessment, let's look at what you can expect from a Predictive Index question.

Here are some sample Predictive Index practice test questions and answers to help set your expectations.

Detailed preparation kits can be purchased from sites such as JobTestPrep, which will help you to prepare in detail for a Predictive Index test.

Predictive Index Test Sample Questions – Verbal Reasoning

Example Question

1. Joey has purchased a cheap coach-class plane ticket home for Christmas.

Tickets sold on a specific sale basis are non-refundable.

Refundable tickets are more expensive.

Therefore, there are no non-refundable tickets available for those flying coach.

a) Correct
b) Incorrect
c) The answer cannot be determined

Example Question

2. Boys will stereotypically be drawn towards blue T-shirts with pictures of dragons.

Girls will stereotypically be drawn towards yellow T-shirts with pictures of cats.

Boys do not like cats.

a) Correct
b) Incorrect
c) The answer cannot be determined

Predictive Index Test Sample Questions – Numerical Reasoning

Example Question

1. What is the next number in the sequence?

2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22 , 26, ?

a) 30
b) 28
c) 32

Example Question

2. Monica must work at least 75 hours over the summer months to save enough money for a new bike. She earns the minimum wage – $15 per hour.

How much money does she need to earn to be able to afford a new bike?

a) $1,215
b) $1,125
c) $1,100

Predictive Index Test Sample Question – Abstract Reasoning

Example Question

1. What would be the next shape in the sequence?

    • ) ( * & ^

a) %
b) #
c) @

A Full Guide to the Predictive Index Test
A Full Guide to the Predictive Index Test

How to Prepare for a Predictive Index Test

It would help if you prepared yourself for the Predictive Index Exam. Your prospects of getting the job you want can be severely damaged if you receive a score that is too low.

You can choose a few different ways to prepare for a Predictive Index Assessment.

Step 1. Look Up Sample PI Test Questions

Examine the sample Predictive Index questions to get a sense of what questions will be on the test. You will feel more confident about the test if you know what questions will be asked and are prepared to answer them.

Step 2. Make the Most of Predictive Index Practice Tests

You ought to consider practicing for the exam using the various online resources that are accessible.

If you practice example questions or use Predictive Index cheat sheets, you'll naturally identify your strengths and weaknesses; you will know where to focus your study.

In addition, sites such as JobTestPrep have useful preparation packs that you can use to enhance your learning and give yourself the best chance of achieving a high score.

Here is a link to JobTestPrep’s PIBA test pack and here’s a link to JobTestPrep’s PICA test pack. The latter has a free Predictive Index test with sample questions.

Step 3. Remember What the Exam Is Looking For

The PICA measures your cognitive abilities and problem-solving skills.

You will need to apply your cognitive skills, such as verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning abilities, to solve problems and answer questions.

It is essential to keep in mind that the PIBA test will measure the characteristics of your personality.

Think about the four different categories that will be used to evaluate these characteristics. As a reminder, these categories are dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality.

Step 4. Check Your Timings

The Predictive Index Test is one of the most difficult because of the emphasis on the allotted time.

It would help to focus on increasing your speed with each passing question-and-answer session. You will receive a higher score proportional to the number of questions you can answer.

Step 5. Check Your Equipment

Many people take the Predictive Index test at home. However, you are responsible for ensuring your laptops and internet connections are operational.

Step 6. Look After Yourself

You should make sure you are not overly sleepy, dehydrated, or hungry before the test, because these conditions might negatively impact performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

The PI test is a tool often used for recruitment purposes that assesses whether a candidate is suitable for a job role.

The test is typically in two parts, the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA)™ and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA)™.

The PICA measures cognitive ability through verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning questions, while the PIBA focuses on personality traits such as Dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality.

The test is not technically hard to pass because there are no pass/fail Predictive Index scores. Instead, you should seek to achieve the highest possible score through truthful and honest answers.

It is, however, complex in terms of timing. You will have just 12 minutes to answer up to 50 questions in the PICA test. This means you may need to answer as many as four questions per minute to be able to complete the assessment.

There are no distinct pass or fail marks for the Predictive Index Assessment. Different employers will be looking for different attributes, although essentially, they want to confirm that you are the right candidate for the job.

Your best chance of success is being well aware of the job you are applying for. This will reiterate the characteristics that people need to have to succeed in that role.

You should also be prepared to check for consistency in your answers, especially in the PIBA assessment, where you'll be asked to describe your personality traits.

The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA) will ask you to complete 50 questions in just 12 minutes.

The Predictive Index Behavioural Assessment (PIBA) is not timed, although most candidates typically take six to ten minutes to complete the test.

There are various places online to help you prepare for the test. But first, you should visit the official Predictive Index Test website, which will provide a detailed background into the test itself.

It would help if you took the time to research what the assessment is looking for and take the time to practice some example test Predictive Index questions.

In addition, you should brush up on your verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning skills.

You can find practice tests and preparation packs from sites such as JobTestPrep, which will give you everything you need to prepare for the test in one handy place.

Here is a link to JobTestPrep’s PIBA test pack and here’s a link to JobTestPrep’s PICA test pack.

Employers will have different baseline Predictive Index scores of what they expect from potential candidates when using the PI test. Therefore, it's hard to know what constitutes a good score.

The 'average' score is a mark of 250. Predictive Index recommends that you try to achieve a score higher than your company standard to set your chances for success.

There is no pass/fail mark for the Predictive Index assessment. However, the makers are clear that employers should only use the results alongside detailed criteria such as resumes, work history, technical skills, and proficiencies.

The Predictive Index evaluates a person's cognitive abilities and behavioral drives, including dominance, extraversion, patience, and formality.

PI tests can provide hiring managers with a wealth of data that they can use to get to grips with the key characteristics needed for the role and help them make informed decisions.

Employers around the world use the Predictive Index test. It's used for many HR purposes, including recruitment, onboarding, career development, succession planning, and leadership development.

Employers such as Nissan, Subway, DocuSign, and AutoNation have used the Predictive Index Test as part of their recruitment strategies.

This guide should be a comprehensive insight into what to expect from the Predictive Index Test. If you're looking for a formal study guide, you may look at sites such as JobTestPrep, which have comprehensive study aids available to help people prepare for the assessment.

Here is a link to JobTestPrep’s PIBA test pack and here’s a link to JobTestPrep’s PICA test pack.

Final Thoughts

The Predictive Index Assessment will continue to be used by employers. The spectrum of assessments provided by Predictive Index may be relied upon as reliable indications of an individual's success in a role.

They allow businesses to quickly and effectively sift through enormous talent pools throughout the early stages of the recruitment process. The Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA) and the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA) are tools that can provide an objective overview of the capabilities, motivators, and motivations of a candidate.

It's useful to know that these assessments are just as beneficial for personnel who are already in their positions as well as potential new recruits.

When it comes to the PICA, the more study and preparation you do, the more you will improve your chances of success. Many people find it challenging, because there are a lot of questions that need to be answered in a limited amount of time.

Due to the time constraints, it is highly improbable that you will be able to answer all of the questions correctly. The typical score on the PICA is around 20 out of 50.

Employers use the PIBA to evaluate not just how you act in the workplace but also to gain insight into the characteristics that make up your personality.

There is no need to practice for this test; nonetheless, you should remember to answer every question truthfully. It may be tempting to try to respond in a way that you believe the employer wants you to, but doing so is likely to make the results unhelpful.

For example, it may result in the position being awarded to you despite the fact that you are not the right person for the job or the job is not the right role for you.

It would help if you always considered that being truthful throughout the assessment might help you learn more about yourself and how you prefer to work.

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