(Q&A) Predictive Index Test: What it is and How to Prepare (Full Guide)

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What Is Predictive Index (PI) Test?

In simple term, the Predictive Index (PI) test is an evaluation test that aligns business strategy with people strategy for optimal business results.

The PI test used to be known as a Professional Learning Indicator (PLI) test.

They typically serve as a personality test given by recruiters to analyze how fit a potential employee is for the role, they are looking to fill in an organization.

The use of a Predictive Index test allows employers evaluate the cognitive abilities, personality traits and behavioral tendencies of a potential employee, to ascertain if they are the right fit.

Employers uses two main types of Predictive Index Tests when assessing applicants. They are; Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment (PIBA) and Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA).

The PI Behavioral Assessment measures behavioral drives such as; Dominance, Extraversion, Patience, and Formality while the PI Cognitive Assessment identifies candidates with a high potential for successful on-the-job performance by weighing their cognitive abilities.

The PI Cognitive Assessment indicates a potential employee trainability for positions at all cadre of an organization, and also facilitate the acceleration of onboarding and an employee’s ability to manage dynamic business environments.

In wrap, the PI test is essential for determining the behavioral traits and cognitive ability an employee would require to attain success in an organization.

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What Is a Good Predictive Index Score?

The Predictive Index scores from candidates are essential for an effective narrowing of a group of applicants, while getting rid of any bias unaware to the employer.

Candidates whose scores are high would be considered to advance to the next stage in the recruitment process.

For this reason, it is important for candidates to prepare well ahead of the predictive Index test.

What makes a good predictive index score is anchored on the scale score which is a percentile grade of the raw CA scores ranging between 100 to 450.

“Scaled scores are calculated to be comparable and standardized for everyone. So, anyone who received a scaled score of 270 is always a good match for a job with a target of 270, regardless of which form of the assessment was administered.”

It is important to understand that both the PI Behavioral and Cognitive Assessment tests are qualitative, and have no right or wrong answers.

The results you get on the PI Cognitive Assessment test are expressed as a raw score, which is your total number of correct answers.

This raw score would then further be converted into a scaled score sorted into percentile, that compares you with other applicants.

With about 20 right answers (17-23), you’ll attain an average raw score.

The scaled score ranges from 100-450, with the average score being 250.

Every employer can determine its own target PI Cognitive Assessment score for a given job target as it meets their company requirements.

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What Does the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment Measure?

There are four key drives that are considered by the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment when measuring workplace behavior.

They are; Dominance, Extraversion, Patience and Formality.

Dominance: This drive demonstrates an individual’s ability to enforce influence over other people or events.

While low-dominance individuals demonstrate more collaborative and cooperative personality, high-dominance individuals are independent, assertive, and congenial with conflict.

Extraversion: This drive demonstrates strong social interaction.

While low-extraversion individuals hold privacy, reflection and analysis in high value, high-extraversion people crave connection, value recognition and are highly sociable.

Patience: This is a drive that values consistency and stability.

While low-patience people love variety, work fast, and can multitask, high-patience people prefer steady paces and are generally stable and loyal to their organizations.

Formality: This drive demonstrates an individual’s ability to conform to rules and structure.

While low-formality individuals need freedom and flexibility, tolerate ambiguity and spontaneity, high-formality people demonstrate strong discipline.

They ensure there is a clear expectation so as to minimize risk of error for the company they work.

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Can You Fail a Predictive Index Test?

The Predictive Index Test does not have a pass or fail grading measurement which means there are no right or wrong answers.

Giving a sincere response will be beneficial for both you and your hiring manager.

In another case, your response could be encouraging to other applicants based on the position they are applying for.

The predictive index test is not just concerned only with how a candidate fit in for a job opening, it helps candidates get employed into jobs that best suit them.

Over time, the predictive Index cognitive assessment (PICA) has been the preferred choice where you are allowed to choose as many or few word forms as you deem fit.

The Predictive Index cognitive assessment (PICA) is different in its style of inquiry as it provides proofs about some assessment takers and gives more concrete answers than any other kind of personality assessment tests.

In order to have a clearer view about the culture and values of the company, you can make enquiry from the hiring manager beforehand.

In the end, your perception in terms of what you are expecting may tend to be different from what the hiring manager is looking out for in you.

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What Is the Most Common Predictive Index (PI) Profile?

Any employee who decides to take a Behavioral Assessment (BA) and Cognitive Assessment (CA) must accept that everyone has their own unique behavioral patterns.

Since the purpose behind the predictive Index is to employ candidates who can fit in, there are seventeen different reference profiles to assist in linking names to similar patterns.

The classification into groups is purely scientific though like any behavioral data point, a reference profile is only as useful as the other data when applied.

Below are the 17 Predictive Index reference profiles:

predictive index test

Analytical Profile


Analyzers tend to demand a lot of details and will collect all relevant facts before forming a decision.


Controllers are fast-paced and self-disciplined. They are always pushing themselves to get things done correctly.


Venturers are always pushing past and exploring boundaries. They look for ways to drive business forward. 


Specialists are introspective, err on the side of caution, and are very loyal to authority.


The strategist looks at the big picture. They look toward the future and think about how decisions can benefit the whole business.

Social Profile


Altruists are accurate, supportive, humble, and helpful workplace colleagues. 


These individuals have a strong will, very independent, and are open to any change.


Collaborators are often characterized as empathetic, cooperative, and patient.


These individuals tend to adopt leadership positions. They are visionaries and have high aspirations.


Promoters are extraverted and charismatic. They are popular and widely liked.


Persuaders don’t easily take no for an answer. They are well-spoken and likable, and they know how to motivate others.

Stabilizing Profile


Adapters can take on different types of roles. They are typical generalists.


These individuals listen more than they talk, and are reliable workers.


Guardians tend to bring precision and structure to their place of work.


Operators are informal, relaxed, and reliable individuals. They tend to be patient and cooperative.

Persistent Profile


Individualists are strong-minded and tackle challenges with confidence. They are analytical and persistent. 


Scholars are knowledgeable yet reserved individuals.

How Long Does Predictive Index Take to Complete?

Intending to know how long a Predictive Index takes to complete is like trying to understand how reliably fast the test tool can yield results.

Well, the PI Cognitive Assessment is a timed assessment that takes 12 minutes to complete.

It’s used in conjunction with the PI Job Assessment and each candidate experiences a unique set of questions.

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What Type of Questions Are Asked on a Predictive Index Test?

The objective of the predictive Index cognitive assessment is to assess the cognitive ability, critical thinking and reasoning skills of a candidate in a single assessment.

These assessments contain the verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning questions.

The following are the three categories of questions with each devoted to one of the reasoning types:

Verbal reasoning questions

These types of questions are drafted from short passages to assess your comprehension skills.

Numerical reasoning questions

These questions are made up in order to assess your ability to rapidly handle numerical problems featuring percentages, fractions, ratio, algebra, data interpretation and number sequences.

Abstract reasoning questions

These involve identifying the relationship rule(s) within a sequence or pattern.

The assessment has 50 questions in total and to be attempted within 12 minutes.

During this limited time, you will need to be able to digest and process tougher information at a rapid pace.

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Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment Sample Questions

Verbal reasoning practice question

Example of a verbal reasoning practice question:


The primary activity of a derivative’s trader and a gambler are analogous.



Cannot tell

The correct answer is True.

Trading is described as making ‘large bets’, which is similar (analogous) to a gambler’s main activity of gambling.

Numerical reasoning practice question

Example of a numerical reasoning practice question:

What is the gross margin in quarter 2?

1) $1600m

2) $1700m

3) $1800m

4) $1900m

The correct answer is $1700m.

Step 1: Calculate the revenue in quarter 2 ($36,500 x 28% = $10,220M)

Step 2: Calculate the gross margin ($10,220 x 16.63% = $1,700M)

Abstract reasoning practice question

Example of an abstract reasoning practice question:

Which of the boxes comes next in the sequence?

predictive index

The correct answer is B

From the image above, circle maintains same position in top right segment for one turn, and then is not present for the following three turns.

Triangle, maintains same position in bottom left segment for one turn, and then is not present for the following two turns.

Tips for the Predictive Index Cognitive Assessment (PICA)

Below are the three major tips that will boost your success rating during the PICA.

  1. Note that 50 questions in 12 minutes is going to be challenging. Therefore, the need to work on being time conscious and avoid any form of panic is very important.
  2. Your accuracy and speed are of importance as all the predictive index cognitive assessment questions are equally weighted. So, do not waste too much time on one question and go over to the next.
  3. Learn to familiarize yourself with the question types. Be it verbal, abstract or numerical questions as each has its own particular style and structure. Your confidence will increase as you practice more ahead of the test day.

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What Companies Use the Predictive Index?

The concept of predictive index has so far been described as one of the fastest means to assess candidates and how well they can fit into an open job role.

Companies that adopt the PICA and PIBA have also confirmed this system to be trusted and accurate for their insights which result in regular use.

Companies that uses the predictive index test include:

  • IKEA
  • Chevron
  • McKinsey
  • Chevron
  • Arcos
  • River City Bank
  • Meridian
  • JDA Software

Well, to some extent not all positions or departments may require the use of a Predictive Index Assessment result.

Who Owns the Predictive Index?

Predictive Index is a company that exists with over sixty (60) years of proven science, software and a great curriculum of insightful management workshops.

It has long become a solution adopted by numerous companies who look forward to creating a great team and culture, fostering objective hiring decisions and inspiring greatness in her people all around the globe.

Mike Zani is CEO of The Predictive Index.

He is committed to providing an overall strategic direction for the organization with focus on global growth and product development to gear excellent client results.

Daniel Muzquiz is President and Chairman of The Predictive Index.

He is responsible for the execution of corporate strategy through overseeing internal operations, including technology, finance, business analytics, and science.

Daniel is also a founding partner at Phoenix Strategy Investments, a private equity firm.

How Does the PI Behavioral Assessment Work?

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a tool that works better and faster.

It is based on honest and personal insight and within 12 minutes it’s completed.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is a maverick in the predictive index?

Maverick in the predictive index is seen to be a natural leader.

They are task-oriented and very persistent when given a goal and the freedom to pursue and achieve the set goals.

Maverick is seen to be a team designed by default rather than intention.

They are always strategic, and utilizes data-driven approach in building teams that will assist industries to succeed.

Characteristics of a Maverick

The following are the qualities that make up a Maverick:

Natural Strengths

  • Innovative
  • Goal-oriented
  • Visionary
  • Flexible

Common Drivers

  • Opportunities to influence
  • Freedom from rules and controls
  • Variety
  • Competition

Blind Spots

  • Technical work
  • Limited attention to detail
  • Delegates with loose follow-up
  • May appear tough-minded

What does altruist mean in predictive index?

Altruists are natural team players. They’re known to be people-oriented, cooperative, and accommodating.

They thrive and help contribute to a culture of teamwork.

They demonstrate a strategic, data-driven approach in building teams that helps organizations win.

Characteristics of the Altruist

The following qualities defines an Altruist:

Natural strength

  • Collaborative
  • Sociable
  • Organized
  • Precise

Common Drivers

  • Clarity of expectations
  • Opportunities to interact and collaborate
  • Harmony
  • Freedom from risk

Blind Spots

  • Often overly cautious
  • Frustrated by stagnation
  • Slower to make decisions that impact others
  • Can appear overly trusting

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How do you score a captain in predictive index?

Captains love rising to meet challenges.

Independent and strong-willed, they connect easily with colleagues and direct reports.

They’re natural leaders who both inspire, challenge their teams and raise the bar for their organizations.

Characteristics of a Captain

Here are the qualities of a captain in Predictive Index:

Natural Strengths

  • Self-starter
  • Sociable
  • Innovative
  • Driving

Common Drivers

  • Independence
  • Connection with others
  • Variety and change
  • Flexibility

Blind Spots

  • May appear authoritative
  • Struggles to follow structure or direction
  • Can seem brusque
  • Non-conforming

What is a Strategist in predictive index?

The Strategist in Predictive Index represents a big picture of a person who projects ahead and thinks about how decisions will benefit the entire organization.

They’re decisional, no-nonsense people who like close control of their work.

Characteristics of a Strategist

Below are the strong characteristics of a strategist

Natural Strengths

  • Independent
  • Organized
  • Results-oriented
  • Decisive

Common Drivers

  • Understanding of the big picture
  • Opportunities to work with facts
  • Variety and flexibility
  • Time to develop expertise

Blind Spots

  • Can be perfectionistic
  • Frustrated by stagnation
  • May appear tough-minded
  • Controlling of delegated work

How many Predictive Index profiles are there?

The Predictive Index profiles are about seventeen (17) of them listed below:

  • Adapter
  • Altruists
  • Analyzer
  • Captain
  • Collaborator
  • Controller
  • Craftsman
  • Guardian
  • Individualist
  • Maverick
  • Operator
  • Persuader
  • Promoter
  • Scholar
  • Specialist
  • Strategist
  • Venturer

What does the Predictive Index test tell employers?

The Predictive Index test shun bias during the selection process.

It tests for abstract intelligence in a heated environment making employers know how learned candidates can be via their fast response, decision making pattern and readiness to adapt to a new situation.

Cognitive ability is the only predictor that reflects an individual’s performance in a workplace.

Only the predictive index test can tell the employer about your performance when hired.

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How are Predictive Index tests scored?

The Predictive Index tests are scored differently from other assessments, as the ideal result differs according to job function.

When a candidate scores 50 and above in PICA, Predictive Index publishes a list of expected scores for each job role.

The PIBA will reflect a personality reference profile.

How should I prepare for a Predictive Index test?

You are expected to practice every question in order to get familiar with the answers.

Doing this under limited timing enhances your readiness to ensure a great performance in the predictive index test.

You should be able to cover the numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning questions during your preparatory stage.

Can you fail a Predictive Index test?

In predictive index tests, there’s nothing like a pass or fail scores but a target to give an indication whether you are fit for the position or not.

There is a target score attached to some selected occupation.

You should aim at scoring the right point for your desired job role.

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We trust this article has enriched you with extensive knowledge on what the Predictive Index is, and how you can prepare for it.

Predictive Index is beneficial to employers as it helps them to know more about a candidate’s fitness for a job position.

The idea of the PICA and PIBA tools is to provide an honest and deeper insight into a candidate’s abilities, motivation and their passion for the job position.

There’s a need for constant practice and rapid familiarization with questions in PICA as it is difficult to attempt voluminous questions within a short time.

PICA is about 20/50, therefore there’s a need to aim high in order to get through to the next stage in your recruitment process.

The PIBA assists hiring managers to identify behavioral patterns as well as personal traits in employees.

In this test, you may not be expected to practice but to be as honest as possible.

Being truthful in the PIB Assessment can help you to know more about yourself and ways you may like to work even though you fail to advance to the next stage.

The concept here is that both PICA and PIBA can influence a great teamwork and further improve an employee’s skill set accordingly.

As a job seeker, understanding what PI tests are and how to prepare for them is of great importance as this will help you to know what to expect.

With proper preparation and a pinch of luck, you’ll gain employment.

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