Problem solving

Problem solving test: pre-employment screening assessment to hire the best candidates.

Use our Problem solving test to hire the best

This problem solving test evaluates candidates’ ability to define problems and analyze data and textual information to make correct decisions. This test helps you identify candidates who use analytical skills to evaluate and respond to complex situations.

Covered skills

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Use the Problem solving test to hire

Any role that involves managing constantly shifting variables with tight deadlines. This may include administrative assistants, project managers, planners, and people working in hospitality or sales.

Cognitive ability

English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese (Brazil)


About the Problem solving test

Effective problem-solving requires a broad skill set that enables individuals, teams, and businesses to advance towards stated objectives. It involves the ability to define a problem, to break it down into manageable parts, to develop approaches to solve the (sub)problem using creativity and analytical thinking, and to execute flawlessly.

This problem solving test allows you to identify candidates who display these abilities. The test presents candidates with typical problem-solving scenarios like scheduling on the basis of a diverse set of conditions, identifying the right sequence of actions based on a number of business rules, and drawing conclusions based on textual and numerical information.

The test requires candidates to identify the right answers to the questions in a limited amount of time. Successful candidates can quickly identify the key elements of the problem and work through the problem at speed without making mistakes. This is a great test to include to check candidates' overall analytical skills.

problem solving ability test

The test is made by a subject-matter expert

The global IT industry has benefited from Anirban’s talents for over two decades. With a flawless reputation that precedes him, Anirban has earned a status as a sought-after agile project manager and consultant. He’s worked internationally as a Senior Project Manager with companies such as Ericsson, IBM, and T-Mobile.

Anirban’s love for learning helps him keep his skills sharp. He holds an MBA and a degree in engineering, is a certified Scrum Master, and has certifications in Prince2 and ITIL.

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TestGorilla’s tests are created by subject matter experts. We assess potential subject-matter experts based on their knowledge, ability, and reputation. Before being published, each test is peer-reviewed by another expert, then calibrated using hundreds of test takers with relevant experience in the subject. Our feedback mechanisms and unique algorithms allow our subject-matter experts to constantly improve their tests.

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Why problem-solving is a crucial skill

We’ve all been thrown a curveball at work. An unexpected problem crops up and we need to make a plan to solve it. This is called problem-solving and it’s an important skill in most job roles because employees will encounter difficult or complex situations or problems that need to be solved.

Interestingly, unlike some career skills, problem-solving translates to both an individual’s personal and professional lives, making it crucial to potential success. But this may make it harder for recruiters to find the right candidate for a job where problem-solving skills are needed. In this case, a problem-solving test can help you find the best candidate capable of handling situations that influence business functions.

Problem-solving in the workplace

In business, problem-solving relies on a candidate’s ability to create processes that mitigate or remove obstacles that prevent the company from achieving its goals. Consequently, these issues or situations can create a gap between desired outcomes and actual results. This means that problem-solving plays an important role in how employees meet this challenge and work through it.

Roles such as project management, administrative assistance, and planning work with changing circumstances and tight deadlines on a day-to-day basis. When recruiting for these roles, finding candidates who have good problem-solving skills is crucial to their success in the role.

To gain insight into a candidate’s skill in this area, you can use a problem-solving test. Through expert formulation, a skill-specific test can help you understand a candidate’s level of proficiency. And testing your applicants before you start the interview process can highlight the candidates with the skills most relevant to the role.

A process-driven skill

In the workplace, there are important steps that can contribute to a candidate’s ability to successfully solve problems. Let’s take a look:

Identify the problem

Problem-solving begins with accurately identifying the problem. This determining factor looks at whether a candidate can find the origin and the implications of the problem. It includes:

• Differentiating between fact and opinion • Compiling data to determine the problem • Identifying underlying causes • Recognizing which processes are affected • Pinpointing the process standard

By accurately identifying the problem, individuals can proceed to the next step to solve the problem.

Determine alternative solutions

Once an individual has established the source of the problem, they can determine alternative solutions. The goal of plotting solutions to the problem is to remedy it and realign it with business goals. A creative problem-solving test may identify whether an individual has the competency to determine solutions. Key competencies in seeking solutions include:

• Establishing alternative solutions that align with business goals; • Determining whether a problem needs short- or long-term solutions; • Evaluating how solutions may impact on resources; and • Determining if there are any barriers to implementing the solutions.

Although any problem can have multiple solutions, the simplest or fastest one may not always be the best course of action. This is where solution comparison comes into play.

Compare solutions and plot a course

Once all possible solutions are determined, it is important to compare them. This involves evaluating each solution without bias to determine the optimal solution to the problem.

Through the evaluation process, the individual should rule out options that do not align with company goals, may take too much time and/or resources, or are unrealistic in their approach.

Some considerations when determining the best solution include the likelihood of solution implementation, whether all parties involved will accept the solution, and how it fits in with business goals. Additionally, it is important to note that the goal of the optimal solution is to solve the problem without causing additional or unanticipated problems.

In essence, problem-solving is about finding solutions that cause as little disruption as possible and correcting a project’s course.

Implement the solution

The last stage in problem-solving is the implementation of the final step. This step focuses on the remedial solution and requires continuous evaluation to ensure its effective implementation. For you as a recruiter, knowing if a candidate can find a solution as well as implement it may be important to the goals of the role.

Continually evaluating the solution will give the individual insight into whether the project goals are aligned, whether all stakeholders accept the new solution and whether the outcomes are managed effectively.

Problem-solving test

Considerations for recruiters

When hiring for a role in which problem-solving skills are crucial, it may be beneficial to test a candidate’s ability to define problems and analyze data and textual information to make decisions that best serve the business. Some of the considerations for a problem-solving test include:

Creating and adjusting schedules

Schedules are living documents that need to adapt as eventualities come into play. Candidates should be able to understand what they can realistically achieve with the time and how to adjust schedules to account for variable outcomes.

Interpreting data and applying logic to make decisions

Data-driven decision-making should inform a course of action before an individual commits to it. For recruiters, this means candidates should have an aptitude for aligning data with business goals and making actionable decisions.

Prioritizing and applying order based on a given set of rules

By using prioritization rules and supporting information, candidates can determine which project tasks take priority. This system aims to optimize resources for project delivery.

Analyzing textual and numerical information to draw conclusions

Examining textual and numerical information to reveal patterns, relationships, and trends can tell the candidate what connection exists among variables. Conclusions can then be drawn from the data to gain an accurate assessment of the overall situation.

When broken down, problem-solving is a skill that relies on a variety of disciplines to achieve success. Although this skill is transferable to many job roles, determining candidates’ proficiency can be difficult, so it can be beneficial to recruiters to use a problem-solving test to review candidates’ aptitude when recruiting for a role.

Using a pre-formulated problem-solving test will enable you to quickly assess your candidates and help you recruit the best person for the role.

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Problem Solving Skills Assessment Test

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Problem Solving Skills Assessment

Assessment details, assessment summary, skills tested in this assessment, what to test with this assessment, about the problem solving skills assessment.

Ready to find the best candidates with top problem solving skills to grow your business? Use our Problem Solving skills assessment and never make another unqualified hire again.

Problem Solving is all about using logic, imagination, and creativity, to understand a situation and then come up with an intelligent solution to the problem. The best problem solvers can actively anticipate potential future problems and act quickly to prevent them from ever happening or to mitigate the effects.

This Problem Solving test assesses whether job candidates have the ability to learn, solve problems, and understand instructions while allowing you to see how adaptable they are to coaching and training.

Candidates who perform well on this Problem Solving assessment will have all the technical skills to successfully understand and articulate a problem and plan for it. They will also have the necessary soft skills to critically think about solutions to problems and effectively communicate this back to stakeholders.

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Frequently asked questions.

A problem solving test is a type of assessment that measures an individual’s ability to identify and solve problems. The test usually consists of a series of questions or scenarios that require the candidate to select the best course of action. Problem solving tests are commonly used in educational and workplace settings as a way to evaluate critical thinking and decision-making skills. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to problem solving, the ability to break down a problem into smaller components, identify potential solutions, and select the most effective course of action is often key to finding a successful resolution.

Vervoe’s problem solving skills test can help to improve the recruitment process by providing a more accurate assessment of a candidate’s ability. By presenting candidates with problems and seeing how they respond, employers can get a better idea of how they will perform on the job. In addition, problem solving tests can help employers to analyze data of their candidate pool more effectively. By identifying patterns in how candidates respond to problems, employers can identify those who are likely to be successful in the role.

Many jobs require problem solving as part of their skill set, but some are more obviously oriented toward this type of work than others. For instance, jobs in the field of engineering often require employees to find solutions to complex technical problems. Similarly, positions in sales or customer service frequently entail finding creative ways to resolve customer issues. Even jobs that are not traditionally seen as requiring problem solving skills can benefit from employees who are able to think on their feet and come up with solutions to challenges as they arise. In today’s ever-changing business landscape, the ability to solve problems is an essential skill for success in any career.

Problem solving tests are designed to assess a range of skills that are essential for success in the workplace. The ability to creative think is perhaps the most important skill that is tested, as it allows candidates to generate multiple solutions to a problem. This is important as it allows different perspectives to be considered and the best solution to be chosen. Other skills that are assessed include the ability to think logically and rationally, as well as the ability to communicate effectively. These skills are all highly relevant to job performance, making problem solving tests an excellent way to identify the best candidates for a role.

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   Home » Articles & News » Problem Solving Exercise – Try this quick logical reasoning test to see how you do!

Problem Solving Exercise – Try this quick logical reasoning test to see how you do!

logical reasoning test

This 15-question online visual quiz can help you prepare for any logical reasoning tests you might do on a group assessment day interview. Give it a try!

Problem solving is a Young Professiona l skill that’s all about staying calm and thinking things through when challenges crop up in life and work. Logical reasoning sounds hard, but you do it every day – and it’s one of the most useful skills you will ever learn. When you feel lost and can’t see the forest for the trees, logical reasoning will guide you!

Why practice logical reasoning tests?

Logical reasoning tests are sometimes handed out to candidates on group assessment days and interviews. It’s really good to practice doing them before you ever have to do one in an interview. It helps you learn from your mistakes, so you can get better at thinking in a way that will bring you success in these tests. With the Assessment Day Test website, you can also practice experiencing time limits and get a feel for the test layout. This practice will get you familiar with logical reasoning tests so they won’t seem new and scary when you’re asked to do one in interviews.

Give yourself the edge over other less experienced candidates and have a go at one now!

Logical Reasoning Test – Easy Level

This logical reasoning test has 15 questions, with 70 seconds to answer each question. Your challenge this week is to play this quiz and see how you do.

For each question, you’ll have to use logic to fill in the missing symbol on a grid.

Now take the test and see how you do!

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Problem solving and thinking skills assessments.

Questionmark published the Thinking Skills assessment to help customers identify high-potential candidates regardless of their educational and professional background. The test puts the candidates through a time-bound challenge that will probe their problem-solving skills, as well as their ability to reflect critically on complex statements. They must answer 50 multiple-choice questions that illustrate typical problems that may arise in a business environment within 90 minutes.

Thinking Skills

What is included in our Cambridge Assessment?

The test was designed to evaluate the critical thinking and problem-solving facets of general mental ability. Every item exposes the candidate to a new context. The questions designed to test critical thinking are more likely to be long-winded in nature; those targeting problem-solving tend to rely on visual displays of information, such as diagrams, tables, and graphs. The difficulty varies across items, with the more accessible ones being presented at the beginning of the test.

Thanks to being hosted on the Questionmark platform, the delivery process can benefit from exclusive features that are tailored to each organization’s needs. The candidate profiles can be set up in the system to reflect the hierarchy and attributes that the test administrator wants to keep track of and report on. Where the stakes are high, the organization may enable security and/or monitoring options, such as locking down the device or having the candidates proctored while taking the test. Customers may also design their own report templates, drawing upon the filters, parameters, and data that’s most relevant to them.

How can you use the problem-solving test?


One of the most obvious applications of the Thinking Skills assessment pertains to employment. In a crowded, chaotic labor market, assessments become an indispensable tool that cuts through the noise to reveal aspects of people’s thinking and behavior that are otherwise hidden until a much later and less appropriate time. The Thinking Skills assessment in particular, helps identify top performers among a large pool of candidates.

When is the best time in the recruitment process to use this test?

problem solving ability test

Due to its length and difficulty, the Thinking Skills test is best applied during the later stages of recruitment. It requires a fairly strong commitment to finish (i.e., maintaining attention for 90 minutes,) therefore it may be best suited for candidates who have already demonstrated high motivation for the job throughout the previous stages of screening. The test will likely be a reliable tool for identifying fine differences in thinking of otherwise similar candidates, though it is highly recommended that this not be the only factor contributing to hiring or firing decisions.

Selecting applicants for university courses

For the same reasons expressed above, the Thinking Skills test is an equally powerful device for screening applicants in higher education settings. It has been successfully implemented both as an entrance exam for popular courses, as well as a selection tool for scholarship applicants. Cognitive ability has been consistently shown through research to predict both academic and job performance [i] , though it’s not the  only  factor to be taken into consideration when institutions are looking to predict academic drop-out.

Upskilling your workforce

problem solving ability test

Since general cognitive ability is a strong predictor of success, it is reasonable to expect it to be valuable for internal recruitment and upskilling. Candidates for positions that require new responsibilities are expected to have a fair degree of flexibility, which translates into the ability to learn quickly and act confidently in their new roles. A new environment will inevitably bring about new challenges, and a candidate’s capacity to navigate these challenges successfully can be tested competently by simulating complex problems under pressure, such as those exposed by the Thinking Skills assessment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i tailor the assessment to include my company logo and color palette.

Yes, our platform comprises a great range of tools that enable you to customize the experience to reflect the look and feel of your organization’s brand.

How are the tests designed?

The test items have been created by subject matter experts and calibrated over the years based on feedback from applicants and careful review of the psychometric performance of each item. Its theoretical foundation is underpinned by robust and rigorous research into the psychological factors associated with cognitive performance.

Can I customize the assessment with my own questions?

If the current format does not conform fully to your expectations, please let us know. However, making unauthorized changes to the test, including but not limited to adding/removing questions, may reduce the overall validity of the tool and conflict with the intellectual rights protecting it.

What support can I expect?

Questionmark can support you throughout the entire process of purchasing and delivering the assessment. You can find answers to your questions by navigating our knowledge base and  support site , or by asking your account manager. If you face more complex issues, our technical support representatives will be at hand by LiveChat, email, or by phone.

What is a problem-solving test?

Problem-solving is a facet of what we commonly refer to as ‘intelligence’ – cognitive ability. It is cognitive processing directed at achieving a goal when no solution method is obvious to the problem solver[i]. The Thinking Skills assessment breaks down the problem-solving ability into numerical and spatial reasoning, presenting candidates with a set of unfamiliar situations that resemble common problems faced in a variety of work settings and prompting them to generate a solution. These come in one of three question types:

Example of a problem-solving question:

problem solving ability test

What are some examples of problem-solving skills?

Complex problems come in all shapes and sizes in everyday life, as well as at work. A simple example from our daily lives is planning a holiday. We know roughly the result we want to derive from it – to recharge physically and mentally by disconnecting from our usual surroundings. But several factors need to be taken into consideration, some of which might even change along the way.

One needs to know first how to  define  the problem. As Einstein once famously said:

“If I were given one hour to save the planet, I would spend 59 minutes defining the problem and one minute resolving it.”

Defining questions might include things like -what is the holiday destination?’ or ‘what sort of experience would help us detach from our everyday worries most effectively?’ Next, you would  consider the variables , taking into account who else is joining, and what they enjoy doing. There might also be some fixed parameters to take into account as well, including the dates available for holidays or budget constraints. Once all of this information has been collected and decided, the information would need to be  organized  in order to  create something new : the holiday plan.

What is the format of the assessment?

The Thinking Skills assessment comes with 50 questions to be answered within 90 minutes. Before taking the test, the candidates are presented with an introductory screen and two sample questions to help accustom them to the test format. Half of the questions draw on critical thinking, and the other half solicit problem-solving skills. The critical-thinking part is largely based on text, while problem-solving questions would often present data as tables, charts, figures, and numbers.

At the end of the test, the test administrator has the option to allow the participants to see their results and have them compared with the results of other candidates. However, to prevent intellectual property leaks and infringes, the candidates won’t be allowed to see the items again and learn which questions they’ve answered wrongly. Only the test administrator may have access to this information.

What do candidates need to prepare for this test?

The Thinking Skills test draws upon knowledge and skills that the candidates already possess and have probably used extensively in school: number concepts, numerical operations, measuring quantities and space, spatial reasoning, generalization, and working with tables and graphs.

More exactly:



Can the test be done online?

The test can  only  be taken online. It is displayed in a digital format using the Questionmark platform, and the results are stored in Questionmark’s database unless otherwise agreed with the test administrator.

Delivering the test on our platform allows you to customize the experience to your organization’s requirements. Customizations include deciding the dates you’d like to make it available to participants, adjusting the number of attempts available to them, allowing additional time to complete it, or enabling them to pause it and resume later.

How does Questionmark prevent online candidates from cheating on tests?

Our platform also offers test administrators features that enhance the security of their test sessions. One step up from the typical delivery settings are the Questionmark Secure Browser options, which lock down any other online activities and programs during testing. An even further measure can be enabled through automated proctoring, where the testing session is recorded on video and analyzed by AI for potential anomalies that could indicate cheating attempts (e.g. unexpected sounds or a second person on the video frame). These issues are then flagged in the system, waiting to be reviewed by a real person appointed by the test administrator.

Can this test be combined with other assessments?

Yes, you can definitely deliver this test as part of a range of assessments. Without interrupting the testing session, once the candidate finishes one test, the system can branch them toward a new activity, such as an integrity test or a feedback survey.

i. Schmidt, F. L., & Hunter, J. (2004). General mental ability in the world of work: occupational attainment and job performance.  Journal of personality and social psychology ,  86 , 162. ii. Alexander, P. A., & Winne, P. H. (2012).  Handbook of educational psychology . Routledge.

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problem solving ability test

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Problem-Solving Assessment for Finding and Hiring the Best Problem Solvers

A problem-solving test is an assessment to determine whether a candidate has problem-solving skills and whether they can contemplate positive and negative solutions to a problem. It measures the ability to use logic, creativity, and analytical skills to assess and respond to complex situations. 


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Database Analyst, Backend Developer (Node.js), Data Science Engineer (using R Programming), Big Data Engineer (using R Programming)

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Inside This Problem Solving Assessment

Problem-solving is an essential skill for individuals, teams and managers to progress toward achieving goals. It involves the ability to identify ways and means to solve various problems that come up as a challenge in any job/task. Problem-solving skills influence our career, whether we are solving a problem for a client or assisting those who are solving problems. 

A problem-solving test evaluates the candidate's ability to outline a problem, deconstruct it, develop the most appropriate solution, and assess the effectiveness of the solution. It allows employers to find candidates who possess such abilities. The test assesses problem-solving ability through questions that evaluate someone's numerical knowledge, critical thinking, analytical ability and problem-solving skills. 

The problem-solving assessment requires test-takers to respond correctly to the questions within the decided time. Qualified candidates can define the nature of a problem, are proactive in seeking the optimal solution for the problem, and consider all possible outcomes before settling on the best solution.  

Employers can glean actionable insights from the problem-solving skills test to identify the best talent from a pool of resumes, which eventually translates to objective hiring decisions backed by data. In addition, since these tests are to be administered online, the administrative overhead of conducting too many interviews gets reduced, enabling the employers and recruiters to save more time and resources by screening out unqualified participants. This way, it becomes significantly easy to find the best candidates. 

Why should you use this problem-solving ability test? 

The problem-solving skills test is meticulously designed to successfully test a candidate's problem-solving skills that are essential for carrying out business and even maintaining interpersonal relationships. This test is planned and structured in such a way that it will effectively test a candidate’s ability to identify and address a problem. Moreover, it helps measure decision-making, reasoning, and numerical reasoning skills. 

Sectional Details:

Test details:.

Use this problem-solving aptitude test for: 

This test is suitable for all the profiles in the workplace. The test is planned and structured to assess problem-solving ability in fresher (for entry-level roles) and experienced candidates. 

Key profiles the test is helpful for: 

Note: If required, we can also provide the problem-solving skills assessment in other languages. Please connect with us at [email protected] for any such requirements. 

Problems never knock before entering our lives, be it professional or personal, and are not avoidable. An unexpected issue will likely surface, and we must have a plan to address it. The skill of solving problems is needed in all facets of life. People with problem-solving aptitude tend to forge challenges into lucrative opportunities. Employees with these highly coveted personality traits are indispensable for organizations. They understand that problems are there to help us grow and transform into a better person who undertakes every project with confidence and conviction. 

Such people are favorably disposed toward handling unexpected/difficult situations calmly. This aptitude empowers them to use logic, creativity, and creative thinking to propose practical solutions to their problems. Undoubtedly, employers regard those people highly and want them placed in essential roles in the organization. That is where the part of the problem-solving test comes into play and helps employers to identify the right talent with the desired skills. 

From an organizational viewpoint, problem-solving hinges on the employee's ability to devise processes that eliminate or circumvent obstacles that keep a company from accomplishing its goals. If not appropriately addressed, such blocks can create a divide between expected results and actual outcomes. Hence, problem-solving is a crucial skill in the workplace that dictates how any particular challenge can be undertaken and overcome. Roles such as project management, data analyst, programmers, customer service assistance, etc., entail working on strict deadlines and demanding tasks on a day-to-day basis. Hence, problem-solving skills become critical when finding talent for these roles in assessing job fit and matching the best person to the proper position. 

The problem-solving skills assessment helps organizations gain insights into the problem-solving competencies of candidates. Even before the company interviews, evaluating applicants' skills can help recruiters understand their level of proficiency. This way, only those candidates with the skills most suited to the role will be shortlisted for the subsequent round of interviews. 

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. why do we use problem-solving tests.

Problem-solving tests can help employers identify the appropriate skills that can assist in selecting an individual with problem-solving abilities. These tests determine a candidate's problem-solving skills, trainability, and learning agility. 

2. How do you measure problem-solving skills?

Through expertly formulated problem-solving aptitude tests, it is easy to understand whether a candidate can demonstrate the ability to analyze the given information from different perspectives and solve complex problems.

3. How do you practice problem-solving skills?

Problem-solving is a systematic stepwise process, which includes some primary stages that you can consider when approaching a problem: 

4. How do you test problem-solving skills in an interview?

Interview questions aimed at problem-solving skills are used to understand a candidate's approach to complex and unusual scenarios. Listed below are some of the commonly used examples of interview questions focused on problem-solving: 

5. How can one refine their problem-solving skills?

Here are some specifics about what aspects to consider when it comes to enhancing your problem-solving skills: 

6. How do you use problem-solving skills in the workplace?

Problem-solving is an essential life skill needed to solve our day-to-day problems. However, a collaborative and strategic approach is crucial to solving problems of diverse intensity when it comes to solving workplace problems. Here are some easy-peasy tips on how to improve your problem-solving abilities at work: 

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Problem solving tests assess an individual's ability to solve complex problems under pressures. Selecting good problem solvers is important if you want to build a proactive and solution orientated team.

More than 3000 companies trust Picked

A problem-solving test is a pre-employment assessment, used to determine the extent to which a candidate is able to apply their problem-solving abilities.

The test challenges candidates through a series of hypothetical scenarios that look at problem-solving in a professional context. For each scenario, a candidate must conclude the most effective course of action by identifying the problem, weighing up potential approaches, and choosing which they believe will result in the best outcome.

Those that perform well on the problem-solving test have the ability to navigate complex situations, adapt quickly to moving goalposts, and bring fresh ideas to the table - all attributes that make an employee a valuable asset to your organisation.

Jump to a section on this page:

Why should you use a problem-solving test for recruitment, how our test assesses problem-solving skills, problem solving test faqs, about the problem solving test.

Problem-solving skills are critical to so many job roles . It is the skill set that enables an employee to effectively work towards and achieve personal, team and business objectives. Yet it is among the most difficult skills to assess during recruitment.

Picked's problem-solving test provides a solution. It gives your hiring team a practical and efficient way to test and compare the entire applicant pool - so you can progress those not just with the most impressive resume, but also the most developed and demonstrated problem-solving ability.

There are very few job roles that do not require at least some degree of problem-solving ability. In a professional setting, solving a problem is essential to achieve a specific goal. An employee must be able to determine the objective, identify any obstacles that stand in the way, and develop workable solutions to overcome them.

Problems may relate to a personal situation like a conflict with a coworker, be project-based like a tight deadline, or apply to business success, such as how to attract new prospects, increase sales, or lower overheads.

In all cases, employers that invest in talented problem solvers are likely to see the benefits of increased collaboration, productivity and innovation.

The difficulty comes in knowing which applicants are in fact, strong problem solvers. It's a skill that can't really be expressed on paper, and while competency-based interview questions might give you greater insight, it is neither time nor cost-effective to interview every single candidate.

By using a problem-solving test as a screening tool, you'll get objective and comparable data for your entire applicant pool. You can then shortlist those candidates that show the most promise, confident in the knowledge that their problem-solving skills meet the standards you're looking for.

Ultimately, a problem-solving test minimises the risk of a bad hire. It can be used for a broad range of roles - in particular, those that involve shifting variables or innovative design, like project management, software development and engineering .

More Soft Skills Tests

Sample Problem Solving Test question

You are preparing a summary of monthly accounts for the Finance Director. This financial summary is important as it will inform company spending for the next three months. However, something doesn’t seem right to you. Your summary has to be ready for tomorrow morning.

What would you do?

Organize all available financial data into a spreadsheet to analyze line by line, identifying any discrepancies.

Share your financial summary with a colleague and ask them to look over what you have prepared.

Make a note of what you think may be wrong to include in the report so the Director can look into the issue.

Work backwards in scrutinising the monthly accounts to track down what seems to be causing the discrepancy.

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the Problem Solving Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

In Picked's problem-solving skills test, candidates will need to answer a range of questions designed to indicate how well they can solve problems and work under pressure based on a final test score, which can then be compared to the scores of other applicants.

The test presents different problems for the candidates to review before selecting what they believe to be the correct answer. The other available options are mostly generic mistakes or misconceptions, which makes the test challenging and helps measure a candidate's ability more accurately.

During the development process, the test was rigorously analysed to maximise reliability and validity in line with industry best practices. It was created and tested by psychometric experts, and designed to assess interpersonal skills in a sample of job applicants who have varying professional experience.

Each test is reviewed by a panel of individuals representing diverse backgrounds to check for any sensitivity, fairness, face validity and accessibility issues. This ensures each test-taker has a fair chance of demonstrating their true level of interpersonal skills and feels the test is high quality.

Our problem-solving skills test is monitored to ensure it is up-to-date and optimised for performance.

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All our Problem Solving tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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We offer Problem Solving tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.

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Automated actions such as alerts and reminders ensure a smooth candidate experience.

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Analytics dashboard

Our full array of candidate performance metrics will provide actionable data on each of your candidates.

Candidate comparison

Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”

Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK

Written by a Problem Solving Test expert

Our team of assessment experts is made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”

Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

In addition to Picked's problem-solving test, there are other tools and techniques you can use to measure this highly sought-after skill. These include practical assessments, role-play exercises, group-based tasks and behavioural style interview questions.

There are several styles of problem-solving. Some involve logical thinking and some practical thinking, whilst others rely on intuition and social sensitivities. Picked's problem-solving test has been expertly designed to ensure all aspects are covered.

Picked operates on a monthly or annual subscription basis. We have several plans to suit your hiring needs, which you can check out here . Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss a custom plan.

Yes, sign up (no credit card required) and we'll give you a 7 day trial completely free. You'll get unlimited access to create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you like. You can cancel any time and you won't be charged anything.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”

Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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Problem Solving Test

About the test:

The problem solving test evaluates a candidate's ability to understand instructions, analyze data and respond to complex problems or situations. The questions are designed to get insights into their problem solving, learning agility and coachability.

Covered skills:

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Adaface Problem Solving Test is the most accurate way to shortlist Data Analysts

Tests for on-the-job skills.

The Problem Solving test helps recruiters and hiring managers to identify qualified candidates from a pool of resumes, and helps in taking objective hiring decisions. It reduces the administrative overhead of interviewing too many candidates and saves expensive engineering time by filtering out unqualified candidates.

The Adaface Problem Solving test screens candidates for the typical skills recruiters look for in a potential talent:

The insights generated from this assessment can be used by recruiters and hiring managers to identify the best candidates for the role. Anti-cheating features enable you to be comfortable with conducting assessments online. The Problem Solving test is ideal for helping recruiters identify which candidates have the proper reasoning skills to do well on the job.

No trick questions

Traditional assessment tools use trick questions and puzzles for the screening, which creates a lot of frustration among candidates about having to go through irrelevant screening assessments.

The main reason we started Adaface is that traditional pre-employment assessment platforms are not a fair way for companies to evaluate candidates. At Adaface, our mission is to help companies find great candidates by assessing on-the-job skills required for a role.

We have a very high focus on the quality of questions that test for on-the-job skills. Every question is non-googleable and we have a very high bar for the level of subject matter experts we onboard to create these questions. We have crawlers to check if any of the questions are leaked online. If/ when a question gets leaked, we get an alert. We change the question for you & let you know.

These are just a small sample from our library of 10,000+ questions. The actual questions on this Problem Solving Test will be non-googleable.

1200+ customers in 75 countries

With Adaface, we were able to optimise our initial screening process by upwards of 75%, freeing up precious time for both hiring managers and our talent acquisition team alike!

Brandon Lee, Head of People, Love, Bonito

Designed for elimination, not selection

The most important thing while implementing the pre-employment Problem Solving Test in your hiring process is that it is an elimination tool, not a selection tool. In other words: you want to use the test to eliminate the candidates who do poorly on the test, not to select the candidates who come out at the top. While they are super valuable, pre-employment tests do not paint the entire picture of a candidate’s abilities, knowledge, and motivations. Multiple easy questions are more predictive of a candidate's ability than fewer hard questions. Harder questions are often "trick" based questions, which do not provide any meaningful signal about the candidate's skillset.

1 click candidate invites

Email invites : You can send candidates an email invite to the Problem Solving Test from your dashboard by entering their email address.

Public link : You can create a public link for each test that you can share with candidates.

API or integrations : You can invite candidates directly from your ATS by using our pre-built integrations with popular ATS systems or building a custom integration with your in-house ATS.

Detailed scorecards & comparative results

High completion rate.

Adaface tests are conversational, low-stress, and take just 25-40 mins to complete.

This is why Adaface has the highest test-completion rate (86%), which is more than 2x better than traditional assessments.

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Which Roles Can You Use This Problem Solving Test For

The Problem Solving Online test is designed to assess for entry-level roles as well as experienced roles.

Importance of Problem Solving In The Workplace

Every employee in their professional life will encounter a demanding work environment that presents itself with simple and complex problems on a day-to-day basis. An employee's problem-solving skills not only impact their job performance but also the inter-personal relationships that they build in their professional career.

Jobs that require leadership skills such as that of a CEO and HR manager might require more problem-solving when compared to entry-level positions.

Some of the advantages of problem-solving skills include:

What roles can I use the Problem Solving Test for?

What topics are covered in the Problem Solving Test?

The hiring managers felt that through the technical questions that they asked during the panel interviews, they were able to tell which candidates had better scores, and differentiated with those who did not score as well. They are highly satisfied with the quality of candidates shortlisted with the Adaface screening.

Human Resources Manager

Singapore Government

Can I combine multiple skills into one custom assessment?

Yes, absolutely. Custom assessments are set up based on your job description, and will include questions on all must-have skills you specify.

Do you have any anti-cheating or proctoring features in place?

We have the following anti-cheating features in place:

Read more about the proctoring features .

How do I interpret test scores?

The primary thing to keep in mind is that an assessment is an elimination tool, not a selection tool. A skills assessment is optimized to help you eliminate candidates who are not technically qualified for the role, it is not optimized to help you find the best candidate for the role. So the ideal way to use an assessment is to decide a threshold score (typically 55%, we help you benchmark) and invite all candidates who score above the threshold for the next rounds of interview.

What experience level can I use this test for?

Each Adaface assessment is customized to your job description/ ideal candidate persona (our subject matter experts will pick the right questions for your assessment from our library of 10000+ questions). This assessment can be customized for any experience level.

Does every candidate get the same questions?

Yes, it makes it much easier for you to compare candidates. Options for MCQ questions and the order of questions are randomized. We have anti-cheating/ proctoring features in place. In our enterprise plan, we also have the option to create multiple versions of the same assessment with questions of similar difficulty levels.

I'm a candidate. Can I try a practice test?

No. Unfortunately, we do not support practice tests at the moment. However, you can use our sample questions for practice.

What is the cost of using this test?

You can check out our pricing plans .

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, you can sign up for free and preview this test.

I just moved to a paid plan. How can I request a custom assessment?

Here is a quick guide on how to request a custom assessment on Adaface.

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