2023 Korn Ferry Assessment Study Guide and Practice Test
by Sarah Duncan
If you’ve applied for jobs in the past, you might have come across psychometric testing as a key part of the interview process.
Psychometric testing are assessments carried out by organizations to evaluate prospective candidates.
They come in a lot of different types but mostly focus on personality or leadership skills. One of these tests is the Korn Ferry Assessment Test.
Applying for jobs is scary enough, and having to do a psychometric test alongside an interview can be pretty daunting!
The test allows the company to measure your skills and qualities against other candidates vying for the role.
Today, we’ll cover:
- The basics of the Korn Ferry Assessment
- What you can expect when taking the test
- Some tips to help you get the best result you can.
Let’s get into it!
Table of Contents
What Is the Korn Ferry Assessment?
The Korn Ferry Assessment Test is developed by Korn Ferry, a management consulting business based in the United States. They developed their pre-employment psychometric tests to help prospective employers objectively measure job candidates’ compatibility with the position. Their tests evaluate a candidate’s cognitive abilities, personality traits, leadership potential, and other job-related skills. These assessments come in the form of multiple-choice questions with various formats, and can be administered online or face-to-face.
The Korn Ferry is a talent assessment tool for both present capabilities and future potential. Employers can take a closer look at the talent composition of both present and potential employees as well, so they can take the necessary steps to reach their goals and ensure the sustainability of the business.
It is therefore understandable that the Korn Ferry is not a simple assessment anyone can take and get high scores on. Preparation is required to make sure a candidate presents the best versions of themselves. Each category or section in the ability tests has a different amount of time provided to answer:
- Elements Verbal: 16 minutes
- Elements Numerical: 16 minutes
- Elements Logical: 15 minutes<
- Aspects Ability Verbal: 8 minutes
- Aspects Ability Numerical: 10 minutes
- Aspects Ability Checking: 6 minutes
In short, the Korn Ferry Assessment test is a group of pre-employment psychometric tests that assess the aspects that are deemed most important by employers. It is neither an IQ test nor a simulation of regular working conditions and is timed because it is exactly what it is: a test. It is meant to see who can provide correct answers in the time provided.
If you are about the take the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) Korn Ferry Leadership Test click here.
Which Companies Use the Korn Ferry Assessment Test
Korn Ferry is an award-winning consulting agency that has been recognized for its work in improving employment and business processes all over the world. It recently won the Forbes America’s Best Management Firm title in 2023. Korn Ferry works in various industries and is tapped by Fortune 500 companies, public sector organizations, and firms. Some of their clients are:
The firm also has partnerships with Microsoft, Salesforce, Qualtrics, and Cleveland Clinics. Their track record in optimizing business systems through talent assessment is undeniable. Thus, many companies rely on them for advice and consultations.
Why Is the Korn Ferry Assessment Test Used
Just like with many other types of pre-employment or hiring process tests, the Korn Ferry Assessment is used for employers to objectively identify candidates in metrics that they determine. The test is adjusted depending on what kind of employee the company requires in order to sustain or grow the business.
The Korn Ferry is used more for high-level positions, but it is also distributed for employee development and to determine which ones are more fit for leadership roles in the future. This helps business owners feel more confident in investing in employees, benefitting both sides.
What Questions to Expect
The Korn Ferry Assessment Test aims to discover talents with tests that have been developed by psychologists. In general, candidates will face up tests that assess the following.
- Experiences – Looks at past work experience that may influence suitability for the position
- Competencies – Assesses if the candidate has the skills necessary for the position
- Traits – Assesses inclinations by looking at personal traits or inclinations. It aims to discover one’s likely workplace behavior and predict future career growth
- Drivers – Discovers what motivates the applicant and what is likely to propel them forward on their respective career path
The assessment of these four core headings or characteristics makes up a leader or employee that can effectively lead a company. The test does not explicitly ask the candidate about their Drivers or Traits. Questions are mainly divided into two categories: personality testing and aptitude testing.
The Korn Ferry personality inventory tests examine how you are likely to behave in certain workplace scenarios. You can expect to be presented with a series of situations and choose what you would do. From these, the employer can see how you would behave in the position applied for.
It is important to note that when doing the personality tests, you are answering as the person who fills a role at work. However, it is also important to be honest about your own goals and motivations and align them to the position in question. The questions asked are relatively straightforward but reveal a lot about the person responding.
To discover more about personality tests, click this link for a free sample test.
In general, Korn Ferry’s personality tests can include the following:
Korn Ferry Dimensions Test (Talent Q)
This personality questionnaire is designed to assess your skills as an individual.
It covers 3 main sections: People and Relationships, Tasks and Projects, and Drives and Emotions.
It aims to analyze your key traits, behaviors, leadership qualities, problem-solving skills, and strategic thinking.
There are 13 questions in total and no time limit for completing them.
The questions are all statements that you’ll have to rate on how true they are to you. If you rate two or more questions the same, you’ll be asked to rank them in comparison to each other.
The questions are focused on 3 different sections:
- People and Relationships: This relates to how you communicate and handle relationships with your colleagues.
It also covers aspects like how much of a supportive team player you are, and how comfortable you are around those you work with
- Tasks and Projects: This covers your preferred style of working and logic when it comes to work tasks.
For example, this can include how well you handle assigning tasks and completing projects. It also covers things like organizational skills and data analysis
Drives and Emotions: This is how you deal with your emotions and feelings while at work. It relates to how you manage problems and adapt to new situations and also covers your motivations.
This personality questionnaire covers 3 main sections: People and Relationships; Tasks and Projects; and Drives and Emotions.
Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential (KFALP)
This test is made specifically for applicants going after high-level roles. Leadership skills will have an important part to play in the recruitment process. The tests are designed to identify strengths and weaknesses and how well candidates can judge situations that might arise in your future role. The following example gives an idea of what to expect from this test.
<>You are a team leader in a fast-paced project. As the project progresses, you notice that some team members are struggling to meet deadlines and are becoming increasingly demotivated. The overall team performance is starting to decline.
How would you address this situation as a leader?
Response #1: You ignore the performance issues and hope that things will improve on their own.
Response #2: You publicly reprimand the underperforming team members, hoping it will motivate them to work harder.>
Response #3: You hold a team meeting to openly discuss the challenges faced by the team and actively listen to each team member’s concerns. Together, you collaboratively identify potential solutions and adjust deadlines or workloads as needed.
Response #4: Recognizing the importance of maintaining team morale, you schedule individual meetings with struggling team members to understand their specific challenges and provide guidance, support, and resources to help them improve their performance
Expect tests that also aim to discover how you would prioritize tasks at work.
Find more sample questions for the Korn Ferry Assessment here.
Korn Ferry Four-Dimensional Assessment (KF4D)
The KF4D, also referred to as the Korn Ferry UIT Test, is all about testing different behaviors of candidates in the workplace and how they would fit with the company ethos. The test focuses on four dimensions: Biodata, Strengths, Personality, and Drives.
The KF4D is a methodological assessment characterizing high-performing leaders. Based on this method, significant emphasis is placed on learning agility and personal energy which can be measured in terms of traits such as persistence, assertiveness and drive to achieve.
While the personality tests get more inside the candidates’ personal work perspectives, the Korn Ferry Aptitude Tests provide an objective assessment in terms of role-related skills; where they excel and where they might be lacking. These are usually adaptive and geared to ability levels, and are more straightforward.
It is important to note that in the Korn Ferry Assessment Test, a question answered correctly will be followed by a more difficult question, just as a question answered incorrectly will be followed by an easier one. This allows employers to compare candidates objectively, so rather than shying away from being presented with difficult questions, try to see them as a measure of how well you are doing.
The aptitude tests usually include the following:
As mentioned in the previous sections, the Korn Ferry Assessments are used by many financial institutions and employers looking to fill high-level or executive positions. Numerical reasoning is critical for these clients, and thus the test adjusts to the level of difficulty and expertise required of the candidate. Expect questions to go beyond mathematical calculation skills but also test one’s ability to make accurate decisions under pressure.
See below for an example question:
A company’s revenue for the first quarter of the year was $500,000. In the second quarter, the revenue increased by 20%. In the third quarter, it increased by an additional 15%. What was the total revenue for the first three quarters of the year?
To solve this question, you need to calculate the revenue for the second and third quarters and then add them to the revenue of the first quarter.
First quarter revenue: $500,000
Second quarter increase: 20% of $500,000 = $100,000
Second quarter revenue: $500,000 + $100,000 = $600,000
Third quarter increase: 15% of $600,000 = $90,000
Third quarter revenue: $600,000 + $90,000 = $690,000
Total revenue for the first three quarters: $500,000 + $600,000 + $690,000 = $1,790,000=
Therefore, the correct answer is option d) $720,000
If you have not done some of the basic calculations in a while – perhaps you have been working in a different industry, or working in a position that does not require you to do these – it is for the best to brush up on them in preparation for the tests.
Language skills are another important aspect in the workplace, no matter the industry or position within the company. Verbal Reasoning tests evaluate language skills by analyzing comprehension of written passages and the ability to draw accurate conclusions. One’s ability to analyze and interpret text within a given time period can also reflect their capacity to take in information and provide input or make decisions under pressure.
The verbal reasoning section usually has two parts: one passage written at a medium level, and another at a harder level. The texts will be professional in nature, and while you are only given one minute to answer each question, you will be allowed to make notes on the side, usually on paper, should you feel the need to.
Below is an example verbal reasoning portion:
Jane recently purchased a new laptop from a well-known electronics store. However, upon using it, she encountered several technical issues that hindered her productivity. Frustrated, she reached out to the store’s customer service department for assistance. The customer service representative patiently listened to her concerns, empathized with her situation, and assured her that they would resolve the issues promptly. The representative scheduled a technician to visit Jane’s home the next day and offered a temporary replacement laptop in the meantime. The technician successfully fixed the issues, and Jane expressed her gratitude for the excellent customer service she received.
Based on the scenario, which of the following statements accurately reflects the importance of effective customer service?
a) Customer service representatives should ignore customer complaints to avoid unnecessary hassle.
b) Providing prompt and empathetic assistance can enhance customer satisfaction.
c) Technical issues with products are not the responsibility of customer service.
d) Offering temporary replacements to customers is a waste of resources.
In the scenario, it is evident that the customer service representative played a crucial role in addressing Jane’s concerns. They actively listened, empathized, and took prompt action to resolve the technical issues. As a result, Jane expressed her gratitude for the excellent customer service she received. The most accurate statement based on the scenario is therefore, b) Providing prompt and empathetic assistance can enhance customer satisfaction.
If this section intimidates you, especially knowing the time limit for the questions, make sure to take practice exams to improve your time.
On the other hand, non-verbal reasoning tests contain logical reasoning tests, mainly gauging the candidate’s ability to see patterns or inconsistencies in them. They are often abstract and ask candidates to manipulate the information they have been given to reach a logical conclusion. This is another test that definitely benefits from practice, especially as you will have to do it against the clock.
The final kind of aptitude assessment is the Cognitive Ability Test. These tests measure a mix of reasoning skills that can include verbal, non-verbal, and numerical tests, but also mechanical comprehension and spatial awareness.
They will be looking at your ability to switch between different styles of questions and challenges, and as they are timed they will also be measuring how you manage under pressure.
Korn Ferry viaEdge Assessment
The viaEdge Assessment is a personality test that can evaluate both the individual’s and organization’s ability to learn and lead through the measure of Learning Agility.
It has a 30-minute time limit which targets your capacity to work under pressure.
The test examines five key aspects:
- Self-awareness – your understanding of your strengths and weaknesses.
- Results agility – your aptness to produce results in new and challenging environments.
- Change agility – how amenable you are when it comes to situations where you must adapt and change.
- People agility – your effectiveness at communicating with a diverse range of people.
- Mental agility – how you use creative and unconventional ways to solve problems.
How to Prepare for the Korn Ferry Assessment Test
Preparing for the Korn Ferry Assessment Test begins the moment you get your official email invitation. This email should give you details about what you will need in order to complete the relevant assessments. The test is not made to be easy, but ensuring that you are fully prepared will increase your chances of getting a higher score.
The following are some of the ways you can prepare for the Korn Ferry Assessment:
- Prepare. There is no other way to say it. You have to brace yourself mentally and physically: mentally by studying and polishing your ability skills, and physically by ensuring you are healthy and your devices are also ready for the exam. All assessments taken online need a device with stable internet access. It is highly recommended that candidates use a desktop or laptop computer for ability assessments, but take note that the test can only be completed with keyboard controls only.
- Familiarize. Another helpful tip is learning about the company’s history and values, especially if you are applying for a leadership position. Is there anything similar between you and the founder? How do they value their employees, and how does it connect to a leadership role? Practice taking situational judgment questions and reviewing common interview questions. Familiarize yourself with the types of questions that are typically asked in leadership assessments, such as those measuring cognitive ability, personality, and motivation.
- Ask. If you have any doubts about the flow of the test and the time limit, do not be afraid to reach out to the potential employer via email. You can also ask the recruiter or administrator about the benchmark score before the day or hour of the exam.
- Practice. From the ability tests to the personal questionnaires, practice every test you will be taking with relevant practice packs developed by experts. Identify your weakest subject and dedicate more time to it. Sample tests will not only let you simulate the test conditions itself but will also help you identify any parts you have problems with but didn’t think you would.
- Work Smart. Aside from honing your skills on the subject you are most challenged in, there are also ways to work smart during the test itself. For example, read the question before you read the text, so you know what to look out for in verbal reasoning tests. Then read the question again before answering it. Know when it’s time to leave a question if it is simply too difficult or taking up time from the rest of the questions.
- Anticipate. Technology is helpful, but it can betray us sometimes. For device issues, Korn Ferry provides a comprehensive troubleshooting guide, such as what to do in case your device has a problem or if your browser freezes.
- Do your best. The best way you can do it is to follow these tips and build a support system that you can rely on. From friends, and family, to websites that can help job applicants with expertly-curated test prep packs, know that you are not alone in preparing for this big move in your career.
Assessment Test Scores
Korn assessments are graded using a rubric that is based on the Common Core State Standards. These standards specify what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. Grades are assigned based on how well applicants meet or exceed the standards.
And while Korn Ferry assessments have no actual pass or fail mark, the higher you score, the better. Different companies may set a certain benchmark that they want candidates to hit before they hire them. As previously mentioned, the next question in the ability tests depends on whether you got the first one right, so there are multiple versions of the questions in the assessment system, reducing the chance of two people receiving the same test questions.
To keep it simple, in order to pass the assessment, you need to score in the top quartile. There are no specific strategies that will help you pass the assessment, but studying and practicing will definitely help you improve your score.
Find more sample questions for the Korn Ferry Assessment here.
A Test Worth Taking
Moving up the ladder of your career of choice will never be easy. Obstacles such as having less time to prepare, personal issues or anxieties, or hearing about other titled or more educated candidates may hinder you from taking that next big step.
But the Korn Ferry Assessment was developed to help employers be more objective in their recruitment process by evaluating central characteristics and traits. It is understandable that personality tests might make you feel vulnerable, but it is also designed to see if you are compatible with the company you are applying to. In a way, it is also saving you time and the stress from staying in a workplace that you might leave in just a couple of months’ time because you didn’t know that your expectations of the role will be different from reality.
Treat the Korn Ferry Assessment Test as another one of these steps – something to work hard for, and something to anticipate. You will never know what opportunities and experiences are waiting for you on the other side of the door unless you have the guts to open it.
Mistakes to Avoid When Taking the Korn Ferry Assessment
There are a few common mistakes people make while taking the Korn Ferry Assessment.
These mostly relate to crumpling under pressure. But fear not – if you have the right expectations for the test, you’ll do perfectly fine.
One of the most common mistakes of the test is not being authentic. It’s okay to exaggerate the truth a little bit – but when you outright lie, it’s not going to look good on your results.
These candidates took so much time trying to figure out the “right” answer that they skimped on the most important part: showing a clear image of themself as a candidate.
As long as you answer the Korn Ferry test truthfully, you’ll be fine!
Another mistake people make is wasting time. Some of the questions will have time limits, so don’t waste too much time trying to wrap your head around the specifics of the question!
The questions are designed to be done under time pressure, so it’s best to take things slow from the start rather than rush through them and have to reread them.
Finally, another mistake is skipping the preparation. You might think that a cognitive test doesn’t require any preparation – but you’d be wrong!
There are lots of ways you can prepare for the test, from completing practice questions to practicing mindfulness and other skills to feel more confident.
Check out these Korn Ferry practice tests to help you feel more at ease on examination day!
Korn Ferry Test Advice from the Community
Reading about others experiencing your woes is the best way to get over your fears.
Redditors have discussed the Korn Ferry Assessment plenty of times. While most will say it’s challenging, there’s a common consensus that the test is meant to be hard.
It’s designed to test your skills and ability to work under pressure, so there’s no point wasting time by panicking over perceived difficulty. Just do what you can to the best of your ability!
At the end of the day, the scoring is based on how well you did compared to the other potential candidates. So, don’t freak out if you think you did badly – because more likely than not, you won’t be the only one feeling that way.
Another piece of advice is to try to take practice tests online. Taking practice tests is a great way to prepare for an exam.
If you practice under test conditions, you’ll be simulating the exam environment. As such, you’ll be able to see how well you’d do on the actual day.
There’s not much you can do in terms of “studying,” but reflecting on what you want from this job can be another great way to prepare.
Think about your past work experience and how you can apply that to the Korn Ferry Assessment.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Korn Ferry assessment?
The length of the Korn Ferry assessment typically depends on what kind of test you’re taking. Some tests will be longer than others, such as the personality tests. Ability tests, on the other hand, are typically shorter.
What is the Talent-Q Elements and Aspects test?
The Talent-Q Elements and Aspects test is a cognitive and personality test related to your job performance. What this means is that it assesses your traits, skills, abilities, and behaviors in line with the role. It’s usually a pre-employment test taken by prospective employees.
The name comes from the assessment company Talent Q, which Korn Ferry acquired in 2013. Since then, all the tests provided by Talent Q have been moved to Korn Ferry.
What is the difference between the KFALP and the KF4D test?
The KFALP test is a leadership test. It’s mainly for candidates who are seeking high-level roles, such as managerial positions. The focus is on leadership skills, so the test is more of a personality questionnaire.
On the other hand, KF4D is a behavior test. While it’s a personality test like KFALP, the assessment focuses on how well candidates would fit into a workplace. It aligns their behaviors with the company’s ethos.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.