McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT) – Preparation Guide and Practice Test

Last Updated on October 15, 2021

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test is a challenging pre-employment test of your mental abilities, particularly as the title suggests, your ability to carry out mental challenges at speed.

In 15 minutes you are expected to answer 50 questions that challenge your mathematical ability, your reasoning powers and your verbal comprehension.

By testing you on these areas, your prospective employer is able to assess your general intelligence. And also how you understand and process information.

If you are asked to take the test, it generally means your CV has passed the initial screening and you are now in a pool of other job applicants with whom you are competing to get to the next stage of the hiring process.

What is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT)?

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test measures a candidates mental capacity and intelligence levels in the process of a job application. It is a short, timed 15-minute test that covers the areas of Maths, Reasoning and Verbal Comprehension.

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Can you prepare for the McQuaig Mental Agility Test?

If you have come to this stage in the hiring process, preparation is essential. You have applied for a job which is important to you. You have reached this point in the process, and so have a lot of others, all equally intent on getting the position. So, the competition at this level is intense.

Adequate preparation will put you in a position to rise above the competition.

How do you prepare for the agility test?

Apart from your own willingness to put in the work there are two important steps to good preparation:

  1. Become familiar with the test
  2. Equip yourself with reliable preparation materials

To become familiar with the test and get your preparation materials it is recommended you use the materials provided by an experienced test preparation company like Job Test Prep.

Their services give you access to reliable information about the exam.

They even have a totally free McQuaig practice exam to give you an accurate idea of how the exam will look and the types of questions you will find.

If you want to take your preparation further, you can also get a test prep pack. In the test prep pack you will get sample test exercises, modelled on the real test and drills to prepare.

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Using these you will be able to work in an organised manner to make sure your preparation is going in the right direction.

What format does the McQuaig Mental Agility Test take?

As mentioned, you will be required to answer 50 questions in 15 minutes. The three areas of the test, which measure your ability to deal with new information in the areas of:

  • Mathematical ability
  • Reasoning
  • Verbal comprehension

The structure of the test, even though it only lasts for 15 minutes, allows the prospective employer to learn a great deal about you.

He will be able to deduce:

  • How well you work under pressure
  • If you can maintain your accuracy while working at speed
  • Your mental abilities. Your ability to take new information on board and process it quickly.

To get a feeling for the types of questions you are likely to be asked in the test try this free sample test.

Doing the test within the allotted time frame you will have noticed:

  1. How each individual section may be manageable. But when lumped together, forcing you to move between different styles of questions rapidly, it becomes difficult.
  2. How easy it is to forget information when working under pressure.
  3. How you have to pay attention to detail despite working at speed.

Mathematical ability

To further test your mathematical ability try the following question. The answer is in the question, it doesn’t require an in-depth understanding of trigonometry.

Take a breath, take a look at the numbers, and see if you can think what could link them to one another. Remember that there could be more than one pattern at work.

Example Question:
Which number comes next in the sequence?
68 | 79 | 71 | 82 | 74 | ?

Answer:
85 – This is an alternating pattern, for which you add 11 for the first number and then subtract 8 for the following number, and so on. Therefore 82 – 8 = 74. 74 + 11 = 85.

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Reasoning

Now try your reasoning skills

The Reasoning section of the MMAT will be assessing the candidate’s ability to use deductive and inductive processes, in order to draw conclusions from the information given.

Top Tip:
These questions will often throw in extra words to try to confuse you, but the answer probably isn’t complicated. You need to keep an eye for detail so that you don’t fall for the trick but instead provide the correct answer.

Example Question:
Hammer is to tool as kettle is to:
a) Boil
b) Heat
c) Appliance
d) Toaster

Answer:
c- Appliance. A hammer is a type of tool, while a kettle is a type of appliance.

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Verbal comprehension

The Verbal Comprehension questions explore your grasp of words and language skills. The test is available in different languages, but in whichever language you do the test in, it will be exploring your vocabulary and identifying whether or not you have an aptitude for words.

Top Tip:
Try to think of what you think the word means before you read the list of answers. That way you will be less likely to be led astray by the words that are in front of you.

Example Question:
What is REPUDIATE?
a) Moderate
b) Dislike
c) Accept
d) Reject
e) None of the above

Answer:
d- Reject. The word “repudiate” means to reject or overrule.

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What is a good score on the McQuaig Mental Agility Test?

The higher you score, the more likely you will be to be selected for the position. A good score would be considered as something between 25 and 35.

Plan your preparation

Putting a good preparation plan in place will enable you to train yourself to work within the constraints imposed by the test and train your brain to adapt to the style of questioning.

To make your preparation more effective we suggest you do the following:

  1. Draw up a timetable. Work out how much time you have remaining to prepare for the test. Decide what times you are going to prepare and attempt to stick to the timetable.
  2. Try doing your work in short bursts of time. After 50 minutes of work, the brain becomes tired. After a 10-minute break, it will have recharged itself for more work.
  3. Try to work in a designated space for every preparation session.

How can I become more mentally agile?

Using online preparation materials and doing consistent practice and mental exercises can boost your mental agility and help you pass the test.

With your timetable in place, your test prep pack and sample papers from Job Test Prep will form the backbone of your preparation.

In your first session try doing one without overthinking it. Getting your scores on this will help you see precisely how much you have left to do.

After this use your sample papers diligently for every session.

Doing this will:

  • Make you more familiar with the testing system used
  • Enable you to track your progress
  • Allow you to see if one aspect of the test is causing you more difficulties than others

And more importantly…

You will hone your skills as you move from sample test to sample test.
And you will also learn how to deal with the time constraints. How you deal with the timing will tell the employer a great deal about your abilities to cope under stress.

On your earlier attempts at the sample tests, you will probably find that you are not completing the number of questions you need to answer to gain the score you want within the time allowed. Or if completing them you may be presenting a rushed effort and showing very little attention to detail.

This is something working through the papers allows you to monitor, Set yourself mental targets of when you will be able to complete a test within the time limit while gaining the score you are aiming for.

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Factors to consider

This test has been developed and modified by psychologists over a great many years.

Even though there are 50 questions on the test, doing all 50 is not required. And people applying for many different jobs do the test, resulting in perhaps that a person applying for an engineering job might score highly in the mathematical section but not so well in the verbal section.

The reverse situation might apply in the case of somebody applying for a position as a lawyer.

Given those factors, different professions seek different scores from job applicants. So, for example, mathematical ability may not be your strong point. However, if the position you applied for is as a lawyer, then you don’t have to worry unduly about your scores in the mathematical section.

The employer may need you to show some basic mathematical ability but he is more likely to be interested in your verbal reasoning skills.

Final Tips

With your preparation routine in place, there are still some factors to take into account.

Preparing for a test can be stressful at any time. Even the most resilient of people will confess to having fallen at that fence.

But you are preparing to do a test in a very pressurised environment, an environment that is designed to see how you deal with pressure.

To deal effectively with this there are some measures you need to put in place even as you begin your preparations:

  1. Put a self-care plan in place. Your brain is depending on your body for the support it needs during a time of intense work. Sleep, rest, relaxation, fresh air and exercise will all play their part in supporting the mind.
  2. Take your breaks. When you find your brain resigning in protest, take a break. You will work more efficiently afterwards.

On the day before the test, it is best if you can cut down on the amount of preparation you are doing. Have a test plan in your mind. For example, be prepared to recognise when you can’t do a question and be ready to move on to the next one.

And, on the day of the test, you need to be calm and relaxed. At this point becoming stressed is the only thing that can sabotage your efforts. Before starting, make sure you have a quiet room to work in, are dressed comfortably, take some deep breaths and prepare to give it your all.

If you are asked to take the McQuaig Mental Agility Test you will find resources to help you prepare here

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