Profiling for Success Tests

What Is Mean By Profiling for Success Test & How to Prepare for it?

You may be asked to take the Profiling for Success tests by a prospective employer or a college lecturer. The tests help determine your profile in terms of how successful you will be.

Or alternatively, you can take the assessment yourself. Doing that will give you an opportunity to see how you can fare in your career.

And something that you might find even more interesting is you will get a report on your strengths and weaknesses, effectively giving you a blueprint on what you need to do to progress on your chosen path.

Let’s see what these tests are about and how you can best prepare for success.

What Are the Profiling for Success Tests?

Profiling for Success is a range of psychometric tests developed by Team Focus.

The tests are used by companies in the pre-employment selection process. They are also used by individuals or administered by the colleges they attend to discover a student’s strengths and weaknesses.

In this case, the test results can give an individual a good idea of the career they are most suited to.

With a wide range of tests, the V.N.A. ie. verbal, numerical and abstract tests are the ones most commonly used to measure the candidate’s intelligence.

Other tests, for example, the Decision Analysis Test, can examine a candidate’s ability to analyse a situation and make decisions based on their analysis. This allows the tester to judge their problem-solving skills. These tests are generally used when hiring candidates for graduate programmes.

The MAT, Memory and Attention test, assesses how good a person’s memory is and how it affects their performance in the workplace.


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What Is the Format of the Profiling for Success Tests?

The tests are multiple choice questions and are done under strict time limitations.

For example, in the verbal test, you have approximately 25 seconds per question. That includes the time you spend thinking about your answer.

Likewise, in the numerical test, you are allowed seven minutes to do 16 questions. This again includes the time to do your calculations.

  • The Abstract Reasoning Test is equally demanding time-wise, with 16 questions to be answered in 4 minutes.
  • The Decision Analysis Test requires you to answer thirty questions in thirty minutes.
  • The MAT lasts for seventeen minutes, during which time you have to answer fifty questions.

How Can I Prepare for Them?

Young Boy using laptop

You need to get information on the format of the various tests and sample papers to practice on. You can do this by using the services of a job test preparation company.

For this, we recommend Job Test Prep, a company that has thirty years of experience in preparing candidates for pre-employment testing.

They will supply you with a test prep pack containing:

  • Sample papers modelled on the real tests
  • A scoring system that will allow you to monitor your progress as you work from test to test
  • Detailed explanations for questions and answers
  • Helpful study guides and training videos

Working on the sample papers will allow you to become familiar with the style of questioning, hone your answering skills as you move from paper to paper and learn how to work within the time limitations of the tests.

Working on sample papers also means you know precisely what to expect from the real tests and won’t have to spend any of that precious time trying to understand precisely what the questions want you to do.


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Cognitive Intelligence Tests

The following three tests are the ones used most often and measure the cognitive intelligence of the person being tested. They are used to assess job applicants as well as employees who may be considered for promotion.

Verbal Tests

Here you will be presented with passages of between 50 to 100 words. Each passage is followed by a statement. You must decide on the basis of the information in the text if the statement is 1)True 2)False 3) Cannot Say based on the information in the text.

The passages are generally not difficult but there are some pitfalls to avoid. Working under pressure, we tend to make careless mistakes and the one most commonly made is not answering based on the material in the text.

Avoid any tendency to think outside of what is in the text. This can be tricky with the “Cannot Say” option. You have to decide if the information in the text is insufficient to make any decision on whether the statement is true or false.

Test your skills with the following free sample verbal reasoning test

Numerical Tests

In this test you are presented with a table of information or graphs and have to answer a series of multiple choice questions on it. You will need to study the table and do your calculations to select the answers.

You do not need advanced mathematical skills for this test, but you will need to be able to do basic mathematical operations, think adding, subtracting, multiplication and division.

You are allowed to use a calculator, but you may find you don’t have time for this. However, if you intend on using a calculator, ensure you are very familiar with its functions.

A better approach might perhaps be to do several of these tests prior to the real tests. That way you will become adept at doing calculations in your head.

Avoid this pitfall! You have done Maths in school, as has most of the population. Don’t depend on remembering what you have learned already. Most of the population has already forgotten what they did in school. Revise, and no matter how mundane it might seem, continue practising.

To get a head start on your practice, try this free sample numerical reasoning test.


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Abstract Reasoning Tests

Many people will not be familiar with Abstract Reasoning Tests and will benefit from doing sample papers to get their skills in this area up to speed.

Basically the test assesses your ability to identify patterns and the logical rules on which a series of images is based.

The following is an example of a next-in-series abstract reasoning question.
In the question, you are asked to decide which image in the bottom row fits in the box marked? in the first row.

To find the correct image, you will have to identify the pattern at work in the top row and then decide which image in the bottom row is a continuation of that pattern.

The second image in the bottom row is the correct answer, But can you figure out why?

Profiling for Success Test

Now for a simpler version of an abstract reasoning question, try to find the odd one out in the following series of images.

Profiling for Success Test

To test your skills further, try the following free sample abstract reasoning test.

Personality Style Tests

Other PFS tests are used to assess personality and how suited somebody may be to a particular role.

A very useful aspect of these tests is a report furnished on the test results. The report may highlight areas of weakness that you could work on improving.

But it will also highlight your strengths and even advise on how you could capitalise on those strengths by suggesting how you could further develop them.

In the Memory and Attention Test (MAT), you will be given a series of shapes and objects to memorise. Then later in the test, you will have to recall those shapes and objects.

This allows the tester to assess your accuracy in remembering things.

The Decision Analysis Test measures your ability to analyse copious amounts of information and to come to judgements about it.

From the results, the prospective employer can get a picture of your ability to analyse material and make judgments based on that analysis.

Again practice on sample papers will sharpen your analytical abilities.

The Learning Style Indicator LSI will measure how you approach new information. The test, which is not really a test but more a form of questionnaire, assesses your personality by asking how you would behave in certain situations.

If you have to do this test, bear in mind that it is your workplace personality that is being tested and not your downtime behaviour.


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Are the Tests Hard?

Focused Black Man Writing on Paper During Studies

Pre-employment tests are generally hard. The prospective employer is using them to whittle down the applicants for a job to the most suited candidates who will then progress further in the recruitment process.

If you are asked to take the tests, you will have to outshine the other applicants to come closer to your dream job. It is not merely a question of how good you are but also a question of how many applicants you outrank in the tests.

Other factors that make the tests difficult include:

  • The strict time limits imposed on the tests
  • A style of questioning that may be new to you, especially in Abstract Reasoning Tests
  • Applying your knowledge in a test situation

If you are doing the tests for your own personal information, try to do them as if your future career depended on them. That will give you a more accurate picture.

Doing Your Preparation

Apart from the abstract reasoning tests, the tests themselves are not difficult. However, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security by that.

Knowing something and applying that knowledge to a test paper are very different things, and even the easiest of tests can throw many people into a frenzy. Couple that with the impact doing badly in a test could have on your career, and you will see how important it is to prepare thoroughly.

To make your preparation more effective, try doing the following:

  • Begin your preparation as soon as you can
  • Use good study techniques.
  • It is not recommended to spend longer than 50 minutes working without taking a break. Follow every 50-minute period with a 10-minute break. When you return from your break, your mind will absorb material more easily.
  • Get adequate rest, nutrition and fresh air. Your brain will thank you by working more efficiently.
  • Work to a timetable, ensuring you leave the day before the tests free for last-minute reviews and to get some rest.
  • Be aware that even the most test-hardened of us become nervous in the run-up to exams. Practice stress-busting techniques such as deep breathing while you are studying. You may need to fall back on those techniques before you start the real tests.


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Use Your Sample Papers

stack of papers on the desk

  • Your sample papers should form the backbone of every study session. This will ensure:
  • You are working on relevant material in every preparation session
  • You are able to monitor your progress from paper to paper
  • You quickly learn what areas need more of your attention. If you are losing scores in particular areas, address this immediately. Otherwise, the mistakes you are making will follow you into the real tests. Check the explanations for questions and answers in your test prep pack.
  • You are improving your answering techniques with every test you do
  • You are training yourself to work within the time restrictions

Before the Tests

When doing the tests, you need to be fresh and alert. A final all-night study marathon will not help you, particularly given the time limitations of the Profiling for Success assessments. Your performance on the day is what is going to make a difference at this stage.

To guarantee that performance, you need to be fresh and alert.
Approach the tests with confidence. You have put in the work, and you deserve to do well.

And Finally, Good Luck!

And if you are doing the test for your own information, enjoy!
If you are planning on doing a Profiling for Success assessment, you will find all the materials you need to ace it here.

Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.


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