What Does the PSI Test Measure

The Ultimate Guide to Acing the PSI Test: Prep Tips & Insights

Not every job will require a PSI test, but your potential employer might ask you to complete one. You might never have even heard of a PSI, let alone know how to actually prepare for it. In this guide, we’ll explain more about the components of the PSI test and give you some tips on how you can best prepare for it.

What Is a PSI Test?

A PSI test resembles a talent and skill assessment that evaluates how you might handle some of the challenges you could potentially encounter on the job. PSI is actually its own testing platform, which runs online services and a physical testing center for companies, government agencies, and employers in the private sector.

You take this test for your future employer so that they can assess you across a wide range of scenarios and settings. The point is for them to virtually place you in your position or to evaluate you for your position before you get hired.

If you’re asked to take a PSI test, you might be given it right away. Your results will be reported instantaneously to your employer when you are done.

What Does the PSI Test Measure?

Customer Service

A PSI test evaluates how you might potentially perform in future job scenarios. The actual test itself is composed of some brief descriptions or enactments of situations. Your job is to pick and evaluate a set of responses.

As a pre-employment test, you’ll see situations that are work-related or tailored in some way to the job you want. Your future employer will use one to understand how you might act on the job and how effective you can be in response to a variety of situations.

For the most part, you might need to take this test if you want to work in customer service, sales, leadership, team-based employment, or professional employment. They’re often used by employers looking to evaluate a large number of candidates.

How Do I Prepare for It?

There are six different types of features and services that you might see on your test.

This includes:

  • Assessment tests, which measure your professional skills
  • Video interviewing that records and reviews your answers to some selected behavior interview questions
  • Situational simulations, which show you real workplace scenarios to see how you might perform

Your best bet will be thorough online preparation. You can prepare for your PSI test with practice tests, sample questions, and step-by-step explanations on Job Test Prep. This will help you get a sense of what you might see and what types of answers may be preferred by your potential employer.

What Is Included in the Assessments?

A girl using laptop

One of the biggest aspects of the PSI is the assessment tests. PSI offers five pre-employment assessment tests, which each cover an aspect of your professional skills.

1. True-to-Life Assessment

Let’s start with the True-to-Life Assessment. This is a situational judgment test that will virtually place you in a real-life scenario that covers one of many work situations. Using this, your employer will be able to assess and predict your success in a job position. This is the type of test you will most likely encounter when asked to complete a PSI.

2. Ability Assessment

Then, there is the Ability Assessment. This will measure your professional skills, which includes a basic skills test, employee aptitude surveys, professional employment tests, and industrial skills tests.

You might find yourself assessed in language skills, reading comprehension, quantitative problem solving, charts and graphs, mechanical principles, form checking, coding, and any other skills you may have. It’s quite a broad test in this way.

3. Personality and Behavioral Assessments

Employers want to know that they’re hiring the right person, so they might also assign you one of the Personality and Behavioral Assessments to identify your attitudes and behaviors.

This is where you might see your usual team building, sales focus, and customer satisfaction sections. You might even take a Caliper Assessment as a part of this, which will measure your personality profile in general.

4. Computer Skills test

You may be asked to complete a Computer Skills test as well. This will test, as the name suggests, your computer skills. You might not need to do anything too complex here, but you should know simple features like Chrome, Excel, Word, Outlook, and so on.

5. Public Safety and Civil Service test

Finally, there are the Public Safety and Civil Service tests. These are the ones you’ll see if you’re applying for a role in some specific departments like a firefighting, insurance, dental, plumbing, and even cosmetology, construction, and real estate. This type of test ensures that any job candidate can perform in a high-stakes environment.

Sample Questions

a woman using her notebook

You want to pass your PSI assessment tests, and sample questions can go a long way in helping you. It’s crucial to understand that questions will vary depending on what kind of job you’re actually applying to. Your questions for working in sales will differ from your questions for being assessed as a firefighter.

For example, let’s think about the True-to-Life portion of the exams. You would take a situational judgment test for this portion of the exam, which will evaluate how you might react in a variety of scenarios for your chosen job.

A scenario might be something like how you handle supervisor-subordinate relationships or what you might do in the case of stress and disagreement between work colleagues.

To answer a question like this, think about how you would respond. It’s also vital to think about what skills of yours you can highlight. Let’s say you have great communication skills—talk about this when discussing resolving conflict.

You might even highlight how you talk to people and what you might say. Use the opportunity to highlight your skills and abilities.

However, what if you have to take a skills test? This is a little different since you’ll have to think about how you format graphs or how you manage numbers in the real world, or whether you can process that information.

You can easily do some practice with this. Sit down and practice simple skills like putting information in a spreadsheet, or think about how you may calculate percentages and ratios quickly.

How Do I Pass It?

The PSI test is the type of test where you’re encouraged to answer spontaneously. Your employer wants to know what you would do in the moment without you thinking about it. But you might not know how to answer right away, and you want to do your best to highlight the skills you have that your employer would want.

You have the best chance of passing the PSI if you know what types of skills you want to highlight and how you want to present yourself on the test. Knowing what types of questions you may encounter will help.

Again, study guides, sample questions, and practice tests on Job Test Prep will give you the best chance of success since you’ll be better prepared and know exactly what to expect.


You might be intimidated when you’re told you have to take a PSI test. Fortunately, you can prepare yourself by finding out what you will be evaluated on. Job Test Prep has the perfect practice packs that will help you get familiar with the various aspects of the test, while boosting your confidence when you face the real test.