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What is Cognitive Ability?
Cognitive ability is another term for intelligence, problem solving capacity or reasoning ability. Technically, cognitive ability refers to the ability to process information, encompassing its acquisition, organisation, retention and application. The Revelian Cognitive Ability Test (RCAT) consists of 51 questions, each of which requires the candidate to process verbal, numerical or abstract information to answer the question correctly. The candidate is scored based on the number of questions they have answered correctly.
Why measure Cognitive Ability when selecting staff?
People who score well on cognitive ability tests use their high-level information processing skills to solve job related problems more effectively, and to learn the job more quickly. As a result, people with strong scores on cognitive ability tests tend to perform better on the job and in training. Research clearly shows that cognitive ability is one of the strongest predictors of subsequent job performance.
Cognitive ability becomes more important as a predictor of job performance as the complexity of the job increases. Cognitive ability is especially important in jobs that require people to process large amounts of information, such as complex technical jobs and managerial roles. Cognitive ability is also very important in jobs that involve a great deal of training, such as apprentice and graduate roles.
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