Adaptive Ability Tests

The Selby & Mills Adaptive Ability Tests are designed to complement personal interviews by giving employers a clear indication of language, numeric and administrative ability and so are invaluable when assessing the suitability of candidates for particular roles.

Number of Questions
Circa 40 per test
Typical completion time
15 minutes per test
Qualification requirement

Judging the potential of staff for recruitment and development purposes can often be difficult when candidates are unable to provide evidence in the form of recognised qualifications or recent examination results. Such circumstances may arise when reviewing those who leave school without academic qualifications, or when assessing individuals who are changing career paths later in life.

The questionnaires are administered on-line, either singly or in a battery, and each takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Reports are available for immediate download and score performance on a scale of 1 to 10 and indicate how this compares with a relevant reference group.


Administrative and detailed checking skills are widely acknowledged as of importance at all levels within organisations. This test is divided into two sub-sections to help identify specific aspects of administrative ability.


High levels of language ability are an essential attribute of people in roles that require effective communication, such as in management, marketing, sales and training. Other occupations, for example those involving scientific work, may place less emphasis on this skill. At the high scoring level the questions involve verbal critical reasoning.


Numeracy skills are subject to rapid decline through lack of use after leaving school, so the ability to assess speed, accuracy and general ability with figures can be invaluable, particularly when reviewing suitability for technical, managerial and supervisory positions. At the simple level, questions are arithmetic and at the high scoring level involve numerical critical reasoning.

What Are ADAPTIVE Ability Tests?

ADAPTIVE ability tests automatically tailor themselves to the ability of the candidate. The tests automatically adjust the questions posed to reflect the ability level of the person being assessed. The system 'intelligently' reviews each response and selects subsequent questions from its databank accordingly. This ensures the participant is not asked questions which are either too difficult, or too easy, maintains candidate motivation and allows accurate results to be obtained, whilst minimising the number of questions posed.

This has several benefits

  • Relevant to all levels of seniority

A substantial database of items is available, so one questionnaire is appropriate for all candidates, thereby simplifying stock & logistical requirements.

  • Increased candidate motivation

Motivation is maintained because candidates do not encounter questions which are too easy or too difficult. This ensures more accurate and consistent results.

  • Faster completion by candidates

Fewer questions need to be asked, because the computer is monitoring candidates' speed and accuracy of responses to gauge their ability level. Once this is clearly identified the assessment terminates.

  • Secure

Internet based administration ensures complete security, the scoring key cannot be copied and every candidate sees a unique set of questions.

Selby & Mills Limited, Tregoning Mill, St Keverne, Helston, Cornwall TR12 6QE United Kingdom

Assessment does not have to be testing......

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