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Key Tips

  • The ABLE tests are used to assess a candidate’s potential to be successful in the job role
  • There are 10 varieties of these tests to be used for various job types (e.g. Finance). Only 3 of these test are used at graduate level (see below)
  • The tests are delivered in supervised conditions (i.e. with an assessor)
  • Graduate employers use these tests – e.g. RBS has been a big user. If you are facing one of these assessments, we strongly recommend you read below

ABLE® – Aptitude for Business Learning Exercises

The ABLE(R) test series consists of 10 different types of tests which are used for various jobs. The tests assess a candidates’s potential, otherwise known as ability, to learn, succeed and adapt to change at work. It appears that these tests try to distinguish those who are fast learners from the applicant pool.

The choice of 10 tests ensures that employers are able to choose a suitable version that fits best with the role they are intending to recruit for; the relevance of the test can also help in increasing face validity. For example, a numerical-based role such as one in a bank may use a ‘financial’ version of the test series. Applicants taking this test should understand its relevance and use.

For graduate and managerial roles, only 3 of these 10 tests can be used. These are:

Business Decision Analysis

Critical Business Planning

Critical Information Analysis

‘Business Decision Analysis’ test

This test requires the candidate to identify and learn the rules and concepts underpinning business decisions and then apply these to new situations. The test is timed and you are allowed 40 minutes to complete 48 questions. The test is delivered in supervised conditions. The test assesses the candidate’s ability:

to identify concepts and develop skills themselves

to dissect information to identify complex patterns

in analysing and reasoning with information presented in tables and charts

The candidate is provided with 12 pieces of information which consists of written and numerical information presented in graphs and tables.

The following example is provided by the test distributor where the task is set within a business planning consultancy which operates in the confectionary field. This task is completed by completing 4 questions. You are provided with information on the ingredients for various chocolate bars from different brands, along with market information around the target audience of the product which are based on the content of the chocolate bars. It is expected that this information will equip the candidate with a pattern of knowledge that can then be used later on in new situations, where new chocolate bars are provided.

‘Critical Business Planning’ test

This test is very similar to the Business Decision Analysis test and covers the same skill set. The only difference evident is that the test consists of only 12 questions and is more suited for a job role where the applicants have a greater interest in the area of business administration rather than of the development and marketing of a product.

This test requires the candidate to identify and learn the rules and concepts underpinning business decisions and then applying these to new situations. The test is timed and you are allowed 40 minutes to complete 12 questions. The test is delivered in supervised conditions. The test assesses the candidate’s ability:

to identify concepts and develop skills themselves

to dissect information to identify complex patterns

in analysing and reasoning with information presented in tables and charts

The candidate is provided with 12 pieces of information which consists of written and numerical information presented in graphs and tables.

The following example is provided by the test distributor where the tasks are set in business demerger situations. The candidate is provided with information about the different demerger processes in various financial organisations. It is expected that this information will equip the candidate with a pattern of knowledge that can then be used later on in new situations, where new financial companies are demerging.

‘Critical Information Analysis’ test

This test requires the candidate to expand on the information they have learned to decide what further information is required for them to make a decision. The test is timed and you are allowed 40 minutes to complete 12 questions (or grids which are later explained). The test is delivered in supervised conditions. The test assesses the candidate’s ability:

for identifying the lack of information

for identifying and learning business concepts

for rule-based reasoning

for decision making

in analysing and reasoning with information presented in tables and charts and written format

for identifying key data in information

The candidate is provided with 12 pieces of written information and an answer booklet which contains grids. Each grid corresponds to each question, and each contains 6 pieces of information (or items) corresponding to each question. The answers are presented by indicating the smallest number of items that would be required in order to make a decision.

The following example is provided by the test distributor where the task is set within product marketing and advertising context which operates in a Cosmetic and Health company. The task requires the candidate to identify what information would be needed in order to make a decision about an advertising project. The candidate is provided with information such as the company’s rules on advertising, sale margins, retail price and costs. From this information, the candidate can learn the knowledge required to be able to make a decision about what additional information is required to make decision on this project. For more information, see ‘Ability Tests’.

Take a FREE Ability test now and get a free detailed feedback report with ‘normed’ scores and information on how to improve your. Click on the tab at the top-left of this page now.

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