The text below provides a full candidate recruitment, assessment and preparation guide and practice for those applying to jobs, internships and graduate programs at IBM.

Our website provides scientifically validated practice assessments tests, interviews and assessment centre exercises that can be used to practice and prepare for the recruitment and assessment process. 

Check here for Free and Premium aptitude assessment tests and video interviews to practice and prepare for IBM recruitment.

If you are aiming to apply to IBM or have an IBM assessment test coming up, our text below is the best place to start.

Not sure if you should practice to prepare for the IBM assessments? According to research, 60-80% of candidates are rejected based on their aptitude tests results. It is proven that practice increases your chances of getting hired.

A recent study (Bradley et al, 2019) found that candidates who do not practise assessments, tend to fail at the first hurdle of psychometric assessments (54%-84%). This study looked at the Top 100 global employers.

In a nutshell:

How to prepare for the IBM assessment process and tests to get the job?

  1. Complete your IBM Online Job Application
  • Fill in your IBM application online
  • Match your application to IBM’s 8 core competencies
  • Use the key words from the job post in your resume
  1. Prepare for Cognitive Ability Assessments

Understand the game assessments used by IBM. Learn what these 5 games measure, what you need to do, how much time each test takes. Practice games with us today similar to those used by IBM.

  1. Practice for IPAT Tests

IBM uses a variety of aptitude assessment tests within their iPAT test. These may include:

You may get rejected already after your numerical and/or logical reasoning tests. These tests sift out 50-80% candidates. The only proven way to get to the next round is practice.

  1. Record mock video interviews of yourself

You should practice answering questions that typically come up in interviews for technology jobs. Your answers need to flow and be timely. Avoid filler words. Your verbal communication should be convincing, filled with content that presents you in the best way for the job.

Prepare for an online video interview by running mock interviews answering typical technology interview questions. For IBM interview practice, use:

Our video interview practice platform contains predefined competency and industry questions for technology and emulates experience you will have in platforms used for employers’ interviews (Hirevue, Pymetrics, Sonru). Always record your answers and watch them to develop your interview technique, timekeeping and words used. Repeat recordings until you feel satisfied.

Use the STAR method for your answers and practice each answer several times.

  1. Prepare for the IBM Assessment Center exercises

IBM makes use of a variety of competitive exercises during the Virtual Launch Pad assessment center to find the right candidates. Ensure that you practice a variety of exercises including:

Refine your spoken and written communication skills and ensure you sharpen your analytical, teamworking and problem-solving skills. Research online, prepare and practice presentation of as many business case studies as possible.

Be aware; not many get to this stage. The competition is very fierce.

Continue reading to get answers to these critical questions:

  1. What is interview process for IBM?
  2. What is IBM aptitude test?
  3. What is IPAT test in IBM?
  4. How can I prepare for IBM interview?
  5. How can I prepare for IBM written exam?
  6. How do I pass IBM assessment centre?

Looking into assessments with IBM, simply use your fingertips or click in the table below to practice assessments relevant to your assessment process!

Relevant Assessments to IBMPractice Now
Game AssessmentsStart Practicing
IPAT TestsStart Practicing
Video InterviewsStart Practicing
Assessment CentreStart Practicing

When applying for IBM, practice your online aptitude tests with us to improve your answers and get ahead first try.

Depending on the region and position you apply to, your recruitment stages may differ slightly , but in general the IBM recruitment process will follow a very similar path.

These are the five steps of the IBM job application process:

  1. IBM Online Application
  2. IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment
  3. IBM IPAT Test
  4. IBM Digital Video Interview
  5. IBM Assessment Center

Read carefully. Practice. We wish you best of luck in your real IBM assessment!

IBM Graduate Program and Cognitive Assessment Tests 2023

1. IBM Online Application

When you have decided on the program with IBM you wish to apply for:

  1. Complete the online application form which includes:
  • Personal details
  • Your education, e.g. A-Level results and schools that you have attended
  • Relevant work experience
  1. Complete the application template with:

A personal statement and a short essay demonstrating the eight core competencies sought after by IBM recruiters, which are:

  • adaptability
  • communication
  • client focus
  • creative problem solving
  • drive
  • teamwork
  • passion for IBM
  • taking ownership

Describe and refer to your particular experiences and skills that match the eight competencies outlined above.

IBM Application Tip

Make sure that you use in your essay and CV the exact words and phrases that:

  • are names of 8 IBM’s core competencies (above)
  • have been included in the role description

Screening of the documents is often done by automated software looking for specific words, phrases, patterns.

2. IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment

IBM’s Cognitive Ability Assessment measures candidates’ innate ability using a mixture of online recruitment tools, including online aptitude tests, and gamified solutions. IBM Cognitive Ability Assessments is a series of five gamified assessments. These are:

  1. Shortcuts
  2. Gridlock
  3. Resemble
  4. Numbubbles
  5. Tally Up

These assessment are constantly evolving, and have now moved onto different platforms, such as game-based assessments.

However, the types of skills and competencies that are being tested are similar to those that the standard aptitude and psychometric assessments test for.

What are the examples of IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment?

Below you’ll find an example of IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment for each of the five assessments:

Game 1: IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – “Shortcuts”

The first of the series of IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment games is called ‘Shortcuts’.

In this gamified assessments your goal is to move the blue marble to the area with stars, while minimizing the distance the blue marble travels. In other words, you need to use as few moves as possible. The difficulty level will increase as you advance through the game.

Example 1. IBM-Cognitive-Ability-Assessment-–-Shortcuts
Source: IBM

“Shortcuts” game will measure your reasoning and planning abilities. You will need to use abstract thinking to find different paths blue marble can travel, and then optimize the routes to choose the best possible option.

Game 2: IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – “Gridlock”

The second of IBM Cognitive Ability Assessments is called a ‘Gridlock’. Gridlock is an IBM gamified assessment which will require candidates to solve a number of puzzles by fitting all pieces into the grid as quickly as possible.

You will have 3 minutes to solve as many puzzles as they can. The difficulty level will increase as the game progresses.

Example 2. IBM-Cognitive-Ability-Assessment-–-Gridlock
Source: IBM

To fill the area with blocks given you can click on the blocks outside the main area to rotate them to the angle you require to solve the puzzle. To do well in this assessment you will need to use your spatial reasoning skills, which you can practice by playing the well known game, Tetris.

Game 3: IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – “Resemble”

The third in the series of IBM Cognitive Ability Assessments is a game called ‘Resemble’. In this game, the candidate will need to mentally rotate the image on the left, according to the instruction below the image, and then reproduce the image on the right-hand side. This game examines a candidate’s spatial reasoning skills.

Example 3. IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – Resemble
Source: IBM

Game 4: IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – “Numbubbles”

The fourth of the IBM Cognitive Ability Assessments is called ‘Numbubbles’. Candidates are presented with a target number and then need to identify and pop the correct bubbles with the equation that would equal the target number presented.

Example 4. IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – Numbubbles
Source: IBM

“Numbubbles” game examines candidates’ quantitative reasoning skills. Make sure you are comfortable to conduct simple arithmetic calculations in your head without making mistakes and making sure you can work through cases quickly.

You will not be presented with calculations that are any harder than simple additions, subtractions, multiplications of digits under 10, etc.

Bear in mind, you will only be given 9 seconds per each target and will need to pop as many correct bubbles as you can for each of the targets. The difficulty level will increase as you solve the puzzles.

Game 5: IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – “Tally Up”

The fifth and final part of the IBM Cognitive Ability Assessments is called “Tally Up”, and is a game in which candidates need to quickly identify which of  the two groups of tokens presented on the screen has higher/lower/equal value to the other.

On the bottom of the screen you will find the equals/less or more than signs that you need to press once you correctly identified the relationship between the two groups of tokens.

Example 5. IBM Cognitive Ability Assessment – Tally Up
Source: IBM

To succeed in this game you will once again have to perform very simple arithmetic calculations in your head, and above all, work through the problems with precision, identifying the correct responses as quickly as you possibly can.

You will have only 4 seconds per each screen and the only calculation numbers used are a 4, 2, and 1. The number of tokens on each side will increase as you solve more puzzles.

3. IBM IPAT Test

Another part of IBM Cognitive Assessments are iPAT tests.

Every candidate applying to IBM is required to take the IBM Cognitive Assessment Test, referred to as the IPAT Test, which is unique to IBM; meaning that questions asked will probably be very different to what you have experienced when applying to other companies.

What is an IBM iPAT test?

IBM iPAT test purpose is to measure how quickly candidates can analyze information and reason logically, under time pressure.

With the IBM IPAT Test, you will have seven days to complete two out of three sections.

The IBM IPAT Test consists of:

  • IBM Numerical series: you will be presented with a sequence of numbers or symbols and will have to identify patterns to choose the next item in the sequence
  • IBM Numerical reasoning test; this is made up of 20 questions and will present you with a longer problem, that will require a number of steps to arrive at the right answer

Why is the iPAT test difficult to pass?

  • The difficulty level of the IBM IPAT Test is much harder than other online aptitude assessments carried out by other companies
  • It is primarily due to time pressure and questions are different from a typical numerical tests
  • It is crucial to familiarize yourself with the types of questions it will ask, and their level of difficulty, beforehand

Candidates who applied for the ‘Graduate Strategic Analytics Consultant’ role will also need to complete an SHL Test . This test is split into 2 sections, and will assess both your verbal and numerical skills. Candidates who have applied for the ‘Software Developer’ role will be asked to complete an additional personality questionnaire.

How to pass IBM iPAT tests?

  • Practice is the only proven way to help you pass iPAT tests
  • You need to get familiar with certain patterns, and learn to recognize them…fast
  • Use fewer tests but delve into them and understand the logic behind them
  • We have written a very detailed free guide to IBM iPAT tests – get familiar before you start your practice

Additionally we offer a preparation set to help you practice for iPAT tests so you come confident to your real IBM iPAT tests.

4. IBM Digital Video Interview

Next stage in your assessment process will be IBM Digital Interview.

How can I pass the Digital IBM job interview?

Crucial tips to pass the IBM job interview:

  1. This interview will be competency based and will be focused around your CV and personal motivations
    • review your CV and prepare examples of situations where you demonstrated the eight core competencies sought after by IBM
  2. Prep to answer some commercial awareness questions: recent developments in the industry, main competitors and big projects that IBM are working on (example: IBM just announced they will spin off in 2 separate companies. Find out why and what these business will do)
  3. Prepare interesting and thoughtful questions beforehand – this way you can impress your recruiters, and also learn more about IBM. It is also a chance for you to see if this role suits you.
  4. You should prepare some ideas of examples that you could use during your interview. Base your examples on the most common types of interview questions.

To come confident to IBM Digital Interview practice is a no brainer.

You can practice answering typical CBI questions for instance in front of a mirror or record you answers on mobile.

We offer a professional preparation video interviews platform where you will get to answer frequent CBI industry questions, unlimited recordings and feedback on your performance. As you continue using the platform increase in your performance and confidence is guaranteed.

How to prepare for an IBM Digital Interview?

In this stage you will need to prove that you are not only suitable, but also motivated and enthusiastic to work for IBM. The best methods to prepare for IBM Video Interview are:

1.Practice. Practice!

The more interview questions you practice, the more confident you will be to tackle the real interview questions.

Use GF Video Interviews platform to practice and improve 

2. Dress smartly

You should look as smart and professional as you would if you were to present yourself for an interview in the office.

  • Prepare notes and keep them around

While doing your research prepare sets of notes on the interesting and technical topics you cover. Having these around you will help remind you what you know about IBM and the industry, as well as the connection to your personal skills and abilities.

  • Use the STAR Technique in your answers

Whenever you answer any interview questions, make sure to refer to STAR acronym, standing for: Situation you found yourself in, what Task you had to complete, what course of Action you took and what was the final Result.

  • Show Enthusiasm

Make sure to use your body language and the way you speak to appear confident, natural and enthusiastic to become part of an organization like IBM.

GF Video Interview Platform

5. IBM Assessment Center

If you have successfully passed the online tests stage, you will be invited to an IBM assessment center. The most important skill tested by IBM recruiters during the assessment centre will be your ability to work in a team and collaborate with others.

What is the IBM Assessment Center?

IBM Assessment Center consists of:

  1. iPAT Verification Test
  2. IBM Pre-prepared Presentation
  3. IBM Written Test
  4. IBM Group Exercise
  5. IBM Role Play Exercise

During the IBM Assessment Center, you will need to demonstrate confidence, but it is important to remember that you cannot take too much control, or sit back and restrain from sharing your ideas. Check out our assessment centre page for more do’s and don’ts . Remember – you are only given one chance to impress IBM recruiters.

During the IBM Assessment Centre, you will be required to take part in a number of activities, including:

  • IPAT Verification Test

You will need to sit the IBM IPAT Test again, so cheating in the online test will be of no help to you!

  • IBM Pre-prepared presentation;

You might be asked to prepare an under-10-minute presentation on a given topic, eg. technology, and deliver it at some point during the assessment center. Make sure to check all emails carefully to include the relevant points.

This test will ask you to write a case-study-prompted essay regarding one of the business areas.

In this task you will be assessed on your ability to communicate and reach decisions as part of a team. You will be observed by IBM recruiters throughout the exercise, so make sure to demonstrate your strengths; share your ideas, but also be ready to appreciate others’ input and develop on their points, and try to persuade others to your ideas and ask interesting questions. Most importantly – remain calm and speak clearly.

You will be given around 20 minutes to work in a pair and analyze a set of information. You and your partner will then need to prepare your response. In the second part, your interviewer will play the role of a client and you will be representing IBM. In this task, you will need to prove your negotiation skills, teamwork and analytical thinking.

In this exercise, you will work on your own to prepare a response to a case study problem, in the candidate brief provided to you. You will need to develop your arguments fully, and will need to persuade the recipient towards your team’s recommendations. The best practice is to start by analyzing all the information and planning your response; only then should you start writing your response. Be sure to check your grammar and spellings throughout the essay, and be cautious of the time that you have been allocated – sometimes it might be better to skip some points in order to finish in time.

  • Register with GF and select from the range of products we offer at no risk.  We provide assessment solution to 100+ universities and business schools such as London Business School, IMD Switzerland, UCL.
  • We offer IPAT practice tests so you can increase your chances of getting the job first, first time. We also offer a comprehensive premium package with a full set of assessment tools for job candidates (numerical, logical, verbal reasoning, situational judgment tests, assessment center exercises and more). Buy with peace of mind and without commitment; we offer a full 100% money back guarantee if you do not pass your assessment tests.