Understanding Cognitive Ability Assessment in Australia

cognitive test australia

Understanding Cognitive Ability Assessment in Australia


Hi there!

It’s Brent C here from firerecruitmentaustralia.com and today we’re talking about Cognitive Ability Test or Aptitude Test and how the fire service assesses your score to see whether or not you’re going to progress to the next stage.

So I have a few questions come in about this recently whether they’re scored individually or if they’re scored together and they take an average or whatever and I just want to sort of cover the reason why you might be asking a question like this. And unfortunately, I think it’s because you might be worried about your lack of ability to demonstrate that you have an ability in you know whether it be mechanical or abstract, verbal or whatever so it seems to me, it’s a question you might ask if you’re not prepared well enough and you’re running out of time and you’re worried about not scoring high enough in one area so that’s unfortunately why I think this question comes up but I’m going to illustrate if for you anyway so just stick with me.

So for example, currently, the Queensland Fire Services are doing a supervised test for verbal, abstract or patterns and maths alright. So the way they’ll look at this is, the reason that they’re testing you in each of these abilities is because it is important to them that you have a certain level of ability in all of those areas okay? So just like the pretest where they have mechanical, it’s important to them and it’s important for the role that you have an ability of a certain level so to answer the question that is why you’re getting tested in that area. So just for a start, if you got really low on one ability type even if they were you know– taking an average, it’s still not going to get through. You need to be scoring at a benchmark within those abilities because that is important to the service.

So the MFB, for example, they go through ACER at the moment and have done so for quite a few years so there’s sort of 4 reasoning types when you got your feedback whether you’re successful or not. It would be like — your score say out of you know, 50 was say the pass mark, and if you did not hit that or higher in each abilities thing, you would not progress. So that was nice and effective. They gave you something to work on so a lot of people might do really well in sort of three areas and you know, get a you know — might be Maths or English or something like that where they’re just not there and didn’t pass. So that is one way the cognitive ability test can stop you moving forward.

Another way they can stop you moving forward, I’ll give the example of New South Wales Fire and Rescue. I’ve heard a lot of people, they’re like “Oh, I’ve got a 98% on a cognitive test or I’m really high here or there.” The thing with New South Wales is they test you in three areas straight off the bat and this is why your run — it’s stopped in their tracks right at the start because it’s not just your cognitive score. I’ll just illustrate something for you. So they have the emotional intelligence, the cognitive or aptitude, depending on what you want to call it and the work safety okay. So they’re the first three hurdles you go through with New South Wales and this is where the majority of people don’t pass and if you’ve done it before you know they’ve got the bell curves for each of these alright. So, if you do really, really well in your cognitive and you’re up here in the 98% or whatever, that does not mean that you’re going to progress. So the way they look at it closer to the start of the recruitment process is more holistic than some of the other services where you might get a benchmark you’re going to have to reach or whatever to move on. So, not only do you have to be up here somewhere in the Cognitive. You need to be in the right place for the Work Safety and the Emotional Intelligence so that fits into the bands that they’ve decided the best for their service going forward for a firefighter.

So fundamentally, to answer your question, I think if you focus your effort more on getting the best score you can and understanding the tests in advance you’re going to have a better time worrying about how they add up okay. That’s how I tell my guys and so let’s make sure you’re getting the best score you can in each component so it doesn’t matter and you’re not worrying about it or thinking about it. You’re putting all your effort into a positive, forward sort-of-environment so you can give yourself the best chance of getting through and having a goal the next stage.

So hopefully you’ve got something out of that. Well, it’s a really common question. Hopefully I have answered it for you. If you’ve got any questions or comments, we can continue the convo below this video. Just chat your comments below there and I’ll get back to you there.

I’m Brent C. This is Fire Recruitment Australia. Thanks for tuning in and I’ll see you next time.



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  • 3 years ago