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Innovative thinking is a prerequisite for many jobs. Having diverse teams with employees who exhibit high IQ and “out-of-the-box” thinking skills - that are imperative for an organisation’s success in the competitive business world. We have often seen that it is these innovative thinkers who successfully move up the corporate ladder. They do this by proactively finding solutions to problems their team or the organisation faces. Every organisation is in search of such candidates with high mental aptitude and are trying new recruitment methods to find these rare talents. Mental aptitude tests are one such method used to assess a candidate’s ability to think and provide new and innovative solutions. These tests are made compulsory in the pre-hire stages by most organizations across different industries and sectors.

Sample Mental Aptitude Test Questions

  1. If a train travels 100 miles in 2 hours, how long will it take to travel 250 miles at the same speed?
  2. Which number in the following sequence is missing? 2, 4, 6, 8, _, 12, 14
  3. If A is taller than B and B is taller than C, who is the tallest among the three?
  4. Which word does not belong in the following group? apple, banana, grape, orange, carrot
  5. If you have two apples and you give one to a friend, how many apples do you have left?
  6. In a game of tennis, if the score is 40-30, who is winning?
  7. Which letter comes next in the following sequence? A, C, E, G, _
  8. If the time now is 4:30 PM and you set an alarm for 2 hours and 45 minutes later, what time will the alarm go off?
  9. If you rearrange the letters in the word "LISTEN," which word can you make?
  10. Which shape comes next in the sequence? square, triangle, circle, square, triangle, circle, __

Mental Aptitude Skills Determine Work Performance

Good mental aptitude is essential for performing everyday tasks at work. Over time, employees lose their creative or lateral thinking abilities due to the routine, monotonous nature of their work. Entry-level candidates are also exposed only to theoretical and, textual knowledge and the analytical and creative parts of their brains are not exercised to its maximum capacity. Hiring candidates with poor mental aptitude will significantly lessen the chance for innovation, which directly affects the growth of a company. This is where mental aptitude skill tests can help identify candidates with the innate ability to think out-of-the-box and provide original solutions.

Some of the key benefits of mental aptitude tests for pre-employment screening are:

  • Find candidates with new and innovative perspectives
  • Analyse a candidates’ temperament and presence of mind
  • Asses how quickly a candidate responds to a given scenario
  • Evaluate his or her tendency to respond and not react

Employers can also include curated questions that would put a job applicant’s thinking abilities to the test.

Applications of Mental Aptitude Tests

The mental ability tests are structured to understand the interpretation and thinking skills of candidates and current employees. Most of these aptitude tests can be customised to be job or domain specific. It could indicate the candidate’s confidence level, creativity, and interpretation skills.

Mental aptitude tests often feature questions that fall into broad categories listed below:

  • Verbal Reasoning
    • Rearranging sentences to create sensible paragraphs
    • Finding the inter-relation between two or more statements
    • Summarising a paragraph in one or two sentences
    • Reading comprehension
  • Logical Reasoning
    • Alphabetic/number sequences
    • Finding missing figures
  • Statistical and analytical data interpretation
  • Riddles and puzzles
  • Guesstimate problems

Employers tend to use any or a combination of these questions to find candidates with the skills they are looking for.

MeritTrac Platforms for Mental Aptitude Tests

MeritTrac is a scientifically backed aptitude platform that helps recruiters quickly and easily find candidates with high mental aptitude. Over the last 18 years, MeritTrac’s research-based assessment platforms have been used to add high performers to the workforce of over 400 businesses.  MeritTrac’s Pariksha and SmartTest platforms are used by recruiters to assess job seekers during the pre-employment stage.


Pariksha provides recruiters with customisable mental aptitude test options to create, design, schedule, and deliver tests.

Key features of Pariksha are:

  • Administer exams on any web-enabled device
  • Remote invigilation to avoid unsupervised test attempts
  • Report generation and quick result-tabulation
  • TracMARKS for on-screen marking solution
  • Supports Windows and Linux platforms


SmartTest enables recruiters to administer competency-based automated assessments through catalogue section, candidate mapping, and test delivery.

Key features of SmartTest are:

  • Performance benchmarking with candidate assessment analytics    
  • Secure assessment delivery and smooth test delivery
  • Plug and play feature across platforms and devices

The MeritTrac Advantage:

MeritTrac’s smart hiring platforms offer 350 plus test domains to test a job seeker’s or current employees. The main advantages of MeritTrac are:

  • Questions curated by experts
  • Quick turnaround of results
  • Over 10,000 assessments
  • Advanced response processing
  • ISO 9001:2008, ISO 27001, and CMMI Level 5 Certified
  • Regularly updated questions



1. What are Mental Aptitude Tests?

A. Mental aptitude tests help assess a job seeker’s logical, lateral, and creative thinking abilities. The test duration and difficulty level can be set according to the employer’s requirement. The test results can narrow down candidates who have high mental aptitude skills and helps employers build a workforce with highly skilled people.

2. Why are Mental Aptitude Tests Used for Recruiting and Training?

A. Leading companies across the world can identify high performers at the pre-hire stage using these mental aptitude tests. They are also able to identify the hidden talents of current employees and transform them into future best performers through training programs.

3. Why Should Companies use Mental Aptitude Tests?

A. It is crucial to hire employees with excellent mental aptitude skills. A simple puzzle, riddle, or guesstimate question featured in a mental aptitude test can be used to analyse problem-solving skills, presence of mind, and creative abilities of a candidate. The tests are often time-limited, so only the best candidates will be brought to the forefront.

4. What are the Mental Aptitude Tests used in Recruitment?

A. Verbal reasoning, logical reasoning, guesstimate questions, puzzles, riddles, in the form of Q and A, choose the correct answer, reading comprehension and more are some of the mental aptitude tests used in recruitment.

5. Why do People Take Mental Aptitude Tests?

A. People take mental aptitude tests for various reasons. Some individuals take these tests to determine their strengths and weaknesses, while others take them to assess their abilities and potential for a specific job or career. Mental aptitude tests are also used in educational settings to determine an individual's potential for academic success.

6. How do you Prepare for a Mental Aptitude Test?

A. It is difficult to prepare for a mental aptitude test as they are designed to measure your natural abilities. However, practicing similar types of questions and exercises can help you become more familiar with the format and types of questions that may be asked.