Preparing for Australian Border Force (ABF) Cognitive & Personality Tests

If you are applying to join the Australian Border Force (ABF), you are required to undergo several Psychometric tests tailored for Border Force:

The screening phase includes two steps:

Step 1: this phase includes a personality test called the Work Reliability test. 

Step 2: this phase includes a Cognitive test that measures the following 3 abilities:

  1. Abstract reasoning
  2. Verbal reasoning
  3. Numerical reasoning

Following your screening phase you will be asked to participate in a special Assessment Centre that includes role-play with an actor and an interview.

Following the Assessment Centre you will be asked to complete a clinical personality test to ensure that you do not have any mental issues, personality disorders, tendencies or addictions that might impair your ability to work as a border force officer.

Australian Border Force Cognitive Test:

When you apply for a position with Australian Border Force, you must pass a cognitive test that measures elements of your intelligence such as problem-solving skills, logical thinking, information processing and ability to identify trends. The cognitive test for Australian Border Force is timed and is designed to not give you sufficient time to complete all test questions.. The cognitive test for Australian Border Force has a unique style of test questions that includes the following components:

  • Abstract test questions
  • Verbal test questions
  • Numerical test questions

Abstract reasoning test questions:

Theabstract reasoning test questions  the Cognitive test for Australian Border Force, you are presented with around 18 non-verbal questions. Each question includes a group of shapes that create a pattern or patterns (some people refer to patterns as logical rules). Once you find the pattern or patterns, you can use them to identify the missing shape.

Here is an example of  an abstract reasoning test question for Australian Border Force:

To answer this question we need to first find what patterns can be identified in this group of shapes going from left to right. In this group, we have an outer square containing one of three shapes (circle, square and triangle) and a number of lines across the corners of the square. There are two underlying patterns to this series. The first pattern is that the three inner shapes always repeat in the same order. The second pattern is more complicated, as we need to count the lines. Given that the missing shape is in the middle, it is best to start from the shapes after the missing shape. In the first shape (left of  the missing shape) we have 2 lines across the top left corner and one line across the other corners. In the next shape there is no change in the lines. In the next shape we see a drop of one line from the top left corner. Then in the following shape we see another line drops. This time from the bottom left corner. In the next shape there is no change in the number of lines. This means that the pattern is one line drops from the first shape. Then in the next shape another line drops. Then there is a pause in the next shape. Then the pattern repeats. Therefore, shape D is the correct answer.

Verbal reasoning test questions:

In the cognitive test for Australian Border Force, you are presented with verbal test questions that measure your ability to read text in English and make logical conclusions based on the information provided. For each verbal test question in the cognitive test for Australian Border Force, you will have 4-5 answer options and with one correct answer.

Let’s review the following example for a verbal test question in the cognitive test for Australian Border Force:

Which two statements together prove that Tim has a red car?

A. Gil likes Tim's car colour

B. Tim likes fast cars

C. Gil has a fast car

D. Gil likes only red cars

E. Tim's car is not silver

To answer this verbal test question, we need to first examine what each statement says. If we take statement A ‘Gil likes Tim’s car colour’ and combine it with statement D ‘Gil likes only red cars’ then those alone prove that Tim has a red car. The logic is that if Gil likes only red cars (D) and he likes Tim’s car colour (A) then Tim’s car must be red.

Numerical reasoning test question:

In the cognitive test for Australian Border Force, you are presented with numerical reasoning test questions such as number series, speed and distance, efficiency and other short numerical problems. Your task is to quickly and logically process the information provided to reach a conclusion.

Here is an example for a numerical reasoning test question in the cognitive test for Australian Border Force:

If Sharon had 3 more oranges, then she would have three-quarters of the number of oranges that Mark has. If Sharon gave away 3 oranges, then she would have half the number of oranges that Mark has.

How many oranges does Sharon have?

There are several ways to approach this question, probably the simplest way is to come up with two equations and two variables (one is Sharon’s number of oranges and the other is Mark’s number of oranges) representing the information provided in the question. Then when we solve the two equations we will find the answer to the question. Based on the first sentence in the question we can write the following equation: S + 3 = ¾ x M. S is the number of oranges Sharon has and M is the number of oranges Mark has. Based on the second sentence, we can write the second equation: S – 3 = ½ x M. To find what M and S are, we need to solve these two equations. If we subtract the second equation from the first one we can get what M is. S + 3 – (S -3) = ¾ x M – ½ x M or 6 = ¼ x M. This means that M = 6 x 4 = 24. Therefore, S = ½ x 24 +3 = 15.  

Border Force's Assessment Centre:

Border Force's Assessment Centre includes 4 parts:-

1. An online interview

2. A written exam

3 A role play interview with an actor and you are assessed about how you respond to the actor.

4 A behavioural Interview with an ABF officer which includes 3 BDI style questions.

Australian Border Force Personality Test:

Following your assessment centre and as part of your selection you will be asked to complete a special personality test that includes over 200 test questions. Each question you need to state to what extent you agree with a statemnet on a scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The personality test measures your personality traits and profile (around 30 traits) and risks relevant to a position with Border Force:

  1. Sociability.
  2. Reliability.
  3. Personality disorders.
  4. Depression.
  5. Aggression.
  6. Addictions.

All the ABF's personality test questions are covert questions, which means that they will use indirect language to measure your personality.

How the Institute will assist you to prepare for your Cognitive & Personality tests with Australian Border Force

The Institute’s psychometric test experts have prepared several full preparation solutions for these tests. They include: 

Tailored practice cognitive tests online including Abstract, Verbal and Numerical test questions for ABF:

  • All tests are based on real cognitive tests.
  • All tests have step by step answer explanations so you know how to answer in your real test.
  • You get tests scores in comparison to others' performance.
  • You get effective advice about how to improve your scores.
  • Immediate Access.

Tailored tests courses online for Australian Border Force:

  • Special online courses for the Abstract, verbal and numerical style of test questions used in the Australian Border Force test
  • All courses have in depth knowledge and information on how to solve relevant test questions.
  • You also get effective strategies for how to approach each type of cognitive test question and how to effectively complete the entire cognitive test for Australian Border Force.
  • Immediate Access.

Tailored preparation for Border Force's Assessment Centre:

  • Special tutoring delivered by experts face-to-face or via Skype live.
  • Including role-play simulations and real-time feedback and guidance.
  • Full preparation for your interview with border force.

Personal tutoring for your cognitive test:

  • Delivered by experienced Australian Psychometric test trainers.
  • Offered face to face (In Melbourne and Sydney) or via Skype Video.
  • Your coach works with you to improve your skills and scores.
  • Immediate Access.

Preparing you for your personality test with Australian Border Force:

  • Personal Tutoring sessions (Face-to-face or Skype live)
  • Delivered by experienced Australian Psychometric test trainers.
  • Your psychometric test trainer will teach you everything you need to know about the clinical personality test including example test questions.
  • Prior to your coaching sessions you will be given special practical material and information about the personality test that Australian Border Force will ask you to complete.
  • You will also be asked to complete a practice personality test to allow your coach to identify your areas of strength and weakness.

Start Your Preparation for Australian Border Force Now


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