Professional preparation for IBM's game-based cognitive tests and job interview

Professional preparation for your game-based cognitive test and job interview with IBM

If you applied for a position with IBM or have already been one of the lucky ones who received an invitation to complete some psychometric tests (Cognitive tests) with IBM, then please be aware that IBM typically asks candidates to complete a mixture of game based aptitude tests.

You will also need to complete an interview. Interviews typically follow best practice of a ‘behavioural based interview’.

The typical assessment process with Deloitte

  • Application submission
  • Telephone interview
  • Psychometric tests online
  • Assessment centre onsite (for graduate and internship positions only)
  • Behavioural or Competency type Interview

What type of game based aptitude tests should I expect when applying for a job with IBM?

A game based type of cognitive psychometric testing is combined of several mini timed tests that look like a basic video game.

Deloitte's game based test moves away from the question/answer based style of standard psychometric tests.  Instead, it uses game based tests to measure your abstract, verbal and numerical reasoning. This means that you no longer have a series of questions on the screen andno calculator or paper pad is necessary.

You are expected to follow the instructions carefully as you start each test or game.

The theory behind Cognify game-based test

The cognitive game-based model is based on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory of the structure of human cognitive abilities.

The theory combines concepts like fluid and crystallised intelligence and the three-stratum model of intelligence.  It has aided the evolution of the psychometric approach in understanding human cognitive characteristics by employing advanced statistical techniques like factor analysis.

What to expect in IBM's cognitive mini game-based tests

The game-based cognitive test measures three components about your cognitive abilities:

  1. 1.    Problem Solving: 

In problem solving the test assesses your ability to quickly learn, adapt and solve problems.

This measures your ‘fluid intelligence:’ the ability to see a problem for the first time and find out how to solve it without any prior knowledge.

  1. 2.    Numerical Reasoning: 

In numerical reasoning the test assesses your ability to understand numerical concepts, work with numbers and use formulas to solve problems.

  1. 3.    Verbal Knowledge 

In verbal knowledge the test measures your knowledge of the English language – focusing on spelling, grammar and identification of errors in text.


Each of the tests in Deloitte's cognitive set of games is timed at 5 minutes.

What to expect in Problem Solving tests:

The Cognify Test has three mini tests measuring your problem solving skills:

  • Gridlock
  • Resemble
  • Short Cuts

The ‘Gridlock’ test

In this mini test you need to solve a number of consecutive grid based puzzle games as quickly as you can.

There is generally a central grid and you have to fit the given figures in (rotate, drag and drop) to complete the grid.

The ‘Resemble’ test

In this mini test you will be presented with a figure in the left section and generally a simple ‘angle of rotation’ value given beneath it, for example: 180o or 90o.

All you have to do is mentally rotate the figure on the left by the angle indicated and recreate the resultant figure in a central grid on the right.

The ‘Short Cuts’ test

In this mini test you are asked to move a particular ball and move it to a destination indicated by stars. You are supposed to move the target ball to the destination using the fewest moves as quickly as possible.

What to expect in the Numerical ability tests:

This game-based test has two mini tests measuring your numerical ability:

  • Numbubbles
  • Tally Up

What to expect in the ‘Numbubbles’ test

This mini test displays a target number and a number of bubbles with simple equations.

Your task is to identify the bubbles containing an answer equal to the target value displayed.

What to expect in the ‘Tally Up’ test

This mini test displays two sections with numbers (appearing as tokens) in each frame. Your task is to decide which frame has a higher value of numbers (tokens) or both frames might be of equal value.

What to Expect in Verbal knowledge tests:

In this type of game-based test you will have two mini tests measuring your verbal knowledge:

  • Proof It
  • Pop Up

What to expect in Proof It test

In this mini test you are presented with series of texts that include grammatical errors such as punctuation errors, missing words, misspelled words and grammatical errors.

Your task is to identify all grammatical errors in each text in 1 minute.

How IPC helps you to prepare for IBM's game-based cognitive test

The Institute of Psychometric Coaching (IPC) has developed a variety of tailored preparations to ensure you are ready for your cognitive test with IBM.  Our professionals have analysed strategies and techniques and developed a full range of countermeasures.  Our preparations include:

Online IBM cognify practice tests

  • Online practice mini tests – tailor made for IBM's game-based cognitive tests
  • A large pool of timed practice tests online such as Resemble, Shortcuts, Tully Up, Numbubbles, Pop-Up and Proof It.
  • Step by step solutions at the end of each mini test
  • Test scores in comparison to others
  • Feedback on how to improve

Benefits include:

  • Based on real game-based cognitive test questions
  • Timer mimics the pressure of taking the real test
  • Immediate access

Personal Tutoring for IBM's game-based cognitive test

Experience gold standard service with IPC’s personal tutoring.  Our personalised service includes:

  • One-on-one tutoring delivered by experienced Psychometricians.
  • Face to face sessions (in our Melbourne and Sydney offices) or via Skype live
  • In depth analysis of your cognitive weaknesses to focus the session and maximise your scores
  • Working together to ensure you reach maximum potential and capabilities in your game-based cognitive test with IBM
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