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The McQuaig Mental Agility Test in 2024

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test in 2024

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One of the common aptitude tests used by employers is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test.

This is an assessment that is used for a variety of reasons, from recruitment or promotions through to team bonding and staff development.

But what is it and why do employers use it?

Let’s find out.

What Is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test?

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test is a general intelligence or cognitive ability test. General intelligence is often commonly referred to simply as ‘G’.

‘G’ tests assess how candidates understand and process information. They test a combination of learning, problem-solving and decision-making processes.

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test is a 15-minute test which is designed to assess the speed of your thought processes. It is specifically looking to assess your ability to learn and react to new information.

You can expect to be tested on your vocabulary, your verbal reasoning skills and your basic math ability.

You will be given up to 50 questions and will be asked to answer as many as you possibly can within the 15-minute timeframe.

Due to the time limitations, you will not be expected to answer all of the questions. The mental agility test is designed to see how quickly you can think on your feet when provided with new information.

Scores will be based on how many correct answers you provide. Average scores are typically between 25 and 35.

Research has shown that those with higher levels of education are more likely to achieve higher scores.

Who Is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test For?

The mental agility test is often used as a tool by employers when they are looking for candidates with lightning-quick reactions.

General mental agility is a useful attribute for those working in high-powered, senior management jobs who need to make tough decisions instantly.

The table below outlines how McQuaig segments candidates’ ability.

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Level of Ability Score
Exceptional High Ability 45+
High Ability 38–45
Average Ability 25–37
Below-Average Ability 25 or less

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It should be noted that high scores do not necessarily mean that a candidate is the right person for the job. The scores should be used along with the requirements of a specific job description.

Many employers choose to ask existing employees to participate in the test before a recruitment campaign so that they can accurately judge what level of ability is required for the job role.

List of Companies Using the McQuaig Assessment Test in 2024

Personality tests are widely used in medium or large companies (those with over 50 employees).

According to the McQuaig website, companies that are known to use the McQuaig test include (but are not limited to):

  • Cafe Nero
  • BPP
  • Zoopla
  • Highland Spring
  • Mitie
  • Perrys Motor Sales

You can find case studies on some of these companies on the McQuaig website.

What Does the McQuaig Mental Agility Test Assess?

The McQuaig mental agility test is looking to assess reaction times. It wants to see how quickly applicants can respond to a series of questions and what their potential future performance could be.

This learning agility assessment can provide recruiters with data and information that they can’t glean from a CV or resume. It allows them to make predictions on how a potential candidate may be able to cope with the specific job role.

It also gives insights into how a candidate may react when placed under pressure.

McQuaig Mental Agility Tests are widely viewed as a reliable method of testing an applicant’s general mental ability. It’s why many human resources departments will turn to 'G' tests as part of their recruitment processes, as well as for deciding who is capable of working at higher levels.

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The McQuaig Mental Agility Test
The McQuaig Mental Agility Test

McQuaig Mental Agility Test – Free Practice Questions (2024)

There are three distinct sections within the McQuaig Mental Agility Test:

  • Mathematical ability
  • Reasoning
  • Verbal understanding (vocabulary)

Mathematical Ability

The math questions on the McQuaig test seek to establish how you process numerical information.

You may be asked to make basic calculations (you will not be permitted the use of a calculator during the test).

You may be shown a series of number sequences and asked to identify the correct pattern.

Example Question

What number comes next in this sequence?

44 53 72 65 82 91 21 ??

a) 12
b) 14
c) 30
d) 84

Logical Reasoning

The reasoning questions will require you to draw conclusions from seemingly ambiguous statements.

You may be expected to know how to identify a syllogism, which is a form of deductive reasoning.

You’ll likely be presented with two statements that allow you to form a conclusion.

Example Question

'Abundance' is to 'lack' as 'amateur' is to:

a) inexperienced
b) talented
c) professional
d) clever

Verbal Understanding

These questions will test your knowledge of language and your vocabulary.

Example Question

What is the meaning of 'nebulous'?

a) hazy
b) certain
c) apparent
d) distinct
e) None of the above

What to Expect When Taking the McQuaig Mental Agility Test in 2024

McQuaig Mental Agility Tests typically take place online, although paper options are available.

It is available in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

However, the final report which outlines an applicant's test scores is only available in English.

During your McQuaig mental agility test, you will have just 15 minutes to answer up to 50 questions.

You will not be expected to answer every question, however, you should answer as many as you possibly can.

You are allowed to return to questions that you have skipped if there is time.

How Are McQuaig Mental Agility Tests Scored?

Thanks to the longevity of the McQuaig learning test, the administrators have been able to compile comprehensive data that showcases thousands of previous scores to establish baseline expectations for different job roles.

This means that the test assessors can determine how well your score compares to that of your peers.

For example, you may have achieved a score of 36/50 (which classifies you towards the higher end of the average ability group), but if your peers have regularly achieved a 39/50, you may be marked down for not achieving this.

This benchmarking process is crucial to the credibility of the McQuaig mental agility test. It also explains why employers may ask existing staff members to complete the test before any new recruitment activities.

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Top Tips for Success on the McQuaig Mental Agility Test in 2024

There are many different ways to beat a McQuaig assessment test.

We’ve collated a list of five top tips which may help you to understand how to make the most of your preparation and achieve the highest score possible in a mental agility test.

Step 1. Take Time to Prepare

The questions aren’t designed to be hugely difficult, but they are designed to test your intellectual agility or your ability to think quickly when under pressure.

Make sure you’re aware of what to expect from the three sections of the test.

If you know that you have a weaker area (perhaps you are stronger with verbal reasoning than literacy), then make sure you spend your preparation time working on these areas.

Step 2. Make the Most of Online Mental Agility Practice Tests

Where possible, try to use online practice tests to help you cope with the exam-like conditions.

Set a timer and compete against yourself to see how many questions you can answer.

It’s important to feel confident that you can answer a good amount of questions within the set timeframe.

Step 3. Move Past Difficult Questions

If you are struggling with a specific question, try not to dwell on it. Instead, move ahead to the next question.

A benefit of the McQuaig mental agility test is that you can move forward and back to answer different questions.

Focus on answering the ones that you can as quickly as possible. You can then go back and use your remaining time on the harder questions.

Step 4. Ask Peers for Their Help

Your score will be benchmarked against expectations for your particular job role.

You may think that a score of 35 is a high score, but unless you know what other people are scoring with similar experience then it’s almost impossible to predict how well you have done.

If you are using a free online learning agility assessment test as part of your preparation, why not ask some trusted peers to complete the same. This will allow you to benchmark your progress and see if your score is impressive.

Step 5. Remain Calm Under Pressure

The purpose of the learning agility test is to see how candidates react when working under pressure. The time limit adds a huge challenge to those participating in the McQuaig test.

Therefore, make sure you employ some calming techniques (such as deep breathing) to help you remain in control and focused on the questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

The key to beating the McQuaig mental agility test is to put in plenty of preparation. This might include taking online practice tests, asking your peers for help and working on your time management.

It is best to answer the questions that you find easiest first – this learning agility assessment test allows you to move back and forth between sections, so you can go back to any unanswered questions at the end.

Being able to remain calm under pressure is important when taking any time-limited test, so you might consider learning some calming techniques as part of your preparation.

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test Ⓡ (MMAT) is a popular choice for employers who wish to test for learning agility.

Comprising 50 multiple choice questions, the McQuaig Mental Ability test covers verbal understanding, reasoning and mathematical ability.

Test-takers have just 15 minutes to complete the entire test. Results are used to ascertain a candidate's cognitive agility, ability to consider data within a restricted time period, decision-making skills, ability to work under pressure and aptitude for problem-solving.

If you want to be more mentally agile, you will need to spend time exercising your brain. There are several different ways to challenge your brain, which include taking up a new hobby, filling in crosswords, learning how to play a new card game or even just changing your route next time you drive to work.

You might also consider learning a musical instrument or doing brain training exercises and games. Physical exercise is also important. Activities such as swimming, walking or running can help to increase your blood pressure and blood flow around your body, including the brain.

Manipulating a McQuaig personality test is possible, but it is unlikely to be wise. There are no right and wrong answers in a personality test, so it is possible to choose the answer that you think is the best fit for the job role you are applying for – even if this does not match your personality.

That said, most personality test assessments include validity scales and impression management tools to identify candidates who may have sabotaged the test or provided random responses.

You should also remember that if you choose to manipulate a McQuaig personality test, you may end up being recruited for a job role that your personality type is not well suited to.

Mental agility describes an individual’s ability to approach change flexibly and move swiftly between different tasks and ideas. If somebody is mentally agile, they can cope effectively with change, choosing the most appropriate course of action to progress despite unexpected events.

McQuaig offers nine useful psychometric testing tools, including the McQuaig Mental Agility Test Ⓡ. The MMAT assessment is designed to test a candidate’s thought processing speed, overall mental agility and other key factors relating to general intelligence. It is used by employers to help them to recruit the candidates best suited to job vacancies.

Final Thoughts

The McQuaig mental agility test has been used for over 50 years. This means that assessors have built up a knowledge bank allowing them to understand your true capabilities when it comes to general intelligence and the ability to cope under pressure.

It’s an effective tool for human resources teams to be able to compare candidates ‘like with like’. After all, if two (or more) people have the same qualifications and experience, how can you choose between them?

When used as a data analysis tool, it provides a snapshot of how a person can respond quickly to new information and sharpen their decision-making capabilities.

However, it should be noted that the data provided through the McQuaig test should always be used in conjunction with the job description.

There can be a natural bias amongst candidates to lean towards correct answers in their preferred subject area (verbal or numerical). This means that employers need to think about where the correct answers fit into their job requirements.

For example, if you are working in a marketing or sales role, you may need to do better in the vocabulary tests. Whereas engineers or technicians may need stronger math skills.

The mental agility test provides a set of data which can aid in decision-making, rather than a tool which is used in isolation.

The validity of the McQuaig mental agility test means that it’s also a useful tool for managers to judge whether an employee is capable of working in a more senior role or to provide benchmark data for the career progression of entire teams.

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