PFS Reasoning Tests

Team Focus Ltd

Summary of Test Review

General description of Test

The Profiling for Success (PfS) suite of ability tests include tests measuring three domains of reasoning: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and abstract/non−verbal reasoning. They have been designed for use in an Occupational setting or for guidance/career advice purposes. The tests exist in ‘open’ access and ‘closed’ forms, for unsupervised use and supervised use, respectively. Both types of tests are available in computerised form, although the ‘closed’ tests are also available in paper−and−pencil format.

There are four different levels for the ‘closed’ tests, which cover the age range from 15 years into adulthood (up to 65 years), and two different levels for the ‘open’ tests. The four closed tests are designed for use with four different ability levels broadly tied to educational level as follows:

1. For the general population and test takers in the final years of compulsory education (years 10 and 11 in the UK)

2. For test takers in further education

3. For test takers at undergraduate level or equivalent

4. For test takers at postgraduate level and experienced professionals.

The verbal reasoning tests have between 32 and 60 items, the numerical reasoning tests have between 28 and 48 items and the abstract reasoning tests have between 50 and 75 items. Whilst the scoring is carried out using a traditional Classical Test Theory approach, Item Response Theory scores were calculated during the development process and have been used to create score estimates across all test forms within a specific reasoning domain (i.e. numerical, verbal or abstract) from a single test form. This means that, in principle, a test taker can sit any version of the tests and receive the same score as they would from sitting any other version, allowing the tests to be used flexibly over a very wide ability range. The authors note, however, that in practice it is best to choose a test at the right ability level for the test taker since this is likely to increase the acceptability of the test to the test taker and increase their motivation to perform to the best of their ability.

Multiple general norm groups are available, as are additional specific, client norms, and two reports (a test−taker Feedback report and an Administrator's report) are available.

Authors of Original Test

Roy Childs & Angus McDonald

Date of Original Review


Date of Publication of Current Review / Edition


Test Type

Non-verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Verbal Ability

Main Area of Use

Advice, guidance and career choice

Work and Occupational

Full Test Review

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