Korn Ferry Assessments

Prepare for your next Korn Ferry test with tailor-made practice materials.

What are Korn Ferry Tests?

Korn Ferry tests, or Korn Ferry assessments, are psychometric tests developed and administered through Korn Ferry: a global management consultancy company that is part of the Hay Group.

In 2014, Korn Ferry acquired Talent Q, another leading psychometric test developer. Korn Ferry develops, supplies, and administers psychometric tests to a broad range of employers under the Korn Ferry brand and the Talent Q brand.

Korn Ferry tests help employers assess and understand the potential of their current employees. The tests also enable employers to recruit and select suitable candidates for the roles they have to fill based on the skills, abilities, behaviours, and characteristics needed for success on the job.

There are two main types of Korn Ferry psychometric tests: aptitude tests and personality tests.

One of the main differentiators of a Korn Ferry psychometric ability test is that these tests are adaptive. This means that the level of difficulty of the questions changes or adapts according to whether a candidate has answered the previous questions correctly.

If the candidate has answered a question correctly, the test adapts so that the question that follows will be more challenging. If they haven't answered the question correctly, the question that follows will be more straightforward.

While this may seem tricky at first, a benefit for candidates sitting the test is that they can perform to their maximum ability.


What are the Different Types of Korn Ferry Tests?

Korn Ferry tests are divided into different categories:

  • Aptitude tests: assess several abilities, including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, logical reasoning, or cognitive ability.

  • Personality tests: these tests focus on measuring a candidate's leadership qualities but can also be used as part of the recruitment process for a wide variety of roles. The personality tests align with the behaviours, characteristics, motivations, or traits required for the position being recruited.

Personality Questionnaire

The Korn Ferry personality questionnaire looks at the way a candidate behaves when in the workplace. Also, what their strengths and weaknesses are and what motivates them when at work.

The questionnaire itself is split into three different sections, with each section assessing a specific behaviour, trait, or characteristic.

  • Tasks and projects
  • Drives and emotions
  • People and relationships

Questions are asked in the form of statements. There are four statements per question, and candidates need to rank the statements according to whether they are very true through to completely untrue.

When answering the statements, it is important to read each statement carefully, then to rank your answers honestly, without second-guessing what you think the recruiter may want to see. This way, you are presenting a true picture of yourself.

Results from the personality questionnaire help recruiters identify the right candidates for the roles they have to fill based on the behaviours, characteristics, and motivations that are required for success on the job.

Cognitive Ability Tests

Four main cognitive ability tests form part of the Korn Ferry test suite.

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • Logical reasoning
  • Checking skills

Each of these tests is an adaptive test, and the tests are timed tests.

Verbal Reasoning Test

The verbal reasoning test assesses a candidate's ability to read a text passage and then answer questions based on this.

Answers are presented as multiple choice answers; candidates need to select the answer they believe to be correct.

There are 15 questions to answer in the test, with just over 1 minute to answer each question.

When sitting the verbal reasoning test, it is essential to ensure that you have carefully read both the passage of information and the multiple-choice answers that follow. Do not skim-read this information as you may misinterpret what is being asked.

Numerical Reasoning Test

The numerical reasoning test assesses a candidate's numerical ability. This test consists of questions containing numerical information presented in graphs, tables, or statistical charts.

Candidates then need to use basic mathematical principles to answer the questions and select the correct answer from the multiple-choice answers given. There are 12 questions in this test section.

It is advisable to work quickly but accurately when completing the numerical reasoning test. Try not to waste too much time on any one question but ensure that you are aware of the remaining time so that you can appropriately use up the time limit.

Logical Reasoning Test

The logical reasoning test looks at a candidate's ability to use logical reasoning and solve problems. Abstract information is given in the form of shapes, patterns, or sequences.

Candidates then need to use logical thinking to determine the relationship between the shapes, pattern, or sequence and apply this to what would come next to complete the pattern or sequence.

Answers are again presented as multiple-choice, with candidates selecting the one answer they believe is correct.

Speed, accuracy, and keeping calm are vital factors to consider when completing the logical reasoning test.

Checking Skills Test

The checking skills test is a test that assesses a candidate's ability to read, compare and check information both quickly and accurately. This ability is essential for many roles as the checking skills tests are a good predictor of how well a candidate will perform in a position that has the element of checking and comparing information.

In this test, it is important to ensure that you have thoroughly read the information so you can accurately check and compare the information given.

Competency-Based Assessment

The competency-based assessment looks to assess whether a candidate demonstrates the competencies and behaviours in the workplace as needed for success in the role.

This online assessment is often used in the early stages of an employer's recruitment and selection process.

The assessment is a questionnaire-style assessment where a scenario is presented along with a series of statements for each question. Candidates then need to rank the statements according to whether it is very true through to being completely untrue when considering the scenario.

As with many competency-based assessments, answering the questions honestly and not second-guessing yourself is important. The same competency will be assessed through various scenarios, so ensuring that your answer the questions honestly will mean that there is consistency in your results.

Situational Judgement Test

A situational judgment test assesses a candidate's behavioural preferences in relation to situations they will encounter in the workplace and on the job. The test also looks at other factors such as values, culture, and motivations at work.

The situational judgment test is an online questionnaire; questions are presented in scenarios again similar to those that candidates face when on the job. Candidates then need to select from the list of responses that most accurately represent how they prefer to behave in the workplace.

As with all behavioural-type questionnaires, the competencies, behaviours, traits, and motivations will be assessed through various scenarios. Ensuring that you answer these questions honestly is important so that the results reflect an accurate picture of how you behave at work.


The motivations/drivers assessment is a 30-minute questionnaire that looks at what motivates you in your job and when at work.

The questionnaire is formed of four blocks of statements. Candidates are asked to rate each of the four statements on a scale according to whether they are extremely important to them when at work through not important.

Candidates are advised not to give the same rating to statements in a block.

When sitting the motivations/drivers test, ensure that you read each statement carefully before rating the statement. It is crucial to ensure that you have interpreted the meaning of the statements correctly, so don't skim-read.

Top 5 Tips to Pass your Korn Ferry Tests

Korn Ferry tests are comprehensive and, in some cases, challenging for candidates due to the ability tests being adaptive tests.

There are some key things that you can do to help you pass your Korn Ferry tests.

1. Practice

Practicing the tests you will be sitting on is an important part of your test preparation. Practicing Korn Ferry assessments not only allows you to become familiar with the format and the style of questioning, but it can also help ease your nerves as you know what to expect when you come to sit the actual test itself.

2. Be aware of your environment

It is important to consider where and when you sit your Korn Ferry tests.

Make sure that you sit your tests in a room free from distractions with a reliable wi-fi connection. If you feel you perform better on tests in the morning vs. the afternoon, use this to your advantage by sitting the test at this time of day.

3. Get a good night's sleep before you sit the test

Ensure that you get a good night's sleep, are refreshed, have eaten something, and are hydrated before sitting the test will enable you to perform at your best during the test itself.

4. Become familiar with the material being assessed

Refresh your memory of basic maths principles and concepts that you learned at school so that you can use these in the numerical tests. When practicing the verbal reasoning test, read papers or articles that contain information presented in different formats. Becoming familiar with the material that you will be assessed on will help ease your nerves as well.

5. Answer the questions honestly, with speed and accuracy

The same competencies, behaviours, and traits will be assessed by asking questions in various ways. Ensure that you take the time to read the question so that you have an accurate understanding of what is being asked. Ensure that you answer each question honestly and do not second guess what you think the recruiter may want to see.

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Korn Ferry Assessments FAQs

How are Korn Ferry tests scored?

Korn Ferry tests are scored in a variety of different ways according to the test that is sat. Depending on the employer, a candidate's scores may be compared against a benchmark or against a population of candidates who have previously taken the test and performed well.

How long is a Korn Ferry assessment?

The length of a Korn Ferry assessment varies according to the test itself.

The Korn Ferry ability tests tend to be shorter in length than each of the personality questionnaires. It is worth making sure that you are aware of the duration of each of the tests you are sitting so you can monitor how much time you have left.

What is a good score on Korn Ferry tests?

Korn Ferry test scores vary according to the test. For the ability tests, marks are given for questions answered correctly. For personality assessments, results are based on how candidates have answered the questions as measured against the competencies, behaviours, or values being assessed.

Each employer may set their own benchmarks or comparison groups when determining and measuring a candidate's results.

What is the difference between TalentQ and Korn Ferry?

TalentQ is a psychometric test provider that the Hay group acquired in 2014. Korn Ferry is also part of the Hay Group and now administers TalentQ psychometric tests.