About Elements

Key features

  • Measures: verbal, numerical and logical reasoning
  • Suitable for: recruitment, identification of high potential
  • Average completion time: 12 minutes
  • Available in over 40 languages

The Elements suite contains three separate tests - Verbal, Numerical and Logical - each of which can be used in isolation or alongside other assessments.

Elements utilises technology to its best advantage, ensuring that the candidate experience is smooth and swift. Candidates are not required to undertake a lengthy series of questions, as Elements tailors the difficulty of the next question presented based on the candidate’s previous responses. This ensures the questions they see are at the optimum level of challenge for them. It also means that there is no upper ability cap on the test enabling the candidate to demonstrate their true ability. This is known as ‘adaptive testing’.

Having this capability means that administrators no longer need to maintain a suite of ability assessments covering different ability levels, as all roles from supervisor upwards can use the same test. 

The Elements suite

Elements Verbal

Elements Verbal sample question Verbal question - click to enlarge

The Elements Verbal reasoning test consists of 15 questions based on passages of text. The questions are designed to measure a candidate’s ability to interpret verbal information and reach correct conclusions. This ability is important for any work involving the communication of ideas or the understanding of written information. It can also be important for work requiring analytical thinking.

There is no overall time limit for the test but there is a time limit for each question: 75 seconds for the first question on each passage of text and 60 seconds for subsequent questions. The average test completion time is approximately 12 minutes.

Download an Elements Verbal sample report (PDF)

Elements Numerical

Elements Numerical sample question Numerical question - click to enlarge

The Elements Numerical reasoning test consists of 12 questions based on information presented in tables. The questions are designed to measure a candidate’s ability to analyse and draw inferences from numerical information and data. Numerical reasoning ability is important for a variety of roles that involve working with data.

There is no overall time limit for the test but there is a time limit for each question: 90 seconds for the first question on each table (or set of tables) and 75 seconds for subsequent questions. The average test completion time is approximately 12 minutes.

Download an Elements Numerical sample report (PDF)

Element Logical

Elements Logical sample question Logical question - click to enlarge

The Elements Logical reasoning test consists of 12 questions based on an incomplete series of symbols. The questions are designed to measure a candidate’s ability to analyse abstract information and apply this to determine outcomes and patterns. Logical reasoning ability is important for a variety of roles requiring complex problem solving.

There is no overall time limit for the test but there is a time limit for each question: 75 seconds. The average test completion time is approximately 9 minutes.

Download an Elements Logical sample report (PDF)

About adaptive testing

Developed using sophisticated, psychometrically robust adaptive testing methodology, Elements represents a new generation of online testing. It displays test questions to the candidate taking into account their previous responses and whether they were correct or incorrect.

Adaptive testing enables Elements ability tests to be significantly shorter than others. This is because a candidate is only answering questions that have been specifically chosen to challenge their individual ability level.

 Adaptive testing

How it works

  • Starting the test: all candidates start Elements tests at the same point, with a question of average difficulty.
  • Answering the questions: answer a question correctly, within the allocated time limit, and the next question presented will be of a harder level of difficulty. If the question is answered incorrectly, or is not answered within the allocated time limit, the next question presented will be of an easier level of difficulty.
  • Progressing through the test: this process continues until the end of the test has been reached (between 12 and 15 questions). Elements quickly adapts to a candidates level of ability and tailors the route through the test appropriately.
  • Finishing the test: once all questions have been answered the system automatically calculates the candidate’s final score depending on how they progressed through the test. Scores are based on the level of difficulty of each question and whether or not the candidate answered it correctly.

Using Elements

Ability tests such as Elements have been scientifically proven to be the single best predictor of workplace performance. Elements can be used across all sectors and functions for supervisory, graduate, managerial and professional level jobs.

The ability tests can be used in a number of ways across the entire employee lifecycle, namely:

  • Better recruitment decisions – Elements can be used alongside other assessment data to enable more informed recruitment decisions. It is particularly useful in filtering out unsuitable candidates early on in a recruitment campaign. This enables you to make faster recruitment decisions and only invest resources in later stages of the recruitment process.
  • Identification of high potential and succession planning – the dynamic nature of Elements enables candidates to show their full potential as they are not constrained by the level of test selected. Instead they progress through the Elements testing system according to their ability. For an organisation, this is a fair and objective way of identifying individuals with the potential for progression.


There are a wide range of benefits to using Elements in your recruitment and development processes.

  • Speed: each Elements test takes approximately 12 minutes to complete – half the time of most ability tests – without compromising on scientific rigour.
  • A single test system: this removes the need to maintain a large suite of tests for different ability levels. In addition, while there are three tests within Elements, each can be taken separately.
  • Fair: test difficulty is not predetermined by any assumptions of candidate ability enabling a candidate to demonstrate their true ability level.
  • Multiple-use of the data: Elements data can be re-used and interrogated for multiple purposes so whilst initially you may have gathered data for recruitment, it can later be used for succession planning and identifying potential.
  • Customisable: Elements can be re-branded using an organisation’s own branding and design.
  • Easy to integrate: Elements can be integrated with applicant tracking and HR systems, thereby providing a seamless volume recruitment proposition.
  • Reliable: Elements can be completed remotely but results can be confirmed with a six to eight minute verification test (at no extra cost), completed in person to minimise the risk of cheating.
  • Secure: Elements’ adaptive structure means that each candidate is likely to receive a unique combination of questions. There are also multiple versions of the questions, which further decreases the chances of two people receiving the same test. Both of these features reduce the chances that questions and correct answers can be published.
  • International: Elements is currently available in over 40 languages, making it an ideal choice for organisations conducting global assessment programmes.
  • Return on investment: one final and often overlooked benefit of Elements is the return on investment (ROI) that it offers the organisation. By using a robust and valid assessment in the early stages of a recruitment process, applicants that are not suitable can be screened out so that the more costly, often face-to-face, stages can be conducted with those candidates that appear to be more suitable for the role. Also, by introducing an assessment with proven validity, the organisation will very soon see marked differences in the productivity and performance of employees, which ultimately will impact the bottom line in a wide variety of ways.


We give you the choice of how you use the scores. You are able to compare the candidate scores to each of the three available norm groups – or select the most relevant to you. The following norm groups are available:

  • Professional, graduate and managerial
  • Customer service, administrative and similar (non-graduate)
  • Composite (everyone from the database)
  • High Potential (predominantly candidates from elite talent programs and applicants to the Finance sector with about average scores on Elements)

Increasingly talent managers are using our composite norm as their preferred approach, allowing them to compare people across their organisations for applications such as high potential identification and succession planning.

Combining scores and Rank Candidates

Combining scores on Elements Verbal, Numerical, and Logical tests is an entirely appropriate approach to use in making a selection decision and actually provides a more rounded decision than using one score on its own. This approach can also balance out any disparity in group scores if, for example, the verbal test favours females and the numerical test favours males.

Our assessment system provides ‘Rank Candidates’ functionality whereby candidates’ scores on Elements (and Dimensions) are compared against a role profile that you have created. Within the role profile, you will have dictated the cut-off for each ability test and the system then presents a ‘percentage fit’ score for each candidate.

Where a candidate has also completed Dimensions, their Elements results can be incorporated into a combined report to give a more rounded view.

Download an Elements sample report (PDF) and an Elements Candidate sample report (PDF)


Elements is available in over 40 languages. Download our language availability factsheet (PDF) for the full list of languages covered. If you can’t see what you want from our published list of languages please contact us to discuss.


Please contact us for details of our flexible, no-nonsense pricing structure for all online assessments.

Customisation options

Options for customising your assessments are available – such as using your brand identity and language in assessment and reports, capturing bio-data specific to your organisation and integrating with your existing applicant tracking and talent management systems. Find out more about customised assessment options.

Getting started

Elements is available to anyone with the British Psychological Society (BPS) Test User: Occupational, Ability certification (formerly known as Level A accreditation) or equivalent.

For anyone without this qualification, we provide the Talent Q Test User training course. This course is fully accredited by the BPS, and teaches you all you need to know to implement Elements within your organisation including administering the tests, analysing and interpreting the results.

Find out more about the Talent Q Test User training course.

Once you place your order (including confirmation that you hold the appropriate qualification), your access to Elements is immediate. You will receive unique login details to the assessment system by email.

Our customer service team can take you through the system online so you are up and running as soon as you need to be.