What is the PI Learning Indicator test?

The Professional Index Learning Indicator (PI LI) test, also referred to as the PI Cognitive Assessment and formerly known as the Professional Learning Indicator (PLI), is a psychometric test administered to prospective employees in order to identify skills which might otherwise not be detected by reading a resume or conducting an interview. The purpose of the PI LI assessment is to measure a candidate’s cognitive ability, or their capacity to learn and adapt in the workplace.

The PI Learning Indicator was acquired as the Professional Learning Indicator from Morten LØkkegaard of Humanostics, a Denmark-based management consulting firm and Predictive Index certified partner, and re-launched it under the new name in January 2016.

The PI LI, when combined with Predictive Index’s flagship PI Behavioral Assessment, is demonstrated to significantly enhance the ability to predict on-the-job performance. After its acquisition, the PI LI test has been completely integrated into Predictive Index’s workforce assessment platform, and is now a part of their suite of workforce assessments and management training workshops.

“General cognitive ability assessments like the PI Learning Indicator are among the best predictors of training success and job performance across all job levels and industries,”, said the CEO of Predictive Index, Mike Zani. “Several studies show that when you assess a candidate’s behavioral make-up and cognitive ability, you are many times more likely to be able to predict if they will meet or exceed job performance expectations. This one-two punch gives us the ability to provide companies with a complete solution that can be used to assess and develop employees through the hire-to-retire lifecycle.”

To this end, it is no surprise that the test is widely used as part of the employment process, often alongside the PI Behavioral Assessment. Prepterminal’s expert psychometricians have produced a comprehensive study resource for professional learning indicator practice, featuring text and video-based modules deconstructing every facet of the test and providing the tips and tricks required to overcome each and every question that might arise with ease.

PI Learning Indicator Format

The PI Learning Indicator assessment consists of 50 questions, with a 12-minute time limit. This means that to answer all questions, a candidate must answer 4-5 questions per minute. This strain on time is somewhat typical of cognitive tests, and is intended to ensure that the test is a metric of the candidate’s ability to take on challenging content under pressure. Questions are delivered on 9 subjects:


Number series:The candidate is provided with a sequence of numbers and is required to find a connection between said numbers in order to determine which number comes next. These questions provide the organization administering the test with information about the candidate’s ability to logically reason with numbers.


Math Problems: The candidate is provided with a series of numbers or fractions, and is required to decide which represents the lowest number in the series. These questions provide the organization administering the test with information about the candidate’s numerical aptitude.


Word Problems: The candidate is required to solve mathematical problems based on short texts. These questions provide the organization administering the test with information about the candidate’s general reading comprehension skills, ability to visualize information and numerical aptitude.


Analogies: The candidate is given two pairs of words. The first pair is shown, and only the first word of the second pair is shown. The candidate is required to impose the relation between the first pair upon the first word of the second pair in order to discern what the second word is. These questions provide the organization administering the test with information about the candidate’s fluency in the English language as well as their ability to think methodically and recognize relationships between ideas.


Formal Logic: The candidate is presented with 2 or 3 assumptions and a conclusion, and is required to determine whether the conclusion is correct based on the assumptions. There are three answers to be chosen from: “Correct”, “Incorrect”, and “Cannot be determined based on the information available”. These questions provide the organization administering the test with information about a candidate’s deductive and logical reasoning skills.


Antonyms: The candidate is provided with a word and required to choose the correct antonym of the word – i.e., the opposite. These questions provide the organization administering the test with information about a candidate’s fluency in the English Language.


Spatial Awareness: The candidate is presented with two figures which have something in common. Four figures are presented as possible answers, and the candidate is required to determine which figure does not have the same feature in common.


Non-Verbal Analogies: The candidate is presented with an image that undergoes a certain change. A second image is then provided which is supposed to undergo the same change, and the candidate’s task is to determine which of four given images is the correct appearance of the second image after the change.


Inductive Reasoning: The candidate is presented with a series of figures and is required to identify a pattern and select the missing figure.

Prepterminal’s PI Learning Indicator preparation pack explores each question type in depth, examining and exploring the composition of each question in order to equip you with the fundamental understanding required to overcome the challenging requirements of the test.

How to Pass the PI LI Test

Once the PI Learning Indicator is completed, a score is given based on the number of items answered correctly, with no penalty for incorrect answers. The average raw score on the PI LI ranges from 17-23, but it is assumed that the population average on the PI LI is 20 correct answers. Once the raw score is taken, a scale score is calculated between 100-450, with the average score being 250 which is equivalent to a raw score of ~20/50.

In terms of cut-off scores, the required score to pass to the next stage of the interview process is determined by the employer, based on the job profile and consultancy provided by the assessment company distributing the PI LI to the employer. Predictive Index has produced a table of scores a candidate should aim for based on the role they are aiming for. While these are not a guarantee of employment upon achieving the score, they go a long way towards improving an individual’s likelihood of success in a certain industry.


The given scores serve as an estimate of what a candidate needs to achieve in order to be considered for a job role. It is recommended by Predictive Index that an individual should add 2 to their target score in order to improve competitiveness as a candidate being 2 points above the target score indicates a “100% cognitive fit” for the role.


When practicing for the assessment, it is important to have some idea of what one’s target score is. With an idea of the required score, one can more appropriately commit the required time to improve one’s performance such that they eventually meet the requirement for their desired job role.

PI PL Test Tips

  • Do not spend too much time on a single question. Time is incredibly short in this exam and spending too much time agonizing over a single item could cost you dearly.
  • Pay attention to all answer choices. If the correct answer is not immediately apparent, it may be worth quickly eliminating answers which cannot be correct.
  • If you cannot answer a question – guess. There is no penalty for incorrect answers, so it is far better to guess and face a chance of getting lucky with the correct answer than it is to leave the question blank and have no chance of scoring a point.
  • Make sure that you get an appropriate amount of sleep before the test. It is unanimously agreed that a good night’s sleep can contribute significantly to a strong test score. Similarly, ensure that you have eaten properly beforehand.

While general tips may be helpful, there is no greater preparation for the PI Learning Indicator than studying the subjects contained within and practicing the test. Prepterminal’s preparation pack offers text/video modules which have been professionally formulated to deliver the most effective preparation in the most efficient timeframe. Maximize your score potential with our preparation pack. Simulate real test conditions with our mock test content, find your strengths and revise accordingly and learn the most effective strategies for the 9 question types encountered in this test.