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Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (Guide & Tips)

Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (Guide & Tips)

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The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory is one of the Hogan Assessments – a series of pre-employment tests, used by potential employers to assess cognitive abilities, personality and leadership skills.

The HBRI, specifically, is a challenging assessment measuring reasoning ability and requires test-takers to analyze a lot of data in different formats.

Practicing the HBRI assessment is highly recommended, so sample test questions and answers are given here.

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory – also known as the HBRI test or assessment – is a tool used by employers for talent acquisition and development.

It is a highly respected psychometric test used in the business world, used to filter out unsuitable candidates by prospective employers and to identify high-quality hires suitable for leadership roles as well as promotion opportunities.

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory assesses two kinds of reasoning that candidates ought to show – qualitative and quantitative.

This article covers the format of the test – and how you can expect to be scored – as well as including HBRI sample questions and answers. Key tips for preparation are also given, which take into account the specific nature of this HBRI assessment.

What Is the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory?

The HBRI test was developed by Hogan – a company founded in 1987 by Drs. Joyce and Robert Hogan that focuses on personality assessment and leadership development.

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory is one of the Hogan Assessments – a series of pre-employment aptitude tests, used by potential employers to assess your cognitive abilities, personality and leadership skills.

The HBRI assessment specifically looks at your problem-solving skills and whether you can make solid decisions in a business context. It also analyzes your ability to learn from mistakes so you don’t repeat them.

It was developed exclusively by Hogan on working adults and has been validated against business success criteria that matter in the real world.

Most often, these types of advanced-level tests are given during the recruitment of management, rather than entry-level positions.

Post-hire, they can also be used for professional development opportunities throughout your career.

Most often, the HBRI is seen in the sales and marketing sectors – over 50% of Fortune 500 companies use Hogan’s assessments.

The HBRI Assessment Format

The HBRI is a challenging assessment measuring your reasoning ability and it requires analyzing a lot of data in different formats. You have only 30 minutes to complete it.

(There was an untimed version of the HBRI assessment that is still in circulation, so there is a chance you will be asked to take that one. In this case, it takes most people between 25 and 30 minutes to complete).

As it is an advanced psychometric test, the HBRI assessment is aimed at those who have completed a bachelor’s degree (in any topic), and there is an expectation that you have the ability to read English to ninth-grade level.

The HBRI assessment includes 24 questions that are carefully developed to assess your ability to look at large amounts of data and then come up with effective and decisive solutions.

The HBRI is made up of multiple-choice questions to assess your tactical reasoning. Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers can help you understand what to expect. Like an IQ test, the HBRI assessment questions are divided into three types:

  • Verbal reasoning and logic, which includes word analogies and logic problems, among others.
  • Numerical reasoning, which can combine math problems and calculations (of time and distance, area mapping and percentage ratios). You can expect data to be presented in the format of text, tables, charts and various types of graphs.
  • Abstract reasoning where you have to analyze or rotate two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures.

The questions can appear in any order during the test, so you must be nimble at jumping from one type to another. Practicing in advance with Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers can really help with that.

The timing of the HBRI assessment is also quite tight, so only a small percentage of the test takers complete the test fully. The more you practice with sample test questions and answers, the faster you will get and this will also drive your score up.

HBRI Assessment Sample Questions and Answers

Verbal Reasoning Sample Questions and Answers

Example Question

1. ‘Particular is to ‘distinct’ as ‘weak’ is to:

a) Strong
b) Frail
c) Brave
d) Fancy

Example Question

2. If X is an even number, then Y is an odd number. If Z is an even number, then Y is an odd number and vice versa.

X is the number 6. What number could Z be?

a) 4
b) 7
c) 3
d) 5

Numerical Reasoning Sample Questions and Answers

Example Question

1. If you have 4 playing cards and each of them are numbered 1, 2, 3 and 4, how many unique numbers can you make by placing the cards next to each other?

a) 4
b) 16
c) 24
d) 32

Example Question

2. Kate has $7.49, Thomas has $20.57 and Michael $17.55. The total that two of the three friends could not have is:

a) $25.04
b) $27.96
c) $28.06
d) $38.12

Abstract Reasoning Sample Questions and Answers

Example Question

Tina has a busy day. She has to take her son to school and then go to the Supermarket after picking up her friend. Red routes are main roads and black roads are local roads.

What is the most efficient route?

a) Drive from home to Friend’s house on red route. Drive on red route to school and then drive on black route to Supermarket.
b) Drive from Home to Friends house on red route. Then drive on black route to school and then continue on to drive on black route to Supermarket.
c) Drive on red route to friend’s house, then drive from there via the black route to school. Then drive from school to Supermarket on red route.
d) Drive to school on red route, then drive to Friend’s house on black route before driving to supermarket via the red route.

How Is the HBRI Assessment Scored?

Overall Score

An overall score is given as a percentage, ranking your performance on a sliding scale. For example, a percentage score of 80% shows that you performed to the same level or even better than 80% of the normative group – and thus would place you at the very high end of the scale.

If you practice lots of Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers in advance, you can expect a high score like this.

For ease and to help compare you to a normative group, the scale is split into four sections: low, average, high and very high. Hogan expects roughly 25% of the population to fall into each of these four sections due to the normative nature of the scores.

There is no typical number or score you must achieve to pass the HBRI test, but each employer will have their own threshold in gauging suitability.

If you score below the minimum score expected by your prospective employers, you have to wait six months before you can sit the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory test again. (The reason they make you wait is that they don’t want you to have artificially inflated test scores by repeatedly or rapidly retaking the test).

Breakdown of Scores

When it comes to breaking down your results, your critical reasoning score is divided into two sections: qualitative and quantitative.

The former is a more intuitive approach to problem-solving and reflects how you logically process abstract information using visualization, while the latter is about how you interpret quantitative data with spatial and mathematical reasoning skills given the right information.

These two, taken together, explain how candidates will solve problems on the job and their general cognitive style is then given – categorized into four different types of thinkers: Expedient, Contextual, Analytical and Critical.

The Expedient Thinkers tend to be opportunistic decision-makers who rely on gut or hunches rather than hard evidence. They may seek the quickest or easiest way through when faced with problems and are less reflective.

Contextual Thinkers are the second type and may be better at devising solutions, but often overlook small details in the planning and therefore ignore or minimize challenges that can cause issues.

The third type of thinker – Analytical – might be more adept at solving issues but can neglect the bigger picture, over-thinking instead of prioritizing making strong or immediate resolutions.

The Critical Thinkers are usually the most effective at solving problems, combining high qualitative and quantitative reasoning. They are excellent at weighing up the short and long term benefits of any solution, and make sound decisions.

Practicing Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers will help you identify over time which are the best answers to get you a Critical Thinker result.

Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory {Guide & Tips}
Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory {Guide & Tips}

How to Prepare for the Hogan HBRI Test: Step by Step

Like with all psychometrics, doing sample test questions and answers to prepare in advance for your HBRI assessment is important to increase confidence and achieve a high score to impress your potential employers.

Do plenty of research and be sure you understand the company you are applying to and what they are looking for. You might also find specific or tailored information about their hiring practices on forums online.

When it comes to the HBRI test, remember to answer each question from a business standpoint that serves the team and organization in the best way. Do not answer the questions from a personal perspective or a social one – you need to keep in mind the job description you are applying for and tailor your answers according to what they are seeking.

Here are some more specific preparation steps to bear in mind:

Step 1. Know the Test Format and Question Types

Because there are multiple types of questions in the HBRI, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with them in advance with sample tests and answers, so that on the day of the test, you’re not wasting valuable time adjusting to the format and what’s being asked of you.

The questions are not grouped into categories, which means that you need to be able to jump from one type to another easily.

Having said that, you also want to be sure you are reading each question thoroughly and are checking you understand it correctly.

Step 2. Take Practice Tests Online

The more you practice in advance with Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers, the more you will improve your accuracy and grow your confidence.

Working online, rather than using prep books or packs, will also help you mimic the actual test conditions. Taking full tests online will also mean that you don’t skew your practice in favor of the areas that you prefer or are best at.

It’s human nature to want to spend time on items you like, but you must practice for the HBRI assessment more broadly.

Step 3. Practice Under Timed Conditions

Because time is limited in the actual test, you want to be able to work with speed.

The practice tests you take online with sample test questions and answers will help you with pacing and work quickly under timed conditions.

Getting used to this will help grow your confidence and you will naturally perform better on the day.

Step 4. Get Enough Rest Before the Test

Being rested and hydrated on the day of the test will serve you well. Taking care of yourself physically and eating a protein-rich breakfast will set you up for success.

If you’re feeling mentally energized and focused, it can make a huge difference to your performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory – also known as the HBRI test or assessment – is a tool used by employers for talent acquisition and development.

It is a highly respected psychometric test used in the business world to filter out unsuitable candidates by prospective employers and to identify high-quality hires suitable for leadership roles as well as promotion opportunities.

The HBRI assessment looks at your problem-solving skills and whether you can make solid decisions in a business context.

When it comes to the HBRI test, remember to answer each question from a business standpoint that serves the team and organization in the best way.

Do not answer the questions from a personal perspective or a social one – you need to keep in mind the job description you are applying for and tailor your answers according to what they are seeking.

Because there are multiple types of questions in the HBRI, it’s worth practicing a lot of sample test questions and answers, and familiarizing yourself with them in advance, so that on the day of the test, you’re not wasting valuable time adjusting to the format and what’s being asked of you.

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory is made up of multiple-choice questions to assess your tactical reasoning. The HBRI questions are divided into three types to assess your skills:

  • Verbal reasoning and logic, which includes word analogies and logic problems among others.
  • Numerical reasoning, which can combine math problems and calculations (of time and distance, area mapping and percentage ratios). You can expect data to be presented in the format of text, tables, charts and various types of graphs.
  • Abstract reasoning where you have to analyze or rotate two-dimensional and three-dimensional figures.

There are lots of preparation and practice packs you can try online for the HBRI.

The more you practice Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers in advance, you will improve your accuracy and grow your confidence.

Working online, rather than using prep books or packs, will also help you mimic the actual test conditions.

Taking full tests online will also mean that you don’t skew your practice in favor of the areas that you prefer or are best at. It’s human nature to want to spend time on items you like, but you must practice for the HBRI more broadly.

Try and score as highly as possible to stand out from your competition by doing Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory sample test questions and answers.

There is no typical number or score you must achieve to pass the HBRI test, but each employer will have their own threshold in gauging suitability. An overall score is given as a percentage, ranking your performance on a sliding scale.

For example, a percentage score of 80% shows that you performed to the same level or even better than 80% of the normative group – and thus would place you at the very high end of the scale.

For ease and to help compare you to a normative group, the scale is split into four sections: low, average, high and very high.

You have only 30 minutes to complete the HBRI assessment.

(There was a previous, untimed version of the HBRI, which is still in circulation, so there is a chance you will be asked to take that one. In this case, it takes most people between 25 and 30 minutes to complete).

You have to work efficiently – the HBRI includes 24 questions that are carefully developed to assess your ability to look at large amounts of data and then come up with effective and decisive solutions.

There are lots of preparation and practice packs you can find online for the HBRI assessment that have sample questions and answers.

There is no typical number or score you must achieve to pass the HBRI test, but each employer will have their own threshold in gauging suitability.

If you score below the minimum score expected by your prospective employers, you have to wait six months before you can sit the Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory test again.

(The reason they make you wait is that they don’t want you to have artificially inflated test scores by repeatedly or rapidly retaking the test).

There are lots of preparation and complete practice packs you can find online for the HBRI assessment that have sample questions and answers.

The HBRI assessment includes 24 questions that are carefully developed to assess your ability to look at large amounts of data and then come up with effective and decisive solutions.

You have to work efficiently – as you have only 30 minutes to complete the HBRI.

(There was a previous, untimed version of the HBRI assessment, which is still in circulation, so there is a chance you will be asked to take that one. In this case, it takes most people between 25 and 30 minutes to complete).

After you finish the HBRI test, you get a detailed report split into three sections. This includes your overall score, your qualitative and quantitative reasoning results and the determined cognitive style you show (categorized into four different types of thinkers: Expedient, Contextual, Analytical and Critical).

Your results will be considered alongside additional factors, such as work experience, as well as academic or business performance.

You will likely be invited for an interview in addition to any psychometric tests or even to an assessment center where group tasks can be assessed alongside other factors.

Final Thoughts

The Hogan Business Reasoning Inventory (HBRI) examines candidates’ business reasoning ability and is designed to predict their real-world performance in the workplace.

This includes problem-solving and decision-making, as well as the ability to learn from mistakes. To be accurate and insightful, all the questions are business-related, and they measure the skill of using data to make accurate choices.

The HBRI assessment is based on evolutionary psychology and helps to identify candidates who have the natural abilities to succeed in the business world.

It is used in recruitment but also in staff development. If you are asked to take the HBRI test, practice sample test questions and answers – look at it as an opportunity to learn more about yourself and how to improve your critical thinking abilities.


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