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McQuaig Mental Agility Test: Guide and Examples

McQuaig Mental Agility Test: Guide and Examples

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The McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT) assesses thinking speed and overall mental agility.

This useful tool forms part of the employee hiring process for many medium to large employers.

The test is made up of 50 multiple-choice questions, which are designed to test vocabulary, verbal reasoning, mathematical ability and general mental agility.

Candidates have 15 minutes to answer as many questions as possible. A candidate’s MMAT results can be used to establish whether they are a good fit for a job role.

What Is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test?

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT) is a 15-minute test comprising 50 multiple-choice questions.

Created by psychologist Jack McQuaig, the test was written in line with the requirements of the British Psychological Society and Psychological Testing Centre standards.

In some job roles, the ability to think fast and take the appropriate action efficiently is critical. When an employer is hiring for this type of job role, the McQuaig Mental Agility Test is a useful assessment tool.

The test assesses verbal reasoning, vocabulary and the ability to perform simple mathematical functions.

As well as general mental agility, it provides insight on a candidate's ability to think, learn and absorb new information, systems and processes.

The questions in the MMAT are presented in a random order. Candidates are not expected to be able to answer every question within the given time frame, but achieving a high score will often help them to progress to the next stage of the hiring process.

That said, in some cases a high score does not necessarily correlate with suitability for a job role.

For some roles, an average agility score is considered better, as a candidate with higher mental agility may not be adequately challenged by the job role.

The MMAT is available in both online and paper-based formats. When taking the online version, an on-screen timer is shown to help candidates keep track of time.

If you are required to take the paper-based test, it is important to ask for a timer or stopwatch to help you keep track of time.

Calculators and cell phones are not allowed, but candidates are permitted to use a pen and paper for calculations or making brief notes.

What Are Some Examples of the McQuaig Mental Agility Test?

The following McQuaig Mental Agility Test examples are designed to give you an idea of the type of questions in the assessment.

Example Question

1. Simon bought eight bananas for $0.96. How much would six bananas cost?

a) $0.64
b) $0.70
c) $0.72
d) $0.80

Example Question

2. What is the next number in the following sequence?

5, 3, 7, 9, 15, 23

a) 36
b) 37
c) 38
d) 39

Example Question

3. ‘Book’ is to ‘read’ as:

a) 'Painting' is to 'easel'
b) 'Pond' is to 'duck'
c) 'Knife' is to 'cut'
d) 'Television' is to 'watch'

Example Question

4. Which of the following words is the odd one out?

a) Ocean
b) Boat
c) Seaweed
d) Sand
e) Seashell

Example Question

5. What is the antonym of ‘narrow’?

a) Long
b) Straight
c) Curvy
d) Broad

Why Is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test Used?

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test helps hiring managers to identify potential employees who have high-level problem-solving skills, can remain calm under pressure and can work quickly and accurately when faced with deadlines.

Many medium to large employers use aptitude tests like the MMAT. This test can be used for external recruitment, internal recruitment and other organisational purposes.

For external hires, it can be used as either a standard part of the process or to help decide on the most suitable candidate for a particular job role.

For example, if there are three potential candidates with similar qualifications, skills and experience the recruiter might use the MMAT to help them decide who to hire.

For internal recruitment, the test can be used to identify the best candidates for a promotion opportunity.

Other uses include testing existing staff to establish a baseline requirement for a particular job role. This can be useful when an employee is approaching retirement or moving on to a different role.

The MMAT is also used to assess how a candidate thinks.

Managers can use this information to find out whether the candidate thinks in a similar way to staff already employed within their team.

With this information, they can decide whether the candidate would be a good fit for the existing team.

When a recruiter uses the McQuaig Mental Agility Test, they are looking for people who can make well-structured arguments and reach considered conclusions.

Preparing thoroughly for the test helps to demonstrate that you have good organisational skills and an ability to be prepared for the unexpected.

How Is the McQuaig Mental Agility Test Scored?

The scoring system for the MMAT is relatively simple. Candidates are scored one point for every correct answer. The total score is compared to a standard score or percentile score.

A score below 24 is considered to be below average. A score between 25 and 37 is average. A score of between 38 and 45 is above average. A score of 46 and over demonstrates an exceptional level of mental agility.

Points are not deducted if you give an incorrect answer or decide to skip past a question. If you are stuck, it is best to move on to the next question.

You can return to any skipped questions at the end of the test, and it is sensible to make an educated guess if you are running out of time.

McQuaig Mental Agility Test: Guide and Examples
McQuaig Mental Agility Test: Guide and Examples

How to Prepare for the McQuaig Mental Agility Test

Effective preparation will help you to feel confident when taking the test. Feeling stressed can have a negative impact on your test results.

Here are some tips:

Find Out About the Test

If you have been asked to take the MMAT, speak to the prospective employer or hiring manager in advance to establish the following:

  • Will the test format be online or paper-based?
  • Will the test be taken remotely, in a test centre or at the employer’s offices?
  • What happens after taking the test?
  • Will the test take place on the same day as the formal interview?

Take Practice Tests

Answering McQuaig Mental Agility Test practice questions is one of the best ways to prepare for the MMAT.

Practice tests allow you to become familiar with the format of the test and the type of questions.

You can find free and paid-for practice assessments on the WikiJob website and other online resources such as JobTestPrep.

Practice Time Management

As part of your preparation, it is important to work on your time management skills.

Answering questions against the clock is important, as it will give an indication of how many questions you can answer within the given time frame. It will also help you to decide which questions you should skip and come back to.

The total time allowed for the test is 15 minutes and there are 50 questions in total, so you have about 18 seconds per question.

You should be aiming to answer at least two or three questions per minute. To answer all of the questions, you will need to work at a pace of between three and four questions per minute.

Don't Rush

Although there is a time limit, it is still important not to rush. Reading through the questions carefully is vital if you want to avoid making mistakes.

Working methodically and carefully is the best way to approach the MMAT.

If you are faced with a question that you have no idea how to answer, move on to the next question. You will be able to return to any skipped questions at the end if you have time.

How to Improve Your Mental Agility

If you do not achieve the score you want in a mental agility practice test, try not to be disheartened. Mental agility can be improved over time with practice.

Here is our step-by-step guide:

Step 1. Explore Alternative Solutions

Try not to get stuck on just one approach to a problem. Looking at things from a few different angles can help to inspire creativity.

Step 2. Improve Your Focus

Try to concentrate on solving one specific issue before moving on to the next.

Most people try to multitask, but staying focused on one task can help to improve your overall concentration levels and remove unnecessary distractions.

Step 3. Incorporate Physical Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

Even if it’s just a brisk walk in nature, physical education will help to reduce stress, improve your memory and build new brain cells.

Step 4. Try Meditation, Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises

Everyone is different, so you may need to try a few different approaches before you find one that works for you. The benefits include improved concentration as well as better problem-solving and learning abilities.

Step 5. Train Your Brain

The brain is a muscle – so it needs exercise and training. Learning something new is one way to tackle this.

Whether you choose to learn a new job-related skill, language or practical skill, getting out of your comfort zone will help you to start using different parts of your brain.

You could also try puzzles such as Sudoku, memory games and brain training apps.

Step 6. Broaden Your Range of Reading Material

If you want to enhance your vocabulary, try picking up a different type of book or magazine than usual.

If you always read crime fiction, have a look at some true crime non-fiction books.

If you only like to read magazines, start reading a variety of different newspapers instead.

Frequently Asked Questions

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test (MMAT) is designed to test vocabulary, verbal reasoning and mathematical ability.

It also offers recruiters insight into how well a candidate is able to learn, think and absorb new processes, systems and information. The test is made up of 50 multiple-choice questions and candidates have 15 minutes to complete it.

The questions on the McQuaig Mental Agility Test are verbal reasoning, mathematical ability and vocabulary. Questions are presented in a random order.

You can find many resources online to help you prepare for the McQuaig Mental Agility Test.

These include JobTestPrep and Practice4Me.

The McQuaig Mental Agility Test is a timed test, which must be completed within a 15-minute time frame.

Although the questions are not particularly difficult, working against the clock can make the MMAT difficult to pass. It is important to read each question carefully before choosing an answer.

The purpose of the McQuaig Mental Agility Test is to assess a candidate’s overall mental agility.

Results are used to determine whether a candidate’s level of mental agility makes them a good fit for a particular job role.

It is used by medium to large organisations as part of the hiring process, but it can also be used to define the baseline level of mental agility required for a job role.

One point is awarded for each correct answer. A score between 25 and 37 is considered to be average, while a score of between 38 and 45 is considered to be above average.

A score of 46 or over demonstrates that the candidate has an exceptional level of mental agility.

A good score on the McQuaig Mental Agility Test is one that is closely aligned to the job role applied for.

For example, if the vacant position requires mid-level mental agility, a candidate with a score of 49 is unlikely to be a good fit for that role.

In most cases, you will not be permitted to retake the McQuaig Mental Agility Test in the same recruitment cycle.

However, if you choose to reapply for the same job role at a later date, you may be permitted to retake the MMAT if your application is accepted.

You can find many sample questions for the McQuaig Mental Agility Test online. Websites such as JobTestPrep and Practice4Me offer a variety of useful resources, including practice test questions for the MMAT.

There are 50 questions on the McQuaig Mental Agility Test. Candidates must answer as many of the questions as possible within a 15-minute time limit.

JobTestPrep provides a comprehensive and complete guide for the McQuaig Mental Agility Test, including practice test questions.

You can also find useful information and resources on the official McQuaig website.

After taking the McQuaig Mental Agility Test, the recruiting manager will decide whether to progress your application to the next stage of the hiring process.

This may include further tests, skills assessments or a face-to-face interview.

Final Thoughts

If you are applying for a job role in a fast-paced environment, mental agility is key to your success. When taking the MMAT, preparation is vital.

Whether you are applying for a position with a new employer or putting yourself forward for promotion opportunities, knowing what to expect from the test is the best way to minimise and manage stress.

Commit to completing practice MMAT assessments in the lead-up to your test, working against the clock to improve your time management and identifying your individual strengths and weaknesses.

It is also important to take care of your physical and mental health. Ensure that you are well rested on the day of the test and make sure that you eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast.

Stay hydrated, practise your breathing and minimise distractions to help you feel calm throughout the assessment.

With adequate preparation and practice, you will be able to achieve the score that you are hoping for and move on to the next stage of the hiring process.


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