Know-how of Cognitive Skills

Know-how of Cognitive Skills

Part I - Quantitative Aptitude

What is Quantitative Aptitude?

Quantitative Aptitude refers to the ability of a person to perceive and process numbers and related symbols to perform basic arithmetic operations and perform estimates. The estimates can then be used to draw conclusions for taking important financial and business decisions. This competency tests one’s comfort with numbers and one’s ability to use numbers to take informed decisions. Quantitative Aptitude covers everything from being able to perform basic arithmetic operations to being able to identify trends based on data. Especially relevant for the BFSI industry, this competency has also gained its importance in other industries as well with time. Now organizations prefer their employees to be familiar with at least basic Numerical Ability.

How important it is?

If being able to analyse large amounts of data and drawing inferences from them is a skill desired, then candidates need to have a higher proficiency in Quantitative Aptitude. This competency enables one to evaluate situations and draw conclusions from a given piece of information. Being proficient in Quant also means possessing a higher concentration level and possessing the skill to solve problems. Quantitative Aptitude is considered to be a high-order thinking competency, which proves to be very useful in deciphering trends and patterns. Identifying trends and patterns helps one in taking important financial and business decisions like understanding the market demand, realizing the untapped segments in the market.


1.Numerical Ability- It refers to a candidate’s speed and accuracy while solving simple arithmetic problems that involve the use of operations like addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

Tools Used – Averages, BODMAS, Percentage

2.Designing Ability- For concepts such as symmetry, arrangements, patterns, points, shapes, space etc, a candidate should have the ability to understand abstract mathematical designs or multidimensional figures. This skill is of extreme importance for profiles like Mechanical Engineer, Civil Engineer, Architects, Graphic Designers etc.

Tools Used- Geometry and Mensuration

3.Statistics and Modern Mathematics - The ability to collect and scrutinize a large piece of information and data requires one to have knowledge of concepts, formulae, models and techniques used in statistical analysis of any given data. Modern mathematics includes grasping the underlying mathematical concepts and not just manipulation of numbers and formulae.

Tools Used- Mean, Mode, Median

4.Data Analysis – It refers to the ability to structure observations that are obtained from different data sources. This skill checks whether a candidate is able to interpret a large amount of data and whether is able to draw logical conclusions from that. This skill is required to analyse data to identify trends, which can be used to take future courses of action. A candidate who is good at Data Analysis is able to logically think and identify the market demand, identify the problems that may be plaguing the organization by noticing upward and downward trends of product sales etc.

Tools Used- Graphs, Charts, Tables

Relevant industries-

  1. Banking
  2. Finance
  3. Engineering
  4. Insurance
  5. Designing
Part II - Verbal Ability

What is Verbal Ability?

Verbal Ability assesses a person’s capability to understand verbal and written communication. This includes being able to understand words. This essentially means not only knowing what words mean in general but what their contextual meanings are. Verbal Ability also includes using correct grammar and punctuation while writing anything from emails to reports. Being able to process large amounts of information by possessing good reading skills is also an essential part of Verbal Aptitude. Being proficient in this competency is very important for effective and meaningful communication to take place at the workplace.

How important it is? 

Communication is an important competency, especially in the workplace. This is because information gets easily misinterpreted and this is not something that can be afforded especially while communicating with the clients. The way one communicates reflects highly on the organization that one represents. Good communication can result in making or breaking deals and Verbal Ability is a competency required for effective communication to take place.  This competency is not only important for communicating with customers and clients but also within the organization. Knowing how to construct grammatically correct sentences is a step toward communicating with clarity. Proficiency in this competency helps one in expressing oneself with ease, in taking less time to understand and process information, in interacting well with the management and the clients and in delivering desired results.

Skills -

1.Reading Skills - Reading skills represent the capacity of a person to process, retain and synthesize large amounts of information. Employees with good reading skills take lesser time to absorb information and deliver outputs as compared to those with average/ poor reading skills. Employees who are good at reading are more likely to be aware of current affairs.

Tools Used - Reading Comprehension, Para Jumbles

2.Writing Skills - A fair amount of time at work is spent communicating via the written word. People with good writing skills are seen as more credible. A single spelling mistake can cause potential customers/clients to doubt the credibility of the organization. Good writing skills allow a person to communicate with clarity.

Tools Used - Essay Writing, Precis Writing, Email Writing

3.Listening Skills - In any business organization, listening is key to an effective working relationship amongst employees and between employees and the management. It also has a very big impact on the company’s interaction with customers and other businesses it deals with. Listening helps gain information and facts from customers/clients and helps in making right decisions.

Tools Used - Audio based questions

4.Grammar Skills- Grammar is very important in business communication. While communicating with clients, a grammatical mistake can not be afforded. This is not only because grammatical mistakes do not give a good impression but also because it could convey something else and not what you intended. Good grammar skills are essential to communicate with clarity. People who spend time carefully formulating sentences and proofreading their work are good at producing quality and error-free work.

Tools Used- Sentence Correction, Sentence Completion

5.Vocabulary Skills- Words are the very essence of written and verbal communication. The appropriate word or set of words to be used depend on the context, tone and gravity of the message as well as on the relationship with the person to whom it is addressed. The ability to use the right word at the right time is always an added advantage. A candidate with good vocabulary is able to express thoughts well and perform well at presentations, business meetings, discussions, training and development etc.

Tools Used - Antonyms & Synonyms, Idioms and Phrases

Relevant industries -

  1. Travel and Hospitality
  2. Journalism
  3. IT
  4. Healthcare
  5. Banking and Finance
  6. Education

Part III - Reasoning Aptitude 

What is Reasoning Aptitude?

Reasoning Aptitude contains a huge umbrella of skills under it. Right from being able to analyse a problem to solving it, from making sense of abstract data to thinking of innovative ways to address a situation, it covers everything. Reasoning Aptitude is the ultimate test of a candidate’s intelligence. This is because, in other competencies, prior knowledge of the subject is required to a certain extent. However, for Reasoning Aptitude, no prior knowledge is required to perform well in this competency. Therefore, every organization wants his/her employees to possess good reasoning skills so that their business can grow. Hence, right from the lowest ranked worker to the CEO needs to possess to have decent reasoning skills.

How important it is?

As mentioned before, Reasoning Ability contains a huge umbrella of skills under it and every skill represents a unique ability in a candidate. This competency is used to test basic logical thinking skills, which can be used to solve everyday problems like addressing issues faced by a client/customer. It is also used to test the critical thinking and decision-making ability of a higher level professional, which can be used to arrive at innovative solutions like a new product offering. Proficiency in Reasoning Ability means to be able to evaluate arguments, recognize assumptions and execute the best possible solution to a problem. This competency judges a candidate’s lateral thinking ability so that only the useful information is used and the irrelevant information is discarded. Higher proficiency in reasoning also means being able to visualize and apply reasoning to arrive at logical conclusions.


1.Fluid Intelligence- Fluid Intelligence is the ability of a person to quickly identify patterns and the logical rule underlying the patterns to arrive at solutions. It involves gathering work-related information quickly, from various sources and applying it in innovative ways to solve problems. A candidate with high fluid intelligence has high lateral thinking abilities and abstract reasoning skills.

Tools Used- Advanced Progressive Matrices (Based on JC Raven Progressive Matrices test)

2.Problem Solving- Problem Solving refers to a person’s ability to reason and provide systematic solutions to a given problem. A person good at problem solving is able to analyze a situation by breaking it down into simple cases, then evaluate different alternatives to the problem in a step by step manner, select the best solution while eliminating the cases that do not fit.

Tools Used- Arrangements (Ranking, Circular, Linear), Analogies (Verbal, Semantic, Number and Letter)

3.Spatial Reasoning- Spatial Reasoning involves creating a mental image of an object in order to reach a certain conclusion. It is an important skill that triggers innovative discovery and simple problem-solving. Spatial Reasoning skills enhance the ability to visualize and reason spatially. It displays the ability to draw conclusions about an object with limited information.

Tools Used- Mirror and Water Image questions

4.Critical Thinking- It refers to the ability to analyze a situation in order to form a judgement. It is based on logical reasoning and evidence. A candidate’s ability to think out-of-the-box to arrive at innovative solutions to a problem. The sub-skills required for critical thinking include the ability to evaluate arguments, draw inferences, interpret information, recognize assumptions etc.

Tools Used- Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, Critical Reasoning

5.Decision Making- This refers to the ability of the person to take right decisions. It identifies the ability of a candidate to choose between a given set of alternatives. It tests whether a candidate can take the most rational decision when faced with difficult choices. The sub-skills include identifying the cause and effect, drawing conclusions and identifying the best course of action.

Tools Used- Statement Conclusion, Statement- Course of Action

Relevant industries -

Relevant across all industries.