Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment - Learn How to Prepare
David PI Behavioral Assessment Expert

David, PI Behavioral assessment expert at JobTestPrep.

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What is the PI Behavioral Assessment?

The Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment is a short and popular personality test. You’ll get a list of adjectives and will be asked to choose those that reflect your behavior. It is often administered with the popular PI Cognitive Assessment, but may also be given as a stand-alone behavioral assessment. 

Here is an example of some adjectives that can appear on the list:

PI adjectives


The answers chosen on the PI exam assess the way you interact and influence people, how you deal with rules and structure, and how you prefer to take in information. The manner in which you answer allows your employer to evaluate whether there is a high match between the necessary qualities for the job and your character.

Watch 3 simple steps to answer and pass the PI behavioral assessment:

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The PI behavioral test is untimed, and neither are you evaluated on the time it takes you to answer. However, it is pretty short, so it will probably take you about 10-15 minutes to complete. The purpose is to help you answer quickly and spontaneously, as it is assumed that spontaneous reactions better reflect your true behavior.

Preparing for the test allows you to understand which qualities are being assessed to choose items in a smart and strategic manner. For this reason, it is highly important to practice and prepare beforehand. Without the right preparation, it might be overwhelming.

Want to learn how to generate the best matching profile? Keep reading.

What to Expect When Taking the Predictive Index Behavioral Test?

On the test, you’ll be asked to choose adjectives that describe you. 


PI Assessment List


The first time, you’ll see a list with 86 single words of adjectives. You'll be asked to choose the qualities you think other people expect you to demonstrate. This represents your perception of the way you are supposed to act.

The second time, you’ll see the same list, but you will be asked to mark the qualities you believe reflect your behavior. It represents who you naturally are in almost any situation. We’ll get into it in depth later on.

The qualities are easy to understand and straightforward, but without knowing them before or prior practice, the chances of passing the test are low. In the PrepPack™ you’ll get a detailed guide that will teach you how to choose the qualities that match to your role. 


Expert Tip #1

Choose enough qualities, but not too many.

You should choose enough qualities so there will be sufficient data to understand your character. On the other hand, be careful not to choose too many qualities.

If you mark 80 out of 86 adjectives that describe you, it will not provide the company with any meaningful information.

Such a wide response will not be able to indicate what are your dominant and least dominant qualities are. We recommended choosing between 20-50 adjectives in each list.

In our PI PrepPack™, you’ll find more important tips and easy rules to follow that will help you meet the test criterions, and succeed in it.

Want to know how to choose enough qualities? 


Now, let’s dive into the test and learn about the personality characteristics it measures.

Which Skills Are Tested on the PI Test?

On the PI Behavioral Assessment, employers are looking to assess your personality type. Your profile is analyzed by 4 Primary Characteristics: 


PI Factors


1. Dominance

Measures the degree to which you seek to control your environment. 

If you are the type of individual who is able to control an environment by sharing ideas and opinions, and can get things done, then you have a dominance drive quality.

2. Extroversion

Measures to what extent you seek social interaction with others, as well as the degree to which you seek to control your environment. 

If you are outgoing, persuasive, and socially-poised, you have this drive. You can simply put this as a people person and a team player.

3. Patience

Measures the degree to which you seek consistency and stability in your environment. [accordion]

Are you methodological, steady, and calm in your work environment? Are you happy with long-term tasks and prefer consistency rather than changes? If this sounds like you, you likely have the Patience Drive. 

4. Formality

Measures the degree to which you seek to conform to formal rules and structure.

This type of trait could also be known as a perfectionism. An employee with high formality will be very attentive to details, extremely organized and highly conformant to the rules. 


The big question is how to adjust your score to each of those characteristics to fit the job requirements

For example, what is the ideal score in the extroversion for a management role? What is the appropriate score in patience for a technological position? What is considered a good score in dominance for a junior management position? Or, whether the score in formality for an administrative position should be higher than the extroversion’s score.

The PrepPack ™ focuses on teaching you the answers to these questions.

Expert Tip #2

You should avoid selecting all the qualities that are related to the same characteristic. Rather, select a mix of qualities to demonstrate the characteristics that you wish to highlight as more dominant or less dominant in your personality.

In the PrepPack™ you’ll get a detailed guide that classifies each one of the traits to its characteristic. You’ll also get practice and an example test, that looks like the real one, to make sure you won’t encounter any surprises. 

Want to learn how to choose the right mix of qualities for your specific role? 

How to Answer the PI Test Successfully and Get the Job?

Each one of the adjectives you’ll choose falls into one of the Four Characteristics. If you understand this breakdown, you will be able to classify most of the adjectives.

You need to analyze the job description and discern which characteristics are the most desirable for this role and which ones are the least. It sounds a bit complex, but in the PrepPack™ you’ll get a detailed guide that will teach you how to do that.

Then, you will classify each adjective on the list and see if it matches the profile you built. That way you’ll know which adjectives to choose that suit your job. What matters the most is the group that the adjective belongs to rather than the adjective itself.


Let’s practice an example together:

How to answer the assessment for a sales position?

How To Answer PI Assessment Sales


When applying for sales positions, you should score the highest in extraversion and dominance while scoring lower in patience and formality. To obtain the necessary sales profile in your score report you must select adjectives such as Assertive, Demanding, and Dominant while avoiding adjectives like Gentle, Nonchalant and Worrying.

It might look simple when only 6 qualities are presented. But things may get complicated when analyzing 86 qualities without practicing or thinking about them in advance. It gets even harder when you need to fill out 2 questionnaires with different instructions.

This is exactly the purpose of the PrepPack™, shedding light on the test and make it simpler - to help you pass it successfully.

Now, let's do a mental exercise and think about how to answer the test for a clerk position:

How To Answer PI Assessment Clerk


In contrast, a clerk position demands higher levels of formality and patience and lower levels of dominance and extraversion. To build the ideal profile for this role, you should mark words such as Conscientious, Loyal, and Tolerant while leaving words as Brave, Persuasive, and Daring unmarked.

So, you might ask yourself how they calculate your matching rate based on the adjectives you choose. Let’s find out!

How Is the Test Scored?

When the Predictive Index is scored, each adjective chosen contributes a 'point' to its related characteristic.

Three profiles are generated. The first is based on your answers on the first list. It represents the way you think you are expected to behave in the workplace. The second is based on the second list and represents your natural behavior, how you act most of the time.

Both lists have equal importance in your score. Combining them together, by summing the points of each characteristic, creates your full profile, that predicts your actual performance at work.

Then, a hierarchy, or ranking, is created between the characteristics that determine your profile typecast.

You can see here an example of how a different hierarchy between the characteristics, creates 2 distinct personality profiles.


PI Hierarchy


The left profile describes people who naturally take charge, lead, but sometimes can move too fast for others. They are very proactive and see risk as an opportunity.

The profile on the right describes a person who easily accepts other’s decisions and focuses on getting things done in a proper way. 

How to Get the Best Results?

Here's the kicker: to control your PI test score and prove your suitability, you must recognize which characteristic each adjective belongs to, with respect to the specific job you are applying for.

Also, there are no absolute high and low scores, and for each role and employer, the "passing profile types" change, as the requirements and values of the company are different.

Your full profile gives the employer insights into whether there is a match between the perception of how you are expected to be in the environment and who you naturally are.

Our guide will teach you how to avoid a situation that the profiles are not in coherency with each other. If they aren’t, it means you are ambivalent, and it might be a struggle.


Expert Tip #3

There is an importance to a relation between the ratio and number of adjectives you choose on each list since it affects your morale score.

This is an additional metric that reflects how responsive you are in the workplace environment. It is measured by the difference between the number of qualities you chose on the first list and the second list.

Want to find out how many adjectives you should choose on each list to get a good morale score? 

Predictive Index Test FAQs

I Took a Free Test to Practice, What More Can I Do?

Taking a free practice test is great but it’s not enough. You want to make sure you meet all the test criteria, and that you emphasize the right qualities for the job you applied for.

To accomplish this, you need to learn the rules of the test and practice them. You also want to develop the skills to identify what is the preferred profile your future job is looking for. 

What Is the Difference Between the Predictive Index Behavioral Assessment and the Cognitive One?

The PI Behavioral Assessment and the PI Cognitive Assessment are both pre-employment tests created by the Predictive Index assessment company. While both help employers screen potential employees, each of them assesses different aspects of the individuals personality.

The behavioral assessment tests your behavior and how well you fit to a certain company culture, while the cognitive assessment tests your general cognitive abilities. The latter gives the employer a sense of your learning skills and how well you cope with cognitive demands. 

What Are the 17 Reference PI Profiles?

Those are personality profiles that represent groups of people who share similar drives and therefore will have similar behavioral patterns. They are divided into 4 categories: analytical, president, social and stabilizing profiles.

It is nice to know them. But you don’t need to dig into them since each role can have several Reference Profiles that match it. To success in your PI assessment, it is important to focus on your specific job description and understand which qualities to highlight

Can You Fail the PI Test?

You can’t officially fail the test, but it will determine if you will progress to the next stage of recruitment.

You are then compared to other candidates, with the goal to predict which of the candidates has a good behavioral match to the role. 

Why companies use Predictive Index?

Thousands of companies around the world use it. They use it for hiring new employees and also for assessing their current ones, to determine if they are suitable for a management position. 

Can You See Your PI Assessment Results?

Well, you can’t see the results. However, you will get some feedback from your employer, but he will decide how much he wants to share with you. You will know a week or two after you take the assessment if you move on to the next stage. 


About the Author:


David is JobTestPrep's PI Behavioral Assessment expert. He has over 30 years' experience in the test prep industry, specializing in personality, behavioral, and Situational Judgment Tests. David has led JobTestPrep's efforts to provide test-takers with the most accurate online prep possible since 1992. You can contact him at

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