What is Kenexa?
Kenexa, owned by IBM, is a global business psychology consultancy. Starting as a recruitment and employment services company in 1987, Kenexa continues to offer talent management services and psychometric testing to assist companies in hiring the best talent. Kenexa was acquired by IBM in 2012. It now has a portfolio of over 1,500 tests, which can be tailored to create the recruitment screening process an employer desires. These tests cover a vast array of topics and, when customised, are suitable for use across many different sectors and job levels. The assessments are most commonly encountered in the initial stages of a recruitment process but may also be used as part of a later stage assessment centre.
What are the Kenexa Test Categories?
There are six main categories of Kenexa test:
Aptitude/Advanced Reasoning Tests
These are Kenexa’s traditional psychometric tests. The advanced reasoning tests on offer include numerical, verbal and logical reasoning assessments. These test a candidate’s skill across these areas, as well as their general mental aptitude and agility. The tests are timed, so speed and accuracy are both factors.
Kenexa Career Fit Tests
Kenexa’s Career Fit tests assess candidate suitability for a particular job role, exploring potential for development. The tests assess personality and competency in order to gain insight into workplace fit and future performance.
Kenexa Culture Fit Tests
The Culture Fit tests offered by Kenexa assess whether prospective employees are a good match for an organisation’s core values and ways of working. To ensure employee retention and satisfaction, as well as quality performance, alignment with company workplace culture is vital. The tests explore your character and personal values to evidence your fit.
Kenexa Job Fit Tests
The Kenexa Job Fit tests are designed to assess candidate competency and capability in direct relation to the demands and responsibilities of a job role. They are tailored tests which indicate whether candidates possess the characteristics necessary to excel in the position.
Kenexa Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Kenexa Key Performance Indicators is a suite of tools used to identify candidate strengths and highlight whether individuals are likely to exhibit behaviours important for success in the job role – such as teamwork or strong communication skills.
Kenexa Prove It!
Kenexa Prove It! is a platform featuring over 1,200 assessments, including work skills, workplace fit, general aptitude and personality tests. Some tests are tailored to assess specific skills needed for job roles – such as software competency (i.e. Microsoft Office). Kenexa Prove It! is being gradually phased out and replaced by IBM’s Talent Assessments, which cover similar bases.
Kenexa Aptitude Tests
Kenexa’s aptitude tests are designed to assess a candidate’s ability across different types of reasoning: numerical, verbal and logical. These tests are the most commonly encountered offering from Kenexa, with many employers using reasoning assessments as a part of their recruitment processes. The tests are all administered under timed conditions, assessing ability to answer accurately under pressure. When set in combination, they highlight candidate strengths and weaknesses across written communication, numerical manipulation and pattern interpretation.
Kenexa Numerical Reasoning Test
The Kenexa Numerical Reasoning Test assesses a candidate’s ability to deal with mathematical concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios and sequences, alongside general arithmetic. The test also involves data interpretation and analysis, with information presented in charts, graphs, diagrams and tables. Questions may also assess more specific skills relating to the job sector, such as currency conversion or calculating profit margins. The test is comprised of 20 multiple choice questions (which are selected from a question bank of 174 potential options). Candidates have 20 minutes to complete the test.
Check out our numerical reasoning page here.
Kenexa Verbal Reasoning Test
The Verbal Reasoning Test published by Kenexa tests involves understanding and analysing written passages of text. Candidates are expected to rapidly interpret the information given in order to answer questions related to the passage content and inference, alongside its grammatical and language features. No prior knowledge on the subject of the text is needed. Candidates are given statements and asked whether they are ‘true’, ‘false’ or if they ‘cannot say’ from the information provided. The test involves answering 24 questions in a 20-minute period, so a steady pace is needed to complete the assessment.
Take a look at our full guide to verbal reasoning tests here.
Kenexa Logical Reasoning Test
The Kenexa Logical Reasoning Test involves questions containing sequences of shapes. Candidates are required to identify the rule(s) governing the pattern and select the figure which completes the sequence. The questions are multiple choice, so there will be answer options to aid your deduction. This type of reasoning test assesses visual interpretation skills that are rarely utilised in everyday life, so practising to become accustomed to the style and demands of logical reasoning questions is important in order to achieve a high score.
Click here to learn more about logical reasoning tests.
Kenexa’s Computer Adaptive Test (CAT) contains logical, verbal and numerical questions which increase in difficulty level as a candidate progresses through the assessment. The CAT is set as a combined assessment, instead of candidates sitting separate reasoning tests. If the recruitment process contains other online assessments such as personality and situational judgement tests, the CAT can help to avoid administering too many separate assessments – as this can negatively impact candidate experience and satisfaction.
Which Financial Employers Use Kenexa?
Many organisations trust Kenexa tests to help identify the strongest and most suitable talent to join their ranks. Financial companies that use Kenexa’s aptitude, personality and competency tests include Nomura, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Grant Thornton. The tests are most often employed within the recruitment process, either after application submission or as part of a later stage online assessment day. Kenexa tests are also used to assess for internal progression opportunities within companies.
Top 5 Tips to Prepare and Pass Your Kenexa Assessments
It is important to impress by achieving a high score in Kenexa tests administered during the recruitment process. Consider the following tips when preparing for your Kenexa assessments:
1. Practise answering Kenexa questions The best way to prepare for an upcoming test is to become accustomed to the types of questions you will encounter. Getting used to the style and demands of the questions will strengthen your ability to answer the questions accurately at speed and help to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
2. Focus on improving your weaker areas, but also honing your strengths Practising Kenexa questions will help to identify areas of weakness, so revision time and topics can be scheduled accordingly. It is, however, important to build ability in areas you may find difficult, whilst also developing capacity to answer questions in your stronger areas. Kenexa questions may differ from those in reasoning assessments you have previously encountered, so take nothing for granted and ensure preparation stretches across all topics.
3. Keep track of your pace When preparing for your test(s), have an awareness of the pace at which you are working. Kenexa assessments are timed. Although the number of questions contained in the tests varies depending upon test type, they all require a steady working pace to complete the questions within the time limit. Get used to working at speed, so you will be able to work quickly and accurately through the official assessment.
4. Read the questions carefully Although time is tight during the tests, don’t rush through the information contained in the content of the questions. Some questions will be intended to test a candidate’s attention to detail and reaching the correct answer will depend upon paying attention to its nuances. This is particularly the case in the verbal reasoning assessment. Read the questions twice to ensure you have gleaned the correct impression of what it demands. Unnecessary mistakes are made by assuming what the question is asking instead of confirming it.
5. Widen your approach to practise Whilst answering Kenexa style questions is a great way to prepare, the best candidates go a step further, supplementing their preparation by applying the same skills to other situations. For example, to prepare for the verbal reasoning assessment, read prose on business and financial topics (such as The Financial Times or The Economist). Test your overall understanding of articles and ability to interpret, summarise and analyse what you have read. Extra practise for the logical reasoning assessment can be found by completing online games involving patterns, shapes and sequences that require the deduction and reapplication of the rules governing the situation.
What do I need to complete a Kenexa assessment?
To sit your Kenexa assessment(s), you will need access to a computer or laptop with a stable internet connection. The tests are best taken in a quiet space free of distraction, where you feel comfortable.
Are Kenexa tests difficult?
Kenexa tests can be tricky if you are not used to the style of the questions, but with practise you can fully prepare yourself to tackle the assessment with confidence. Whilst no specific subject knowledge is needed to tackle the tests, revising basic mathematical concepts and language and grammar conventions will help to prepare you for the numerical and verbal reasoning assessments.
Are Kenexa tests timed?
Yes, Kenexa tests do have a time limit for completion. For the Kenexa Advanced Reasoning Tests, this is 20 minutes. The timed nature of the assessments is another factor which increases their difficulty, so it is important to get used to answering at pace in preparation.
How are Kenexa tests scored?
You will receive a separate score for each aptitude assessment taken. Scores are compared across the candidate cohort, as well as to a benchmark. Commonly, due to their competitive nature, you will need to score in the top range to move on to the next stage in a recruitment process.