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Aaron Wallis offers the TST, or Tests for Selection and Training, which is probably the most valid aptitude, or ability test, available in the UK commercial marketplace.  TST is used in both recruitment selection and management development and is a tool that assesses 'raw brain processing horsepower' in essence how quickly an individual processes, retains and deploys information.  TST is an excellent indicator of fluid intelligence and fast track potential.  

TST originates from Government psychometrics devised in 1980s' and has been used by the British Army Recruitment Battery (or BARB) since 1992 as a measure of fluid intelligence.  TST is a highly validated psychometric that is an extremely robust indicator of performance and an individual's ability to learn and to take onboard training.

TST tests in five areas: Perceptual Speed, Working Memory, Numerical Speed and Accuracy, Reasoning and Special Visualization, and then benchmarks each test against the UK working population.  The resulting report compares the result of each test against the UK working population together with an overall percentile ranking.  The test is taken in a classroom environment and has to overseen by a qualified Administrator.  TST Testing really does demonstrate if an individual has the right mental attributes to succeed and has proven to significantly increase the chances of making the right recruiting decisions.

How Can TST be Used in a Recruitment Process

TST  provides a reliable, accurate and valid means of identifying how quickly a person can learn and retain new skills and procedures.  It measures their trainability and speed of learning and can provide answers to questions  such as:

  • Can this person think on their feet?

  • Can they cope with the mental demands of the job?

  • Can they make accurate decisions?

  • Is this person a problem solver?

  • Is this person a star of the future?

Thomas International TST (Tests for Skills and Training) typically takes around 1hr 15 mins to complete (with instruction - the testing is actually only 15 minutes in total) and requires strict controlling measures which have to be overseen by a qualified facilitator.  The results are then scored manually and fed into software that generates the reports.

Who Should We Test With TST?

TST is a general ability test that is valid in any recruitment process to both benchmark candidates and to understand the limitations of your new employees and understand their natural aptitudes.  TST is a fair and reliable indicator of aptitude across all levels and is designed to be undertaken by anyone with a reading and mathematical age of around thirteen.  In order to undertake the TST candidates must:

  • Know the alphabet and the order of its letters

  • Understand the difference between upper case and lower case letters

  • Compare simple adjectives like 'smaller' and 'taller'

  • Count up to 30

  • Subtract two numbers that are not greater than 30 and,

  • Recognise a shape and the mirror image of that shape.

What Does A TST Report Look Like?

An example TST report can be downloaded here.  Whilst the report contains some great indicators of performance and management suggestions our service also includes a full overview of the report on each candidate by a qualified Thomas International TST administrator.

How Valid Are TST Tests?

TST is probably the most validated and reliable psychometric ability test available in the UK commercial marketplace.  It is used by the British Army Recruitment Battery (BARB) and the Navy Personnel Series (NPS) as part of their recruitment selection process.  A commentary on the history of TST together with validation data can be downloaded here.


  • TST measures fluid intelligence rather than IQ using a battery of five tests.

  • TST provides a reliable, accurate and valid means of identifying potential

  • TST is fair, objective and discriminates positively

  • TST has a low level entry point and is applicable at all levels across an organisation

  • TST is undertaken in a controlled, classroom environment so the potential for false results are minimised.


Aaron Wallis clients that are currently recruiting in partnership with Aaron Wallis are able to upgrade their psychometrics to the TST at the cost price to Aaron Wallis.  This will be detailed upon request.

As TST has to be taken in a classroom environment the costs vary dependent on your location, your existing facilities (i.e. do you have a large enough room in which to undertake TST) and how many delegates you are looking to test.  As an illustration  for five candidates to be tested the cost will be £1,000+VAT.

To all other employers, Aaron Wallis are able to offer PPA's at the following costs:

Our service includes :

  • Thorough briefing session with each applicant by a BPS Level A and Thomas International accredited consultant prior to attending the session

  • Formal invitation

  • Full administration of the testing in a controlled classroom environment

  • Feedback to both client and candidate from a Thomas International accredited consultant

  • Full report on each applicant as per the TST example here

Due to the large upfront costs involved payment is required in full (by BACS, credit card, IBAN or similar bank transfer) prior to setting up the TST Testing.  Typically we will require one week's notice and we are happy to undertake the testing outside of normal 'office hours'

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