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Profiling for Success (PFS) Test Practice & Preparation Tips

Aptitude Employment Tests Prep

What Is the Profiling for Success Test?

Team Focus released their Profiling for Success, or PFS, test series as a tool for companies and employers to impartially measure the aptitude and behaviour of their employees or candidates. These assessments are commonly used during the selection process for promotions and jobs.

The PFS series specifically calculates general acumen and the learning styles of the test-takers. These attributes are broken down and examined by Team Focus to narrow the candidate pool. It does this by assessing candidates immediately after they have submitted an application. Those who have performed well on the assessments are shortlisted for additional interviews and screenings. Those who have not performed well do not move forward.


What Does the Profiling for Success Test Cover?

Team Focus offers a versatile range of assessments designed to appraise either the intelligence or the personality of the test-taker. Their most popular assessments and the ones you are most likely to run into are the VNA, the LSI, the MAT, and the DAT. These tests cover the following material:


Decision Analysis Test

The Decision Analysis Test analyzes someone’s ability to resolve problems using ambiguous data and observations. It’s a thirty-minute test with thirty questions measuring analysis, judgment, and synthesis. This assessment is recommended for the hiring processes of graduates as a way to establish their problem-solving skills.


Learning Style Indicator

The Learning Style Indicator, or LSI, is used to assess the personality and behaviour of candidates to gain a better understanding of how they approach novel information. The LSI differentiates from the other psychometrics because it comes in the form of a questionnaire rather than an actual test. It’s an untimed survey with thirty-two questions.


Memory and Attention Test

The MAT is a non-verbal reasoning assessment designed to understand how someone’s memory affects their performance at work. It’s a fifty-question assignment and candidates have seventeen minutes to complete it. The MAT explicitly computes performance in five subsets: accuracy, speed, memorization, baseline response, and changes. The test supplies a series of shapes and objects that the candidate must memorize and then reiterate later in the test.


Verbal, Numerical & Abstract Reasoning Tests

The VNA is the most popular aptitude assessment in the PFS series. Team Focus features the assessment in two different versions to be administered to professionals at four levels of experience and education: secondary education, post-secondary education, entry-level and managers, and finally executives. Each version shares the following subsections:

  • Verbal Reasoning
    One version of the assessment has thirty-two questions with a four-minute time limit while the other features sixty questions and candidates are allotted ten minutes to complete it. This section is formatted around small passages of random information. Subsequently, there will be a statement that must be evaluated by the test-taker. From there, answer choices of “True”, “False”, or “Cannot Say” are displayed to establish the relationship between the passage and the statement.
  • Numerical Reasoning
    The numerical reasoning section is the longest in the VNA with time constraints of seven to ten minutes. It examines mathematical abilities by presenting a table or graph for the candidates to analyze. Performing basic operations and interpreting graphs is the extent of the math on the numerical reasoning section. There are twenty-eight or forty-eight question versions.
  • Abstract Reasoning
    The abstract reasoning section is entirely unique from the verbal and numerical reasoning sections because it uses shapes in place of words or numbers. With brief sequences, this section inspects the candidate’s ability to draw conclusions from novel information. The patterns are depicted by changes in shape, colour, or movement. There is a fifty question, four-minute version and a ten-minute, seventy-five-minute section.


How Is the Profiling for Success Test Scored?

The aptitude tests and personality questionnaires are scored differently due to the subject of the assessments.

First, we have the DAT and VNA These are scored using norm groups and percentiles. Norm groups are collections of scores from people who have the same amount of experience as you and are in the same field. For example, a graduate applying for an accounting job would have the norm group of post-secondary, finance. A percentile score is generated when a candidate’s raw score is compared to their norm group. This number informs the administrator of the test if the candidate is above, at, or below average in their respective discipline. It’s important to note that the percentile score is weighted heavier than the raw one.

Second, there are personality assessments. These are scored different because, technically, there are no right or wrong answers. This score report, unlike the one for the aptitude test, doesn’t detail specific numbers or label the results as passing or failing. Instead, it outlines common learning styles and behaviours, then describes how the candidate relates to them using a graph. Additionally, Team Focus provides a list of suggestions for how to improve on some areas of concern and how to cultivate certain assets the candidate may possess. It is up to the administrator to decide if the results of the test suit the job.

Finally, the MAT. This score report will detail the performance of the candidate on each of the aforementioned subsets as well as an overall score. The score report also interprets the results and informs the administrator of how the score represents the candidate’s assets.


Tips for the Profiling for Success Test

Your preparation for the Profiling for Success test depends on what type of assessment you are taking. Below are some tips for preparing for the PFS tests:

  • LSI
    The Learning Style Indicator is tricky to prepare for because the questions probe at your behaviour rather than intellect. However, there is a way to improve your results on the LSI. By doing background research on the company you have applied for or are currently working at, you have some insight into what the company expects from their employers. Companies usually display their values on their website as well as how they apply these values. Spend some time reviewing these and aligning them to your own experiences. This should help you step into an ideal frame of mind for the LSI.
  • MAT
    Your score on the MAT has the potential to improve significantly will enough practice. This assessment relies on a well-trained mind for success. There are dozens of online tests that simulate the MAT and can acquaint you to the strenuous time constraint and bulk of information. Additionally, the online practice tests allow you to track your progress and they illustrate areas that may be lacking such as your accuracy or hesitation.
  • VNA
    The V.N.A. has a few prerequisites that determine a candidate’s performance on the assessment. These include basic math and literacy. If you feel uncomfortable with these subjects, there are dozens of sample questions that are completely focused on the content alone without the stress of a ticking clock. The sample questions allow you to pay more attention to the thought process and learning patterns involved in solving these problems.
  • DAT
    The DAT is another assessment where a practice test is the most helpful preparation method available. The format of the test makes it one that is worth becoming familiar before you take the genuine one. Because the DAT examines unlearned intelligence, practising for the time limit and structure of the content will provide beneficial insight.



If you have an upcoming test from Team Focus’s PFS series, use these guidelines to assist yourself in your preparation. Spending a reasonable amount of time studying will ensure your success on these assessments. Best of luck!