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The Thomas GIA Test

The Thomas GIA Test

Updated May 17, 2022

By Hayley Ashworth
Hayley Ashworth

What Is the Thomas International GIA Test?

Thomas International was founded in 1981 and is one of the leading global providers of aptitude tests, working with over 32,000 companies across 60 countries.

The General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) is designed to test your general intelligence.

Initially developed for use in the armed forces, the Thomas GIA test was integral to the British Army Recruitment Battery (BARB).

In 1993, it was adapted to become a psychometric test for Thomas International.

Today, recruiters use the GIA test to predict potential employees' areas for improvement and personal development, as well as their strengths.

Those who perform exceptionally well are often singled out for future higher-level roles.

The test itself consists of five mini-tests and is scored on accuracy and speed.

What makes the Thomas International GIA test different from other personality tests is that it assesses verbal and numerical skills. This gives employers an idea of how capable you'll be at adapting, problem-solving and working in a team.

The five domains that are assessed are:

  • Perpetual speed
  • Reasoning
  • Number, speed and accuracy
  • Spatial visualization
  • Word meaning

It is commonly used in the financial sector, with JP Morgan, Deloitte and HSBC regularly using the GIA test as part of their graduate recruitment process.

What to Expect On the Thomas GIA Test

As of 2006, the GIA test is computer-based. It takes approximately 30-45 minutes to complete it, with each mini-test taking around two to five minutes.

Before each mini-test, you will be given a set of instructions and eight practice examples.

The five mini-tests, or sections are:

Perceptual Speed

Here, you will be expected to spot mistakes in tables, numbers and text.

Perceptual Speed Example Question

You will be presented with two sets of letters – one row of lowercase and one uppercase. You need to state how many of the sets match.

a r g y b
S R p Y B


For each statement you need to demonstrate your ability to draw educated and logical conclusions.

You will also be assessed on how easily you can recall information.

Reasoning Example Question

First, the statement will appear. Once you have memorized it, click to move onto the next screen and answer a related question.

You will not be able to go back to the previous page to double-check the statement.

Samantha is not as tall as Joseph.

Who is shorter? Samantha or Joseph

Number, Speed and Accuracy

This section reflects a classic numerical reasoning test as it assesses your understanding of numbers.

Number, Speed and Accuracy Example Question

You will be shown three numbers.

First, identify which is the smallest and which is the largest.

Second, assess which of those numbers is numerically further away from the remaining number.

a) 14, 4, 6
b) 9, 6, 4
c) 10, 12, 15

Spatial Visualization

The spatial visualization section is designed to see how quickly and accurately you can rotate symbols and shapes in your head.

Spatial Visualization Example Question

You will be presented with two symbols – some pairs are mirror images, others are the same symbol, but one is rotated. You need to decide how many options contain a matching pair.

The Thomas GIA Test
The Thomas GIA Test

How many options contain a matching pair?

How to Prepare For the Thomas GIA Test in 2021
How to Prepare For the Thomas GIA Test in 2021

Word Meaning

This section assesses how quickly you can spot the odd word out.

On your screen you will see three words. Two relate to each other; one does not. You need to circle the odd one out.

a) Above, Over, Never
b) Lean, Slender, Chubby
c) Hot, Cold, City

How Is the GIA Test Scored?

The results of the GIA test are presented in a detailed report.

The first page shows a diagram indicating your percentages and scores for each section, as well as an overall score.

Following that, there is a breakdown of the correct and incorrect answers from each mini-test. It also includes a description of your strengths and areas for development.

As you are also assessed on speed, your score is adjusted for any questions you spent too long on.

Your percentile is compared with a norm group, which could include any candidate in your age group, location or profession.

A low score is anything below 35. An average score is 35 to 65. A high score is 86+.

How Do I Pass the Thomas GIA Test?

The first part of passing any personality test is preparation.

Practice the Questions

Find mock tests or example questions that you can answer and have explanations to help deepen your understanding.

You can also practice using different personality and psychometric tests.

Some websites offer paid preparation packages, but there are also a substantial number of free resources for you to use.

Speed and accuracy are so important in passing this test. The more you practice, the quicker you will be able to answer.

Learn the Format of the Questions

Understand how the questions are presented and how best to answer them. Every GIA test follows the same format, making it easier to learn.

Practice Against the Clock

Speed is integral to this assessment. Practice under timed conditions so you know what areas you lose time in.

Practice Mental Math and Memory Exercises

Everyone can benefit from regular memory exercises. Making these and mental math exercises a part of your daily routine will help improve your overall intelligence. In turn, this will make psychometric tests effortless.

Pick Your Location Well

You can complete the test anywhere with an internet connection. Pick a place where you are comfortable, will not be disturbed and where there is a strong and stable internet connection.

Prepare Your Device in Advance

If you are taking the GIA test on your own laptop or computer, inform the test providers of your screen resolution so they can confirm that you will be able to see all elements of the test.

You don't want to find yourself missing half a question on the day of your assessment.

On the Day

On the day of the test:

  • Use a mouse instead of a trackpad – This will help you with speed as the questions ask you to circle the correct answer. A mouse is much more mobile and accurate. If you are left-handed, you can request for the mouse to be moved to the other side.

  • Read the instructions carefully – The danger of doing practice tests is that we sometimes pre-empt a question. Before answering, carefully read the instructions. Recruiters and potential employers receive warnings with the final reports that you may have chosen your answers at random.

  • Don't be afraid to count – Using your fingers, counting or saying things out loud in your head, or even tilting your head to see shape changes is all acceptable. You aren't allowed any tools to help you, so if you need to use physical actions, do.

  • Find your flow – As soon as you start your test, try to relax and get into the flow of speedy and accurate answers. The sooner you can get into a rhythm, the easier you will find your test.

  • Take care of yourself – Ensure you are well-rested, hydrated and nourished before taking the test. It may only be 35 minutes long, but any tiredness will slow down your reaction time.

Final Thoughts

Taking a psychometric test such as the Thomas International GIA test can be stressful.

It is part of the recruitment process for a potential dream job. It may even identify you as an exceptional candidate for future promotions.

When starting any recruitment or job-hunting process, make it a habit to also practice personality and psychometric tests.

This way, you will not only be extra prepared, but you would have learned a lot about yourself in the process.