Thomas International GIA – In-Depth Guide + Free Practice Test [2024]

A speedy cognitive ability assessment that employs 5 very specific and unique tasks to measure the 5 aspects of intelligence.

With its highly tailored question types and a very challenging time limit (3-5 seconds per question), the Thomas International General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) is one of the most reliable, widely used pre-employment cognitive tests.

This guide will dive deep into the test’s unique features and how you can use them to maximize your score. That includes a test overview, a scoring analysis, expert tips, and a 40-questions free practice test.

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Basic Details

Depends on performance (~150)
Math, vocabulary, spatial, memory, perception
~40 minutes
Thomas GIA Spatial Visualization Sample 7

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What Is the Thomas International GIA Test?

The Thomas General Intelligence Assessment (GIA), also referred to as the Thomas Aptitude Assessment, is a pre-employment test aimed at measuring candidates’ cognitive abilities.

The test contains 5 sections, each including a very specific, unique type of question aimed at measuring a certain aspect of intelligence.

Test Structure and Question Format

The Thomas GIA contains 5 sections, each 2-5 minutes long. The number of questions in each section varies depending on your performance. The faster you work, the more questions you will have. All questions are of an equal level of difficulty.

The 5 sections of the Thomas GIA are:

  • Reasoning
  • Perceptual Speed
  • Number Speed and Accuracy
  • Word Meaning
  • Spatial Visualization

Let’s go over each of these sections in more detail below. In the Free Practice Test, you can try a mini version of the Thomas GIA, with 40 questions.

Pro Tip

Having a realistic understanding of the expected score for each section will greatly help with time management throughout the test. See the Scoring section for an overview of the recommended score for each section.

Section #1 – Reasoning

The Reasoning section comprises very short questions, divided into two tasks.

You are presented with a relationship between two people, and then need to recall the relationship quickly and accurately.

Reasoning Sample Question

Pro Tip

While you may occasionally have to guess to move on, it is NOT recommended to make guessing a strategy in this section, as a whole point will be reduced for every wrong answer. See more in the Scoring section.

Section #2 – Perceptual Speed

In the Perceptual Speed section, you will be presented with 4 pairs of letters arranged vertically. You need to decide how many pairs contain the same letter.

Perceptual Speed Sample Question

Pro Tip

Of all 5 sections on the Thomas GIA, the Perceptual Speed section requires the fastest work.

Section #3 – Number Speed and Accuracy

The Number Speed and Accuracy section is probably the most daunting section of the test. In each question of this section, you will be presented with three numbers. Your task is to:

  • Locate the middle number.
  • Of the two remaining numbers, find the one which is further from the middle number.

For instance, in the example below, the correct answer is 9:

  • The middle number is 4 (1 < 4 < 9)
  • 9 is further from 4 (5) than 1 (3).

Number Speed and Accuracy Sample Question

Thomas GIA Number Speed and Accuracy Sample 1

Pro Tip

The Number Speed and Accuracy section is probably the section in which guessing comes most handy. (See more in the Tips section (Tip #3 – Practice Guessing).

Section #4 – Word Meaning

In the Word Meaning section, you will be presented with three words and be required to find the odd one out.

Word Meaning Sample Question

Thomas GIA Word Meaning Sample 8

Pro Tip

The two words that share commonality will not necessarily mean the same. They can even be opposites, but they will belong to the same category. For a variety of examples, check out the Free Practice Test.

Section #5 – Spatial Visualization

In the last section, the Spatial Visualization section, you will be presented with two pairs of shapes (usually letters). You will be required to determine how many pairs contain the rotated image of the same letter.

Spatial Visualization Sample Question

Thomas GIA Spatial Visualization Introduction Sample

Pro Tip

Note that a mirror image is NOT considered the same letter. In the example above, the letters in the left pair are not considered the same, so the answer is 1.

What Does the Thomas GIA Test Measure?

The Thomas International GIA test measures general intelligence, also known as cognitive ability, or simply aptitude. The 5 sections of the test assess candidates’ aptitude in 5 areas, detailed below. You can read more in the Scoring section.


The ability to withhold information and draw correct conclusions and inferences.


The ability to perceive similarities and ignore irrelevant information.


The ability to work with quantitative data and mentally manipulate numbers.


The ability to identify and comprehend word meanings, as well as one’s breadth of vocabulary and knowledge.


The ability to mentally perceive, compare, and manipulate objects.

Source: The Science Behind the Thomas Aptitude Assessment

Test Interface

There is plenty of information online about the Thomas GIA test. Regarding the test interface, the best resource is probably this video by Thomas International ANZ.

Here are several key takeaways:

  • Each section is timed separately.
  • You will be presented with instructions and several sample questions before each section.
  • Once you answer, you will automatically move to the next question and will not be able to go back.
  • You cannot skip questions.

Check out the free, 40-questions sample Thomas GIA test.

Thomas International GIA Free Practice Sample Test

Click the button below to start a free, 40-questions GIA sample test.

Start Free Test




How Is the Thomas GIA Test Scored?

Each of the 5 sections in the Thomas GIA test will account for your score in one of 5 subscales. Here’s how it looks on the GIA score report:

Thomas GIA Scoring Scales

  • Deductive – Section 1 (Reasoning)
  • Perceptive – Section 2 (Perceptual Speed)
  • Numerate – Section 3 (Number Speed and Accuracy)
  • Articulate – Section 4 (Word Meaning)
  • Conceptual – Section 5 (Spatial Visualization)

Unlike most cognitive tests, in the Thomas GIA, points are reduced for wrong answers. Your correct answers and incorrect answers will be calculated to an Adjusted Score.

Pro Tip

Your adjusted score, and not your raw score, is what matters on the GIA test. Read more in the next section.

How Is the Adjusted Score Calculated?

The Adjusted Score takes into account both your correct and wrong answers. Here’s an excerpt from an old score report that exemplifies this:

Thomas GIA Scoring

As you can see, the “adjusted score” is always lower than the number of correct responses. How low? That depends on the number of possible answers. For instance:

  • In the Reasoning section, where there are only 2 answer options, a whole point will be reduced for a wrong answer.
  • In the Perceptual Speed section, where there are 5 answer options, 0.25 points will be reduced for a wrong answer.

Your adjusted score in each section and in the test overall will be converted to a percentile score. However, in the most recent reports by Thomas, your exact score will not be visible, only the range.

What Is a Good Score in the Thomas International GIA Test?

It is rather difficult to create a direct correlation between the Thomas GIA percentile scores and raw scores, but after analyzing several score reports available online, including this, this, this, and this, here is the best answer we can provide.

Based on the Thomas GIA scoring scale, to reach an “above average” score, you will need a percentile score of at least 66%. However, for most jobs, you will want a higher score to be competitive, preferably 85th percentile and above, so you are in the “High” range.

Thomas GIA Scoring Ranges


As each of the 5 sections is different, that means a different score for each section. Here’s a rough estimation of the required Adjusted Score for a 66th percentile and an 85th+ percentile:

Thomas GIA Required Adjusted Score

Note: This is an estimation only. Scores may vary slightly between test versions and different jobs.


Considering all the unique features of the Thomas International GIA Test, here are 4 tips for acing it:


Tip #1 – Don’t Forget the Behavioral Assessments

The Thomas GIA test is usually combined with at least one behavioral assessment to create a candidate’s profile. In recent years, both employers and assessors put a greater emphasis on personality than on cognitive ability as a selection tool.

The behavioral assessment may comprise one or more of the following:

  • PPA (Personal Profile Analysis) – Measures your strengths, preferred communication and working styles.
  • HPTI (High Profile Trait Indicator) – Measures your 6 core personality traits.
  • TEIQue – Measures your emotional intelligence.

When researching and preparing for the Thomas GIA, do your best to find which of these behavioral assessments you will be taking, and dedicate some time to learn about it.

Tip #2 – Practice the Accurate Thomas Tasks

The tasks on the Thomas GIA are very unique and accurately tailored. You will find them on no other assessment. That’s why it’s critical to prepare with material that replicates these tasks accurately in structure, format, timing, and scoring. This way, you get 2 things:

  • An authentic preparation experience.
  • Accurate feedback that correctly reflects your performance on the actual test.

Tip #3 – Practice Guessing

On the Scoring section, we have explained how your adjusted score takes both your correct and incorrect answers into account, and how errors affect your score differently in different sections.

Since the only way of moving through the test is answering the questions (i.e., you cannot skip or go back, see in the Test Interface section), you will sometimes want to guess to keep your pace high.

Therefore, when preparing, you may want to consider experimenting with guessing. Do you score higher when you do not guess at all or when you do occasionally guess? How much time do you allow yourself to solve before taking a guess and moving on?

All of these questions can help you develop solving and time management strategies that will improve your performance on the actual test.

Tip #4 – The Overall Score Is Most Important, But Section Scores Also Count

Your overall score is the first thing employers are going to look at in your report. However, candidates with the same score will be assessed based on their score in the sections that are considered more relevant for the job.

Here’s a screenshot taken from this instructional video by Thomas International. You can see how two fictional candidates for the role of a financial manager with the same overall score are then measured based on their scores in the Perceptual Speed and Number Speed and Accuracy sections:

Screenshot from Thomas GIA Video

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