Game-based Assessment. We Present Our Research

August 20, 2019 Alina Siemsen

Sharing our research insights with colleagues is a core part of our commitment to researching and developing the most robust, user-friendly and valuable assessments. We are delighted that Alina Siemsen is presenting at the Game-based Assessment Workshop on August 22-23. In this blog article, Alina gives us an insight into what she will be sharing at the workshop.

Game-based assessments come in various formats and take on different appearances. But there is also some confusion in the market as to how a gaming format used to attract applicants differs from game-based assessment or indeed gamified assessment. To clarify, I’ve created this short video which I hope explains the differences!


Before I head off to the workshop, I thought I’d answer some of the common questions I get asked about the gamification of assessment.

Why are the topics of game-based assessment and the gamification of assessment important?

Technological capabilities and candidate expectations are changing very quickly and so it’s important that we keep abreast of these developments. Technology enables to do many things in assessment but it is important to understand not only what we can and cannot do in a new format of test, but also how robust and reliable the assessment may be.

As talent professionals, we want gamified assessment to include the high quality psychometric properties that more traditional tests have and this means that we must study, investigate, discuss and share our findings. It may require us to invest more time in thinking about the design elements of an assessment than we are used to and indeed my presentation will draw on some of our findings to date in the areas of the value of having a coherent cover story, including levels with the assessment and offering instant feedback to the candidate.

Everyone at Aon is committed to researching and developing gamified assessments but they must be valid, useful and stable tools. After all, if they are used to make decisions about people and their careers, we must make sure that we understand how such a test works and how people respond to it.

Who is most impacted by the move towards gamifying assessment?

Clearly, the candidates who get to engage with a gamified assessment rather than a more usual online test, are at the coalface of completing the assessment. They may or may not be familiar with such tests, and some may argue that this can be an advantage or disadvantage, and our research has looked into this.

HR practitioners also need to adjust. They must understand how to judge a good quality gamified assessment and how best to include this within their hiring process. They may need to adapt their candidate communications and make sure their internal stakeholders understand the assessment and the information it is providing.

Researchers too are affected by the introduction of gamified assessment. There have not been the decades of research yet into gamification, and so much more is needed. We are already contributing widely and we’re happy to share our finding with other assessment vendors. They can learn from our mistakes and take on board the candidate feedback that we have researched.

What is it that you find most exciting about gamified assessment?

I think that the journey of gamification has been really interesting. We started looking as simply including a cover story that wrapped around our mobile first ability tests. We listened to the feedback clients and candidates gave us about what works and what doesn’t. We went through a cycle of adjusting what we did, prototyping it, adjusting it a little more and it was exciting to see the iterative process and how gamification developed based on real feedback and real research.

What is the key message about gamified assessment that you want delegates to take away from your presentation?

At all times consider the candidate. That is, where in their life, career and application process are they? How much ‘game’ is appropriate versus the more ‘serious’. And, never compromise on the psychometrics! 


Presentation Title: smartPredict - Development Insights and Study Results of Aon's Gamified Assessment Series

I shall be taking part in the Game-based Assessment Workshop in Minneapolis on August 22-23 and will share with the participants the development journey of our gamified cognitive assessment series – smartPredict. I’l l take delegates through the rationale for its development and show how our development team combined sound psychological research and game design elements to create a state of the art, mobile first ability assessment series. I’ll share the challenges and learnings from the project and explore the importance of adhering to the guidelines developed by various HR and testing authorities such as the SIOP Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures, the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, and the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures. These are essential benchmarks for organizations such as Aon’s Assessment Solutions and we work tirelessly to ensure that our assessments fulfil certain quality standards.

This presentation offers an overview of the research and combined thinking from a range of disciplines on which the smartPredict assessments are built. It’ll describe the studies and our findings across a range of topics such as validity, mobile-desktop equivalence, adverse impact, and applicant reactions to gamified assessments.

The Game-based Workshop is sponsored by the US National Science Foundation and is being held in Minneapolis, US on August 22-23, 2019. For more information, go to

For more information about Aon's gamified assessments, visit our website.

About the Author

Alina Siemsen

Alina Siemsen is a product development consultant in the research team at Aon's Assessment Solutions. Alina completed her Master's degree in Business Psychology at the Nordakademie in Hamburg. She is interested in how gaming elements can be applied to assessments. Aon's Assessment Solutions undertake 30 million assessments each year in 90 countries and 40 languages.

Follow on Linkedin Visit Website More Content by Alina Siemsen
Previous Flipbook
Aligning Applicant Values and Predicting Performance at Stångåstaden
Aligning Applicant Values and Predicting Performance at Stångåstaden

Aon's Assessment Solutions offers best-practice Talent Assessment. Stångåstaden and Aon's Assessment Soluti...

Improved Selection Enables Higher Sales Revenue at Sunglass Hut
Improved Selection Enables Higher Sales Revenue at Sunglass Hut

Aon's Assessment Solutions offers best-practice Talent Assessment. Hiring better quality retail associates ...

Subscribe to our talentNews