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COMPRO Complex problem-solving test

S. Greiff und S. Wüstenberg


Assesses complex problem-solving ability.

Complex problem-solving ability is the ability to acquire new knowledge in order to solve a problem and to apply it purposefully. This ability is comprised of knowledge acquisition ability and knowledge application ability. The problem situations presented in COMPRO are intransparent and dynamic. In contrast to traditional cognitive ability tests the test therefore assesses a number of cognitive aspects that interact in the solving of complex problems.

COMPRO can be used for queries that arise in personnel psychology; it is particularly suitable for use in connection with manufacturing and safety assessments and academic testing. COMPRO discriminates particularly well between very able respondents.


COMPRO consists of 11 scenarios. The scenarios involve complex realistic systems showing, for example, that Factor A and Factor B both influence Factor C. The respondent works out the underlying relationships and highlights them. In a second task the respondent is informed at the outset of the existing relationships and must use this knowledge to achieve a specified goal within the depicted system.

Test forms

S1: Standard form
S2: Parallel form


Three main variables are reported:

  • Complex problem-solving ability (overall score on knowledge acquisition and knowledge application); Measure of the ability to acquire new knowledge by interacting with a problem and to apply it purposefully.
  • Knowledge acquisition in complex situations: Sum of the scenarios in which the underlying relationships were correctly identified.
  • Knowledge application in complex situations: Sum of the scenarios in which the specified goal was achieved.

Scoring elements

Working time
Confidence interval
Profile analysis
Test protocol
Item analysis protocol
Progress chart
Special diagrammatic representation of results
Personalized Word report
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Test type

Special Ability Tests

Test information

language-free item material
parallel test form
conforms to the Rasch-model
additional device required
high level of test security
wide norm spectrum
test form available for online presentation - open mode
links to CogniPlus
supervisor-supported testing


Chinese (simplified)


approx. 50 minutes


Norms for ages 16+.

Special features

Interaction with dynamic systems is assessed. COMPRO represents a new type of complex problem-solving test. In an extension of the problem-solving paradigm, complex problems have other specific characteristics such as complexity of the problem situation, interlinking of variables, intransparency, a dynamic problem situation and polytelia or multiple goals. The item content is job-related and is thus more motivating than tests such as a matrices test.