Gamification refers to “a design process through which game elements are added to existing nongame systems” (Landers, 2019, p. 137).  For example, a learning program can be gamified by creating a leader board to visually display learners’ performance on a learning task to motivate and increase academic achievement (Landers & Landers, 2014).  With game-based assessments, in contrast to gamification, “there is no gamification either because no pre-existing system is altered, yet a game is the result” (Landers, 2019, p. 138).  For example, cognitive assessments can be redesigned so that mini-games are the basic test elements (Revelian, 2021).


Even though gamification and game-based assessment have important implications, their transformative potential could be lost if not properly designed or psychometrically validated (Landers, 2019a).  JVR considers Cognify to be a strong theoretically informed, well designed, and valid measure of cognitive ability.  The “game thinking” benefits of this game-based versus more traditional measures of cognitive ability include (Revelian, 2021):


1. Employees were more likely to: hold a positive impression of an organisation if it used Cognify, recommend an organisation if it used Cognify, and accept a job offer at an organisation if it used Cognify.  Game-based assessments can enhance the employer brand of organisations, thereby attracting the best pool of candidates locally and worldwide.

2. Student participants indicated that they are more likely to be internally motivated to complete Cognify compared to a traditional cognitive ability assessment.  More engaging methods of assessment might reduce the exhaustion or boredom typically associated with self-report measures.

3. Student participants experienced less anxiety while completing Cognify compared to a traditional cognitive ability assessment.

4. Student participants indicated that, if the assessment were to be used for selection, they would perceive Cognify to be fairer when compared to a traditional cognitive ability assessment.  Favourable evaluations of the fairness of an assessment could reduce legal complaints.

5. Cognify was perceived as more job-relevant compared to a traditional cognitive ability assessment.


Cognify is a game-based assessment of cognitive ability that assesses specific abilities such as Fluid reasoning (Gf), Visual-spatial processing (Gv), Quantitative knowledge (Gq), Comprehension-knowledge (Gc), Reading and writing (Grw), and Processing speed (Gs).  Cognify is reported to be a more engaging and enjoyable format when compared to traditional non-game-based assessments (see video for quick overview).  Professors Richard Landers’ presentation at an interdisciplinary workshop, highlights his findings based on independent research conducted with Cognify.  Professor Richard Landers is a world-renowned expert in gamification at Minnesota University.


P.S. The international technical manual can be sent on request. 



Landers, R. N. (2019a). Game-based Assessment: An Interdisciplinary Workshop (Day 1). Retrieved from YouTube website:

Landers, R. N. (2019b). Gamification misunderstood: How badly executed and rhetorical gamification obscures its transformative potential. Journal of Management Inquiry, 28(2), 137–140.

Landers, R. N., & Landers, A. K. (2014). An empirical test of the theory of gamified learning: The effect of leaderboards on time-on-task and academic performance. Simulation and Gaming, 45(6), 769–785.

Revelian. (2021). Cognify: Technical manual. Revelian.