School Principal Test

Schools and colleges looking to hire a school principal should consider a principal test to evaluate whether candidates have the right skills and competencies necessary to succeed in the role. Try Picked’s principal test to help shortlist talent and test the skills needed to be a great principal.

  • What is a principal test?

    A principal test provides assessments to support the shortlisting process for applicants applying for the role of head principal.

    A typical test will assess a principal proficiency such as leadership, communication, situational judgement, problem-solving, teamwork and general knowledge on how to run a school. A candidate would need to demonstrate strong test scores across all of these skills.

    Skill tests are becoming increasingly popular as they provide a data-driven method to shortlist principals, teachers and senior leadership roles to ensure applicants have strong skills and competencies that would be required to thrive in such a senior position.

About the School Principal Test

The principal test is a great way to evaluate your next hire to lead and manage your school. If you are looking to improve your recruitment process when hiring a principal, you should consider using this test.

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  • Why should you use a principal test for recruiting?

    The skills assessed by the test cover the core competencies that would be expected of a competent and successful principal.

    Principals are responsible for keeping a school safe and running smoothly and, therefore, require a range of skills that are difficult to assess just by reading a resume or application.

    Knowledge of school legislation and best practices, communication skills, working under pressure and being a great leader are all valuable skills required to thrive in the role. Teaching competencies include general teaching techniques, situational judgement, error checking, verbal reasoning, non-verbal skills, personality/cultural fit, teamwork and time management.

    Using skill tests allows recruiters to evaluate abilities and then use comparative data to rank principals from the talent pool, which helps with shortlisting.

    The job roles it would be suitable for include:

    • Assistant Principal
    • Headteacher
    • Headmaster/Headmistress
    • School director
    • Dean
    • Chancellor
    • Vice Chancellor
    • President

    One of the benefits of the test for recruiters/ schools is the ability to reduce unconscious bias during the hiring process. Talent can be selected and shortlisted based on test scores and comparative data, as opposed to hiring on instinct or bias.

Picked Sample Report

View a sample report

Results for the School Principal Test along with other assessments the candidate takes will be compiled to produce a candidate report. The report is automatically generated and available both online and as a downloadable pdf so they can be shared with other team members and employees alike.

How our test assesses principal skills

Candidates will need to answer a range of questions that measure industry-specific technical skills where applicable, soft skills (e.g. leadership), aptitude (e.g. verbal reasoning) and relevant personality dimensions (e.g. team orientation). The results present a holistic view of how well suited each candidate is for the job at hand, using a data-driven approach.

The format varies by type of question, including multiple-choice for aptitude and technical skills, situational judgement for soft skills and agreement on a Likert scale for the personality dimensions. This approach ensures candidates are being assessed in an accurate and fair manner, and that results reflect the true underlying qualities of each candidate.

The characteristics, abilities and knowledge necessary to be a principal were identified using the US Department of Labor's comprehensive O*NET database. O*NET is the leading source of occupational information that is constantly updated by collecting data from employees in specific job roles.

During the development process, test questions were rigorously analysed to maximise reliability and validity in line with industry best practices. They were created by our team of I/O psychologists and psychometricians – who collaborated with subject-matter-experts – and field-tested with a representative sample of job applicants who have varying experience, just like you might find in a talent pool.

Each test is reviewed by a panel of individuals representing diverse backgrounds to check for any sensitivity, fairness, face validity and accessibility issues. This ensures each candidate has a fair chance of demonstrating their true level of expertise.

Our principal test is monitored to ensure it is up-to-date and optimised for performance.


Predictor of job success

Picked provides evidence-based recommendations for tests to use for over 750 jobs. Our recommendation engine leverages data from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) developed by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).


Access real assessments

Instant access to our full testing suite.

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    Fully accredited

    All our School Principal tests are written by accredited psychologists and fully validated.

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    For all levels

    We offer School Principal tests for all levels so you can assess all roles within your organisation.


Energize selection process

Streamline hiring with our out-of-the-box tools.

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    Smart automations

    Automated actions such as alerts and reminders ensure a smooth candidate experience.

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    Instant results

    Receive candidate results in real-time so you can make decisions in hours, not days.


Make better hires

Improve hiring with bias-free, data-driven decisions.

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    Analytics dashboard

    Our full array of candidate performance metrics will provide actionable data on each of your candidates.

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    Candidate comparison

    Simple, easy-to-use candidate comparison reports mean you don’t need to be a psychologist to interpret them.

“We used Picked as part of our Finance Graduate Scheme recruitment and it was just what we needed – really simple to send candidates the link to complete and clear to see how they all compared. And great value for money!”
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
Christina, HR Director, Cancer Research, UK
School Principal Test expert

Written by a School Principal Test expert

Our team of assessment experts is made up of I/O psychologists and psychometricians who are dedicated to making all of our tests as reliable, valid and fair as possible. They strictly adhere to best practices in the industry and stay on top of the latest innovations to ensure job candidates’ unique profiles of characteristics, abilities and knowledge are being measured accurately while minimising bias. They leverage decades of research and advanced predictive analytics to build assessments that link to outcomes that matter, such as job performance, turnover, engagement, culture fit and more.

“Personality profiling allowed us to perform lookalike modelling of our most successful employees and use this as a blueprint for new hires.”
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain
Nick, HR Operations, Airbus, Spain

School Principal Test FAQs

What are the key skills for a principal?

Some of the key qualities and skills you should look for in a principal include:

  • Outstanding knowledge on how to run a school
  • Great spoken and written communication skills
  • Listening skills
  • Friendly and confident
  • Resilience and the ability to work well under pressure
  • Time management and organisation
  • Kind, caring and patient
  • Team player
When in the application process is it best to use a principal test?

It is advised to use a principal test early on in the hiring process, to help you shortlist your talent pool before any candidates are invited for a face to face interview.

What is the cost for Picked’s principal test?

Picked operates on a monthly or annual subscription basis. We have several plans to suit your hiring needs, which you can check out here. Alternatively, you can get in touch with us to discuss a custom plan.

Can I get a free trial?

Yes, simply sign up (no credit card is required) and we'll give you unlimited access for seven days. Create as many jobs and test as many candidates as you want; you won't be charged a penny.

“Focusing on data reduced the subjective decision making from our hiring process and allowed us to reduce bias and make better hiring decisions.”
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden
Izzie, Head of HR, iZettle, Sweden

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