MI6 Assessments

Prepare for the MI6 recruitment process with tailor-made practice materials.

Careers At MI6

MI6 is the British Government's Secret Intelligence Service. They exist to stop terrorism, disrupt activity in hostile states, and give the UK an advantage in cybersecurity.

MI6 operates on a global level, with many employees working around the world using technology and espionage to keep the UK safe, however, a number also work at their headquarters in Vauxhall, London.

MI6 occasionally offers apprenticeships and internships, but mainly recruits experienced staff for specific roles.

Types Of MI6 Jobs

MI6 welcome applicants from all walks of life, and recruit in six main areas:

  • Intelligence and security
  • Business services
  • Corporate services, including change management, law, and accountancy
  • Science and technology
  • Trades and services
  • Language specialists

A quick look at the current openings page of their careers site will give you an overview of the wide range of careers available at MI6, as well as the high salary ranges and level of commitment to the work they require.

What MI6 Looks For In Applicants

Whilst MI6 recruits an extremely broad range of professionals, they are committed to seeking out candidates who demonstrate three main characteristics.

Integrity, courage, and respect are central to MI6's values. MI6 recruits trustworthy candidates who can handle sensitive information, and enter into challenging and sometimes dangerous situations to obtain it.

MI6 encourages and admires differences. Diversity in skills, experience, and points of view is essential to solving any problem, and MI6 employees must be able to collaborate with a team with a broad range of skills and insight to stay one step ahead of national security threats.

Finally, MI6 has a strict policy around drug misuse and medical wellbeing. From the point of application, MI6 requires that candidates are not using illegal substances, or misusing legal or prescribed ones. They are upfront on their website about this, stating that even if you have misused substances in the past, it is essential that you are honest and open about this.

Your medical history will be tested as part of the initial online application and assessments, and again in the final phase of the application, in which candidates will have to undergo the highest level of government security vetting.

MI6 Application Process

There are several phases of the MI6 recruitment process:

  • Registration and Eligibility
  • Online Application And Assessments
  • Competency-Based Tests
  • Assessment Centres
  • Competency-Based Interview
  • Security Checks, Medical, and Vetting

Securing a job at MI6 can take up to 6 months, from the point of application to a formal offer. Progressing to each next stage of the application is dependent on you passing the former stage.

MI6 Registration And Eligibility

To begin an application to MI6, first, you must register online and complete an assessment of your eligibility criteria.

To be considered for a role at MI6 you must be a British citizen and have been resident in the United Kingdom for at least seven of the last ten years.

There are some exceptions to this rule, including if you have studied abroad, been posted overseas with the armed forces, or living with your parents overseas, however, in any case at least one of your parents must have British citizenship.

If you hold dual nationality, you may be required to relinquish your second passport if you are offered a job with MI6.

MI6 Assessments

The online application uses Cubiks verbal reasoning tests. These are quick-fire online tests that can be taken at home on a digital device.

They examine how a candidate processes and reasons with different kinds of information. Although some websites state that MI6 uses Cubiks verbal reasoning assessments, MI6 does not make it clear what these tests will contain from their website. Nor do they encourage practice for them, therefore it is best to prepare for verbal reasoningtests, situational judgment tests, and competency-based tests.

MI6 Cubiks Verbal Reasoning Tests

The advanced Cubik's verbal reasoning tests take 20 minutes and have 30 questions. Each question has a paragraph, diagram, or table containing verbal information which is relatively complex. Following each question are multiple-choice answers.

These questions evaluate how a candidate can wrangle complex information under strict time constraints. Marks will likely be subtracted for incorrect answers, and once a question has been answered, it cannot be returned.

MI6 Situational Judgement Tests

The situational judgment tests present candidates with a series of varied decision-making scenarios.

There are two types of questions on the situational judgment tests. The first asks you to rate how effective a certain response to a situation would be, and the second asks you to rank a series of responses in order of most effective to least effective.

Cubik's example site does not explain how many questions are on this test, or how long they might take.

MI6 Competency-Based Tests

If you are successful in completing the online assessments, you will be invited to fill in a more detailed online application which will include some competency-based testing.

These are cognitive ability tests designed to evaluate overall IQ.

The competency-based tests examine how you process and reason with verbal, numerical, logical, and abstract information quickly. The test takes 12 minutes, with four minutes per section, and there are 50 questions. This means questions have to be answered very quickly, with just under 15 seconds for each.

As well as this, this is the time where you will detail your academic and work history, and achievements.

MI6 Assessment Centres

Following the online application, if you are selected you will be invited to an initial half-day assessment centre. This is an opportunity for the team at MI6 to assess how you work alone and with other applicants under pressure, how well you fit into the environment, and how well you present yourself in person.

The half-day assessment centre comprises participating in a mock work-based scenario, and more cognitive testing.

At the end of the half-day, candidates who meet the recruitment criteria will be invited to a competency-based interview.

MI6 Competency-Based Interview

The competency-based interview is an in-person interview during which candidates must answer competency questions in conversation with an interview panel.

The competencies that are evaluated are similar to those evaluated in the previous tests, however, candidates are answering questions in front of an audience.

If candidates are successful, they will be invited to a much more challenging two-day assessment centre.

MI6 Security Checks, Medical, And Vetting

Candidates who succeed in all these steps will be given a conditional job offer. After this, candidates undergo a thorough background check.

There are four levels of government security clearance:

  • Basic check
  • Counter-terrorism check
  • Security check
  • Developed Vetting

Most roles at MI6 will require candidates to pass the developed vetting process. Because of this, it is extremely important that you are fully honest throughout your application process, and spend time in advance of applying considering how your previous behaviour may impact your chances of securing a role in the secret intelligence service.

Tips To Get Hired At MI6

1. Meet The Eligibility Requirements

MI6 is upfront about its requirements on its website. There is no point in applying for a role if you do not meet them. You must be a British citizen and hold a British passport, have not lived overseas for more than three of the last ten years, have at least one British parent, and have a clean medical and criminal record, with no evidence of substance misuse.

2. Prepare A List Of Employment And Education References

MI6 is likely to ask for references from all of your previous employers, universities, and schools as part of your background check.

If you are applying to MI6 as an experienced candidate, you must gather these in advance, so you can complete the online application accurately within the timeframe allowed.

3. Practice Cubiks Verbal Reasoning Tests

Unlike many online psychometric testing providers, Cubiks provide very clear example questions for each type of their tests. It is important to familiarise yourself with the format and content of these questions. If you feel you need further practice for verbal reasoning tests, you can seek out practice questions that are similar in style to Cubik's questions, and then practice against the clock.

4. Be Adaptable

The MI6 website makes very little clarity about the content of the application process, assessment days, and testing. Depending on the role you apply for, the skills required will vary, however, all MI6s roles will require a level of emotional detachment and adaptability, as they respond to quickly changing security threats. Be ready to demonstrate that you can apply a broad range of skills under pressure to a variety of tasks and situations.

5. Expect The Unexpected

Arrive in the application process for MI6 with an open mind. MI6 famously recruits some of the brightest minds in the country to approach highly complex problems with a diverse range of skills.

Sample MI6 Assessments question Test your knowledge!

Score: /5

A mission brief states that for operational security, agents should alternate communication channels each week following a specific sequence. If an agent uses a satellite link in the first week and a secure internet connection in the second week, what is the next communication channel the agent is expected to use, assuming only these two types are available?

  • Radio frequency
  • Satellite link
  • Secure internet connection
  • Courier-delivered messages

In a report detailing the necessity of cybersecurity enhancements, the author argues that the increasing number of cyber-attacks on government agencies demands a more robust response in terms of technology adoption and personnel training. After reading the report, what is the author most likely trying to emphasize?

  • The government needs to reduce overall spending on cybersecurity.
  • Cyber-attacks are becoming less frequent but more sophisticated.
  • An immediate increase in technology and training is crucial for national security.
  • Personnel training is sufficient and technology adoption should be deprioritized.

Imagine being presented with a pattern of activities designed to encrypt and decrypt classified information. If the method of encryption adds a layer of complexity which is not mirrored in the decryption process, what does this suggest about the nature of the pattern?

  • The pattern is symmetrical.
  • The pattern is intentionally asymmetric to enhance security.
  • The encryption is likely to be weaker than the decryption.
  • Decryption is a redundant process in this scenario.

If an analyst is examining a data set that shows the number of cyber-attacks over the past year and notes that attacks have increased by 20% every two months, how much higher is the number of reported attacks in December compared to February, assuming the pattern is consistent?

  • 96% higher
  • Over 100% higher
  • Exactly 120% higher
  • There's not enough information to determine

You receive sequential instructions from multiple sources to initiate a secure communication protocol. However, each set of instructions contains an implicit rule for the order in which the steps should be executed. If following the instructions to the letter results in a communication failure, what might be inferred about the protocol?

  • The protocol is robust and fault-tolerant.
  • The instructions are likely to contain an inherent logical contradiction.
  • Sequential instructions are not significant for the protocol's success.
  • The communication protocol needs to be initiated more than once to be effective.

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Psychometric Tests was an invaluable resource to ace a multitude of different pre-interview screening assessments.

Natasha used Psychometric Tests in preparation for her interviews at Think Ahead


MI6 Assessments Tips

Understand MI6's mission

To perform well on MI6's tests, grasp their role in global security and how they operate. Knowing their work gives you an idea of what skills and qualities they might be testing for.

Focus on analytical skills

Since intelligence work revolves around analysis and problem-solving, your practice should hone these essential skills. Stay sharp with puzzles and logic games.

Stay Informed

Being up-to-date with global political developments can give you an edge. Understanding the context MI6 operates in is crucial for their tests.

Practice makes perfect

Taking practice tests on Psychometric Tests helps you get familiar with the test format and types of questions you can expect, boosting your confidence and preparedness.

Relax and be yourself

Integrity is valued at MI6. During tests and interviews, be honest and composed, showing them your genuine skills and personality.

Level up

Choose the package that works for you.


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  • 30 Numerical reasoning tests
  • 30 Verbal reasoning tests
  • 30 Diagrammatic reasoning tests
  • 30 Situational judgement tests
  • 41 Employer packages
  • 22 Publisher packages
  • Dashboard performance tracking
  • Full solutions and explanations
  • Tips, tricks, guides and resources

  • Access to free tests
  • Basic performance tracking
  • Full solutions and explanations
  • Tips and resources

MI6 Assessments FAQs

What are the MI6 tests?

The MI6 tests are a suite of assessments designed to evaluate applicants' abilities in areas critical to intelligence operations, such as situational judgement, logical reasoning, and perhaps even linguistic aptitude reflecting the demands of a global security agency.

Are the MI6 tests hard?

The complexity of MI6 tests can be subjective, varying according to your skillset and experience. They're set at a high standard reflecting the challenging nature of the work at MI6 but with preparation, they're definitely manageable.

How do I prepare for MI6 tests?

Preparing for MI6 tests is all about familiarizing yourself with the types of questions you'll encounter. Psychometric Tests offers an extensive range of practice tests, tailored to help you understand test formats and question types, making it the go-to resource for serious applicants.

How long does the recruitment process take at MI6?

The recruitment process for MI6 is thorough and may take several months. It typically includes background checks, assessments, and interviews, ensuring the selection of only the most suitable candidates for this sensitive field.

What are MI6's core values?

MI6 core values reflect integrity, innovation, and teamwork. Their commitment to keeping the UK secure means they value adaptability, dedication, and discretion highly in all their employees.