Measure creativity: sparks - the breakthrough in online assessment

Innovation is the most critical factor in gaining competitive advantage – whether it’s through improvements to business processes, enhancements to products or services or by entering new markets. But to innovate requires creativity and the ability to put creative ideas into practical use.

Over the years our clients have sought to identify and measure creativity and innovation – in a reliable, valid, practical way. They want to spot potential to innovate early on in the selection process – and they want to do this online.

Until now, this hasn’t been possible. With advances in technology and AI – we have created an online, valid, reliable, objective test of creativity – sparks.

Features of the online creativity test sparks:

sparks gives you:

  • A norm-based score of creativity which is objective, reliable and valid.
  • Online administration in 15 minutes and immediate scoring.
  • A tool capable of being used within initial selection processes – or as part on team development.
  • An insight into innovation. It forms part of the Innovation Suite together with tests of  personality (cut-e’s shapes) and abstract, logical thinking (cut-e’s scales lst) to give an indication of the potential to innovate.
Dr Achim Preuss

Interview about online creativity test sparks

Dr Achim Preuss, Product Director and co-founder of cut-e, and his team have worked on the development of sparks over a number of years in response to customer demand and the new advances in technology. In this interview he shares how sparks was developed and how it builds on previous research and testing.

The cut-e Innovation Suite

sparks forms part of the Innovation Suite which, when used together, provides an indication of the potential of a person to innovate.

The Innovation Suite includes:

The tests in the Innovation Suite

sparks - Creativity

cut-e Creativity

Available on

What does this assessment measure?


What is the task?

The test taker is presented onscreen with a set of shapes and is required to combine some or all of these to make any real object and then to title this object. The four given shapes may be dragged and dropped into the drawing area, the positions of the shapes may be altered as well as the size and dimensions.

Each test is created by an item generator at run-time. This means that the assessment is different for each test taker thereby helping to prevent cheating, especially important for unsupervised, online administration. 

Available on


shapes - Personality Questionnaire

cut-e Work-related Behavior

Available on

What does this assessment measure?

Identifies work-based personality characteristics

What is the task?

The test taker is presented with 3 statements per page and must allocate up to 6 points across these to reflect the extent to which he or she agrees with each statement. The questionnaire is based on 15 scales, each with 6 items and has been developed using adaptive techniques. This means that statements are presented together based on the responses to earlier items by the test taker.

Available on


scales lst - Deductive-logical thinking

cut-e Deductive-logical Thinking

Available on


This test measures deductive reasoning ability. The test is based on a grid containing several objects. One cell in this grid is marked by a question mark. Each object appears only once per row and per column. The task is to work out what object should be in the cell marked with a question mark.

Available on


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Season's Greetings with sparks

Every year we do an online advent calendar with greetings from all over the world. In the cut-e 2015 online advent calendar the Spanish team used the creativity test sparks to send season's greetings.

Reference reading

Hardt, J., Felfe, J. & Hermann, D. (2011). Innovationskompetenz: Entwicklung eines neuen Konstrukts durch eine explorative Studie. Zeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft, 3, 235-243.

Hülsheger, U. R., Salgado, J. F., & Anderson, N. (2009). Team-Level Predictors of Innovation at Work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 1128-1145.

Jäger, A. O., Süß, H.-M., & Beauducel, A. (1997). Berliner Intelligenzstruktur - Test. Form 4. In Sarges, W. & Wottawa, H. (Hrsg.). Handbuch wirtschaftspsychologischer Testverfahren (pp. 95-101). Lengerich: Pabst Science Publishers.

Kim, K. H. (2006). Can We Trust Creativity Tests? A Review of the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT). Creativity Research Journal, 18(1), 3-14..

Koestler, A. (1964). The Act of Creation. Penguin Books, New York.

Maier, G. W., Streicher, B., Jonas, E., & Frey, D. (2007). Innovation und Kreativität. In D. Frey & L. von Rosenstiel (Hrsg.), Enzyklopädie der Psychologie: Wirtschaftspsychologie (pp. 809-855). Stuttgart: Hogrefe.

Mumford, M. D. (2003). Where have we been, where are we going? Taking stock in creativity research. Creativity Research Journal, 15, 107–120.

Ridley, M. (2010). TEDTalk:

Shalley, C. E. & Gilson, L. L. (2004). What leaders need to know: A review of social and contextual factors that can foster or hinder creativity. The Leadership Quarterly, 15, 33-53.

Schuler, H. & Görlich, Y. (2007). Kreativität: Ursachen, Messung, Förderung und Umsetzung in Innovation. Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Schuler, H. & Hell, B. (2005). Analyse des Schlussfolgernden und Kreativen Denkens. Bern: Huber.

Scott, S. G.; Bruce, R. A. (1994). Determinants of innovative behavior: a path model of individual innovation in the workplace. Academy of Management Journal, 37(3), 80-607.

Snyder, A.W. (2011). Facilitate Insight by Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation. PLoS ONE 6(2): e16655.  doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016655

Soosay, C. A. (2005). An Empirical Study of Individual Competencies in Distribution Centres to Enable Continuous Innovation. Creativity and Innovation Management, 14, 299-310.

Streicher, B., Maier, G.W., Frey, D., Jonas, E. & Kerschreiter, R. (2006). Innovation. In H.-W. Bierhoff & D. Frey (Hrsg.), Handbuch der Sozialpsychologie und Kommunikations-psychologie (pp. 565-574). Göttingen: Hogrefe.

Torrance, E. P. (1974). Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking. Scholastic Testing Service, Inc.

Torrance, E. P. (1981). Empirical validation of criterion-referenced indicators of creative ability through a longitudinal study. Creative Child and Adult Quarterly, 6, 136-140.

Turner, M. (2014). The Origin of Ideas: Blending, Creativity, and the Human Spark. Oxford University Press.

West, M. A. & Farr, J. L. (1990). Innovation and Creativity at Work. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons.

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