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About CPSQ


Helpdesk Training Article




The Cambridge Personal Styles Questionnaire (CPSQ) is an online behavioural styles assessment. It provides an insight into how you approach tasks and relate to others: your ‘personal styles’. These styles have been found to contribute to educational progress and work effectiveness.


Why do institutions use CPSQ?


CPSQ has been designed to focus on the values and behaviours needed for success and wellbeing in higher education and work.


When used for selection, it offers a standardised, objective way for institutions to assess applicants’ personal qualities. Used alongside other selection methods, it improves the quality and fairness of selection decision-making. 


How do institutions use CPSQ?


Institutions may use CPSQ results: 

  • as a part of their selection process, alongside other information about you, to check if you are a good match with the course or suitable for the role 
  • for individual or group feedback and self-development. 


Why take CPSQ?


It helps you to: 

  • present additional supporting evidence of your personal suitability, when used in selection contexts 
  • increase your awareness of your personal style’s fit with relevant course or job competencies, when used for self-development. 


CPSQ format


CPSQ is taken online. You are presented with a series of behavioural-themed statements. The statements are presented in sets of four and you indicate to what extent the statements reflect you, from ‘Strongly agree’ to ‘Strongly disagree’.


About CPSQ diagram 1


If you give two or more statements from a set the same rating, you are also asked to rank these from ‘More like me’ to ‘Less like me’.


About CPSQ diagram 2


Taking CPSQ

CPSQ is untimed, but most respondents finish it after 30–40 minutes.


When taking CPSQ, consider: 


  • CPSQ is about your personal style: the way you go about things. If you feel that your behaviour varies depending on the context, think about how you behave most often.
  • Institutions are looking for a range of people. There is no one set ‘personal style’ to aim for. There are no right or wrong answers, so answer openly and honestly. 
  • Don’t spend too much time considering your response. Your first answer is normally the most natural one. 
  • Don't try to guess what responses selectors are looking for. You may give an inconsistent impression which doesn’t fit with other information about you.
  • If taking CPSQ at home, find a quiet place and time to complete the assessment
  • Results will typically form only part of a selection or development process and will be interpreted alongside other information about you.


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