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Psychometric Tests are an increasingly common way for employers to assess potential candidates, before employing them. These tests help recruiters to gage candidates’ ability in attributes such as:
By using these aptitude tests, employers are able to evaluate how capable applicants are in certain skills or abilities, which will be crucial to the job. Within this fantastic guide, we have provided you with all of the information you will need on all of the areas of aptitude testing.
Aptitiude tests are used to provide an objective overview of applicants, which does not focus on categories such as education, previous experience or even appearance. Psychometric testing allows candidates to be assessed on their strengths, weaknesses, working style, performance and efficiency, according to which is the most suitable to the job for which they are applying.
The large majority of psychometric tests are now performed online, but this can vary depending on the employer. They are primarily used as a screening process, to filter the weakest candidates out of the selection process. In some cases, you might be required to sit a psychometric test before you have even been offered an interview, or you might be invited to attend an Assessment Centre, where you will take the test alongside other candidates.
A psychometric test is centred around the key attributes that are required for the job to which you are applying. The most common types of aptitude tests are:
As you can see, there are a wide variety of different testing types that you could expect to see from a psychometric assessment. So, what is the best way to prepare for these exercises?
The best way to prepare for any psychometric assessment is to practice thoroughly before you take it. You also need to start practising immediately.
For example, once the majority of candidates have filled in their application form, they will sit back and wait for the employer to contact them. Once they’ve received confirmation/an invite to their assessment centre, they will start to practice for the psychometric assessment.
This is the WRONG way to look at it. Don’t wait for the employer to accept your application form, start practising immediately! The earlier you start your practice, the more practice you will get. The more practice you get, the bigger advantage you will have over the numerous candidates who started preparing late, or even failed to prepare at all. This will impress your employer and increase your chances of success.
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The number 1 way to practice for psychometric assessments is to purchase practice papers, or testing books. These will give you a fantastic insight into the way that the actual test will be laid out, and the type of questions you should expect. Taking practice papers will also allow you to time yourself. Timing is crucial in these assessments. The aim is to establish a particular skillset or behavioural pattern through both the quality of your answers, and the number of questions that you have answered.
To give you a better idea of the type of questions that you should expect to see, below we have laid out questions from each of the listed categories, along with a list of helpful tips on how to go about answering each subject.
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Numerical Reasoning Tests cover a wide range of mathematical topics. It is therefore imperative that, prior to taking the test, you have an understanding of the skills and knowledge required to solve mathematical problems.
Top Tips for Numerical Reasoning:
Below is a sample Numerical Reasoning question, similar to what you would see in your test:
1. Below is a spinner. Circle the chance of the spinner landing on an odd number.
Answer: A, 6/6.
Explanation: The spinner only contains odd numbers. Therefore, no matter what number it lands on, you will always spin an odd number.
Verbal Reasoning tests are designed to assess your ability to understand words, language and comprehension. In order to pass these tests, you will need to demonstrate a good understanding of English based written information.
Top Tips for Verbal Reasoning:
Below is a sample Verbal Reasoning question, similar to what you would see in your test:
1. Circle the answer sentence that is grammatically correct-
A. Graduates are finding it more difficult to get a job that is relevant to there studies.
B. Graduates our finding it more difficult to get a job that its releveant to their studies.
C. Graduates are finding it more difficult to get a job that is relevant to their studies.
D. Graduate’s are finding it more difficult to get a job that is relevant to their studies.
Explanation: A uses the wrong ‘there’, and therefore is incorrect. B uses the wrong ‘our’ and ‘relevant’ is spelt incorrectly. D uses an apostrophe incorrectly in ‘graduate’s’, and is therefore incorrect. C is the most grammatically logical sentence. Therefore C is the answer.
Non-Verbal Reasoning tests are used to assess a candidate’s ability to recognise shapes and patterns. The questions appear in both diagrammatic and pictorial form, and can be broken up into 3 separate categories: Spatial Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning and Inductive Reasoning.
Top Tips for Non-Verbal Reasoning:
Below is a sample non-verbal reasoning question, similar to what you would see in your test:
1. Find the odd one out.
Explanation: Figures A, C and D all contain 3 lines, whereas B contains 4 lines. This makes it the odd one out. Therefore the answer is B.
Concentration tests are a way for recruiters to determine how skilled you are at undertaking tasks which require high levels of concentration. These tests require great attention to detail. You will usually be provided with a large set of information that you will need to take in quickly, and using that information, work out the answer.
Top Tips for Concentration Tests:
Below is a sample concentration question, similar to what you would see in your test:
1. Circle the answer option that corresponds with the code 915.
Explanation: If you had to find the code that corresponded with 915, you could use the answer option D. You would take the 9 from the first row, the 1 from the second row, and then take the circle. This uses the same columns as originally stated.
Mechanical Comprehension tests have been used for many years as a method of assessing a candidate’s ability to perform a specific role. Predominately, they are used in careers which require an ability to work with, or understand, mechanical and technical concepts.
Top Tips for Mechanical Comprehension:
Below you will find a sample Mechanical Comprehension question, similar to what you would see in the real test.
1. Which of the pendulums will swing at the fastest speed?
Explanation: The fastest swinging pendulum will be figure D. The position of the rectangle determines how fast the pendulum will swing. It will be at its slowest at Point A. The higher the rectangle, the faster it will swing.
Checking tests are more commonly used during assessments for roles that require high levels of technical competency. You will normally be required to assess different dials or switches in order to identify where a particular fault lies. Alternatively, you may be required to use ‘priority checking tables’ to assist you during the analysis stage.
Top Tips for checking tests:
Below you will find a sample Checking Test question, similar to what you would see in the real test.
1. Which switch in the sequence is not working?
Switch Function of the Switch
X Turns B and D on/off. I.e. black to white and vice versa.
Y Turns C and D on/off. I.e. black to white and vice versa.
Z Turns A and D on/off. I.e. black to white and vice versa.
Explanation: The first switch to operate is ‘X’, which has the effect of turning circles B and D from black to white, and vice versa. Once switch ‘X’ operates, circle C is the only circle that is black. You will notice that the box on the right side is now identical to this, which means the next switch, switch Y, must be inoperative.
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