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Psychometric tests (also known as aptitude tests) are designed to measure and assess numeracy, logical reasoning, and comprehension abilities. They are an effective tool for employers to sift through large volumes of graduate job applications in a timely and cost-effective way. Despite featuring in nearly all graduate job application processes, psychometric tests can still catch many students and graduates off guard - so here's how to prepare...
Preparing for psychometric tests alongside other commitments like university exams or full/part-time graduate jobs can be hard to juggle, but make sure you factor in enough time to study in the build-up. The most effective method of improving test performance rates is to practice as many example questions (developed by Chartered Occupational Psychologists) as you can.
Create a timetable to plan when and what you’re going to practise, as well as for how long. Whilst ensuring regular breaks are scheduled, a revision timetable will prevent you from procrastinating and there is nothing more satisfying than ticking tasks off your to-do list.
Carrying out practice exams under the same time and noise constraints, along with the tools allowed in your real assessment (e.g. rough working paper and a calculator) will prepare you for what to expect on the day.
Whilst the kind of competencies graduate employers look out for tend to overlap, the aptitude test providers they use in their graduate recruitment campaigns can vary in style and level of difficulty. Do plenty of research on both the graduate employer and the graduate job you are applying for so you can best understand the kind of tests they typically ask graduates to complete.
It’s tempting to reward yourself with extended breaks after completing a test, but it is well worth disciplining yourself to review the questions you answered incorrectly straight after finishing a test. After completing a few practice rounds, you will quickly identify which types of psychometric tests you find the hardest – make sure you focus on improving these specific areas by doing plenty of question practice.
Numerical reasoning tests are the most commonly used aptitude tests - these require graduates to perform and calculate addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, percentages, and ratios.
Developing a solid exam technique is crucial and will allow you to adopt and apply proficient time management skills. In the context of psychometric tests, this will involve working quickly but accurately and not taking too long on any individual question, which can only be developed through question practice.
Many graduates strive to complete these tests as quickly as possible, launching straight into assessments without reading the instructions carefully. Reviewing the instructions thoroughly will provide you with all the important information e.g. how long the test is, how many questions, and in what time, to help guide you through.
Psychometric tests typically begin with some example questions. It may be tempting to skip this section and dive into the real test; however, it’s highly advisable you complete these examples to become familiar with the style and format of the questions you’ll be faced with.
Got a round of psychometric tests to complete? Delve into some practice questions over at Practice Aptitude Tests, a platform dedicated to supporting graduates with how to prepare.
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