Why have them?
Employers often use psychometric tests in the selection process to shortlist candidates and to give them a picture of your aptitude, ability and personality type.
Main types of psychometric tests
There are two main types of psychometric tests used.
(3.30 - 4.20) Graduate Career Planning, Sigmar Recruitment
Aptitude or Ability Tests
Verbal Reasoning tests your ability to understand, reason with and logically draw conclusions from written information such as reports. For example, a verbal test could include a series of passages, each of which is followed by several statements. Your task is to evaluate each statement in the light of the passage, which precedes it.
Numerical Reasoning looks at your ability to understand and identify critical information from facts and figures usually presented in the form of tables, charts and graphs. These are sometimes done using a calculator or using rough calculations.
Abstract or Diagrammatic Reasoning examines your ability to reason with abstract, non-verbal information presented within logical sequences and to apply them in the form of symbols, shapes and diagrams. The questions may require you to recognise patterns and similarities between these symbols, shapes and diagrams. This test is often used when employers are looking for IT personnel.
Spatial reasoning tests your ability to work with complex plans and often involves mentally rotating two dimensional representations of three dimensional shapes. This test may be used in recruitment for engineering or architecture roles.
- Used sometimes as part of the selection process to draw up a profile of your typical reactions and attitudes to a range of situations.
- Questions focus on a number of personality factors such as:
- How you relate to others.
- your preferred style of interacting with others.
- Your emotions.
- Your general outlook on life or attitude.
- These tests are usually not timed and there are no right or wrong answers. Your responses give the employer an idea of your personality type and are often discussed at interview.
- The best way to approach these tests is to answer them as honestly as you can. Guessing what the employer is looking for is often difficult and could be counter-productive.
- Practice Selection Tests online.
- Gradireland.com - Careers Report and information on psychometric tests
- Prospects.ac.uk - information on psychometric tests.
- targetjobs.co.uk - information on psychometric tests.
- How to Pass Advanced Aptitude Tests - Barrett, James, 2002.
For more information see Resources (Testing)