Guest Blog: Psychometric Testing – An Overview

psychometrics-382-365Increasingly, large employers are turning to psychometrics to streamline graduate recruitment programmes. Gone are the days of CV sifting and a single, face to face interview for graduate recruitment, saving HR teams considerable time and effort.

But what particular tests can you expect when applying to the UK’s largest employers, and what do you need to know before tackling them? Here, AssessmentDay offer some of their experienced advice on the 5 most common psychometric test types.

  1. Numerical Reasoning Tests

Perhaps the most common graduate level assessment used today. Candidates are presented with numerical data, usually a graph or table, and asked questions pertaining to that data. A common myth surrounding these tests is that they require high level mathematical knowledge, when in reality they rarely venture beyond simple addition, multiplication, division, and percentages. The key is whether you can correctly interpret the question and utilise the data effectively, the maths itself is fairly simple.

Top Tip: Make sure you have a calculator AND some rough paper before attempting a numerical reasoning test. More importantly, use a real calculator, don’t just use the calculator on your phone!

  1. Verbal Reasoning Tests

Verbal reasoning tests are the next most common assessment encountered by graduates. Usually, candidates are presented with written information, often a paragraph of text, and asked questions about that paragraph. These questions will take the form of True / False / Cannot Say style questions, with a single correct answer. It is common for candidates to complete both verbal and numerical reasoning tests during the sifting stage in the recruitment process.

Top Tip: Thoroughly read the whole paragraph before attempting the questions. I know time limits cause people to panic, but rushing causes silly mistakes, which is easily avoided by taking the time to fully understand the information presented. 

  1. Inductive Reasoning Tests

Also known as logical, abstract, or diagrammatic reasoning tests, these tests are common graduate selection tools. Candidates are shown a sequence of shapes, with one or more underlying logical rules i.e. the square rotates, or the circle changes colour etc. Candidates need to correctly identify the next diagram in the sequence based on these rules, proving they have understood the pattern itself.

Top Tip: To identify the correct answer, the diagram has to follow ALL of the rules, and so you can easily discount any option that does not follow one or more rules. By narrowing down the options, you maximise the chances of picking the correct one, and minimise the chances of careless mistakes. 

  1. Situational Judgement Tests

Situational judgement tests (SJTs) present candidates with workplace relevant scenarios, and then asks them to rate or rank the effectiveness of several courses of action in response to that scenario. By doing this, situational judgement test broadly measures your ability or propensity to use effective judgement in the workplace. These tests are usually untimed, allowing candidates to work at their own pace.

Top Tip: Because SJTs are untimed, you should take your time and thoroughly weigh up options before selecting answers. No need to rush, so use your time effectively and work at a steady pace.

  1. Personality Questionnaires

Although less likely to be encountered during graduate recruitment, some employers do use personality questionnaires at this level. Candidates will be presented with a range of statements i.e. “I enjoy working on my own” and asked to what extent they agree with that statement. Although these questionnaires are untimed, they can take quite a while to complete, with longer questionnaires taking up to 60 minutes.

Top Tip: Avoid just selecting the answers you think people want to see. Without knowing what employers are looking for, this can only go badly. Instead, just be honest, that way your results will always be consistent and representative.

You can practise full length psychometric tests with AssessmentDay by clicking here and registering with your QMUL email address. Good luck!


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