Psychometric tests are often used by employers to help identify a candidate’s skills and personality, often as a preliminary screening stage to help filter out those not considered suitable for the job in question. In a nutshell, psychometric testing is an impersonal, objective and standardised method of understanding a person’s suitability for the job. For this reason they are very popular with large graduate recruiters and are often used as part of the application processes to graduate schemes, either in the beginning of the process or as part of an assessment centre.
But what does that really mean in practice and how can I make sure I am prepared and ready before taking the test?
We often hear from students looking for advice and resources on how to prepare for psychometric tests, so we thought it might be a good idea to compile some of this information and advice into a blog post. Here it goes…
1. Learn all there is to know about the test(s) you’ll face
Try to find out as much as you can about the types of tests and exercises you will face. Many employers will provide information on the selection and testing process, either in their communications with you or through their website. However, if little information is available you might want to consider contacting the employer’s HR team to find out more. Being aware of the types of skills they are looking for is also important, as it might give you an idea of the types of tests you’ll face.
Once you know what tests you’ll be doing, make sure you understand what they are about. You can read all about different types of tests on our Psychometric tests information handout on the King’s Career Kit. This includes information about numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests, critical thinking tests, diagrammatic, logical or spatial reasoning tests, situational judgement tests and more.
2. Get lots of practice
Use the resources available to you! If you are a student at King’s you can use our subscription to Graduates First (https://www.graduatesfirst.com/university-career-services/KCL/ ) to practice a wealth of professional online aptitude and psychometric tests.
3. Read the instructions…
Make sure you understand what’s being asked of you and how long you’ve got to do it before you start your test. Double check the information provided and ensure you’re not missing any key details. It is also important that you pay attention to the different explanations and graphics that accompany each question.
4. Be prepared before the test
Eat, sleep and make sure you’ve got everything you need in front of you before you start your test. There might be information in the instructions which will tell you what you need, but pen and paper is always good to keep handy.
5. Don’t panic!
Don’t freak out if you don’t know the answer! Some tests will let you skip questions and go back to them later. If this is the case, it might be a good idea to answer the easier questions first before going back to the hard ones. Remember that on most tests you aren’t marked down for wrong answers . If you don’t know the right answer straight away, try to make an educated guess. However, make sure you read the instructions carefully before doing this – if it does say that you will be marked down you should be more cautious about guessing!
Stay tuned – a blog post on assessment centres is coming tomorrow!