Guest Post: Doing Aptitude Tests the Right Way

Doing Aptitude Tests the Right Way

Aptitude Tests are psychometric assessments, or measurements of one’s abilities, skills and personality traits based on psychological studies. They are most often known to be used as the first or second stage of the recruitment process for early career programs like internships, placements and graduate schemes at big global employers. These tests are designed to offer unbiased, genuine insights of candidates’ natural skills and attributes at the time of hiring; giving those without years of professional experience (like students or new graduates) an advantage in their job hunt. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Here are some ways you can get it right with the different types of Aptitude Tests currently used in the market.

Research your chosen employer

This is obvious advice, but when you have more than just a few employer’s websites to go through, skim reading becomes inevitable. Your best bet is to slow down and really invest the time and effort to find out what each company is looking for, highlight the key skills and attributes they mention and focus on performing your best with the types of Aptitude Tests that measure these skills. Also, most of these career pages offer information on how the full hiring procedure works, interviews with previous successful candidates and links to test publisher websites where you can get better at psychometric testing, for free.

 Choose the right environment (and tools, if necessary)

Some tests, like Numerical Reasoning Tests or Financial Reasoning Tests, often allow you to use rough papers and calculators to aid the process, while Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests or Abstract Reasoning Tests sometimes suggest test takers use some pen and paper to help working out more complicated logical sequences or patterns. Another rule of thumb is to always ensure you are in a quiet, comfortable and distraction-free environment, as this helps speed and accuracy majorly. For tests that are gamified and to be completed via smartphone or tablets, make sure all your social media notifications are off and even calls should be avoided during this time.

Time yourself, strictly

Your performance in Aptitude Tests are not measured against a standard passing score, so try not to be complacent even if you are absolutely certain you possess all the ‘greatness’ expected by the employers. Because with psychometric assessments, it is not just about being the amazing candidate you are, it is also about mastering test-taking as a skill. Everyone’s results are compared against all other applicants, and only the top few get selected to the next stage, be it a digital interview or one in person. So be strict and time yourself for every question, in every test, during every practice session and soon enough, you will earn your space in the leaderboard. Each type of test has a slightly different rule to how long you should spend on one question, but generally, the faster the better, but under one condition: you must get the correct answers.


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 Stay sharp and focus

While some tests, like Basic Comprehension Tests or Verbal Reasoning Tests, need you to take things as they are, or in other words, to derive conclusions from ONLY the information given and not from assumptions or external knowledge; other ones might try to trick you. For example, Abstract Reasoning Tests are very well-known for providing very similar-looking options in their multiple choice answers; thus, as a candidate with good attention to details (that employers love), keep your eyes peeled for these subtle differences so silly careless mistakes cannot occur. Furthermore, due to the length and intensity of Aptitude Tests in general, treating yourself with regular good night sleep and staying healthy, physically and mentally, will no doubt get you ahead of the game.

Don’t even think of cheating

You must have thought, why this would even make the list; cheating should be off-limit on all occasions anyway. That is true, but even more so for Aptitude Tests, as very often, candidates get re-tested, in person at interview days or assessment centers, to ensure there was not any ‘help’ from family and friends the first time around.

make the list; cheating should be off-limit on all occasions anyway. That is true, but even more so for Aptitude Tests, as very often, candidates get re-tested, in person at interview days or assessment centers, to ensure there was not any ‘help’ from family and friends the first time round.