Everything You Need to Know About Psychometric Testing

This months blog has been written by JobTestPrep to prepare you with Everything You Need to Know About Psychometric Testing, here goes: 

Just About Everything You Need to Know About Psychometric Testing:

What do school-leavers searching for apprenticeship and placement opportunities, university students looking for internships, and recent graduates trying to enter the job market have in common? The answer: psychometric tests.

Over the last few years, more and more companies have been incorporating psychometric tests into their recruitment process. We’ll go over some of the basics about what psychometric tests are, how to succeed at them, and why companies seem to love them so much.

Why Psychometric Tests?

There are two fairly straightforward reasons why organisations seem to put so much faith into psychometric tests as a recruitment tool. The first is that they can be a useful instrument for testing a job applicant’s skills in a relevant area, or whether they are a good “fit” for the company. The other reason is even more simple: in today’s job market, almost every job is highly competitive, with a large number of applicants applying for each position. Psychometric tests are an easy and efficient way for companies to whittle down the numbers without having to take the time to interview candidates.

What will I be tested on?

While psychometric tests cover a huge range of topics – as well as topics within topics – there are a few types that are much more common. Most large companies these days will expect candidates to go through at least one of the following types of test: numerical reasoning; verbal reasoning; and situational judgement tests. Some of the tests are more generic and some might be more specialised, depending on the nature of the job and company that you’re applying to.

Numerical reasoning tests will generally test your ability in a few different areas: to extract information from graphs and table; to understand word problems involving numbers; to make quick arithmetic calculations; and be comfortable with percentages, ratios, averages and other basic statistics. Numerical tests are common across many job types, although tend to be more popular with jobs that involve working with numbers. There will be some discrepancy in the difficulty level between tests for jobs that are very maths-intensive, and jobs where employers simply want to check that candidates are somewhat numerate.

Verbal reasoning tests examine your ability to understand, analyse and interpret information in text form. They will normally take the form of reading comprehension questions based on a passage, with multiple choice answer options that require some assessment of the text. Verbal tests are common across many job types, but particularly relevant for law, consulting, and business.

Situational judgement tests are designed to measure how well a candidate fits with the company culture. The tests present test-takers with fictional, but realistic, workplace scenarios and require you to decide how to react. Answers are multiple-choice, and the scenarios tend to involve conflict with colleagues and managers, or decisions about prioritising tasks.

How do I prepare for psychometric tests?

The reality is that, these days, it’s near impossible to avoid facing these tests. And it’s far from just graduate positions that require applicants to take them; internships and many apprenticeships will use them as part of their application process too. So, if we can’t get away from them, then the best thing is to prepare for them!

Practising the tests will improve your score for a couple of reasons. Firstly, going over the material will refresh your memory on subjects that you likely haven’t touched for a while. Another important element of psychometric tests that throws many test-takers is the timing. Having to answer 25 tricky numerical reasoning questions in just 25 minutes adds pressure that can throw off many job applicants, causing stress and mistakes. The only way to fully prepare and to avoid unnecessary stress and pitfalls in the real thing is to spend time doing mock tests.

While some people will naturally perform better than others at psychometric tests, or some might perform better on, say, numerical than verbal tests, the idea that you should “just turn up and do your best” is, frankly, wrong. The key to performing well at psychometric tests (and getting through to the final stages of the job application) is to practice the tests beforehand. Start practicing now with free online tests!

JobTestPrep are the leading providers of psychometric test practice resources in the UK and Europe. Having helped tens of thousands of candidates improve their test performance for over a decade, they offer the largest range of unique and personalised test practice online.


Posted in: School Leaver & Apprenticeships, Careers