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What is a psychometric test and how do they work?

A psychometric test, also known as an Aptitude Test, is a common part of many modern-day interviews and assessments. Psychometric tests take many forms and are an umbrella term for any assessment that tests one’s cognitive ability or personality. They are now more commonly administered online and will consist of a series of questions whereby you must submit your answers within the time limits.

If you haven’t yet encountered a psychometric test then you will very likely do so in the future as they are becoming increasingly utilized as an early stage of an assessment application. Recruiting companies like to use them as a means of filtering out large applicant pools to a much slimmer, manageable pool. As a result, many applicants may struggle to ever get past this stage.

Psychometric tests are an objective way to measure the potential ability of candidates to perform well in a job role. This is due to psychometric tests measuring a range of skills from cognitive abilities, knowledge to assessing your personality. They are an extremely popular tool in business recruitment if you are applying for a job (especially graduate schemes) you may have to take some form of psychometric test(s) as a preliminary round of the application process.

Why are psychometric tests used in recruitment?

Traditionally recruiters studied your CV and qualifications and made a decision based on an interview.
Extensive research has shown that actually this is a fairly poor way to pick which candidates are going to be best for the job. What’s a better way? You guessed it: a psychometric test. In fact, many employers use a combination of interviews, assessments and psychometric tests.
The power of psychometric testing is that there is a strong correlation between test scores and job performance, i.e. if you score highly in a psychometric test, the chances are that you are going to perform well in the job. As an employer, their predictive qualities make psychometric tests very attractive. Add the fact that they can be administered quickly and efficiently on a large scale and you can see why psychometric tests have become the norm, especially for graduate recruitment.

As mentioned, the term ‘psychometric test’ is an umbrella term that covers both ability testing and personality profiling. There are many forms of psychometric tests including:

• Numerical Reasoning
• Verbal Reasoning
• Inductive Reasoning
• Diagrammatic Reasoning
• Logical Reasoning
• Critical Thinking
• Situational Judgement
• Mechanical Reasoning
• Deductive Reasoning

As a candidate, the best way to prepare for your psychometric test is to practice and find out what the test is like.

Numerical Reasoning and Verbal Reasoning are two of the most popular tests used to assess a candidate’s ability. If you are applying to graduate schemes or know that the application process for your desired job will include psychometric tests, it’s very likely that it will include one of these tests.

So let’s take a deeper look into these two popular test types…

Numerical Reasoning

Numerical Reasoning tests are the most popular psychometric test, outside of personality profiling, and so it is important that you are adept at handling this sort of test.
Numerical Reasoning tests are used to measure a candidate’s ability to interpret numerical data. You must be able to analyze and draw conclusions from the data, which could be presented in tables or graphs. Many candidates may fear a numerical reasoning test, believing that the maths involved will be too complex. The tests aren’t designed to test the limits of a candidate’s mathematical ability, but more to test your ability to use simple mathematical data to solve problems.

Verbal Reasoning

A Verbal Reasoning Test is used to assess a candidate’s ability to comprehend a passage of text. You will, most likely, be presented with a written passage and asked to answer a series of questions with either ‘True’, ‘False’ or ‘Cannot Say’ on the basis of the information given.
You must only use the information that is written in the passage and not use any pre-existing knowledge you may have on the topic as they are not testing this, they’re testing your ability to understand the text.

Source: assessmentday.co.uk

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