Testing Times: Prepare, Practice and Succeed at Psychometric Testing – by Narelle Hess

Most of us at one point in our career will be required to complete psychometric testing. There are no fast rules on how to beat psychometric tests. Truth is you don’t need to beat psychometric tests; you just need to make sure you are ready to perform at your best. If you are the right person for the job, the psychometric tests will help confirm this.

The good news is that psychometric tests help you to be objectively assessed against the key competencies required by the job. Companies that invest in psychometric testing want to make sure they are hiring the best person for the job. These companies are also likely to be companies that invest in their people to ensure that they achieve this potential.

But just like we board the plane excited about the destination, but with some trepidation about the flight. Most people approach psychometric testing with a level of anxiety, despite the excitement about the job in front of them. Just like your first flight, the first time you complete psychometric testing is likely to be somewhat scary and unfamiliar. To help you get ready to succeed at psychometric testing preparation and practice are key.

Prepare: Know the details of the types of tests you will be completing

To help you prepare for the psychometric tests it is critical that you know what tests you will be completing. The two most common types of tests include:

Aptitude – these tests are usually timed tests and you are given a time limit to complete a certain number of questions. Most common aptitude assessments include: verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, and abstract reasoning. Other aptitude assessments depend on the role you are being considered for and could include: mechanical reasoning, spatial reasoning, or visual acuity. The level of these tests will depend on the level of role that you are going for.

Personality and Motivations – untimed questionnaires that ask you to answer a series of questions about your preferred style of operating at work. Typically you are asked to answer how strongly you agree with a statement. Alternatively you may be given a list of statements and asked to select which you agree with most and least from the list.

3 key questions to ask to confirm the test details:

1. What are the tests? (Aptitude or Personality? Timed or untimed?)

2. How long will the tests take to complete?

3. What practice tests are available? (Most test publishers offer practice test websites where you can practice questions or complete tests to help you get an understanding of the types of tests you will be asked to complete).

Once you know: the types of tests, when and where to complete the tests, and practice website, now is the time to practice.

Practice: Get familiar with different types of psychometric tests

Practicing psychometric tests helps you get an understanding of the types of questions you will be asked to complete. This is especially important if you haven’t completed psychometric tests before.

It is important that you give yourself plenty of time before you complete the psychometric tests, to have a go at completing some practice questions or practice complete tests. You may also like to start trying to complete crossword puzzles, Sudoku problems, and other mind challenging problem solving tasks. The practice tests are to help you gain familiarity to the types of questions you will be asked, so that you are ready to answer these types of tests during your psychometric testing session. Remember that practice is important, but also remember that the psychometric tests that you complete are likely to be more difficult than the practice tests.

What is even more important than practice is getting in the right mind-set to complete the tests.

Succeed: Get ready to perform at your best

Each of us at one point in our life has sat a test, it could be during High School or University or for your Driver’s License. We all know that how we approached these tests significantly impacted the end result. Similarly with psychometric testing it is important that you are ready to perform at your best.

Have a good night’s sleep, eat something before the test session, and approach the testing session positively.

When you begin the tests you will go through a series of standard instructions and example questions. Take this start of the test session to breathe and take the time you need to understand the tests before beginning. If there is anything you are not sure about, ask the Test Administrator before beginning the tests.

Once you are clear on what is expected, now is the time to start the tests. Work as quickly and accurately as you can, if you find you’re spending too much time on any one question, skip it and come back to at a later time if you have time. Once you have completed each testing component, take a moment to pause, get ready, and begin the instructions for the next test.

After you have completed all tests, confirm feedback policy. Most companies provide feedback of your results after you have completed the selection process. Make sure you get this feedback regardless of if you are successful or not. And that’s it!

Practice, prepare, succeed and let psychometric testing help you reach your dream destination – that great new job!