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What is a Psychometric Test?

A psychometric test is any activity or assessment that is conducted in order to evaluate a candidate performance and includes, but is not limited to, skills, knowledge, abilities, personality traits, attitudes and job/academic potential.

There are many psychometric test styles and formats with 3 main areas we will elaborate on. They are aptitude tests, behavioural tests and assessment centres.

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Three Common Psychometric Testing Areas

Beyond the challenge of correctly understanding and answering the test questions, another hurdle is overcoming the time constraints.

Both aptitude tests and assessment day exercises have time frames which allow candidates to be assessed on how well they cope with time pressure.

Keeping all these things in mind, it is no wonder that practising beforehand for your assessments is crucial to your success.

  • Aptitude Tests: These tests have the goal of assessing various cognitive abilities from numeracy and literacy skills to spatial awareness and more.
  • Behavioural Tests: These tests are intended to highlight specific personality traits that could indicate suitability for specific roles. These can come in the form of personality questionnaires, leadership tests, motivation tests and situational judgement tests.
  • Assessment Centres:Ā Assessment centres are based on human interaction assessments. Various exercises utilise job-specific skills and simulations and are usually carried out by assessors/psychologists.

Types of Psychometric Tests

Psychometric tests are used to measure a variety of skills needed to fulfil the duties of the job they are associated with. Continue reading to find out more on what each type of psychometric test measures as well as the concepts you are sure to encounter:

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These tests assess your ability to answer questions accompanied by graphs, tables, number sequences and word problems. There are two distinct levels of numerical tests: numeracy tests and numerical reasoning tests.

Verbal assessments are used to evaluate your ability to understand the information and tone expressed via written text. The most common answering style during a verbal assessment is to select ā€˜trueā€™, ā€˜falseā€™ or ā€˜cannot sayā€™ for each statement you encounter. Verbal testing is typically found in the form of text analysis and linguistically based questions.

Logical tests are mainly non-verbal. A few examples of logical reasoning tests are:

  • Abstract Reasoning: During an abstract reasoning test you will be asked to draw logical conclusions based on the information expressed through shapes, patterns and words.
  • Inductive Reasoning: These tests often include a series of shapes or matrices. You will need to decide which image comes next in a series or which one is missing in order to complete the series. You can try a free inductive reasoning test on our website.
  • Deductive Reasoning: These tests are designed to examine your ability to apply a set of rules onto a specific example.
  • Diagrammatic Reasoning: These tests involve drawing logical conclusions based on visual representations. Diagrammatic reasoning tests are similar to abstract, inductive and deductive reasoning tests.

These tests are administered for technically oriented jobs such as skilled and non-skilled technicians, mechanics, machine operators, etc. Technical tests are designed to evaluate your numerical, visual, mechanical and/or spatial skills. These tests do not, in most cases, require prior knowledge of technical, but indicate your aptitude for technical skills.

During a spatial reasoning test, you will be assessed on your ability to navigate 2D and 3D images. These tests evaluate your spatial visualisation, mental folding and mental rotation abilities, as well as your spatial and visuospatial function.

Mechanical and electrical aptitude tests assess your basic understanding of mechanical and electrical concepts and terminology. The test you take may also require higher levels of analysis, including some amount of numerical calculations and an industry-specific context depending on your job level.

These tests assess your attention to detail and your ability to spot errors. Error-checking tests are used in a variety of different industries, including marketing, education, hospitality, engineering, etc.

These tests require to perform specific tasks quickly and accurately. Concentration tests are given as part of the recruitment process for many roles including administrative and clerical, pilots, train drivers and other railway workers.

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Ā Numerical Reasoning
Ā Verbal Reasoning
Ā Inductive Reasoning
Ā Mechanical Reasoning
Ā Spatial Reasoning
Ā Personality
Ā Situational Judgement
Excel

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The tests mentioned above will often be provided by one of the following test providers.

It is best to find out which provider the company you have applied for uses prior to sitting your pre-employment test.

The most commonly used test providers are:

SHL Kenexa
Saville Talent Q
Cubiks cut-e

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What Employers are Looking For?

Psychometric tests are psychological tools used by employers to gauge your suitability for a role. These tests range in subject matter and content to measure a variety of desirable skill sets. Some of the most popular psychometric assessments used today include those for numerical, verbal and logical reasoning.

There are two major reasons companies use psychometric testing. The first one is to improve and reduce HR and recruitment costs and the second one is to ensure that only quality of candidates are on board, thus avoiding employee turnover. The main goal of an aptitude or psychometric test is to ensure that a candidate possesses the amount of skill and cognitive ability to perform the duties of a job/role. The most common skill sets being measured by these tests include numerical, verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills. Remember,Ā if you wish to stand out among the crowd,Ā practising for your psychometric tests is crucial.

Ā purpose of psychometric assessment

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Psychometric Tests and the Application Process

Most job applicants go through a similar application process as described in general lines below:

Ā pre-employment Selection Process

Most job applicants go through an application process that includes some or all of the following elements:

  1. Online application: Includes entering personal details and skills, uploading a CV, answering competency based questions and taking certain psychometric tests.
  2. More psychometric tests: Aptitude and skills tests, usually delivered online.
  3. One or more interviews: Could be a phone interview, a Skype interview or could also take place at the company's offices.
  4. An assessment day: Includes group activities, e-tray/in-tray exercise, case study/presentation, role-playing scenarios, partner interviews, verification tests and more.

Psychometric Test FAQs

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In the general scheme of things, psychometric tests are often quite short and can take anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes. There are some psychometric tests, however, that will take more time to complete. The length of time your assessment will last is determined by the type of test you will be taking, the role you have applied for and your job level.

The passing score for psychometric tests varies depending on the type of assessment. For example, this mark could be as low as 75% for numerical assessments and as high as 80-90% for others. To find out more regarding the various psychometric test scoring methods, click here.

Scoring for psychometric tests is often done by calculating the number of questions you have answered correctly. Your score will then be compared to those of either the normative testing group scores provided by the test developer or to those of past candidates who applied for the same role. To ensure that your score shines above the rest, you should take the time to practise for your assessments beforehand.

There are many reasons why companies and academic bodies use psychometric testing as part of the recruitment or admission process. But the motivation usually remains the same; they seek to the best candidates in terms of skills, knowledge, abilities, personality traits, attitudes and overall potential for the particular job or academic role.

As stated previously, the purpose of psychometric testing is to ensure that only candidates with the desired skillsets can move on to the next stages of the recruitment process. These tests give employers insight into not only your skillsets but your cognitive abilities as well.

The skills being looked for by the employer whose company you have applied for can vary depending on your job level and the role. For the most part, employers are looking to see whether you possess the necessary skills to:

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1)Ā Carry out the daily task required for the position.

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2) You are the right fit for the company. The higher you happen to score on your pre-employment test or tests, the better your chances will be in being selected for the role being advertised. To find out more regarding the skills being looked for by employers and how you can prepare for your assessments,Ā click here.

An assessment centre or assessment day is an important part of the recruitment process. Assessment centres allow employers to observe, test and interview many applicants at one time. They also give candidates insight into the companyā€™s culture and attitudes. During an assessment centre, you will be evaluated on your behaviour based on multiple evaluation techniques including job-related simulations (role-plays/group exercises), interviews or psychological tests.

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