facing psychometric tests

March 23, 2018, by Manuela Cabrera

Facing Psychometric Tests: Before, During and After

By Manuela Cabrera, masters student, studying structural engineering

So you’ve passed the application form – yeah! – but then you get sent a link to complete an online test. It can be quite a stressful process; trust me, I’ve been there too. That’s why I’m going to tell you about my experience of managing it.

Not every company asked me to do this, but plenty have. The type of test also seems to vary depending on the role I’m applying for, but from my experience I’ve had to face:

  • verbal reasoning
  • numerical reasoning
  • personality questionnaire
  • logical reasoning

This is a recent email I received:

My first impression? That’s not enough time! I was very worried about keeping to the time limit and staying calm, all while answering everything correctly. So I decided the best thing to do was practise. Don’t forget, the fact you are now facing psychometric test means you are now closer to a job. Therefore, take time to prepare yourself and do it right.

Before

I’d identified what type of online tests I might be faced with, so next I tried to figure out:

  • What will the test look like?
  • How many question will it include?
  • How much time will I have to answer each question?

In many cases, the company website has mock tests to help you familiarise yourself with the format of the questions, and how to answer them. This is the perfect scenario, as it ensures I can prepare for a test that will look just like the real one.

Nevertheless, this is not always the case and not all companies give you this advantage. When I faced this situation, I searched the internet to find online practice tests.

I found lots of useful advice here, and I discovered my favourite place to practise tests – Graduates First which is free for us as students at Nottingham. You only need your university email address to register. You can find video tutorials explaining the different kind of tests, and how to solve them. There is also a mock test section, where there are different categories with multiple exams to try. After answering the questions in each test, you will also get feedback. This way, you know what went wrong and can practise what you’re weaker at.

During

It is vital to find a place where you feel comfortable. I usually pick a quiet room with no distractions – try to keep away from your mobile, other people, or background noise, such as the television.

Then, when I feel ready to click the ‘go to test’ button, some anxiety goes through my mind. Even though I have taken many psychometric tests, it never seems to go away. However, I have to stay calm, so I take a deep breath and carefully read the instructions to begin.

It might sound obvious, but the most important thing is to read everything carefully. Find the vital information and answer quickly, but carefully. I always try to follow this process, no matter the type of test!

After

Once I press the ‘submit’ button, I can’t help but think about how well I performed. Was I well prepared? Was I comfortable with the questions? Did I find it very hard? This way, I know what to expect and what to work on in order to improve my performance next time.

For more help facing psychometric tests, check out our online resources. You can also speak to our team in person, who can help you prepare or come along to a skills workshop during term time. Find one here.

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