Home > Employment > Psychometric Tests – What do you need to know?

Psychometric Tests – What do you need to know?

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As complex and daunting as they may sound, psychometric tests are just another way for employers to see whether you are right for the job and how you may be likely to behave in certain scenarios. They can also be called aptitude or ability tests but they are all pretty much the same thing.

When will I take one?

They normally form part of a wider recruitment process so you may find you complete one at the time of submitting an application form, before they decide whether to offer you an interview or not. You may even be asked to sit a psychometric test whilst at an interview.

What do they consist of?

  • Psychometric tests may be completed on-line but are often taken by hand if part of an interview or assessment centre
  • They will have a strict time limit
  • Normally they will include multiple choice questions
  • They are designed to test your thinking, reasoning and determine how you reach answers
  • Depending on the type of role you are applying for, you may face a variety of different tests

What type of tests are there?

  • Verbal tests – such as verbal reasoning, analysis and word sort
  • Numerical tests – such as reasoning, analysis and sequential tests
  • Diagrammatic and spatial reasoning – testing your sense of logic and visual thinking and organisation skills
  • Specific tests – for example, syntax for computer programming, data checking or mechanics

(Source: Prospects)

What should I be aware of?

  • As with all tests, you will be given a set of instructions. Always read these carefully and follow them carefully
  • If you have any special requirements for the test, such as needing extra time if you are dyslexic, you may want to disclose this information to the test organiser at the time of confirming your attendance. This will allow them to make any necessary adjustments
  • Time really is of the essence. If you get stuck on a question, move on and go back to it if you have time. You will need to try and find the right balance between getting the questions right and answering them in the given time

How do I prepare for a psychometric test?

  • Try and find out which type of test you will be facing in advance
  • There are many resources out there to help you with these types of test before you have to sit one for real – see below
  • Try and get a goods night’s sleep – you will need to feel refreshed and alert

For more information on Psychometric Tests visit the Ready to Apply section on Jobs & Careers for:

  • Videos on Assessment Centres
  • Free access to Kenexa Tests (must click from StudyNet)
  • Sample question sheets
  • Advice from employers on taking tests


(Image Credit: artM)


Image of Katharine Littlefair

Katharine Littlefair is a Careers and Placements Officer in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire

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