On this page


1. What are psychometric tests?
2. How to pass psychometric tests & free practice tests
2.1. Free practice tests with feedback at University of Kent
3. Tips for numeric reasoning
4. Tips for verbal reasoning
5. Personality assessments
6. Situational judgement tests
7. Watson Glaser (critical thinking test)
8. Finally…

 

1. What are psychometric tests?

PsychomAnswers Marked on Testetric tests are used as a screening tool by graduate employers, as they are seen as an objective indicator of job performance. They are based on scientific methods to test (mostly) cognitive abilities, and typically, KBS students encounter verbal reasoning, numeric reasoning and critical thinking/logic tests as well as personality assessments used to clarify a candidate’s strengths and development needs.

Applicants tend to be sent a link to do a test at home, which is often repeated in person at an assessment centre to be fair to all and ensure that nobody is cheating. If you pass a test at home, there is a very strong indicator that you will pass this a second time in an assessment centre.

2. How to pass psychometric tests & free practice tests 

A great resource is the Assessment Day website. This site offers free practice tests with examples and answers. When you land on the page, you will find tests to buy. For FREE TESTS click on ‘Learning Zone’ on the left. Next, select the test you are interested in, click on the title, then scroll to the bottom of that page to obtain a FREE PRACTICE TEST AND HANDOUT WITH HOW TO explanations.

Critical reasoning tests (also called diagrammatic tests or logic reasoning) and how to go about working out the answers are explained in great detail. There is also an example of an in-tray and group exercise on this site to help you prepare thoroughly for these types of assessment centre exercises.

Graduate Monkey is another site specialising in psychometric tests, predominantly Kenexa and SHL, which are both widely used. There are free test tutorials and useful tips. The link to free stuff lets you download some test examples from numeric and verbal reasoning tests and free e-books.

Psychometric Tests (This is an open psychometric test resource run by The Psychometric Project, a collaborative project from UK universities and occupational psychologists). Range of free online tests for practice. You can also add your comments for improvement to support the project.

Job Test Prep – for free aptitude tests. Typically half the length of standard tests and good for practice with full explanations. For free personality tests and some other free tests and resources from JobTestPrep click here.

The Careers and Employability Service has a large range of information about how to pass these tests. There are examples for you to test yourself, answers and explanations about how you arrive at the answers. You will find all you need on their website. Click here for psychometric practice tests.

2.1. Free practice tests with feedback at University of Kent


Pencil with "Y" Circled For Yes
The Careers and Employability Service (CES) are offering KBS students free psychometric test practice with feedback. To access the tests, students need to register themselves using their Kent email address here:

www.graduatesfirst.com/cp/kent/login.aspx

This will enable students to practice the following:

7 verbal reasoning, 7 numerical reasoning, 7 logical reasoning, Personality questionnaire, Question Identifier tool, Situational judgement test, and 9 assessment centre exercises.

You might also like to visit the Careers and Employability Service’s webpage about psychometric testing with examples.
Click here.

3. Tips for numeric reasoning

Most of the numeric reasoning tests tend to be straightforward in terms of mathematics (usually percentages, addition, subtraction, ratios – typically at GCSE level). The key is to read the instructions always very carefully, as sometimes there’s a temptation to launch into the exercise.

For example, you might be given a huge list of data, but only need to focus on one column according to the last bit of information in the instructions, or you may have to compare two sets of data. Most tests fail, because test takers tend to launch into the data without being totally clear of what is asked, or without focusing on the specific data.

Always aim to have a notepad and a pen with you, so that you can copy down information quickly and don’t have to spend all the time looking at the screen and the paper and each time trying to find your place.

If the instructions asks you to mark something (i.e. if you do a paper and pencil test) then follow the instruction completely. For example, if you’re asked to mark a particular line, then instead of an x at the end, put a whole line underneath the line you want to mark. The test is also checking your ability to focus on details under pressure.

4. Tips for verbal reasoning

This is always about the information in the paragraph in front of you – it is NOT about what you know about the subject. You typically get asked to select whether a statement is true, false or can’t tell. Can’t tell is generally the correct answer, if you have been given insufficient information, so this is not a sign of weakness or inability to answer the question.

A time-saving way is to start by reading the questions or statements first, so that when you read the actual paragraph in front of you, you will already know which part to pay attention to.

Often the statements are in double negative, so be clear in your own mind what is meant.

5. Personality assessments

These are never timed, and the advice is generally to be honest with yourself. Select the answers that you would feel most comfortable with (use your gut feeling). Overall, these cannot say how well you can do one job over another, but they help work out where your strengths are and where you might be best employed within an organisation.

For free personality tests and some other free tests and resources from JobTestPrep click here.

6. Situational Judgement Tests (SJT)

SJTs confront you with situations that you may find in a work-based environment and asks you to make a judgement. The content depends on what that job might involve, so it’s a good idea to read about the job profiles very carefully as a starting point (and perhaps consider using the Business Insight pages on this blog). Here are some links for example Situational Judgement Tests you might wish to practise on. SJTs typically involve ranking your answers in order of importance/priorities, multiple-choice questions or stating whether you find particular tasks desirable or not.

Assessment Day – for detailed information, a free practice test; a handout with test questions and a handout with appropriate answers.

Psychometric Tests (This is an open psychometric test resource run by The Psychometric Project, a collaborative project from UK universities and occupational psychologists). Range of free online tests for practice. You can also add your comments for improvement to support the project.

SHLdirect – for explanations, examples and a free full-length practice test.

7. Watson-Glaser (critical thinking appraisal)

Typically, but not exclusively, used by law firms and some management consultancies. This test is an assessment of critical thinking/logical reasoning and the questions often ask for a decision whether a statement is true or false (or probably true/false) or whether the data given is insufficient. Watson-Glaser is also similar to the GMAT tests used for admissions to universities in the USA.

Pearson offer a free practise test.

Assessment Day has some information on critical thinking tests with a free practice test. Free tests are in the Learning Zone which also includes some tips and additional explanatory information.

Bar Standards Board – Example questions and explanations.

Job Test Prep – free Watson Glaser test practice and explanations.

Finally…

Whilst practice may not make you entirely perfect, it will build your confidence, as you become more familiar with the types of questions and learn how to answer them under time pressure. Knowing what to expect in any psychometric test is half the battle!

There is no shortage of organisations wanting to sell you tests on the web. Here is only one example of many, so you might want to shop around, if you want to buy a test. Practice Aptitude Tests (Not free). If you come across any other useful sites you wish to share here with other students, then please email me, Irena Jennings@kent.ac.uk.