Preparing for a Psychometric Test

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You may,over the lifetime of your career, be asked to attend a Psychometric Test as a pre-selection method to finding the right candidate for a particular role.

A Psychometric test is designed to measure a candidates’ suitability for a role based on required personality characteristics and/or aptitude.The tests are designed to be objective and unbiased and are used frequently by public bodies to short list candidates where the number of applications for a role are particularly high.

As a pre-selection method you will most likely be requested to attend a specific location and do a pen and paper test. Unfortunately, when it comes to aptitude, there is very little we can do to positively affect change in our numerical ability, our verbal reasoning skills, etc. We can, however, prepare in advance to ensure stress and fear of the unknown have been taken out of the equation.

Find out in advance what type of test you will be doing and perform practice tests on line to ensure you are familiar with them. Practice, practice and more practice is highly recommended. Spend time looking at the format of different tests.  This may help you feel a little more relaxed when you see the test paper.

If you are unsure of the test centre location, do a practice run prior to the test date to ensure you know exactly where you are going.

If you experience problems with nerves or sleeplessness prior to potentially stressful events, it is worth getting advice about stress management techniques you can use to minimise effect.

On the day of the  test itself arrive 15 minutes early to give you time to settle.

Listen to and read the test instructions carefully. If you are unclear about something, ask.

You will be given time to read the instructions before the timed part of the test begins. Example and/or practise questions are usually given to help you understand what you have to do. Work through these to make sure you are clear about what the test requires you to do.

Remain focused on the test not on your surroundings.

Ability tests are usually strictly timed, so it is important to work as quickly and as accurately as you can. If you are stuck on a question, don’t waste time on it – go on to the next one and come back to it at the end if you have time.

The best approach with multiple-choice questions is to try and work out the answer yourself, and then see if your answer is one of the given options. If your answer is not one of the given options, check your reasoning or calculations. If you are absolutely stuck, make an educated guess rather than picking an answer randomly; eliminate answers you know to be wrong and then go with your best guess from the remaining options.

If you struggle through the test, don’t worry. Maybe the job wasn’t suited to you. You should be offered appropriate feedback on your performance. Use this information productively if you can. Best of luck to you !






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