What is a psychometric test?Psychometric tests are used to identify a candidate's aptitudes, personality, or ability. Tests have been established over many years and are often used with specific groups defined by age, prior educational level or type of job.
Most psychometric tests are performed online, although you may find some remain as hard-copy questionnaires. Some tests enable you to save your answers and return to complete the test at a later stage; others are timed.
Check if you can go back and amend an answer before you begin a test, as some tests do not permit you to go back to a question once you have moved on.
Tests are often used for preliminary screening or may be used as part of an assessment centre.
Types of psychometric testPersonality tests aim to identify a personal type and there are no 'right or wrong' answers. They often take the form of paired items or pictures that you are asked to choose a preference. For example, would you rather read a book or go to a party?
To prepare for a personality test:
- practise using tests so that you are familiar with the style and format of questions;
- answer questions honestly and without trying to guess what is the 'right' answer;
- omit any questions that you do not understand.
Aptitude tests are usually timed and include:
- verbal tests;
- numerical tests;
- spatial reasoning;
- subject/job-specific tests.
- practise as many tests as possible;
- try to find out whether there are particular tests for your type of job or industry;
- ask your careers or employability service about which tests are best for practice.
How do I pass a psychometric test?Remember, there are no right or wrong answers in personality tests, and aptitude tests are often used as a starting point for recruitment.
When taking these tests, make sure you:
- read the instructions carefully;
- work through briskly and accurately;
- don't try to guess the right answer;
- answer honestly;
- practise so that you're not distracted by the style or formatting of questions;
- pay attention to what you're being asked but don't dwell for long - move to the next question if you're unsure.
Where can I practise psychometric tests?Your careers or employability service may provide training or practice in a range of psychometric tests.
It's also worth visiting the website of the organisation to which you are applying, as some large companies provide practice testing and coaching on how to improve scores, although there may be a cost.
For advice, information and practice tests (some organisations may charge), visit:
- AssessmentDay - practice aptitude tests.
- Cubiks Online Assessment - information and practice tests.
- Institute of Psychometric Coaching - professional preparation for psychometric tests.
- JobTestPrep - numerical reasoning tests.
- Morrisby - career and educational guidance.
- SHL - assessment advice and practice tests.