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What is Psychometric Testing?

Updated: Apr 20, 2022

Psychometric testing aims to measure attributes, including intelligence, aptitude and personality. Generally psychometric testing is completed online, although some paper questionnaires still remain. Most tests are timed, but some are completed in multiple sittings. The testing provides potential employers with insight into how well candidates work with others, how well they handle stress and whether they will be able to cope with the intellectual demands of the job. Tests fall into two main categories: personality tests, which measure aspects of personality, and aptitude tests, which measure intellectual and reasoning abilities.


PERSONALITY TESTS

The idea behind these tests is that it’s possible to quantify a candidate’s personality by knowing how they felt, thought and behaved in a variety of situations (both at work and outside of work). There are lots of tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), which places candidates in one of 16 personality groups, and the Occupational Personality Questionnaire (OPQ), which checks that the candidate’s personality fits with the job.


There are no right or wrong answers with personality tests and to encourage reflection, they aren’t typically completed under exam conditions.


APTITUDE TESTS

There are at least 5,000 aptitude and ability tests on the market. Some of them contain only one type of question (for example, questions involving verbal or numerical reasoning) while others are made up of different types. Aptitude tests consist of multiple-choice questions and are administered under exam conditions. They are strictly timed, and a typical test might allow thirty minutes for approximately thirty questions. Accuracy as well as speed of response is usually measured. Intelligence levels are compared to a standard, meaning that candidates must achieve a certain score to pass. Common tests include:

NUMERICAL REASONING

Numerical reasoning tests are designed to test your knowledge on a range of subjects, including: Financial analysis and data interpretation, currency conversion, percentages, ratios, number sequences and more. All these topics directly to how you will cope with the job. However, as we will soon explain, there is a wide range of numerical reasoning tests from various providers, including SHL, Revelian and Talent Q, among others.


Considering that you will be sending out CVs to multiple companies, it is incumbent to ready yourself for a multitude of numerical reasoning test scenarios. From tables and graphs to currency & unit conversion, percentages and more, tests will differ in both their difficulty levels, time frames and even question-answer structure.


VERBAL REASONING

Verbal reasoning tests are a common type of aptitude or psychometric used in job recruitment. They are mainly used to measure your ability to understand, analyse and interpret written information. There are many different assessment companies with a wide assortment of tests for different sectors, position and job levels, but the basic question types remain the same.


SPATIAL REASONING

Spatial reasoning tests, also known as spatial awareness tests, examine orientation skills in two dimensional and three dimensional spaces. Popular spatial reasoning tests include:


  1. Organising two dimensional shapes

  2. Spatial reasoning cubes

  3. Mirror images

  4. Perspectives


DIAGRAMMATIC REASONING

Diagrammatic reasoning tests, often confused with abstract reasoning, inductive reasoning and deductive logical thinking tests, are aptitude tests administered by assessment companies. Unlike non-verbal reasoning tests, diagrammatic reasoning tests display a series of operators and outputs from which a candidate is to infer a set of rules and apply them to new situations.



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