An Inside Look at Psychometric Testing


Landing a job in the current market is no easy feat. An added hurdle many candidates are likely to face is a psychometric test. The problem is most candidates aren’t exactly sure what this elusive ‘psychometric test’ is. That’s because various companies refer to different assessments when they use the term ‘psychometric test’. Don’t fear, I am here to explain everything you need to know about psychometric testing. Let’s begin by defining some basic terms.

psychometric testing

Psychometric Tests:

A psychometric test is a broad term used to refer to all assessments given to gauge a candidate’s skill sets and potential for success in a professional position. Each industry puts a different emphasis on which specific area it would like to evaluate. A psychometric test can measure a candidate’s technical skills, general knowledge, personality traits, situational judgement, or future potential. Psychometric tests are broken down into three subcategories: aptitude tests, behavioural tests, and assessment day exercises.

Aptitude Tests:

An aptitude test usually measures a candidate’s potential to perform a task without prior knowledge. The most popular aptitude tests are numerical, verbal, and abstract reasoning. The numerical reasoning exam is an assessment used to measure a candidate’s numerical skills. The verbal reasoning exam is a language-based test that measures a candidate’s comprehension and analysis of text. Abstract reasoning exams test how well a candidate can glean information from non-verbal information. There are many other varieties of aptitude tests. For more examples of different kinds of aptitude tests, check out JobTestPrep’s aptitude test page.

Behavioural Tests:

A behavioural test assesses if a candidate possesses the specific behaviours needed to perform a job. Behavioural tests come in two forms: personality tests and situational judgement exams. Personality tests are the most common form of behavioural test. A personality test analyses a person’s personality traits and gives an employer an overview of a candidate’s personality profile. Situational judgement exams, on the other hand, evaluate how a candidate might react in a given work-related scenario.

Assessment Centre Exercises:

Assessment centre exercises are usually the last test a candidate will undertake, and they focus on a candidate’s interpersonal interactions. Assessment exercises are usually given at an assessment centre. The location and format of the exercises may differ depending on who the employer is. The assessment day is often a full day event and is usually a combination of the following exercises: interviews, group activities, in-tray exercises, presentations, and case studies. During each exercise a candidate should be prepared to encounter a work-related simulation. Candidates are not only judged on how they respond to a given situation but why they chose to respond that way.

Inside Tips About Psychometric Tests:

  1. Aptitude tests and assessment day exercises are both given with specific time constraints. This is done to create a stressful environment so companies can see how you perform when there is a deadline.
  2. Alternately, behavioural tests are usually untimed and extremely long. It is essential that you pace yourself when you sit for the exam so you don’t overtire.
  3. Each company tailors psychometric testing to meet its own needs. This means that the psychometric test you took for one company will probably not be the same as the one you will take for another company. Take a look at this list of psychometric tests based on employer.
  4. Different assessment companies might make the same exam but with a different format. It is important that you prepare for the specific assessment company’s test you are expected to sit. Here is a list of the different tests based on the various assessment companies.

psychometric testing

Most employers don’t expect you to prepare for psychometric tests. But you know better. You understand that you need to do everything in your power to land your dream job. Before beginning the preparation process, try to get as much information about your upcoming psychometric test as possible. Then make sure to practise online before the test. Most tests are computer-based, so practising online allows you to simulate the real feel of the test. Good luck, candidates! I hope you learned a lot from this inside look at psychometric testing.

jennifer feldmanThis article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and writer at JobTestPrep. She specialises in writing about the employment hiring process. JobTestPrep is a market leader in preparation for pre-employment exams. It has helped more than 500,000 people achieve their career goals.


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