Here is some practical, no-nonsense advice on how to increase your chances of success when taking a psychometric test:
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Avoiding silly mistakes
The most common cause of silly/avoidable mistakes is simply not reading the question or the instructions properly. Never merely skim read over the instructions of a psychometric test, the information in the question or the question itself. Although it may sound simple, often candidates miss out very important information. Find out if you can use a calculator, if you can go back and re-answer questions and if the test is timed by the question or as a whole. These are important questions that will affect how you undertake your test, and will be answered in the instructions.
Although getting a friend to help you through your online psychometric test may seem like a good idea at the time, it may turn sour at the later stages of recruitment. At assessment centres many employers do verification testing in order to validate your previous result, to see if you have collaborated on your test. The testing software often compares your response patterns and performance between the online test and the follow-up supervised test. Don’t take the risk; play by the rules.
Practising a numerical reasoning test beforehand is by far the most effective method of pre-test preparation. Practising one or more tests before hand can provide numerous advantages, including familiarisation with test layouts, increased confidence and decreased anxiety. From a learning and development perspective, candidates are provided with an opportunity to hone their skills, identifying which areas need work and which are strengths. Practice makes perfect!
A significant benefit to the candidate of psychometric testing is the online unsupervised format. Candidates may undertake their test at their leisure, at any time and any location, provided it is before the official deadline. The time and location of your test is paramount in performing well, and candidates are advised to complete their test in a stress-free, quiet environment at a time that is convenient to them. Most importantly you need to pick a location with a reliable internet connection.
Up to date browser
Ensuring that you have the most up-to-date internet browser possible is an important move to ensure that you can access the testing platform. Similarly, it is important to deactivate any custom security settings such as popup blockers as they may prevent the test platform loading.
Do your research
Finding out what psychometric test publisher has produced the test you are about to undertake is a vital piece of information which can be used to your advantage. Different psychometric tests naturally vary in their layout and format, therefore knowing what you are up against is a good way of ensuring that you can optimally practice for your assessment.
Excess test anxiety can negatively impact your performance on your psychometric test. Although a moderate amount of anxiety may serve to sharpen your senses and keep you on your toes, severe test anxiety may hamper test performance. Thoroughly preparing beforehand is a good technique to lower feelings of test anxiety. Similarly getting plenty of sleep before hand and not leaving the test to the last minute will help put your mind at ease when undertaking a psychometric test.
Often to increase the difficulty of their tests, psychometric test publishers intentionally put traps and trick questions into their tests. An example might be stating in the question “to the nearest whole number” but putting decimal numbers as some of the answers. The aim of these questions is to see if the candidate has thoroughly read the question before answering, or has fallen prey to common mistakes. Ensuring you have thoroughly read the question before answering is the best way to avoid this type of mistake.
Should you have a disability or believe you may be entitled to extra time on a test, ensure that you bring this to the attention of the recruitment team as soon as possible. Employers and test publishers are legally obliged to make reasonable adjustments to the test or to the test environment in order to accommodate people with special requirements. If you leave it too late to inform the recruitment team of your special requirements, they may not have time to make these adjustments. Similarly you may need to present a medical certificate or other documentation in order to qualify for extra time on the exam, so ensuring you can provide these documents is essential for receiving extra time.