Psychometric Testing Preparation
Here is some information to help you prepare for psychometric testing. You will find this section useful if you have been asked to undertake some psychometric assessments, personality assessments or cognitive reasoning assessments. You will find answers to some FAQs, links to some practice questions, and general information about how your psychometric assessment results are used.
• Personality Assessments: these assessments are aimed at discovering your personal preferences, strengths, and ‘flipsides’. Personality preferences can indicate the type of job a candidate should enjoy and be well suited to. Most preferences have both a ‘strength’ and a ‘flipside’ (or reverse). For example, if you like focusing on details, you might be well suited for work that requires close attention to detail like accounting or air traffic control. The flipside is that someone who has a preference for high attention to detail may be less comfortable when it comes to adapting or shifting quickly between different tasks.
• Motivation / Values Assessments: these assessments measure an individual’s values and beliefs. Or to put it another way – the underlying interests a person has which drives them to act in a certain way. For example, a person who values being charitable and helping others may feel demotivated working in a commercial environment where the sole focus is making money. These assessments can help predict the type of organisational culture and career an individual will most enjoy.
• Abilities/Aptitudes: these tests are designed to measure potential. While the skills required for jobs are often too varied to build specific tests around, we use more narrow measures, namely abstract reasoning, numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning to make inferences about a candidate’s likely potential in a role. For example, a candidate who does well on a verbal reasoning assessment is likely to draw accurate conclusions when it comes to reading through written material on the job.
With ability assessments, on the other hand, there is only one correct answer to each question. However, it is not like school or university where you pass or fail. Instead, your result is reported against a comparison group depending on the level of role you are applying for. For example, if you are applying for a managerial role your result may read like this – “On the numerical reasoning assessment, you scored better than 46% of people in a managerial norm group. This result suggests that you should be as able as most people in this comparison group when it comes to undertaking numerical calculations and correctly interpreting numerical information.
Please note the practice questions contained in these links may vary from the ability assessments you will be undertaking. The practice assessments may be in a different format and at a different difficulty level. So you may not improve your actual abilities by undertaking these practice assessments, however, they are likely to improve your test taking abilities (i.e., being able to answer a number of questions under a time restraint). You will also have the opportunity to complete some practice questions before moving into the graded component of any ability assessments.
There are also some preparation tactics you can do to ready yourself for specific assessments. For example, if you are set to undertake a numerical reasoning assessment, it would be useful to review some basic mathematical rules (i.e. speed = distance / time), to undertake some mental arithmetic and ensure you are comfortable using a calculator. Or if you are undertaking a verbal reasoning assessment you may like to brush up on your comprehension, read widely, look up the meaning of any words you are unfamiliar with and pause to check your understanding after reading statements or text.
When you are ready to undertake your assessments make sure you have some paper, pens, a calculator (if you have been asked to supply one) and reading glasses (if you require these) with you. Ensure you have blocked out enough time to undertake the testing and have a quiet and interruption free space.
Remember, a number of ability assessments are timed. If you are undertaking timed assessments, you should roughly calculate how much time you can spend on each question. Most often, on timed assessments, it is advisable to have a ‘best guess’ if you are feeling stuck on a question, rather than considering a question for longer than needed. Other ability assessments are untimed. For untimed assessments, you be told how long they generally take to complete. However, this time does vary from one individual to the next, so ensure you have allocated some additional time for the assessment and have not scheduled in a back-to-back appointment.
For personality and motivational assessments, there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers. Ensure you understand the directions and read the questions carefully. We encourage you to not spend too much time thinking about a question, but instead to use your ‘gut feel’ or go with the option that first comes into your head. Also, try not to answer in a way you feel will appease the hiring manager as many personality assessments include measures to identify those who attempt to do this. This approach can also result in inconsistent assessment findings, where a person’s described style does not match with the information gleaned through the other components of the selection process (i.e., interview, CV, referee checks). Also, when completing personality assessments, you may feel questions are very similar to questions you have already answered. Try to deal with each question as it is presented rather than feeling the need to answer these questions in the same way.
While we encourage you to complete all of your assessments in one sitting, we understand this is not always possible. Therefore, you are able to complete one assessment and then come back at a later time to complete additional assessments.
If you choose, then after a selection process is complete, you can get back in touch with us and purchase a feedback report for $100 plus GST. However, please note this report is of a general nature and not specific to the role you are being considered for. Over and above the verbal session with the Organisational Psychologist, a number of people find this report useful in understanding their personal style, strengths, and developmental areas.