Psychometric tests are an important part of the graduate recruitment process. So let us walk you through the necessary steps to get to the next level.

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If you are currently applying for a degree, you have likely come across the dreaded Psychometric Testing Process. They are designed to check your credentials in various areas. They are a popular recruiting tool for large companies who need to make sure they are finding the right person for the job.

However, when you’re on the receiving end, it can be more than a little daunting – also because there’s no way to change the results or “cheat” the system.

Even so, we’ve used our previous experience and hours of research to compile a list of the different types of psychometric tests and how you can be your best in each one.

What are psychometric tests?

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The first is the first: what exactly is a psychometric test?

Often used in graduate recruitment, psychometric tests serve as an objective, quantifiable method of measuring how suitable someone is for a particular job and how well they are able to do it.

Nowadays, most psychometric tests take place online and are usually timed. Even so, there is still a chance you could get a paper test, and some don’t necessarily have to be done all at once – you may be able to come back to them at a later date.

Although there are several different subcategories of psychometric tests, they are all designed to measure things like:

  • Skills
  • Academic and / or professional potential
  • attitude
  • Knowledge
  • Personality traits
  • Competencies.

What are the different types of psychometric tests?

There are two main types of psychometric tests: Proficiency tests and Personality tests. Here’s what each type of test is for, and what it includes:

Proficiency tests

schematic test example

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Proficiency tests are usually conducted online or on a printed answer sheet, much like a typical test. They are used to assess your cognitive and logical skills. You will usually be given a strict deadline to complete the tests.

Some common types of proficiency tests are:

  • Diagramatic Thinking – Sometimes referred to as “abstract reasoning tests”, these involve sequences of shapes or symbols (as in the picture above) and you will often be asked to identify a missing symbol or to continue the sequence.
  • Numerical Thinking – These tests usually focus on statistics and graphs that you need to use to answer a question logically and correctly.
  • Situational judgment – Situation assessments are no different than the role play session of an assessment day and provide you with work-related hypothetical scenarios. Your job is to choose from a list of four or five options how best to solve the problem or how to proceed.
  • Verbal reasoning – Here you are shown a short text that you need to read and evaluate in order to answer some questions (often in a “true or false” format).

Regardless of what type of proficiency test you face, you should be given instructions before you start. Therefore, always read them carefully.

When faced with a multiple choice test, it is a good idea to check to see if there are any penalties for wrong answers. If not, like a regular college exam, better guessing an answer when you’re running out of time or when you don’t know what to say. After all, you are missing out on 100% of the shots that you don’t take.

However, some tests give negative marks for wrong answers – and in this case, if you are not sure about an answer, leave the question blank and come back to it later (and leave it full if you are still having problems) .

Of course, the best option is to plan your time so well that you are not against the clock at all. Before taking the proficiency test, make sure you have everything you need, such as: B. a calculator (if it is helpful and you are allowed to use one).

In terms of preparing for an aptitude test, your best bet is practice, practice, practice. A quick google throws up thousands of mock tests for you to run. So there is no excuse not to familiarize yourself with this until it is time to actually take the test.

Personality tests

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Personality tests are different from aptitude tests in the sense that There are no right or wrong answers and there is rarely a time limit either. They are meant to be a more relaxed experience as the employer wants an honest look at your personal work style and behavior in the workplace.

Typically, a personality test will ask questions about how you prefer to work. You may find that you have been asked the same question several times, but only worded differently. This is to create consistency and to ensure that you are not just responding how you think you should (which you should never do).

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) are some of the most widely used personality tests.

MBTI tests are very popular online so every chance you have taken before is there. Either way, you’ll find plenty of information about how each test works online (we’ll list some resources later). So once you know which type you are using, it is worth doing some more research.

But personality tests are also really about telling someone who you really are. Preparing for these reviews should only be a matter of getting used to the format rather than perfecting your answers.

If you feel like you need to come up with a personality to match the job, then this is probably not the one for you!

Remember, graduate programs are not the be-all and end-all of post-university life – there are plenty of amazing alternatives that will get you where you want to go.

How to Pass a Psychometric Test

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Follow these three simple steps to increase your chance of passing a psychometric test:

  1. Prepare and practice – There are several places online that you can take psychometric tests. Check out sites like Psychometric Success and Job Test Prep for aptitude tests, and Team Technology and 16Personalities for personality tests. They are a great way to get a feel for how things are working and identify areas you may be struggling with so you know where to focus your efforts.
  2. Stay calm – We know it’s easier said than done, but you will never perform at your best when you are stressed and worried. Stay calm, get yourself in the right mood, and try these self-care techniques if you can’t relax in the days leading up to the test.
  3. Be honest – When it comes to personality tests, there are no right or wrong answers. In fact, they are often designed to catch you if you are actively trying to manipulate your answers. So avoid doing what you think is “right”. If you answer honestly, you will get a complete picture of who you really are. If you are suitable for the job in question, this will show through.

Don’t go too far ahead of yourself, but here’s what to expect in your first graduation job.


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