Psychometric testing is a core part of the application process for pretty much every graduate job application and most internship applications. For this reason we have put together a breakdown of all the types of testing you can expect to face and some handy tips that can help you perform better when it comes to facing them.
A dreaded form of testing that is common in most application process nowadays. If you are applying for a banking or finance related role then you are almost certain to face this type of test at least once. The tests are designed to test you ability to think analytically and handle numbers and calculations quickly and accurately.
You will be asked to complete this part of the application online, prior to the interview stage of the application process. You can also expect to have to re-take the test in their offices during an assessment day (assessment centre), this is done to ensure your online result wasn’t a one-off. This form of testing is extremely time pressured and in some numeracy tests that are administered you may not even be expected to complete the test.
Grad Diary Top Tip:
This type of testing is often seen as solely a test of your mathematical ability, the truth is the mathematical content is quite basic. Although you will need to implement formulae and solve some simple mathematical equations, the key to success is in your ability to review and extract key figures and information from data tables and graphs. You will need to be careful to not use the wrong figure or information from the table as the tests are multiple choice and the incorrect answers suggested are often based around answers students might pick if they have used the wrong information to calculate the answer. So before you start doing any calculations, ensure you are using the right data, although this may take a few extra seconds, it is much better than having to waste minutes resolving the entire question when your answer doesn’t match any of the options.
There are usually five different mathematical techniques used in the testing: Ratio, percentage, reverse percentage, percentage change and general arithmetic. So make sure you brush up on these techniques before taking a tests. You can also take free tests to assess how ready you are on Grad Diary below.
Logical Reasoning (Non-verbal)
Logical reasoning tests, also known to some as non-verbal reasoning tests. A common testing type designed to assess your ability to recognise patterns and trends within data and images.
In these tests you will be given a series of symbols, patterns or numbers that have a trend that explains why one image follows the other. You will then be asked to pick from a number of options as to which of the images or numbers fits in the missing space.
Grad Diary Top Tip:
Unfortunately with these types of tests it is difficult to prepare in a particular way. The best way to improve at these tests is simply through practice. For the more tricky questions (usually later on in the test) don’t expect the patterns to be as obvious, look out for patterns that exists within every other image. E.g. Image 1 – Image 3 – Image 5 follow a pattern, whilst Image 2 – Image 4 – Image 6 may follow a different pattern.
A less common form of testing when it comes to the typical application process for a graduate job but still a screening technique used by certain graduate employers. E-tray exercises are designed to put you in a workplace type scenario within which you will be asked to deal with numerous emails and tasks that need to be completed.
The objective being that, under pressure, you must be able to follow the appropriate instructions give in the various emails and complete the objectives set in a timely but accurate manor. It is a real test of your computer literacy and how well you can follow instructions under time pressure.
Grad Diary Top Tip:
Stay calm is our first piece of advice. As obvious as it sounds, many students make the mistake of rushing and trying so hard to complete tasks as quickly as possible that they find themselves making simple and avoidable mistakes. Remember that although the graduate employer is looking for speed and efficiency, it is wasted if you are not accurate and precise.
Our biggest piece of advise would be to organise yourself from the first minute in a way that allows yourself to plan responses during the exercise. Also avoid making your responses unnecessarily long, make sure you get all the key points across in a succinct and professional manner.
A fairly common form of testing in most industry sectors. This type of testing is designed to test how well you are able to review and evaluate text paragraphs, find information and answer questions based on the information provided.
These tests are usually very time pressured and there are usually 4-5 questions asked on each portion of text, it is then replaced with different text and new questions. The answers are multiple choice and they are usually 4-5 different options per question.
Grad Diary Tip:
Forget all prior knowledge whilst taking the test, sounds strange right? What we mean is that the answers to the questions are all included in the text and you must based the answers you give solely on that! Don’t guess an answer because you think an answer makes sense because it may not be the same in the text. Sometimes the text may state something you would not think is correct, but for the purposes of the test you must only answer based on what is written in the text.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
A less common type of psychometric testing but there a still a fair number of graduate employer using this type of testing as part of their application process.
In a Situational Judgement Test you will be asked what you would do in a hypothetical situation in which you will be asked to select either the most appropriate action or rank the actions in order of appropriateness based on the scenario suggested.
This test is designed to judge your decision making abilities and assess whether or not the choice you would choose to make would be in line with the behaviour the graduate employer would expect from their employees.
Grad Diary Top Tip:
Although it is quite difficult to predict the questions and scenarios you will be faced with, this does not mean that you won’t be able to prepare in any for this type of testing. We would recommend looking through the company’s graduate website to gain an understanding about the competencies and skills they most desire, this will help you understand what they would most like to see from you when making decisions and when prioritising certain actions.
Good luck with all your applications and don’t forget to practice our free numeracy tests to see how ready you are!