Applying for a job isn’t always just about sending a CV, having an interview and then potentially getting a job offer. Sometimes employers use all sorts of other elements in their recruitment processes – assessment centres, presentation exercises and the like. Another element which many tend to use is the aptitude test. There probably aren’t too many people around who can actually claim to like doing aptitude tests, however if it’s an integral step towards getting a job, it’s got to be done, like it or not. To help allay any fears or reservations you may have, we thought we would outline some basic top tips for aptitude tests.
Research in advance
Make sure that in advance of the test itself that you find out what you can about the type of aptitude test you can expect. It might be a verbal reasoning or numerical reasoning test or combine both. It may incorporate some psychometric questions. The more information you can obtain about the test format, duration etc from the employer or recruiter, the better. Knowing what lies ahead can in many ways help to assuage any nerves.
Do some Practice Tests
By finding out the type of test you are likely to get, you will be able to do some practice tests which are relevant and probably of a similar type and format to the real thing. There are lots of online resources where you can undertake sample practice tests – be they numerical, verbal reasoning, psychometric or whatever. The more practice tests you undertake, the more prepared and confident you will be when faced with the test properly. It’s important though to make sure that you do undertake any practice tests in ‘test’ conditions – timed, in a quiet room etc.
Follow directions thoroughly
Whether the test is administered by someone who reads the instructions aloud or if the instructions are simply written at the front of the test paper, it’s essential to listen intently or read them thoroughly. Panic can set in and it’s very easy to skim over the directions in a bid to just get stuck in to the test itself. Doing this however may mean that you miss out on important and relevant information – which part of the test has to be completed first, where you can make any notes, what weighting each section of the test has. All these things are generally covered in the instructions, so do yourself a favour and take time to understand and adhere to them.
Manage your Time
If you think of it, an aptitude test is in a way very much like an exam you sat at school or college. Then, a teacher would have always advised you to keep an eye on the time so that you don’t get bogged down with some questions and then be unable to finish the test completely. An aptitude test is no different. If you are struggling with a question, move on. Make sure that you consciously keep track of time and don’t waste time unnecessarily on questions that you cannot answer. If needs be, put your watch on the desk in front of you to help you monitor the time going by.
Leave out the guesswork
If you are really struggling with some questions, don’t be tempted to simply randomly guess answers. Admittedly there may be a chance you get them right, however if you get them wrong, it could be even worse than leaving it blank. Some tests are scored using negative marking and an incorrect answer could affect your result badly. Again this is something that you may be able to find out in advance of the test or may be outlined in the test instructions.
We hope these basic tips for Aptitude Tests help. Got any others you’d like to share? Why not let us know via the comments section below…