Many graduate recruiters use psychometric tests during the recruitment and selection process.
Psychometric tests and questionnaires are structured, systematic ways of evaluating how people perform on tasks or react to different situations. There are two types:
aptitude, cognitive, ability or intelligence tests
questionnaires of personality, values and interests
You can practise both types of tests FREE online through Profiling for Success, a subscription based service that you access through Workspace. Scroll down to practice tests or use the menu on the left.
Aptitude tests focus on your logical reasoning and thinking performance. They are not tests of general knowledge.
There are a variety of tests, for example:
verbal reasoning ─ tests of reasoning with written information
numerical reasoning ─ numbers, charts and graphs
diagrammatic or spatial reasoning ─ abstract figures
The types of test used will differ according to the tasks involved in the job you are applying for. Key characteristics of these tests:
The questions have definite right and wrong answers, which usually you choose from multiple choice options
They are timed and are administered under exam conditions if you take them at a company's premises
If you have to take them online it is important to complete them in a quiet environment where you will not be disturbed
Typically you might have 30 minutes to answer 30 questions. It is common not to be able to complete all of the questions in the time available. It is the number of correct answers that counts. Your score is then compared with how other people have done the test in the past. This group ─ called the norm group ─ could be students, graduates or current job holders. This enables selectors to get an indication of your ability to cope with tasks involved in the job.
Personality, interests and values questionnaires
These questionnaires are carefully designed to gather information about your career interests, values and the way you tend to react to, or deal with different situations and people.
There are no ‘right or wrong’ answers and questionnaires are usually untimed
Personality questionnaires are sometimes used in recruitment and selectors will not be looking for one personality but rather a range that are suitable for that particular job
Career interest and values questionnaires are useful to help you become more self-aware
Answer the questions as honestly as you can – there is little point in second-guessing what the employer is looking for
Practice tests - our resources
Profiling for Success covers:
These tests are only available to University students and graduates. Graduates should access them through the alumni pages.
Aptitude test workshops are offered during the autumn and spring terms. The feedback includes a one-to-one discussion with a careers adviser. Book through Our events and search under Skills workshops
The Times psychometric and aptitude tests are available on the computers in office at Universioty Park and Student Services Centre at Sutton Bonington
Books - we have a number of books available for use in the centre e.g.
- How to Pass Verbal Reasoning Tests
- How to Pass Advanced Numeracy Tests
- The Civil Service Qualifying Tests
- Psychometric Tests for Graduates
Useful websites and leaflets