What do you know about career aptitude tests? The more you know about these, the more prepared you are going to be. Here’s all that you need to learn.
Aptitude tests are a very useful tool for hiring managers at the initial stage of the hiring process. Career aptitude tests are designed to help employers get the most information out of you and every other candidate regarding your skills and knowledge.
Employers can ask you to take a career aptitude test when you are applying for a job. They might do so because an aptitude test helps them determine your work values, important qualities such as teamwork, and find out whether you are a good fit or not. Some career tests may also be able to predict your workplace performance and how you are likely to work with your coworkers.
Usually, these career tests are used by large companies where the competition is high and hiring managers get hundreds or even thousands of applications for a position. A career test helps to filter out candidates according to different criteria. For example, in a personality test, employers can determine whether you are a good fit or not to the position looking at specifics such as your working style and personality characteristics. Whereas in numerical and verbal reasoning tests certain abilities are being assessed such as math skills and the ability to understand, analyse and interpret information.
So, what more do we need to learn about these tests? Where do we find them, how are they administrated and how can we get the best results?
Types of Aptitude Tests
For starters, becoming more familiar with them will significantly increase your chances of success. To score high in career aptitude tests, you have to know everything there is to know about them. To help you out, there are four main types of aptitude tests: numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, mechanical reasoning and diagrammatical reasoning. But, there are also many variations to these that you may come across including:
- Non-Verbal Reasoning: assesses the ability to understand and analyse visual information and solve problems using visual reasoning.
- Verbal Logic Test: ayour ability to think logically, analytically and numerically and extract meaning from complex information.
- Computer Aptitude Test: assesses competencies such as numerical, logical and non-verbal reasoning required in technical computing jobs.
- Vocabulary Test: a test of your knowledge of the meanings of different rarely heard words.
- Homonyms Test: a test of your knowledge of words that sound the same but have different meanings.
- Spelling and Punctuation Test: tests your ability to spell and punctuate correctly in CVs, covering letters and application forms.
- Lateral Thinking Test: tests your ability to think creatively or ‘outside the box.'
- Lateral Logical Mathematical Test: tests your ability to think laterally and mathematically.
- Teamwork Styles: a test that helps you to determine your teamwork style and how you work with other people.
- Leadership Styles: a test that helps you to determine your style of leadership.
The University of Kent’s career service has identified all of these different types of tests and offers some very useful advice to graduates who are expected to take a career aptitude test to find a job. In fact, it goes into a lot of detail explaining the different characteristics of these types of career aptitude tests and offers free timed practice aptitude tests on their site including the answers.
Aptitude Tests: Where to Take Them
Aptitude tests are used by employers to determine the best fit for a graduate, professional or managerial position. They are timed and are used to assess a certain skill, reasoning or way of thinking. Aptitude tests have a standardized method of administration and scoring, and the results of these tests are used by employers to make the best hiring decisions by comparing candidates in terms of their suitability for the job.
To be able to use these aptitude tests, employers may work with a range of providers such as SHL, Talent Q, Cubiks, Kenexa, Getfeedback, Saville and other businesses that offer interview advice, assessment centers and similar services. Employers like to use these tests for various reasons. Apart from the fact that it makes their job easier by filtering out unsuitable candidates, it also helps them understand how candidates are more likely to perform their daily duties. It’s also more cost-effective and can be a useful tool for initial screening.
The tests can be administrated online or using a pencil and paper. With online tests, you get your results right away, and you can complete the test whether you are at home or on the employer’s premises. But, if the test is paper-based then you will be required to go to a specific place, either their office or a testing centre. In some cases, you may be asked to do both to confirm that you didn’t cheat on the unsupervised online test.
Aptitude Tests: How to Take an Aptitude Test
While there is no exact formula for acing a career aptitude test, there are a couple of things you can do to ensure that you will do well. Here are some essential tips for success:
Treat a Test Like an Exam
The test might involve multiple choice questions, but this doesn’t mean that you should answer randomly. Some tests have negative marking and guessing the answers might be more harmful to your overall score than you think. It’s important to read the guidelines carefully because questions can be deliberately misleading and you may lose important points because of a careless mistake.
Put Time Limits on Yourself
Just like you would do in an exam, set a time limit for each question. This will help you divide your time limit into sections and then quickly move on to the next question if time is running out. If the test allows you to go back and continue working on an answer that’s great, but, generally, you shouldn’t spend too much time on a single question. You should aim to work quickly and accurately through the test and spend between 50 to 90 seconds per question.
Equipping yourself with the necessary tools is vital. When you are invited to take the test, don’t forget to take a pencil and paper with you because you never know what employers might need from you. You may take an online test, a paper-based test or both. In case you are going to an assessment centre, take a calculator with you, one that you know how to use and is reliable.
Take Practice Tests
The best way to prepare for a career aptitude test is to take practice tests. This will help you familiarise yourself with the formats of different types of tests and what’s required from you. Prepare for these tests just like you would for a job interview as this is a big part of the hiring process for many companies. Besides, practice makes perfect!
Becoming familiar with how psychometric testing works and how it’s used in the hiring process can help you land your next job. If you are currently preparing to take an aptitude test, take a look at these tips to help you get the best possible result.
Have you ever taken a career aptitude test? How did you find it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below…