Learn About All The Most Common Tricks and Tips
For Psychometric Reasoning Tests

These tips apply to taking all types of psychometric tests.

See here for our test specific tips and tricks for verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning


Study hard

Make sure you have taken as many practice psychometric tests as possible. With more practice you will perform better because you’ll be ready for all the tricks and traps thrown at you by the test makers. You’ll be more efficient in finding and selecting the answers, you’ll understand how to manage your time most effectively and you’ll also be less stressed because you know exactly what to expect. You should treat psychometric tests as at least as important as the interview. They should therefore entail at least as much preparation and training.


Keep an eye out on your inbox

After you’ve applied for the role, make sure you monitor your emails closely. Some companies auto-invite based on the application, others undertake some reviews first before inviting candidates to sit tests. Either way, keep a close eye on your inbox and make sure you check your junk/spam folders. You will normally have a tight deadline before which you need to complete the tests – 2-3 days is normal.


Get your technology set up

We recommend taking these tests on a desktop or laptop computer, with a keyboard, mouse and ideally 2 monitors. This will be the most efficient way to take the tests, and this will come in handy especially for numerical reasoning tests. Certainly, do not take the tests on tablets or mobiles as often the tests are not optimised for viewing on these devices, and selecting answers will be less efficient. Ensure you have up-to-date versions of a few browsers – at minimum Chrome and Firefox. Install Excel if you are taking a numerical reasoning test. Make sure you’re using a stable internet connection. If your connection drops out during the test, you will probably not be able to simply resume the test where you left off. Finally, have a paper and pen handy to quickly jot anything down as needed.


Make sure you’re well rested

Being tired will negatively affect your cognitive abilities, and limit your test performance. Ensure that you have had a good night’s sleep, and do the test at a time of day that you are alert and focused.


Ensure you’re not disturbed

Once you start the tests, you cannot pause them. It is therefore incredibly important that you find an area where you can sit quietly without being disturbed. Bad places to do the test would be outdoors, in the library, in the living room, at a café etc. Try to lock yourself away in your bedroom by yourself. Make sure others know to not disturb you at all. Try to block out external noises with noise cancelling earphones with some non-distracting music. Turn your mobile phone, smart watch etc. off. Being distracted for even 5 seconds during a test because of some external influence may affect your score badly.


Give yourself plenty of time

It would be a bad idea to wait until the end of the deadline to take the test, in case you have technology failure or suddenly can’t take the test for whatever reason. Also, assume you need about the double the time of the tests. For example, if you’ve been invited to take a 20-minute numerical reasoning test and a 20-minute inductive reasoning test, budget for this to take more like 1.5 hours. The reason is twofold. First, you will want to have a break in between each test, to refresh your mind and get into the right frame of mind to take the next test. Also, each test starts with a practice test to get you in the zone. These are normally only a couple of questions long and you get to see the results. These are good last-minute practice and some people like to do them slowly, maybe even taking them a couple of times.


Read the instructions carefully

Although generally self-explanatory, the test may have specific rules. These will be in an instructions page before the test commences. For example, the test might not allow you to go back a question, or it may say that there is negative marking. Obviously these are crucial details and they should inform your test strategy.


Watch the clock

You should keep a close eye on the clock to make sure you are keeping up. Roughly speaking, if you take the total time available for the test and divide it by the number of questions, this would be how long you will generally want to allocate to any single question. Also, if you are running out of time and realise that you will not be able to complete all the remaining questions, you might need to quickly skip through and guess anything for the remaining ones. You are obviously better off doing this than having the test end before you’ve even submitted anything for the final few questions.


Read the question very carefully

This is fairly obvious, but particularly for numerical and verbal reasoning tests, there will definitely be tricks in the question which aim to fool you. Don’t be the fool! Read the question very carefully. These exams all aim to test your attention to detail, which is a very important skill in most modern roles, especially areas like finance, legal, tech, marketing and BI. We go through some specific examples for each test type with our verbal reasoning test tips, numerical reasoning test tips and inductive reasoning test tips.


Use up all the time

Let’s say you have 20 minutes to complete the test. If you finish with 2 minutes spare, don’t submit the test. Those extra 2 minutes are gold dust, and you can use them to check your answers. Often you’ll find 1-2 mistakes that you made when re-reading the question, you might have left an answer unsubmitted accidentally, and you can go into more depth for any questions that you basically guessed at. If the test runs out before you have pressed the ‘submit’ button, generally this does not matter; all your selected answers will be submitted.


Guess if needed

Assuming there is no negative marking, you should always guess where you don’t know the answer. If there’s no negative marking then there is no downside to guessing. You should guess as you go – don’t leave the answer blank and come back to it. This is because you may run out of time and you don’t want to risk submitting the test with unselected answers. If you have time at the end spare, you should come back to the questions that you guessed and re-think them.


Rule out possibilities when guessing

All these tests are multiple-choice. Normally, even if you don’t know the answer, you’ll be able to at least rule one answer option. You should try to do this even when you are guessing, because it will dramatically increase your odds of guessing correctly. E.g. if there are four options, with a pure guess you have 25% chance of selecting the right answer, whereas if you can first rule one out, then you have a 33% chance of getting it right. This is a 33% increase in your odds, and not to be sneezed at.


Expect something to go wrong

If you sit a whole bunch of tests, you should expect something to go wrong at some point. E.g. your internet connection dies, your browser doesn’t support the test properly, the test takes too long to load through each question, you couldn’t submit the test, the link in the invitation was expired etc. Look, you just need to roll with these and move on. You can contact either the company you’ve applied for or the test provider, but don’t expect a lot of empathy or practical help. So just be mentally ready for the annoyance of this happening, and make sure you have as many options open to you as you can.


Be confident

OK this one is hard to control, but if you go into these tests with self-esteem and the confidence that you are going to do well, this will boost your performance. So what is the key to feeling confident going into these tests? Well you’ll feel confident if you are well-prepared and understand what to expect. So it’s great you’re reading this because you’re on your first step to being prepared. The next step is to take as many practice tests as you can get your hands on.

You can start by taking a free verbal reasoning test, free practice numerical reasoning test and free inductive reasoning test. We also have some great test specific tips and tricks for verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning