What are psychometric tests?

Psychometric tests attempt to assess someone’s ability to perform certain functions and tasks. Really, psychometric tests are a form of IQ test. There are many different types of psychometric tests in use today, all of which attempt to assess a different type of intelligence. Psychometric tests are often used as part of the recruitment process and their importance is on par with the interview process. The most commonly used psychometric tests for recruitment purposes are verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning.

Verbal reasoning tests aim to test someone’s critical thinking and reading comprehension skills. They are normally in the form of a passage of text about a random topic. You then face a series of statements about that topic. It’s your job to figure out if the statement is true, false or you can’t tell, based on the information in the passage.

Numerical reasoning tests aim to test someone’s ability to analyse data and perform basic calculations. They are normally in the form of some data presented in a table, graph or chart. The dataset could pertain to any topic. You’ll then be asked questions which involve interpreting the data and performing some basic calculations, utilising arithmetic, ratios, percentages and rates of change. They’re normally multiple-choice quizzes with 4-5 answer options.

Inductive reasoning tests aim to test someone’s ability to identify and understand abstract patterns. You’ll be shown a sequence from left to right of 4-5 squares which contain other shapes and symbols. Each of these shapes and symbols are following some type of pattern from left to right. Your job is to identify these patterns and then select which square comes next in the sequence. You’ll normally have 4-5 answer options to select from.

Are psychometric tests called something else?

While there are many types of psychometric tests, in general you may hear them referred to as IQ tests, cognitive reasoning tests and aptitude tests.

What is an example of a typical psychometric test?

There are many different types of psychometric test, so it’s hard to show a ‘typical’ test. Check out examples of a verbal reasoning test, numerical reasoning test or an inductive reasoning test now. You’ll get an idea of how they work but trying one out.

Where can I find practice psychometric tests?

You’ve come to right place. You can take a free verbal reasoning test, free numerical reasoning test and inductive reasoning test right now. Practice makes perfect as they say, and you can get great practice with a GradTests subscription. We have 18 full length psychometric tests with 450 questions, covering verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning. All the questions come with fully worked solutions explaining the answer. You can upgrade here right now.

How do you pass psychometric tests?

Practice, practice, practice! There really are no short cuts and no substitutes to putting in the hard yards and taking practice psychometric tests. You can get access to 450 practice psychometric test questions right now here. Now what should be mentioned is you need to be clever and focused with your practice. You are probably time poor, studying for other exams, applying for other jobs, working etc. and you need to get the most efficient practice in as possible. To that end, don’t beat around the bush and try to improve your skills by doing sudoku, cross words, practicing mental arithmetic tricks, reading scientific journals etc. This is a very indirect way of improving your skills you should disregard it.

To draw an analogy, imagine you’re trying to become a footballer. Would you spend most of your time researching football tactics, playing FIFA and juggling a football? No – you’d spend most your time playing football! Playing football is the best way to get better at football. The same goes for psychometric tests. The best way to get better at psychometric tests is to take psychometric tests.

What are the best tricks and tips for psychometric tests?

You can download a free pdf which takes you through all our top tips and tricks covering all our test types. You can also find some great tips here too.

What’s the single best tip you have for psychometric test success?

It’s hard to pick just one out…but if we had to, it would be to do all tests on a computer (not tablet or mobile), with a mouse, keyword and ideally an additional monitor. It is much more efficient to select the answers with a mouse rather than your finger. Additionally, for numerical reasoning tests, you’ll need to make various calculations. It’ll be much better to do those in Excel instead of a calculator, because you can type them out more quickly with a keyboard, and you can save the data in the sheet for re-use in later questions. Often a calculation done in one question will come up again in a subsequent question, so this is handy. The additional monitor will prevent you needing to alt+tab between the test and the Excel sheet – again saving precious seconds.

These suggestions may sound trivial, but any time saved during the pressure cooker timed-test should be treated like gold dust. Tests are often designed to be basically impossible to finish in the allotted time, so expect to be under severe time pressure. If these tips help you answer an extra 1-2 questions, that’s potentially an extra 4-8% additional marks. This could be the difference between landing an interview for your dream job or not.

How are psychometric tests scored?

Psychometric tests generally are in the form of a multiple-choice test. Verbal reasoning tests tend to have only 3 answer options, while numerical and inductive normally have 4-5 options. Only one answer is correct and you receive one mark for guessing this correctly. Generally you are not penalised for incorrect answers – i.e. there is no ‘negative marking’. Your test strategy should therefore always include guessing where you don’t know the answer.

Normally, your test answers are only submitted once you finish the test. This means that you can return to prior questions and change your answer before you finally complete the test. When you skip on from a question, you should still select an answer, even if it’s only a guess. This is because you might not have time to come back to it later. Once you have submitted your test, normally you will not be shown your results. Only the company that asked you to sit the test will receive access to your answers and score.

What do psychometric tests measure?

Different psychometric tests measure different aspects of your overall cognitive ability. Verbal reasoning tests measure your critical verbal reasoning skills, numerical reasoning tests measure your ability to interpret data and perform basic calculations and inductive reasoning tests measure your ability to identify abstract patterns.

Which types of jobs normally require passing psychometric tests?

There are many roles nowadays which have a psychometric testing component during the recruitment process. Almost all formalised graduate and internship programs with major companies across all industries use these tests. In general, psychometric testing is more commonly used in less senior roles. In terms of functions, psychometric tests are used right across the business, including in IT, marketing, finance, accounting, engineering, tech, admin, ops and business intelligence. Verbal reasoning tests and numerical reasoning tests are the most commonly used type of psychometric test.

Who are the main providers of psychometric tests?

There are several large providers of psychometric tests such as SHL, Kenexa, Saville and Revelian. Our psychometric tests closely match those used by these providers.

Where in the recruitment process are psychometric tests used?

Psychometric tests can be used at various stages of the recruitment process. For large graduate and internship intakes, they are normally used following the application. Following application, candidates will be filtered using some quantitative criterion (e.g. minimum high school score, minimum average university mark (WAM/GPA)). From there, all remaining candidates who make the cut will receive an invitation to take various psychometric tests such as verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning. You normally do all the tests in one go. Normally there is a strict deadline within which they must be taken – 2 or 3 days is the standard. It’s therefore essential that you keep an eye on your inbox following application. If you do well enough in the psychometric tests you will then face a first round interview, which could be face-to-face or on the phone.

In other roles – especially less junior ones – the tests could be used further on down the application process, even as part of the interview process itself.

Why are psychometric tests used?

Psychometric tests are used as a cheap and fast method for screening candidates while testing their various cognitive abilities in a reasonably unbiased way. Most roles in modern business require solid logical, numerical and verbal reasoning skills, so this makes sense that they’d be tested for. Screening and filtering candidates is especially important in large graduate and internship recruitment programmes, where literally 1000s of candidates apply for only a handful of positions. The initial cull of candidates simply must involve some automation, and psychometric tests are one automated tool used to screen. Normally the company will have an idea of the number of candidates they want to take to first round interviews. They will then set the benchmark of the test performance required to pass accordingly, taking the top x students. This may seem unfair to you, but this is the reality of the game you’re playing and you must deal with it.

Can I get my friends to take my test for me?

Most tests are administered online and you can take them anywhere you like. It’s therefore tempting to think you could cheat by getting someone else to take the test for you. While maybe this could work in the short term, think about the impracticalities of that. First, you will probably be applying for several roles at the same time, especially if you are a graduate or an intern. It’d be hard to coordinate your friend sitting all of them. Second, how do you know he/she is going to do a better job than you?

Third, you should view doing well at psychometric tests as an essential skill for landing roles and progressing in your career – it’s all part of the game and you should be independent enough to succeed on your own. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, some employers do re-test you in their offices during the final stages of recruitment. This is sometimes called a verification test. Obviously, your friend won’t be able to sit this test for you. If there’s a large variance in your original test score and the verification test score, this will be raise a red flag and indicate cheating – not a good look.

How can GradTests help me prepare for psychometric tests?

At GradTests we have a bank of 450 psychometric questions spread over 18 full length tests, covering verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning. With our simulated test environment, you will be exposed to the time pressure that you will face on test day. Getting used to working under the clock is incredibly important to train your brain to work efficiently. Time management, and knowing when to move on from a question you’re struggling on, is critical for success.

All our psychometric questions come with fully worked solutions and explanations to those solutions. This is essential for your learning – if you get an answer wrong, it’s important to understand why exactly, so that you can learn and improve your score. You can take the tests as many times as you like and access them 24/7. Our product is very affordable and represents a small investment for you in securing the job of your dreams.

With our analytics, you’ll be able to benchmark yourself against the 100 000s of other scores of our users to have taken the same test. This will help you identify where exactly your weaknesses are and help you to understand how much preparation you should be doing. You can also track your own performance over time to measure your progress.

Does practicing psychometric tests improve your score?

Yes it absolutely does! Once you start practicing the tests you will come to understand the structure of the tests, you’ll get accustomed to working under time pressure and you’ll figure out all the most common tricks and traps that the providers lay for you. You’ll also feel a lot more relaxed and confident because you know what you expect when sitting the test – there is no more fear of the unknown.

See for yourself. Try one of our free tests now!