Psychometric Testing

What does it mean?

The PSYCHO bit means that what is assessed is something to do with PSYCHOLOGY or in other words, how your brain works – usually some aspect of intelligence or personality. METRIC means a measurement or numerical score will be produced.
What different kinds of tests are there?

  • Either your overall general intelligence or specific intelligences. Tyypicalability tests are numerical, verbal, problem-solving, mechanical or space relation / three dimensional. Generally, abilities tested are those you will be expected to use in the job you are competing for. Your tester should be able to tell you in advance which job related abilities are being tested.

  • Your potential to learn to do a new task well rather than specific abilities you already have.

  • Your typical or preferred way of behaving and going about things. Employers will look for people with certain characteristics for particular jobs. For example, sociable, organized, creative might be required for a sales role. Task focused jobs might prefer less sociable, even shy personalities. Personality tests are designed to measure the typical type of behavior people might see you exhibit, what this person might really be like if they were to get this job?

    What personality tests are not – they are not tests as such. There is no correct answer, they are not timed [but often take half an hour or more] Speed doesn’t matter. You are asked to be truthful about how you would behave in different situations. Your results will give a profile of different aspects of your personality – what you are like.

    Be aware also that most personality test will reveal your level of honesty when completing the test. Generally, personality tests are the least stressful aspect of psychometric testing because you are an expert on what you are like and therefore cannot get it wrong.

    What do I get out of it?

    A fair chance to compete for the job. A clearer sense of the sort of skills that are needed to do the job. Possibility of feedback on your performance and therefore enhanced personal development – always an asset!

    How do I prepare?

    1. Call the test center to verify what they are testing, how long each test will take, can you bring a calculator, are there penalties for wrong answers – and any other information or practice tests that are available
    2. Use time to rehearse relevant practice tests supplied or relevant samples indicated below. Get used to timing yourself and managing momentum required for test sessions. Check different paces of work and see which yields maximum accuracy for your particular style
    3. Be aware that there will often be more questions than you can answer in time allocated. Go for speed AND accuracy. Accept that you may not get everything covered in time allocated
    4. Be relaxed and approach testing with a positive frame of mind
    5. Be rested, fed, think positive, arrive in time and keep breathing and focused

    Practice opportunities

    Use web search and any sample tests provided by company testing you. Some typical references:

  • Check your own IQ – Know your own personality – Eysenck
  • How to pass graduate recruitment tests – Bryon, Kogan Page publishers
  • How to pass selection tests
  • The official guide for GMAT review
  • Kaplan test practice sessions available on the web