How to prepare for pre-employment aptitude tests?

how-to-prepare-for-pre-employment-aptitude tests

What is an aptitude test?

Aptitude test is a measure of work-related ability or potential of a candidate, to execute a specific task effectively and efficiently. Aptitude tests are used by employers, and reputed organizations to select right person, for the right job, without prior hands-on experience, training or any run within the job market.  

Types of Aptitude Tests

There are a number of aptitude tests, developed for targeted outcomes, but overall they can be characterized based on cognitive ability they measure;

Fluid Intelligence

The ability to survive in a competitive environment by using effective problem solving, agility, quick integration, and strategizing ability. The tests associated with

Aptitude tests related to fluid intelligence are;

  1. Abstract or conceptual reasoning aptitude tests
  2. Diagrammatic reasoning tests
  3. Inductive reasoning tests
  4. Logical reasoning tests

The entire fluid intelligence test collection is based on the idea of pattern recognition, lateral judgments, logical reasoning, and trends recognition. A candidate is supposed to be able to identify the general direction that the data is pointing and use that information to solve the underlying problems. These types of tests have generally been referred as a “street smart”.

One of the most popular such tests is Raven Test, where the candidates are given shapes that progress from first to next, governed by an underlying principle. The candidates are to interpret the information, identify the governing logic and predict what is missing or what comes next.

Due to the lack of verbal communication here, the test is highly recommended for multinational organizations. The international personnel can be selected for certain jobs, without having to indulge in an awkward communication.

Crystallized Intelligence

The ability to use past experiences to make productive decisions for future.

Aptitude tests related to crystallized intelligence are;

  1. Verbal reasoning aptitude tests
  2. Numerical reasoning aptitude tests
  3. Spatial aptitude tests
  4. Mechanical reasoning tests

Verbal reasoning test is one of the most extensively used psychometric test, used to assess the potential and worth of a candidate. Verbal reasoning is an attempt to estimate your language capabilities, as well as the ability to use the information provided to draw conclusions and identify the logical basis. The verbal reasoning tests may also be used to assess whether a candidate has the ability to identify related information from the extensive passages and use that information in a cut and dry manner. The simple and concise mode of operation is always preferred in internal communications to avoid miscommunications.

Numerical reasoning test is used to distinguish a capable candidate in interpretation and analysis of numerical data. There is a variety of numerical tests available, depending on the level of numerical reasoning required. The easier versions of the test typically require percentage calculation, basic arithmetic, number series and such. Whereas, the more complex versions of the tests include complex data interpretations like control charts, graphs, tabular data and the candidate has to sift through and use relevant information for problem-solving.

Spatial aptitude test is recommended for candidates, from engineering, architecture, structural, surveying and design fields. The test is developed to assess the ability of a candidate to manipulate two-dimensional and three-dimensional spaces. The candidate is required to visualize and conclude the views from different sides and angles. It requires a certain degree of technical knowledge.

Mechanical aptitude test is conducted for mechanical and technical positions. The mechanical aptitude test is designed to measure the ability to comprehend the basic concepts for train drivers, traders, maintenance personnel, operations and operation research, production planning and control, and assembly-line worker and regulators.


Pre-employment tests refer to the screening tests, administered by organizations for testing the cognitive ability, potential work-related skills, motor abilities, bilingual factorizations and so much more, right to the extent of personal integrity and sense of self. Some organizations also use drug testing during the vetting process.

The concept of pre-employment tests is to find out the best match for the job and screen out the unqualified candidates.

Why are pre-employment tests important?

The pre-employment tests are the most effective, cost and time efficient selection tools for the employers. According to the American Management Association, “Almost 90 percent of firms that test job applicants say they will not hire job seekers when pre-employment testing finds them to be deficient in basic skills” (Greenberg, 1996)

The pre-employment tests are the necessity of the modern corporate world. For candidates, it is a way to prove your worth to a potential employer.  To understand what pre-employment test is important; consider a Watson-Glaser test that is used by law firms to assess the potential of a candidate in making inferences and deductions, evaluate argument strength and draw conclusions, on the basis of presented information. Similarly, say a Concentration test can be administered, to critically important driving staff (subway, metro, and petroleum trucking agencies) to judge the ability to stay focused while they are doing a repetitive job.

Popular Pre-Employment test

Some of the tests that are used to filter out candidates for work-related positions are; Numerical reasoning, Verbal reasoning, Diagrammatic reasoning, Situational Judgement, Personality Tests, Strength-Bases testing, Watson-Glaser and vocational job psychometric tests.

Situational Judgment Tests (SJT’s) are developed to assess a candidates’ approach to work-related situations. The test is different for different positions, with the sole purpose if quantifying the suitability.

Personality tests are designed to measure certain traits that are believed to have been associated with successful work-related performance.

Strength-Bases Recruitment tests are referred as “new kid on the block” owing to their introduction in early 2000’s. They attempt to quantify the “strength” of a candidate and set his job description accordingly. The companies define strength as, “Something a person loves to do”. Companies like Nestle, Barclays, NHS use this approach.

Watson-Glaser test is used by law firms particularly to select candidates that have a strong argumentative, deductive and inference power.

Vocational job psychometric tests are used to hire professionals for key positions in organizations. They are to be assessed for leadership, communication, personality, logical and verbal reasoning.


As it is mentioned earlier that there are a number of tests that can be administered for candidate selection.

Know your organization

We have already covered the basic aptitude tests developed for the assessment of fluid and crystalline intelligence, so you know what is to be expected in terms of test categories.

The next most important thing you need to do is to research the organization, which you are applying for. Pre-employment tests are different for different sectors, so knowing the organization will narrow down test options.

Know your role

It is also very important to keep the expected job description straight. It will further narrow down the skills necessary for the job and with it, the test recommended for that specific skill can be identified easily.

Keep the logic rules straight

It is highly advised to get all the logic rules down to the core. The logical reasoning is a part of almost all the fluid intelligence tests and some of the Crystallized intelligence tests employ logical reasoning too. Soo keeping it close to the heart will help you in all pre-employment tests.

Practice is the best preparation

Once you have decided which test is most likely to be employed for testing purposes, it is advised to use online resources and testing samples for practice purposes. With the advancement of testing platforms, many test takers have created free online testing services that mimic original test patterns and keep time. Therefore, to avail that service would be in the best interest of the candidate.

Treat it like any other exams

The pre-employment tests are key milestones for the start of a potentially wonderful career. So treat them like you do any other exams, with a positive and serious attitude. Keep it simple, and steady; you will reach your finish line, proud and victorious.

How can help you ace your job interview, assessment and aptitude test? is your number 1 online practice aptitude test and assessment provider. Our aim is to help you ace your assessment by providing you practice aptitude tests that mimic the tests used by employers and recruiters. Our test developers have years of experience in the field of occupational psychology and developed the most realistic and accurate practice tests available online. Our practice platform uses leading-edge technology and provides you feedback on your scores in form of test history, progress and performance in relation to your norm group.

The data science team found that through practice, candidates increased their scoring accuracy and went into their assessments more confident. Remember, you need to practice to make sure you familiarize yourself with the test formats, work on your accuracy and experience performing under time-pressure.

Buy Now