What Should You Know About Aptitude and Pre-Employment Tests?

Aptitude Tests

Some employers today make use of aptitude and pre-employment tests to recruit new employees according to the job specifications. These tests are usually designed to help evaluate the potential candidates for the knowledge, intelligence, communication, analysis, cognition and decision-making skills they possess.

If you have applied for a job and are going to participate in an assessment center soon, there are a few facts that you must know about the aptitude and pre-employment tests.

Different types of tests

There are different types of tests available based on the skills and capabilities to be tested. The tests that you will face in an assessment center depend on the areas in which certain expertise will be required for performing well at the job. For instance, a sales and customer representation job may need a candidate with fluent communication skills while a managerial position may require the individual to be adept at analysis and making decisions promptly.

Psychometric Tests

The psychometric tests usually consist of a wide range of examinations that may be administered as a part of an assessment center for assessing the abilities you have as a candidate. The psychometric tests are broadly classified into two categories – aptitude tests and personality Tests. The aptitude tests are usually used for measuring the intelligence and skills you have while personality tests help analyze your behavior.

Aptitude Tests: The aptitude tests usually consist of questions that help in evaluating the cognitive, comprehension, critical thinking, logical analysis and decision-making abilities of the participants. Depending on the types of questions they have and skills they measure, different types of aptitude tests are used.

Numerical Reasoning: The numerical reasoning tests help to measure your mathematical and data interpretation skills. The data in the questions is usually presented in the form of figures, graphs, charts or tables; and you will have to deduce information from these for answering the questions. These tests require you to be well-versed with basic mathematical concepts, formulas, and operators, such as percentage and ratio; and also to have knowledge of fundamental financial concepts. Numerical reasoning tests are generally administered for graduate and top level managerial positions.

Verbal Reasoning: Verbal reasoning tests help to measure your cognitive and comprehension skills. You are usually given a textual passage and a set of statements that you will have to evaluate based on the passage. The subject of the content in the passage may either be generic or it may relate to the domain of the job. There are usually multiple answer options for the asked questions and you will have to choose the correct ones from them. Some tests may even ask you to validate the given statement in question with true, false and not enough information, being the available options. Verbal reasoning tests are usually used for jobs that will require you to go through textual materials.

Logical Reasoning: These tests are used for analyzing your ability to analyze logics and establish relationships between objects. The tests consist of diagrams, images, and patterns that you are required to examine for interconnection. The logical reasoning tests may be further divided into different categories depending on the types of questions they will contain and the logic required to deduce answers for them.

  • Inductive Reasoning: In the inductive reasoning tests, a given set of occurrences is used to determine the common rule governing them all for finding a conclusion. There will usually be given a set of figures, wherein each figure will be similar to the others in the set with a slight variation. The variation in different figures of the set usually follows a specific pattern. There may be multiple answer choices given that may also consist of different figures. You will have to determine the underlying pattern and choose the option from the answer that might be the next figure in the given pattern.
  • Deductive Reasoning: A deductive reasoning test usually requires you to use a set of given statements and rules to deduce a conclusion from them. The questions in the tests typically consist of syllogisms or arrangement problems. A syllogism is a logical problem that has multiple propositions, also called premises, which are used to derive a conclusion. The arrangement problems define a specific set of rules and you have to find the order of the arrangement of given objects in the question based on these rules.

Role Oriented Aptitude Tests: Besides these, you may be administered aptitude tests that are specific to the roles that you may be performing at the new job position. An error checking test may be conducted to analyze your ability of thoroughly reading information, where you will be asked to compare sets of data containing the same information in different formats. For the job positions relating to manufacturing and production, mechanical comprehension tests may be given to determine your knowledge in this sphere.

Personality Tests: Personality tests are usually made use of to measure your behavioral traits. These may include your interpersonal skills; the factors that encourage, inspire and motivate you; and the kind of work environment best suited for you to excel. This information may help the company choose the right person for the job. The questions in the personality tests may either be normative or ipsative. In normative questions, you are asked how much you agree or disagree with a given statement. You will have to select one of the answer choices, including strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree and strongly disagree. In ipsative questions, you have to analyze all the given answer options and select the most appropriate one.

Assessment Exercises

Presentation Exercises: In presentation exercises, you will usually be asked to analyze a topic or a report, and to present your findings and conclusions from it. This exercise may help measure your skills in communication, analytical and persuasion. They are generally administered to the candidates who will be either in sales or customer handling departments or for those who will have to make presentations while fulfilling their job roles.

Situational Judgment Tests: To evaluate your performance in real life work situations, situational judgment tests are usually used. You will be presented with a problem that might be encountered at the workplace with multiple solutions to choose from. The way you will approach and tackle the problem will help predict how you will perform at your job.

Group Exercises: Group exercises are conducted to analyze the team working and leadership skills of the candidates applied for the job. You along with other candidates are usually assigned a problem or situation and will be required to work together for finding a feasible solution for the same. The assessors will judge you based on your participation and proposed solution.

Test Publishers

The aptitude and pre-employment tests and exercises used by different companies in their assessment centers are usually designed by different test publishers. The same test from distinct publishers may have a different structure, question type and number of answer options. The time allotted for each test may also vary among tests from distinct publishers depending on their structures. The tests may be available as a standalone or in combination. Some of the major publishers of these tests include – TalentLens, Criterion Partnership, Watson Glaser, Kenexa, Talent Q, Cubiks and SHL.

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