This website explains everything you need to know about the psychometric tests used in recruitment and selection. Whether you
are faced with a personality test, an aptitude test or an assessment center, you’ll find all of the information you need to
Probably the most common question that people ask when they find out that they are going to have to sit a test is ‘can psychometric test examples help?’
There are two distinct types of psychometric test, and you need to consider both separately. Personality Questionnaires, which try to measure aspects of your personality, and aptitude/ability tests which try to measure your intellectual and reasoning abilities.
There are three approaches that you can take to the personality questionnaire. You can either be totally honest and make no attempt to influence the outcome, you can try to determine what characteristics you think the employer is looking for and try to ‘fake’ the test accordingly, or you can learn enough about how these tests work so that you can be honest whilst ensuring that you don’t blow your chances because one aspect of your personality comes over as too extreme or inappropriate.
The only sensible way to approach personality questionnaires to learn enough about how they work to make an informed decision about which approach to take. If you are wondering whether these tests can be relied on to be fair or whether you can influence the outcome without being dishonest.
Psychometric aptitude tests are made up of questions which can be categorised as either: numeric, verbal, abstract, spatial or mechanical. Some general psychometric tests contain questions of different types in the same test whereas others may be specific. For example a verbal reasoning ability test will only contain questions designed to measure your ability to understand and interpret information presented in words.
If you are faced with a psychometric test as part of the job
selection process, then the first step you need to take is to ask
the employer what type of test or tests you are going to be given.
You should be given this information as a matter of course and you
should also be provided with some sample questions.
If you are wondering whether practicing for aptitude tests will help, the answer is a very definite ‘yes’. Now, you may have heard that it is very difficult to significantly improve your scores on these tests. This view is debatable, but even if it were true you do not need to achieve a significant improvement – a marginal one will do!
This is because most aptitude tests have relatively few questions, and the job candidates tend to obtain similar scores.
To illustrate this point, consider a typical aptitude test consisting of 50 questions. Most of the candidates, who are a similar group in terms of their educational background and achievements, will score around 40. Some will score a few less and some a few more. It is very unlikely that any of them will score less than 35 marks or more than 45 marks. This means that ten marks separates the lowest and the highest scores.
BUT, and this is the important bit, the scores will not be evenly distributed. They will cluster around the average, as shown in the diagram.
The percentile score refers to the percentage of candidates
with a lower mark. For example 40% of candidates scored less than
39 marks and 60% of candidates scored less than 41 marks. If a
someone is described as being at the 70th percentile then that
means 70% of the other candidates obtained a lower score. Or to
look at it another way, that person is in the ‘top’ 30% of people
who took the test.
Your score will often be compared to the other candidates on this basis. In other words, if you scored 40 marks you will be at the 50th percentile and if you scored 43 marks you will be at the 90th percentile. Just three marks will be the difference between being seen as an average candidate (50th percentile) and an outstanding candidate (90th percentile).
That is why practicing psychometric test examples is crucial to your success.