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Posts Tagged ‘psychometric tests’

Visual Impairment and Taking Psychometric Tests

What is visual impairment and why does it cause difficulties?

Visual impairment refers to a wide spectrum of sight difficulties and can range from partial sightedness through to blindness. A visually impaired person is considered to have irretrievable loss or distortion of vision which may be improved but not easily corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

The highly visual nature of psychometric tests is likely to present a visually impaired candidate with difficulties. For example, they may struggle to read the instructions, see the test stimuli, scan text, switch focus and discriminate between different colours (colour blindness). As such, these candidates may be unfairly disadvantaged across a large majority of aptitude tests; including numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, inductive reasoning, as well as more real-life tasks, such as the in-tray exercise.

How can employers help?

Under the Disability and Discrimination Act 1995 and the Equality Act 2010, employers are required to make necessary amendments to ensure that their selection processes do not discriminate against persons who have significantly impaired vision.  The amendments that employers make to psychometric tests will largely depend on the tools and strategies that the candidate is already familiar with. Furthermore, employers must be careful not to make adjustments which invalidate the test. Examples of adjustments might include:

  • Using Braille in place of text
  • Transcribing tests into audio versions
  • Using assistants to read out text and record answers
  • Using larger fonts or magnification screens and devices

These amendments may lengthen response times and so candidates may need to be awarded extra time.

What do the psychometric testing guidelines say?

The British Psychological Society (BPS) has developed guidelines to advise those administering psychometric tests with people who are visually impaired:  Visual Impairment and Psychometric Testing (BPS, 2007). The BPS recommends that employers investigate the nature and severity of the visual impairment and consult with chartered psychologists or test publishers before making any test amendments.

Click here to read the full guidelines: Visual Impairment

Dyslexia and Psychometric Testing for Employers

Employers must be careful not to unlawfully discriminate using psychometric tests

The Disability Discrimination Act, which came into force in 1995, requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to ensure a fair selection process for potential candidates.  Given the growing popularity of aptitude tests within selection procedures, employers are expected to accommodate the needs of candidates whose test performance may be impacted by sensory impairments or other conditions.

People with dyslexia may be particularly disadvantaged by psychometric tests. Dyslexia is most commonly associated with impaired literacy skills; however, people may also present with difficulties in memory and speed of processing. As such, it is acknowledged that these candidates are at risk of performing poorly on psychometric tests if necessary amendments are not made, particularly on literacy-based tests (e.g. verbal reasoning tests).  The inherent danger is that candidates with dyslexia will not be given the opportunity to demonstrate their true abilities, and therefore, their suitability for the vacant position.

What do the psychometric testing guidelines say?

With this in mind, the British Psychology Society (BPS) has developed guidelines to advise those administering psychometric tests to people with dyslexia: Dyslexia and Occupational Testing (BPS, 2006). This document recommends that employers:

  • Provide all candidates with the opportunity to discuss difficulties that might impact on their test performance.
  • Ask candidates with dyslexia about the specific nature and severity of their difficulties.
  • Consider making necessary amendments which are specific to the individual needs of the candidate, e.g. additional time.
  • Consult with a chartered psychologist or with the test publishers to discuss potential amendments which will not invalidate the test.
  • Consider alternative methods of assessing the same skill, e.g. real-life work situations.

Click on the link to read the BPS guidelines in full: Dyslexia and Occupational Testing.

Succeed in the Interview Process

These days job interviews are few and far between. Therefore, when you get an oppourtunity for a job you will want to grasp it with both hands. However caution is advised, as modern job applications can be complex affairs, with each different aspect requiring its own particular strategy.

There is a stereotype about job interviews. You  arrive at your potential workplace, sat out in the corridor, waiting nervously to be called in for a one-to-one with your potential new boss, during the interview you’re asked a range of questions, for which you give your pre-planned responses. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a call back in a couple of weeks, based on how much your new boss liked you as a person.

The above does hold true for many interviews, however these days there is often lots more to the process than this personal assessment. More and more employers have an aptitude test as an instrumental part of the application process. So, whilst there is value in rehearsing for your person-to-person interview, it is often only one part of the application process, and so true preparation requires you to practise for a psychometric test.

The golden rule with an interview is making a good impression. However, this is a subjective measurement, and is relatively easily achieved: a nice suit, clean shaven and a neat haircut. Success with a psychometric test isn’t so easy, which is why you application success equally demands practice, practice, practice.

What is a Psychometric Test?

The interview process is all about competition. Anyone who wishes to succeed in an interview needs to ensure that they are prepared for all eventualities. While competition for jobs is tougher than it has ever been, there is help out there, and practising psychometric tests is a great way to gain a competitive advantage over your rivals.

With unemployment rates still high, the job market is a tough one. Employees now have a huge pool of workers to choose from, and so they have tended to make the interview process tougher than it perhaps has been. This is an understandable strategy, and of course potential employers want to fill their vacancies with the best possible candidates.

Many employees now utilize psychometric tests to make the interview process more rigorous. These tests can take many forms, however they have a single purpose: to identify the best candidates through quantifiable means.

Unlike other parts of the interview process, which may involve a subjective assessment of one’s character etc, an aptitude test looks to measure ‘aptitude’ by clearly definable means. There is no short-cut to succeeding with an aptitude test therefore, and no amount of blag that will see you through the assessment.

Instead, just like a traditional exam, you will only succeed at psychometric tests if you are prepared to practise, practise, practise. While the tests are defined to test your natural abilities, a familiarity with the tests with give you a huge advantage, and on the assessment day you will be ready for any eventuality.

AssessmentDay Comment on Implications of Record Graduate Applications

AssessmentDay, an industry leader in online aptitude tests and numerical reasoning tests, comment on findings from the Association of Graduate Recruiters’ (AGR) latest survey.

The AGR has reported that the number of graduates applying for each available job vacancy has doubled since 2009. In one of their two annual surveys conducted with more than 200 employers, the AGR found that employers were receiving thirty-one applications per job before the economic downturn. In 2009, this climbed to forty-one, and now stands in 2011 at an all-time high and record average of eighty-three.

Some of the top companies in the UK are submersed with as many as one-hundred and fifty CVs for each single vacancy they advertise, despite the fact that there has been a slight, yet notable increase in the amount of available jobs, according to the AGR.

A spokesperson for AssessmentDay commented: “It is more essential than ever for university graduates to adequately prepare themselves for the increasingly competitive job market. Although there are signs of recovery at long last, this isn’t having the desired impact and there are still too many applicants and not enough jobs.

“It is also becoming more and more difficult for employers to sift between such an abundance of applicants, which has led to an increase in the number of organisations requiring applicants to take psychometric tests.

“At AssessmentDay, we can help graduates to prepare for the progressively more popular psychometric tests, and invite anyone interested in finding out more about these tests and how to prepare for them for the best possible chances in the job market to visit our website for more information and advice.”

Getting top tips for inductive reasoning

If you are a person applying for a popular job, one of the ways an employer might begin the selection process is by asking you to take part in an inductive reasoning test.

This is a kind of aptitude test, and looks closely at your capabilities and logical thinking abilities. They are popular with employers because when they are faced with a large number of applicants, aptitude tests and psychometric tests can help them to get a picture of each person easily and quickly.

But what if you feel you don’t do yourself justice in these tests? After all, they are not something that we come across every day.

At Assessment Day, we specialise in helping people get to grips with psychometric tests and aptitude tests of all kinds. We believe that practice makes you perfect, and on our site you can download tests to try.

By examining your results, and taking our tips to improve your answers, you can feel better prepared for online aptitude tests or for spending a day in an assessment centre run by an employer.

You can choose from several different kinds of aptitude or psychometric tests that may be ahead of you, and read our expert tips on how to deal with them.

We’re also aware that assessment centre days can be a strain, so we have prepared a special DVD with guidance from experts on what to expect and how to sail through, hopefully getting the job you deserve in the process.

What form do aptitude tests take?

When you apply for a job, you may well be asked to take a psychometric test or aptitude test.

Aptitude tests are a way for potential employers to assess your skills and capabilities, and a successful test may make all the difference between eventually getting the job – or not.

But what form do aptitude tests take? There are a number of different kinds, and you may have to tackle one or more during an assessment day set up by an employer.

One kind of aptitude test is the verbal reasoning test, which normally involves a written passage and some questions with possible True, False or Cannot Say responses.

One way to do well is to make sure you know the full meaning of each response, and on our Assessment Day site, you can find tips on understanding this fully, as well as trying a free sample test. You can then download further aptitude tests so you can keep practicing until you are comfortable.

Another kind of aptitude test is the inductive reasoning test. People sometimes call these diagrammatic or abstract reasoning tests, and should always be practised. They often pop up selection processes for people in the field of IT and engineering, where logical thinking is important.

With practice, it becomes more easy to think logically and methodically to spot patterns in the sequence of graphics you are presented with, and finish the test in plenty of time, while showing off your abilities in the way that you would wish.

Understanding Psychometric Testing

When most jobseekers find out that there will be some kind of aptitude test as part of their interview, they often believe that it will be a type of exam which will result in instant rejection if failed. However, this is not entirely accurate. Essentially, nearly every type of occupational psychometric test is used as a tool to help employers further understand a job candidate’s abilities. Psychometric testing is not used exclusively to make recruitment decisions, rather it is used in combination with other elements like CVs, application forms and interviews to help construct a more detailed profile of a candidate.

In essence, the two main areas of occupational psychometric testing involve the assessment of typical performance and maximum performance:

Typical performance

Typical performance tests assess areas such as personality, values and motivation. This type of psychometric test is normally used to discover whether an individual has a genuine interest in a job vacancy and how compatible their personality would be to the existing team. A typical performance test will generally have no right or wrong answers and include no time limit.

Maximum performance

Maximum performance tests are used to assess a candidate’s verbal, numerical and general reasoning abilities. This type of aptitude test can help employers to ascertain whether an individual has the specific occupational skills needed for a role. Therefore, test questions will have right and wrong answers, and there will also be a time limit.

Contact us here at Assesment Day Ltd for more information about psychometric testing.

Psychometric Testing and Recruitment

Psychometric testing is now widely used by many companies to help them assess how suitable a job-seeking candidate may be for a particular vacancy. There are a number of different tests which can be used to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of a candidate’s character. The results of these tests, along with other factors, can provide an accurate profile of each candidate, and so help employers to determine how suitable they may be.

A psychometric test is usually performed at the start of a recruitment process, as it can be a very effective way of determining suitability and compatibility early on. However, there are still plenty of companies who prefer to go through the traditional interview process first and then use a aptitude test to confirm their own findings at a later stage. It is worth remembering that psychometric tests typically only account for one part of a candidate’s interview and so do not constitute a “pass” or “fail” all by themselves.

Although the thought of having to take a psychometric test or aptitude test may seem daunting to some job-seekers, being adequately prepared can help. Online practice tests are now available to help jobseekers familiarise themselves with the types of tests which they may have to face. These practice tests can really help to increase confidence as many companies now run their tests on computers too.

Ensure you are prepared for your interview by taking some of our online psychometric tests here at Assessment Day Ltd.

Practise makes perfect with verbal reasoning tests

These days, there are many forms of aptitude test in operation. Indeed, firms are increasingly using such means of assessment as a way to differentiate between candidates at various stages of the job seeking process.

One of the most common forms of the psychometric test is verbal reasoning. This is no surprise given the importance of such abilities in many jobs. You might at first think it is easy to sail through such challenges. After all, you are likely to use verbal reasoning in your everyday life on a frequent basis.

However, it is not quite as simple as this. When you combine the pressure of the aptitude test scenario with the crafty way in which some of the questions are worded, it can be harder than you think to perform well in such situations.

This is why it is so important to get plenty of practise in before you are thrust into these high-pressure situations. By familiarising yourself with the format of the assessments and making sure you are able to get through them within the specified time limits, you can significantly enhance your chances of success.

In general, verbal reasoning tests take the form of a written passage and a number of questions based on this with the options of true, false or cannot say.

By running through tests like this, you can avoid making unnecessary mistakes when the big day arrives. Therefore, it might well be worth your while investing in some sample assessments.

Regardless of the type of psychometric test you are going to take for your job application, we should have the perfect trial versions here at AssessmentDay.

Resist the urge to cheat online psychometric tests

You might well be an honest and straightforward person in most scenarios in life, but there may have been occasions when you are wondered whether or not you could get away with cheating when it comes to online psychometric tests.

In many ways you can’t be blamed for considering such tactics. After all, the jobs market is extremely competitive these days and anything you can do to get ahead may be worth investigating.

However, the simple truth is that being dishonest when it comes to an aptitude test of this nature does not pay off in the end. While the initial assessment may be conducted remotely, firms often look to substantiate their findings with further tests that take place under supervision.

So, if the only reason you made it through to this round is because you cheated on your online psychometric tests, either by enlisting the help of others or using resources that were disallowed, you stand to waste not only your time, but also that of the organisation recruiting.

A far better approach when it comes to an aptitude test is to engage in effective preparation. For example, by using the resources available here at AssessmentDay, you can get a heads-up on what to expect and practise going through the answers yourself.

Such an approach will stand up to any amount of scrutiny later on because it is honest and perfectly acceptable. To find out more about how we may be able to help, simply have a look around the rest of our site.

AssessmentDay Comment on Graduate Applications

AssessmentDay, leading experts in online aptitude tests and numerical reasoning tests, comment on graduate application processes and their use of psychometric tests.

AssessmentDay is a leading provider of online psychometric tests, numerical reasoning tests and aptitude tests which can help graduates and job seekers secure employment. Due to their rapid growth in popularity, AssessmentDay’s website is now linked from 25 UK universities and they are a prominent resource on graduate career websites, such as WikiJob, Prospects.ac.uk, CareerBuilder, GradSouthWest and GraduatesYorkshire.

AssessmentDay has recently commented on the use of psychometric tests in graduate applications. AssessmentDay believe employers should bring the psychometric test forward to the first round of applicants instead of the second round, as this test can eliminate a large amount of applicants. As a result, an applicant will not waste their time going through rigorous processes only to be rejected.

A spokesperson for AssessmentDay commented: “While many believe applicants will be deterred by the idea of a psychometric test, it is in the applicant’s interest to discount them from an employment position as quickly as possible if they do not fit the role. Various application stages may ultimately only lead to disappointment and will only serve to slow down the employment process.”

Speed is the essence with aptitude tests

Often in an aptitude test it is not the nature of the questions themselves that cause people to struggle, but rather the time limits imposed on the candidates taking part in the assessment.

So, if you are preparing to sit a psychometric test, it can really pay off to practice your speed. If you had all day to note down your responses to the challenges posed, you may well make very few mistakes. But the reality is that with your back against the wall and time running out, you might well find your logic deserts you and you fail to show your true abilities.

This is why it can pay off to practise such questions in advance of the real test. This enables you to get a feel for the pace of the trial and to adjust your approach accordingly.

There is a distinct skill to spending enough but not too much time reading each question. If you rush this, you will make lots of mistakes on your aptitude test. In contrast, if you re-read sentences again and again and are too slow in your progress, you will fail get through the assessment. By practising them, you can get a feel for how speedily you should go through the trial.

Another great thing about preparing for a psychometric test is that you become more familiar with the type of wording they use. This means you will be more efficient in your dissemination of the questions than someone who has not looked as other such papers before.

Psychometric Testing: A Brief History

Testing for proficiency dates back to 2200 BC China, when the Emperor would make use of gruelling fitness assessments for his prospective warriors.

But the modern psychometric test has its roots in Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton, who lived from 1822 to 1911, and was fascinated by individual differences. It was Sir Francis who showed that objective testing could provide meaningful scores.

Another pioneer was James Cattell, who first coined the term ‘mental test’ in 1890. Fifteen years later, Alfred Binet introduced the first modern intelligence test.

Psychometric testing rose in popularity throughout the twentieth century, and today a psychometric test is best described as a standardised assessment which looks at human behaviour and describes it with scores or categories.

There are some tests which assess intelligence, and others which test capability or personality traits.

Cognitive, sensory, perceptual or motor functions can also all be assessed with psychometric testing.

These days, many if not most employers make extensive use of these assessments, especially online psychometric tests, and especially when recruiting graduates in whom they will be making a substantial investment.

If you know you will be facing either paper-based or online psychometric tests, don’t worry. These multi-choice tests are nothing to worry about, and there are no right or wrong answers.

But you can boost your chances by practicing with past papers. Assessment Day has plenty of genuine tests you can work on to improve your chances of success. Visit our website and learn more.

Sitting a Psychometric Test? Preparation is Key

Psychometric testing is an efficient way of gaining an insight into someone’s personality, and the way they think. It can help develop team spirit at work while indicating what an individual’s priorities are.

Most employers – an estimated 65% – use a psychometric test when they are recruiting. At the same time, some organisations also use this form of testing as part of their staff development and retention programme. And you can be asked to undergo psychometric testing whatever your level, from school leaver to executive management.

So gaining an understanding of your own strengths and weaknesses in advance is a crucial first step in preparing for these assessments.

Learn how you would appear to a prospective employer and you can tip the balance in your favour before you’ve even turned up to take the test.

You may not have realised that psychometric testing can also help you to decide whether a career change is right for you. In fact, it’s no exaggeration to say that just a few questions can end up having a dramatic impact on your life, whether you’re looking into career planning or even personal relationships.

Online psychometric tests can be taken anywhere, so are very efficient. But you need to practice before you sit an assessment for real. At Assessment Day, we can help you prepare with our real examples of online psychometric tests employers use.

We have stacks of helpful advice, too. Visit our website and learn more.

Why Employers Use Aptitude Testing

Psychometric testing comes in various forms, but essentially breaks down into three categories: ability, personality and interests.

Many companies introduce a psychometric test early on in the recruitment process to quickly identify candidates with the right combination of personality and skills.

One survey found that over 95% of companies in the FTSE 100 use a psychometric or aptitude test. Specifically, the civil service, the police and airlines incorporate them in their recruitment process.

Reports show that, the larger the company, the more likely it is to use the tests – 63.2 percent of businesses with over one hundred employees use them compared to around a third of organisations with under 10 members of staff. And the popularity of these tests is on the rise.

By using an aptitude test, a recruiter will be able to assess potential, and recognise the desired traits for future employees to ensure the business’s continued success.

However, a psychometric test isn’t something to worry about. After all, if you have the skills and personality your prospective employer needs, that should come across on the day.

Thought you couldn’t prepare for these assessments? Think again. At Assessment Day, we give you the chance to practice, using very accurate material. Our numerical, verbal and inductive reasoning tests show you the assessments employers use.

By becoming familiar with the tests you will face, you will be better prepared to perform your best. Don’t let your test score let you down.

AssessmentDay Comment on Dishonest Responses in Psychometric Tests

AssessmentDay believe that people who undertake psychometric testing may find themselves tempted to provide false answers for personality profiling questions, in order to advance their chances. However, as a provider of practice online psychometric tests and aptitude tests, AssessmentDay warns against this course of action.

Online aptitude tests and psychometric testing have become a popular method for evaluating potential employees throughout job application stages, as they assess the particular strengths an individual has, and can help an employer discover the most suitable candidates without having to interview a large number of applicants in person.

As many psychometric tests involve personality tests, applicants may find themselves attempting to beat fellow applicants by giving answers they believe the employers will most likely want to hear. However, most online psychometric tests have in-built checks to identify whether a person is being honest or not, commonly by rephrasing questions in a number of different ways.

“When faced with personality questions in online psychometric tests, it can be tempting to choose answers you believe will make you look better, rather than those which you know to be true to yourself,” a spokesperson for AssessmentDay commented. “However, people should be aware that this can backfire if they are caught out, and it could lead to further problems down the line if they are given the job under false pretences. With our practice online psychometric tests and aptitude tests, people can become comfortable with the process.”

How Organisations can use Online Psychometric Tests

The recruitment process is a highly complex one. With a huge number of people applying for every position, it can be hugely time consuming for employers to read applications and interview all the suitable candidates. Giving applicants a psychometric test to complete can help to find the most appropriate candidate for the job, simplifying the recruitment process.

Every job requires a different set of skills, aptitudes and abilities. For example, managers should have good leadership qualities and be assertive, while sales people should have a friendly, yet persuasive, demeanour. While you can try to assess these skills in an interview, people are not always themselves in such a pressured situation, making the impressions they give inaccurate. A psychometric aptitude test will give a much more detailed overview of a person’s ability to do a job.

Interviewing candidates for a job can take days, or even weeks, out of an interviewer’s schedule. For most jobs, it can be extremely inconvenient for someone to be away from their regular tasks for that length of time. While a psychometric test will require someone to moderate the room of people taking it, or the use of assessment centres, online psychometric tests can be undertaken in a candidate’s own home. The results are then assessed by a computer, freeing up your staff to do their regular job.

Online psychometric tests can take a lot of the stress out of the recruitment process. Giving them to candidates can almost guarantee that you’ll find the most appropriate person for the job.

Preparing Yourself for a Psychometric Test

If you are applying for vacancies, particularly highly competitive ones, you may find that you are asked to complete a psychometric test. Psychometric tests do not assess knowledge. They are designed to evaluate your personality and measure your ability to do the job in question. You may be asked how you would react in various situations, designed to test your abstract reasoning skills and show how you would deal with any people or circumstances you may encounter on the job.

Psychometric tests cannot be prepared for in the way you would with a traditional exam. This is because they are designed to test your personality and reactions, not your expertise. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t do any preparation prior to your test. Only by knowing what to expect will you achieve success in your test.

The best thing you can do prior to your psychometric aptitude test is practice. Search for online psychometric tests and complete as many of them as you can. This will give you an idea of what will happen during your actual test, and hopefully make you feel less anxious about it.

Anxiety is one of the main reasons why people don’t do well in tests. If you are worried about why you are taking a psychometric test, or what will happen to your scores once you’ve completed it, then ask someone. You are entitled to all that information. If you’re unsure of anything before or during the test, make sure you have everything clarified by someone. Feeling relaxed and secure is one of the best ways you can prepare for a test.

The Aptitude Test Explained

There comes a point in many people’s lives where they are unsure about their vocation. Perhaps you have just graduated from university and are uncertain about which path to take next, or you’ve been in the same job for many years and are becoming discontented. Taking an aptitude test could help you make these decisions, and could even improve your chances of landing your ideal job in the future.

During an aptitude test, you will be asked a variety of questions. These will mostly be based around your interests and how you would react in various situations. There are no straight ‘yes or no’ answers. You will have to rate your answers on a scale, so they truly are a reflection of your personality. You will also have to think about your current career choice, and whether you think it is suited to you. Your answers will then be assessed to find the perfect career for you.

Once you’ve completed your psychometric test you won’t only be given one ideal career, you’ll be given a choice of a number of suitable careers. You will then be able to take your time deciding which career will be best for you.

There are many companies offering aptitude tests. Offline tests at assessment centres tend to be very expensive, but there are plenty of online aptitude tests that are much more affordable. And with the huge choice available, you’re bound to find one that suits your personality and needs perfectly.

Why employers use psychometric tests

The concept of a psychometric test evolved out of research into the human brain and how we think and function. This kind of evaluation has been developed by psychologists over years of research into personality, language, cognitive ability, the creative mind and how our brains solve problems. Different people work in different ways and some jobs are more suited to a particular psychological type and skill set, hence the reason employers like to ask candidates for important jobs to take an aptitude test of one kind or another.

They’ll be looking for a very specific attitude and a range of abilities that may be broad or may be narrow. The exact criteria will depend on the job at hand. Some tasks call for excellent communication skills, others call for an incisive analytical mind or for abstract reasoning. In some jobs you’ll have to work independently and in others you might have to manage a team or work within one. Sometimes you may have to cope with a high pressure situation or be expected to put in a great deal of overtime to make something happen.

A psychometric test can reveal how you will do in a particular environment. Everyone who has worked in an office knows that there are some people who have the right skills on paper but the wrong approach and it’s natural that employers want to screen out this kind of person. If you’ve been asked to do a psychometric or aptitude test as part of a job interview process, it doesn’t mean the company you’d like to work for doubts your abilities. They just want to know how well you will fit into the role they’re offering.