Should I Resist the Urge to Cheat Online Psychometric Tests?

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Joshua Hancock Updated:

We will help you understand why trying to cheat on a psychometric test is a terrible idea (...or is it?)

Why shouldn't I cheat?

You might well be an honest and straightforward person in most scenarios in life, but you may be wondering 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.

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.

Wanting to cheat is perfectly understandable. Job applications and graduate schemes can be super competitive and so psychometric tests are added as a way to filter out the 'weaker' candidates. Many applicants will struggle with this stage or not want to put the effort in to succeed legitimately. Fair enough, maybe? The skills tested aren't the same as what you will be doing in the actual job. However, they are the best predictor. Aptitude tests do in fact act as a much more accurate determinant of success than traditional interview practices.

Is there not a cheat sheet I can use?

So, you're wondering if there's some magical cheat sheet that will help you answer any question that's asked of you? Well there isn't but there is something similar that might work. What is it? You already have it, it's your brain!

Improving your cognitive skills by practising these different test types you will end up being able to quickly and accurately answer any question without the need of some mystical cheat sheet paper, you'll have it inside of you always.

The importance of developing skills and improving yourself cannot be emphasised more. Cheating doesn't get you anywhere it's more of a step backwards, you're setting yourself up for a bigger fail in the future.

Someone must have successfully cheated before? How did they do it?

Yes, some people have cheated in the past and have got away with it. Seems like cheating could be a viable option for your upcoming SHL online test?

Well let's go through some of the techniques that people have used:

Get somebody else to do it

Maybe you've got a clever uncle or friend who could sit the test for you so that you can pass.

Well, the likelihood of them doing drastically better than you would be able to is very low. This person isn't as invested in what this actually means to you than you are. A lot of these tests will require some practise to understand what the format is like and what sort of skills are being tested. Your friend isn't going to sit down going through lots of practice tests for you, it's too time consuming. They'll take the test without properly researching it or without practising enough and they will be significantly less prepared than they should be. It's likely you would have outperformed them with a bit of practise.


Although, it's unlikely you will be re-tested at an assessment centre, they may well see through the fact that you had someone cheat for you. Or even worse, you are exposed later on down the line as not knowing enough. It's best to avoid the stress and embarrassment and just practise a little and be proud of your legitimate accomplishment.


If getting someone else to do it for you isn't a good option, then why not work as a team on the problems?

This is a less severe attempt at cheating as you are still having input on the decisions.

However, it's an example case of too many cooks spoil the broth. In having someone else there to help you there will be much more deliberating which will use up too much of your valuable test time; it will be tricky to decide who gets the final say on each answer - how can you be sure someone really knows the answer and isn't just wanting to have control or seem more clever; you may have to check over things that you would be certain on if you were doing the test yourself; and having another person in the room that you're talking to is likely going to increase the chances of getting distracted tenfold.

Can an employer find out I've cheated?

An employer can assume that you've cheated by various ways, we'll discuss a few:

If there is another test you have to sit during the assessment centre then you will have to perform very well on this test to land the job. But if you cheated and didn't practise any of these psychometric tests then how will you pass? It's likely you won't score a good enough mark to beat the others who most certainly studied and prepared themselves.

If you use a company that says they will sit the test for you, the IP addresses of this company's computer (as it's likely set-up and run by a single person) may be marked (or the simple fact the IP will suddenly be different to the IP of the rest of the application activity you have done and located half way across the country) and so you will be flagged for cheating and will have lost out on the role and lost your money!

So should I cheat on my aptitude test?

We would advise you to not cheat. You are in a much better position developing the skills these tests assess for yourself, at least then you are gaining something from the experience.

Normally graduates apply for several roles and so it's not realistic to cheat on every test, it's actually more time consuming/costly.

Your best bet is to dedicate a few days to practising the different kind of psychometric tests you will have to take, then when you apply for these different positions, it will be a much less stressful, easier experience (and you would have actually learnt valuable skills!).

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Additional psychometric test resources

We have lots of specialised and specific psychometric test advice waiting for you. Simply navigate over to our resources section where you can find all of our test advice, or click on one of the following links you may find useful: