When you’re applying for a job, it’s likely that you’ll have to go through several rounds of screenings before recruiters can choose the right candidate. The most basic of these involve submitting your CV and doing an interview with HR and your immediate supervisor. Beyond these, companies have come up with different ways to evaluate applicants, from reference checks to mock presentations. As the job market becomes more competitive, more than 50% of businesses are already using psychometric tests during recruitment, including 80% of Fortune 500 companies. Aptitude tests are among the most common kinds of tests, and job applicants who are prepared for them have an edge.
What are Aptitude Tests?
Aptitude tests are objective, multiple-choice tests that assess your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Each aptitude test typically focuses on a specific area, such as mechanical reasoning and logical reasoning tests, but it’s also possible for different types of questions to be present in one test. These are created by psychometricians rather than the company itself, and you’ll have to get higher than the company’s minimum required score in order to move forward with your application.
Recruiters typically ask you to take an aptitude test online before bringing you in for an initial interview. However, sometimes they might include it as part of an assessment day, or you might have to answer it in their office and then proceed to a final interview right afterwards. It’s more common during the earlier stages of the application process because it allows recruiters to narrow down their candidate pool efficiently, given that there can be hundreds of applicants or more for a single position.
Types of Aptitude Tests
Your recruiter will typically inform you earlier if you’ll have to take a test. Knowing the type of aptitude test you’ll be taking is helpful because you’ll be able to prepare for it in advance. These are the most common aptitude tests:
- Verbal Reasoning – Assesses your understanding of written information as well as your grasp of grammar and word relationships such as analogies
- Numerical Reasoning – Examines how well you can perform basic mathematical operations and analyze numerical data in the form of statistics and charts
- Analytical Reasoning – Evaluates your ability to make logical conclusions based on a set of statements and to determine patterns
Analytical reasoning tests can be divided into further subcategories. Deductive reasoning tests will present you with facts or data and then ask you to come up with a prediction or solution based on these. On the other hand, inductive or diagrammatic reasoning tests work the opposite way. These give you a sequence of patterns or diagrams, and you’ll have to figure out the common trend in them.
How to Prepare for Aptitude Tests
While you don’t need prior knowledge to answer aptitude tests, most people do well in them with practice. The questions on their own can be figured out logically, but applicants who go in without preparation usually end up not finishing the test. A single aptitude test typically has a time limit of 15 to 20 minutes, leaving only less than 10 seconds to spend on each question. This can be challenging if you haven’t thought about ratios or looked at shape patterns in a while!
Once you know the type of test you’ll be taking, you can read up on it online and then proceed with a timed practice test. If you do well on the first try, then great–you’re all set. However, if you find yourself struggling with some of the questions or running out of time, then review the concepts involved and keep doing practice tests until your score improves. By familiarizing yourself with the types of questions that will come up, you’ll also be more relaxed and confident during the test because you’ll have an idea of what to expect.
It can take a while to get the hang of aptitude tests, but it’ll be worth it once you get bumped up for the next round and you’re one step closer to winning that job.