We use psychometric tests to help with career guidance and counseling, and Employers use psychometric tests help make selection decisions. Studies have consistently shown that psychometric tests are not accurate, but like degrees, they have become a signaling tool for employers and have created an industry of test centers and test prep experts.
The two main types of psychometric tests are aptitude tests and achievement tests.
Aptitude tests, mostly used by individuals themselves, measure your interests and your ability to understand new concepts. Achievement tests, used mainly by employers (individuals may take them too), measure what you already know or can do.
It is helpful to understand the different types of tests that you might run across in your job search and how to approach them. Here are some questions to ask yourself as you consider the implications of being tested:
When to use psychometric testing for career planning: As psychometric tests have become a source of profit for educators, students are pushed early onto take the tests (e.g. Strong–Campbell Index, Holland test) to get an idea of careers that fit their interests and personality. Elsewhere, individuals may take an assessment test to help them reach a decision about career change. Nothing that a simple chart and deep thinking won't do for free.
Tips to do well in psychometric tests
General tips for all kinds of tests
- Good rest (especially the night before) and good health are common sense starters.
- They have found we do better in psychometric tests when we are a little hungry. So, don't take a full meal before the test.
Tips for aptitude tests
- Give a lot of thought to your life and to your career goals, and to the things you love to do. Be more self aware. Put down your thoughts on a paper and edited vigorously and often. Come to think ok it; At this position, you don't need no more tests, right?
- Skills-related aptitude tests generally test your problem-solving ability in a particular field. For example, if you are going to be editing online content, they will test your copy editing skills.
Tips for achievement /ability tests
Verbal reasoning and mathematical ability are the two most common achievement tests.
- Types of tests: There are five kinds of ability tests.
Verbal Ability: These include questions which test your ability to spell words correctly, use correct grammar, understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions.
Numeric Ability: These include questions on basic arithmetic, number sequences and simple mathematics. In more complex numerical critical reasoning questions, blocks of information are provided that require interpretation.
Abstract Reasoning: These tests are usually based on diagrams and measure your ability to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution.
Spatial Reasoning: These tests measure your ability to manipulate shapes in two dimensions or to visualize three-dimensional objects presented as two-dimensional pictures.
Mechanical Reasoning: These tests are designed to assess your knowledge of physical and mechanical principles.
- Go through the test prep guides: They will guide you about things like how the test questions are structured, test taking strategies, and will also have sample tests you can take. Sample tests help you work on strengthening your weaker areas. You can go through multiple sample papers and make sure you have improved.
- All guides will tell you to read the instructions very carefully and make sure you understand them completely. They will tell you to ask for clarification from the person administering the test. Please don't jump straightaway into taking tests- you might miss on some important information mentioned on the beginning pages/screens.
For example, in some tests, unanswered questions do not count against you. Some may follow Negative marking- for wrong answers, scores will be deducted from right answers to provide a ratio score for the test. Some tests are timed.
- Go through the test the first time answering only the questions you are sure of. After you have gone through the complete test, you can go back to the unanswered questions and tackle the ones that you are pretty sure of. If you still have some time after this second run, you can go through the questions one more time, really taking the time to think them through and to provide your best answer.
- About the results: We already know the tests aren't accurate. We also know we took the tests for career guidance only. If you like taking these tests, take some more tests to see if the first test was a fluke. Even then, remember, these are not accurate tests.
But question the test results, if your job depended upon it. Maybe it was part of a job application process. But these things often get messy. Even if your were proven right after a legal process, will you like each other even if they accept the decision?
Thank you for reading.
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