Have you ever wondered how some graduates manage to get top scores on aptitude tests? They must be extremely intelligent and talented people, right? Well, not exactly. Studies have shown that some otherwise extremely ‘brainy’ people could get very low scores on aptitude tests due to a lack of speed, focus or confidence. The reason is two-fold. First, different categories of aptitude tests are designed to test different innate abilities (called aptitudes) such as numerical reasoning, abstract thinking and verbal reasoning. Some who do very well on numerical tests may easily fail the verbal test. In fact, extremely talented people tend to be one-sided so while they may get 100% on one type of aptitude test, they will likely get a very low score or even fail another one.
Second, the aptitude tests that employers (or recruiters) use assess at least two of your innate abilities – and you must meet their benchmarks on both tests. These abilities almost always contradict each other. For example, numerical reasoning ability is quite different from verbal reasoning ability. This implies that the recruiters are not looking for Einsteins (by the way Einstein was far behind his peers in his verbal ability as a child) but just average people who can perform well on the job. Besides, it is quite unusual for a first-time test taker to get top scores on BOTH. Unless … well, unless you know the tricks AND you are not a freakin’ genius because if you were, it would be harder for you to follow these tricks and you would not need the bloody job anyway.
Having conducted some extensive research, below we have summarised our findings. The following are the key techniques used by top aptitude test scorers.
1. FOCUS ON DATA CONTEXT
Learn about the exact types of aptitude test questions you may get on a real test. Discover new ways to solve them. This does not mean you are cheating because you are not preparing the answers for real test questions BUT you are learning about question types, data format (data tables, pie charts, etc) to be able to anticipate what cords you will have to cut. Put it in another way, if you were a starting brain surgeon, you would need know to exactly how the contents of the brain look like before you even are allowed to the operation room. This is what it is all about.
2. LEARN NEW WAYS TO SAVE TIME
Learn about the key shortcut techniques to solve nearly half of the test problems in 15-30 seconds – in order to save time. Imagine you are driving from one city to get to another. How helpful would it be if you knew the shortcuts to get there also avoiding traffic jams and possible road repair situations? You could get there faster, with less stress and with more time to enjoy the scenery. Learning the shortcuts to solve test problems does NOT MEAN you will have to be able to answer each question in 15 seconds. Shortcuts may not exist for some test questions. What you need to learn is how you can get 5 questions out of the way quickly so this adds up to 3-4 minutes of extra time. Then you will be working with less anxiety and more confidence through the rest of aptitude test problems.
3. AUTOMATE YOUR TEST SKILLS
Begin to apply your learned techniques in practice tests and anticipate and differentiate various test problems. Unfortunately, this one comes with practice. One erroneous assumption people make is that practice time long time, that it develops over months and years. According to NLP practitioners and reputable psychologists, it is practically possible to achieve automation in a matter of days and even hours. For example, you could improve your speed reading skills in days. You could learn how to throw a basketball into the net accurately in hours. Aptitude tests are not much different. Of course, your results will get better in 1 month than in 1 day, however, you can still improve a lot in several days enough to make a difference on the test day.
4. INCREASE YOUR CONFIDENCE
Learn to feel like a test champion each time you do a test. Have you ever watched boxing fights of a legendary former undisputed heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson? He would say, “Fear is my friend, I use the fear to reflect it upon my opponent. If I don’t have fear, I don’t fight”. Most novice test takers are really scared before the test. Emotions could interfere with your ability to think straight during the test, however, there is no way to become emotion-free. What you can do, however, is to imagine that recruiters too are scared that you will destroy their testing scheme by a getting a Knock-Out score in half the time allocated for the test thereby leaving them shocked. Learn to feel like a champion like Mike Tyson in his prime and you will have a chance to knock-out the test in the first round.
In sum, the above techniques could help you massively improve your aptitude test score. However, you also need the right tools achieve that. Therefore, we have developed GraduateMonkey aptitude test tutorials to help you along through your journey. Click here to explore our test preparation packs.