How to prepare for your aptitude tests

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Every employer wants to have the right person for the job they advertise for.  The hiring process is all about finding the best person for the job. This could be based on skills, personality, intelligence or cultural background of the applicant. Due to the large number of people searching for jobs, employers subject the successful job applicants to psychometric tests. These tests give the employer a complete profile of each candidate in terms of the level of intelligence and personality characteristics. When your job application has been thoroughly scrutinized and you are lucky to be invited to take an aptitude test, it is important to prepare adequately for it. This article will give you the necessary tips on how to prepare for any aptitude test.

One thing you should bear in mind when preparing for an aptitude test is what the employer is looking for in the right job applicant. Different jobs require different combination of skills and the candidate with the required combination takes the day.  You can find out about the required skills by fully understanding the job description. The nature of the test can also give you a clue on what the employer is looking for.  Knowing what the employer is looking for in the right job applicant can help you focus on sharpening you skills in the relevant areas and save much of your preparation time and energy.

You should also get acquainted to the different psychometric testing techniques.  Aptitude tests are not like any other kind of test you might have encountered before.  All too often candidates make an assumption that if they are good in math or calculations or are fluent in English then they will blitz the aptitude test. This is the wrong assumption. Each psychometric test is timed and designed in a very unique way.  For example numerical aptitude tests are used by employers to measure the level of your ability to perform tasks involving analysis and interpretation of numbers. Depending on the kind of job you are applying for, these tests range from simple arithmetic involving addition subtraction, division and multiplication to complex and more intricate questions where you are required to interpret numerical information presented as graphs, diagrams or data tables. To master these tests, it is important to add a new set of test taking skills to your tool box.

Familiarizing yourself with the format and the typical content of the psychometric test will give you a significant advantage. Numerical and Verbal aptitude tests for example are generally multiple choice questions which must be completed within a very short time. The questions in these tests range from physics science, business related areas like economics and finance to physical or biological sciences.

Abstract aptitude test on the other hand, is basically a non-verbal test that uses diagrams and sequences of shapes in the test questions.  Familiarity with the type of the test questions in the aptitude test you are preparing for will give you a competitive edge.

Once you have identified the nature of the aptitude test you are expecting, you need to practice it by taking an online aptitude test.  You should practice and prepare for the psychometric test just like you would for any exam. By practicing aptitude test questions, you train your brain to identify the frameworks for solving problems and this will significantly improve your results. Since majority of the psychometric tests are conducted online, it is very important to prepare through the same media.

Time is of great essence in an aptitude test.  All aptitude tests are administered under a strict time frame.  Only 1-2% of all candidates are able to answer all of the test questions. Successful candidates plan their time well and set milestones. The good news is that you don’t have to complete all the questions in the test in order to get a high score. You should also bear in mind that in most cases easy questions score as the same as hard ones. As an intelligent candidate you should set milestones and if you find difficulty in one question go on to complete others.

Most numerical aptitude tests will allow you to use a calculator and you will be advised on this upfront. If you have stayed for long without using your calculator familiarize yourself with the various functions and operations well ahead of the test. There is no harm in brushing up on reading tables and graphs as well.

In cases where you expect to be subjected to verbal aptitude test, start reading a broader section of newspapers or any industry specific literature regarding the job you are applying for. This way you will grasp verbal aptitude test quicker, provide answers faster and therefore improve your score.

When preparing for personality aptitude test, be sure not to trigger a lie or good scale. Most personality tests are designed to indicate whether you are consistent to your answers and to what extent you tried to portray yourself in an overly positive manner. We all want ourselves to be seen in the best light possible. This is common to all of us when we want to get a job.  However make sure not to overdo it as it will cause inconsistency in your answers and thus may backfire at you.

Psychometric tests appear daunting sometimes. The key to succeeding and achieving a top score are practice and preparation which will also help build your confidence for your upcoming interview!

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