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Top 30 Companies That Use Psychometric Tests

With the arrival of internet, sending job applications has become extremely easier than it once was.  The implication of this to employers is that they have more applications to evaluate before they finally hire the suitable candidate for the job.  Many have employed psychometric tests as a weeding tool; to make decisions on which candidate should be dropped and which should proceed to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Yes, next stage of the recruitment process, because the psychometric tests are never or not to be used in isolation.  They are often combined with the familiar initial job advert, sifting through of CVs to determine which candidate should be called for the test and finally, post-test interviews.

No matter how much job seekers resent aptitude tests, it seems they have come to stay, considering that they are continually being favoured by employers – about 80 % of US Fortune 500 and 75 % of UK Times 100 companies use them.  The tests have been reputed to be a reliable method of choosing the most suitable applicant for a job or the most suitable staff for a promotion.

The inherent limitations or restrictions in the type of questions an employer can ask an applicant has never been a deterrent; rather applicants have a lot to lose from choosing not to answer the questions.

Psychometric tests are often designed to test two qualities of the applicants; the personality and the ability.  The personality tests are often done using questionnaires while ability is measured with tests like logical reasoning, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, mechanical reasoning, abstract reasoning and others.

So, talking about the companies that use these tests, I know you must be interested in specifics.  Here are the top 30:

  1. ExxonMobil

With this multinational company, there is no end to the testing process.  The recruitment process is in stages, starting with online application form and ending at the assessment centre.  With the application form, a candidate is made to answer some competency questions and some other personality test questions are asked during a telephone interview and other assessments.  However, the main psychometric test is the second stage and it is an online numerical reasoning test of 20 minutes, supplied by SHL, one of the biggest online testing companies around.

  1. Chevron

You get to answer some competency questions during the application process too with Chevron after which follows an aptitude test.  The aptitude test is a 51 questions test for 20 minutes; varied in its composition – a mix of picture and word logic as well as mathematical and verbal reasoning.  The test is supplied by Onetest; an Australian psychometric testing company.  The test is such that the difficulty increases with succeeding questions.

  1. Ford Motor

Ford psychometric test is supplied by SHL and it is in two parts; numerical reasoning and inductive reasoning tests.

  • The numerical reasoning is a 20 question test for 20 minutes in which knowledge of statistics, ratios, percentages and graph interpretation will be tested.
  • The inductive reasoning requires knowledge of logic to succeed. It involves identifying patterns in a sequence of images.
  1. KPMG

The psychometric test for KPMG is supplied by Cubiks and it is divided into two parts; competency based questions and Decision making / problem solving tasks.

  • The competency based questions are actually a personality test, which tries to examine how the applicant works with people – their communication methods.
  • The Decision making/Problem solving tasks come in form of two tests; Situational Judgement Test (SJT) and Numerical Test. The SJT assesses the thought process of applicants and indicates whether the applicant is a leader or follower, while the numerical test is an assessment in tables, ratios, percentages and charts.
  1. Hewlett Packard

The test for HP, as Hewlett Packard is popularly known, is varied depending on the job functions applied for.  However, the recruitment process involves telephone interview and other assessments, during which behavioural and personality tests are verbally administered.  The ability test is basically numerical and verbal reasoning.

  1. Citigroup

The numerical reasoning is that in which the level difficulty level increases with succeeding questions and it is provided by Talent Q.  Their logical reasoning, a nonverbal rather pictorial test, have a reputation for being especially difficult and is only taken by applicants into technology, operations and HR job functions.

  1. Procter & Gamble

Practising for P&G, as it is called, is not only a good idea, but also a necessity.  You must be practised for success, because the tests are entirely different from whichever you might have been familiar with.It is in two parts:

  • Competency test, called P&G Success Drivers Assessment, examines if the thought patterns of candidates to judge whether they are P&G People with P&G Minds and P&G Ability. Indeed, this is a personality test.
  • The P&G Reasoning Tests comprises of numerical, verballogical and abstract reasoning.
  1. Microsoft

The personality test is over the telephone in an interview.  This is after a competency and an SHL tests.  You will need a very good knowledge of Microsoft for the competency test and also answer some behavioural questions.  The SHL test is a 24 questions test for 25 minutes, which follow the line of inductive reasoning.

  1. JPMorgan

JPMorgan’s recruitment often involves applicants writing series of aptitude tests which is followed by numerous interviews.  The format of their test is SHL reasoning and it has 3 parts; the numerical, verbal and technical tests.  The numerical involves answering 20 questions in 20 minutes without the use of calculator, and the verbal is also a 20 minutes test.

JPMorgan also administers a computer code based tests that last for an hour and 20 minutes.  And you should know too that every applicant is required to write a 300 words essay on their motivation for applying to JPMorgan.  You should take this as an opportunity to sell yourself.

  1. McDonald’s

The psychometric test for McDonald is basically a personality test which may need to be completed right on the spot or taken home to be returned when completed by the applicants.  Whichever way, it assesses what kind of employee you will be by asking questions that test your reactions in different circumstances.

  1. Bank of America

CVS Caremark mainly administers Kenexa test where applicants need to be a bit focused.  They have to be ready for answering some situational judgement test questions – whatever tells the employer what kind of employee you will be.  The idea of the test is to examine your thought process and from this conclusions about your personality can be made.

  1. Barclays

The recruitment process and testing of Barclays revolves across all the four job functions (field engineering, supply chain, commercial and technology) are the same.  The online application is accompanied by personality and behavioural based questions and this is followed by a telephone or video interview in which more personality and aptitude tests, based on SHL reasoning, will be administered.  Successful applicants are invited for the Barclays Experience during which, they are assessed on written and group exercises along with some case studies.  Success in the Barclays experiences leaders to you securing your offer letter.

  1. UBS

UBS administers both personality and ability tests.  Immediately after the application, if your application is considered impressive, you are invited for an online SHL numerical test.  After this a telephone interview is conducted during which, your knowledge of the company will be tested and important information is gathered about you.  If you have been impressive all the while, you are invited for a second SHL test; this time around, a verbal reasoning.  Successful candidates are then invited to the assessment centre during which they will participate in group work, individual presentation and in-person interviews.  Executives of the company will be around too, to observe and entertain any question from the applicants.  By then, you are very close to clinching your offer letter.

  1. 3M

To gain employment into this diversified technology is a job in its right, considering the numerous stages and tests to be written.  To start with, you will need to answer 2 major competency questions along with your application.  Work hard at this because your answers will go a long way to determine whether you will be called for the next stage which is the 3M Aptitude Test.  The aptitude test is provided by Saville and is in 2 parts; numerical and verbal reasoning.  After this comes the telephone interview.  You might want to be well ground with you STAR method of answering interview questions to shine in this.  Most of the questions in this stage will be competency based.  If you have succeeded so far, you will be invited to the assessment centre where the aptitude test will be administered again along with 3M interview, case study and 3M presentation, and 3M group exercises.

  1. Publix Super Markets.

The test for Publix Super Markets is in the form of interview.  The questions are competency based; assessing both the personality and skills of the applicant.

  1. Tullett Prebon

To be employed in this UK’s brokerage giant, an applicant will have to pass standard SHL numerical test, after which follows series of interviews.

  1. Capital One Financial

Capital One is one of the US bank holdings specialising in credit card and bank loans.  The entry tests into this company are provided by SHL.  The first is a personality test in which applicants fill a questionnaire, while the second is an ability test which involves both numerical and verbal reasoning.  Successful candidates in these tests are invited to an interview and then the assessment centre.

  1. Raytheon

For Raytheon, the order is; application, phone interview, tests and assessment centre.  The phone interview is focused on competency questions, while the tests are basically numerical and verbal reasoning.  At the assessment centre, you will participate in an in-person interview, group exercises and presentation.

  1. Union Pacific

If you are applying for Union pacific, depending on the job function you are applying for, you may have to undergo a one-on-one interview, a group interview, panel interview, skill test, personality test, drug screening and background check.

  1. Ernst and Young

There are 3 main stages for Ernst and Young recruitment; the application, the psychometric test and the assessment centre.  The psychometric test is provided by Saville Consulting Group and is usually online numerical, verbal and diagrammatic tests.  And you should know that you will also have to answer a seemingly more difficult version of the tests at assessment centre.  Other activities at the assessment centre include group exercise, interview, role play, case studies and presentations.

  1. Eon

When Eon, the world’s largest supplier of electricity utility, recruits, they employ the services of both SHL and Saville with their tests.  Candidates who are shortlisted from applications will be immediately invited to an online Situational Judgement Test (SJT) by SHL.  If you are successful in the SJT, you will be invited for the online aptitude test supplied by Saville.  The online aptitude test is basically numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning.  Following the tests is the telephone interview, after which is the face-to-face interview.  Competency questions are often asked during the telephone interview, while the face-to-face interview is about technical stuff.  So, only engineering applicant get to participate in it.  Other applicants proceed to the assessment centre which is the final stage of the recruitment.

  1. Exelon

Exelon is among the top 30 companies that use psychometric tests. They always examine candidates’ expertise with its different types like abstract reasoning is used to measure the individuals’ interpretation of how some symbols, or diagrams are arranged, identify a pattern and predict the next pattern.

  1. Duke Energy

As we all know that these tests are used to evaluate the determination, extent of knowledge, common sense and ability to identify certain conditions, Duke Energy relies on them to make everything perfect and suitable for their needs. They examine applicants to the maximum and try to figure out which department will be suitable for them. Duke Energy believes that candidates should be capable of working beyond their expertise in order to show their flexibility

  1. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)

RBS works on the principle that there should be a suitable way to determine level of objectivity and standardization to traditional way of recruitment so that quality of candidates can be improved. With that concept in mind, they used to conduct psychometric tests for removing unconscious bias throughout the selection process.

  1. Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton uses SHL and Kenexa reasoning tests to recruit highly skilled, professional and experienced employees. They use to conduct different tests and interviews to screen candidates based on their resumes and try to find out how worthy they will be for the company.

  1. Australian Defence Force (ADF)

With the growing needs of customers, companies also have to improve their quality of services for which, they need assistance so as to find suitable employees. For this, experts have created psychometric tests and ADF has implemented them to see the results. The Australian Defence Force uses general ability tests from OneTest (test publisher) and mathematical ability tests to shortlist applicants.

  1. Deloitte

The procedure of recruitment in Deloitte is really strict as it uses TalentLens to scan the expertise, abilities and experience of applicants on the basis of their tests and interviews. They have a certain plan to evaluate efficiency so applicants should have to be really careful as they will be going to have tough screening of what they claim.

  1. Southern Company

The name of aptitude tests by Southern Company is EEI Test that comprises of MASS test (for plant maintenance), POSS test (for operating positions), TECH test (for technical positions), CAST test (for professional position), SASS test (for clerical positions) and SO/PD (for power dispatching and system operating positions). Candidates who apply for a certain position have to go through its respective test and need to gain maximum points to get the job.

  1. Ambulance Victoria GAP

The recruitment process of Ambulance Victoria GAP is challenging, long and can take more time than expected to fill the position. Candidates can apply for the ambulance services at any time and test will be conducted as needed. Their test examines candidates on different skills which are necessary to satisfy the needs of a particular position. So, applicants should have to be prepared and willing to take on any challenge.

  1. NextEra Energy

NextEra Energy takes help from pre-employment tests to identify qualified applicants for their openings. These tests and related procedures are same for all candidates and will be conducted by the EEI (Edison Electric Institute) for satisfactory and quality screening.


Psychometric Test Categories (Types) and Formats  

Psychometric tests are used to measure suitability of a candidate for a specific job or academic course. Some organizations also use them for transparency and accountability in decision-making on various aspects of career development for example in promoting individuals to a higher job rung or assessing training needs. The leading companies in financial, transport, energy and engineering businesses employ these tests in searching for talent, underscoring the prominence that these tests have assumed globally. Examples of these groups include Deutsche bank, Deloitte, Fidelity, EDF Energy, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, Jaguar Land Rover, ICAP, Kimberly Clark, Johnson and Johnson, and KPMG, to name a few big employers.

Since these candidates are usually considered for specialized skills, the aptitude tests are tailored to the job requirements. The most common abilities measured are the verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning abilities or aptitudes.

Verbal tests

It measures candidate’s ability to understand verbal description or arguments according to their meaning and draw conclusions. The examination involves reading a passage, and then answering a series of multiple choice questions with “True”, “False”, or “Don’t Know”, based on the information contained in the passage. “Don’t Know” implies that further information is needed to choose the correct answer. A verbal comprehension test(http://www.verbalreasoningtest.org/) focuses more on spelling, grammar, and syntax. It is therefore important that a candidate understands the language in which, a verbal test is offered.

Numerical reasoning tests

It evaluates a candidate’s numerical acumen using facts and figures presented in data tables or graphs. Candidates are assessed for their knowledge of ratios, percentage, costs analyses, trends, currency conversion, etc. Their focus is anchored on the fact that organizations always monitor their performance and need timely decisions as to whether they should change tact through increasing, decreasing or maintaining current practices for optimum productivity, efficiency and minimal losses. What do these graphs tell us? What is the logic behind some number series? Speed and accuracy are important in all the psychometric tests, most users identify numerical reasoning as particularly demanding. Developers of aptitude tests preparation packages such as Graduate Monkey with their premium Aptutorial technique- have therefore identified various strategies, tips and shortcuts that candidates can employ to do the real tests in the shortest time. A key advantage of numerical tests is that unlike the Verbal tests which require deeper comprehension of language, mathematical symbols are universal and can be done with basic understanding of test instructions.

Abstract reasoning tests (Available at: http://www.psychometricinstitute.com.au/Free-Aptitude-Tests.asp)

It is also known as the conceptual reasoning test where, it only needs one to observe a range of diagrams/symbols, identify an emergent pattern and based on this, predict what the next pattern would be. It is based on logic and does not exert language demands on the candidates.

Abstract reasoning test tutorial offered by Graduate Monkey is really a good source to strengthen your skills because it uses different diagrams, shapes and symbols to enable test takers determine their intelligence. They have to compare different images in order to find the logic behind their creation and then have to give their solution. Just because of these features, Abstract reasoning test is also referred to as Non-verbal reasoning,logical reasoning or inductive reasoning test.

Formats of Psychometric tests

Aptitude tests come with different levels of difficulty depending on the education/knowledge of an individual in the organization e.g. a senior management level would have to take more advanced test compared to a junior, clerical officer.  Common formats are SHL, Kenexa, Saville, TalentLens, Cubiks and TalentQ. The key difference in the formats is based on the fact that some test for only one ability e.g. numeric while other combine the tests.

A document providing an overview of SHL tests summarizes the range of tests according to organizational roles (http://ceb.shl.com/assets/SHL_Overview_of_Ability_Tests.pdf). These tests are offered to (in ascending order) Semi-skilled, Technical staff, Administrative and clerical staff, information technology, sales, customer and call centre, Junior managers and supervisors, managers, professionals and graduates and finally, directors and senior managers. The tests offered include Work Skills series- (Transport and production, manual dexterity and finger dexterity); applied technology series, personnel test battery, Customer Contact Aptitude, Critical Reasoning, Management and Graduate item bank and Advanced managerial tests. SHL offers all the aforementioned abilities (verbal, abstract and numerical reasoning abilities). Different tests may combine evaluation of these abilities, so for example, the Advanced Managerial Test (senior managers) evaluates only verbal and numerical skills, and is offered only online. On the other hand, the Critical Reasoning Test Battery (junior managers and supervisors) test is used for all the 3 abilities. Semi-skilled workers do have some tests offered as pencil and paper formats. Kenexa tests also evaluate verbal, cognitive and inductive reasoning skills.

Saville reasoning test

This is a package developed by Saville consultants, containing different tests that broadly measure comprehension and technical analysis. In addition to the tests highlighted in SHL section, Saville also includes a technical aptitude test package that contains spatial, mechanical and diagrammatic reasoning.

TalentLens test

It measures an individual’s capabilities using 4 key dimensions which are crucial to improve organizational performance. These are critical thinking, problem-solving, collaborator and team playing.  Critical thinking is appraised using the RED model. A critical thinker will therefore Recognize assumptions in any situation, Evaluate arguments, and Draw solutions (the bold letters form RED). Critical thinking (http://us.talentlens.com/online-testing) is one of the strongest predictors of job success and overall performance.  Problem solving skills are analyzed using Raven’s Progressive Matrices (http://www.raventest.net/). They assess professionals abilities of individuals, “including advanced observation and clear-thinking skills, efficient problem solving, abstract reasoning, and the ability to learn”. Collaborator and team playing skills measure one’s personality and key motivation aspects that enable individuals to fit into their job roles as well as organization’s culture.

Cubiks test

It is an international assessment and development consultancy (http://www.cubiks.com/), with great importance throughout Europe, the United Arabs Emirates, Malaysia and the USA. They pride themselves in offering “culturally sensitive, competency-driven business psychological solutions in over 30 languages”.  Here, three broad test formats are offered: Reasoning for Business ability tests (RfB series) these test Verbal Reasoning,Numerical Reasoning, and Diagrammatic Reasoning and assessments have been designed for two key levels of applications; Managerial & Graduate and Business Support. The RfB suite includes supervised and unsupervised versions and assessments are available in many languages.

The Problem-Solving test series has been designed to assess how quickly and accurately an individual can solve new problems. It, however, only tests one’s ability to solve numerical and verbal problems. Verbal questions assess knowledge Antonyms (candidates have to choose which word from a group of five has the opposite meaning to another word); Deviation from category (one must decide which one of five words has a different meaning from the others); pair of concepts (Do two words considered have the same meaning, the opposite meaning, or neither the same nor the opposite meaning?); Verbal analogy (the candidate has to decide whether the underlying meaning or idea in two statements is the same, the opposite, or neither the same nor the opposite). Finally, Logical reasoning involves the participant deciding whether three considered statements have correct/incorrect logics).

Numerical problems on the other hand cover a series of numbers, simple calculations and complex calculations. In some situations, companies will choose to test clients more than once, and for this reason,

The last test, Logiks General, is an online test that measures an individual’s general cognitive ability. This twelve minute assessment measures a participant’s ability to solve verbal, numerical and abstract problems.

Talent Q is yet another consultancy firm that prides itself with over 50 countries’ coverage and has a huge network of clientele companies such as Virgin Atlantic, Royal Mail Groupo, JT Global, Lloyds Banking Group, Ford, and AstraZeneca. Graduate Monkey can even help you in successfully applying for any of such companies. All you have to do is to take this exam.

TalentQ tests

It focuses on 4 key broad aspects: “personality and motivation”; “Ability”; “Competency-based sifting” and “360-degree feedback”. Personality and motivation tests (https://www.trytalentq.com/) measure an individual’s behavioral preference at work, with a focus on “how staff prefer to manage relationships with others, their approach to work and their sources of energy and motivation”. This is captured through “Dimensions”. Drives, on the other hand, is an online questionnaire focusing on individual’s values and motivations in the work place, and focuses on factors that “stimulate and energize individuals in their daily working lives” (https://www.talentqgroup.com/assessments/).

Ability is measured with the help of two tests: “Aspects ability” and “Elements”. Aspects ability measures verbal, numerical and checking skills and is useful for recruiting frontline, customer service and sales staff. On the other hand, “Elements” measure verbal, numerical and logical reasoning and is suitable primarily for graduate, professional, managerial and executive level roles.

Competency-based sifting measures behavioral preferences at work in relation to the most relevant competencies for the job, through “aspects styles”. Lastly, 360-degree feedback is a “MultiView (http://m.mcn.com.au/multiview/)”, competency-based feedback questionnaire that identifies strengths and development needs of employees. It aims to facilitate performance improvement.

Psychometric interviews can be done in different ways, depending on how the tests are designed.  Some tests can only be done online while others are pen and paper based. This, therefore, means that in some instances, one can get instant feedback on performance while in others, candidates have to wait for their results. Requirements differ too- whereas some tests allow use of tools such as calculators, in others, these are prohibited. Since they are primarily meant to objectively identify the most suitable candidates from many competitors, these tests usually give lesser time to answer all of the questions and some candidates complained about this factor. Optimum conditions for gauging one’s prowess are set during this examination- quiet, well lighted rooms and clear instructions to avoid ambiguity. Overall it is assumed that candidates sitting in these tests are in good health.  The evaluators have the discretion to define a pass mark, and in some instances, use other criteria when none of the candidates achieve the set threshold. Numerous sites such as Graduate Monkey, SHL online and Psychometric institute have developed resources that applicants of aptitude tests can use to prepare for the real test.  Some packages are accessed at a fee e.g. £19 while others are offered free of charge.

Major companies that use aptitude tests to recruit employees


aptitude test tutorial, practice aptitude test, practice numerical reasoning

Most of the multinational companies today use aptitude tests to screen potential job applicants as a standard practice. These tests therefore have become an integral part of the entire interview process. Nowadays, it goes without saying that any job vacancy will attract a considerable number of potential candidates. Institutions such as banks and consulting firms carry out pre-screening tests to reduce the number of job applicants to a more manageable size. Those selected are then subjected to a more rigorous screening phase. By doing so, companies are able to identify the most qualified candidate for a given position, one who is most likely to perform well on that job.

There are many companies that use aptitude tests to recruit employees. One such company is the PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PwC).  This company is one of the big four accounting and auditing firms, and it is the biggest of its kind in the world.  Job application process at PwC involves several stages. Stage two of the job application procedure in this company is the aptitude test.  At this stage, the candidate is subjected to numerical reasoning test, inductive reasoning tests and/or verbal reasoning testsThe type(s) of reasoning tests you undertake depend(s) on the service line you have applied to. When applying for a position at PwC, you need the necessary information as well as proper guidance in advance. You should not assume that it is possible to successfully guess your way through the entire aptitude test as you will be sorely mistaken.

Another company that uses aptitude tests is KMPG.  This company is also one of the big four accounting and audit firms. At KMPG, you will be subjected to numerical reasoning test made up of 24 questions and need to be completed in 20 minutes. Other tests you will encounter at KMPG are verbal reasoning tests and situational judgment test. All these tests are from Cubiks and are offered online at your convenience. It is important to get an understanding of what each of these tests involve way before the interview.

Deloitte is yet another company in this category. Just like the other big four accounting and auditing companies, job application at Deloitte involves several stages. Successful job applicants in this company are subjected to psychometric tests provided by Kenexa. These tests include the Deloitte numerical test, and Deloitte kenexa verbal reasoning test. In the numerical reasoning test, the candidate is provided with financial and numerical data which could be presented in the form of graphs, tables, and possibly information in a paragraph. The candidate is then asked a question and given four or five different options to choose from as the correct answer.  The verbal reasoning test on the other hand assesses one’s comprehension ability. You will be given a paragraph of information with a number of different facts. You will then be required to answer questions by using your analytical and comprehension skills to deduce the answer from the text.

Earnst and Young is not much different from the other three accounting firms mentioned above. Anyone aspiring to work for this company should expect tests such as diagrammatic reasoning test, verbal reasoning test as well as numerical reasoning test. Each of these tests consists of 8 questions to be answered in 6 minutes. Each test is immediately followed by the next one. All these tests are supplied by Saville Consulting firm and are offered online.

JP Morgan offers global banking and financial services to meet the needs of governments, corporations, financial institutions, private firms and individuals. This banking institution employs over 70,000 people globally. Applying for a job at the world renowned JP Morgan is a complicated and complex process that needs adequate preparation and guidance. In your recruitment journey at JP Morgan, you will encounter numerical reasoning tests, verbal reasoning tests, inductive reasoning test and situational judgment test. These are either administered through SHL or Kenexa (formerly PSL test format).  It is mandatory that you pass each of these tests to have an opportunity for interview.

If you are interested in working for Bank of America, there are many steps in the job application process which candidates have to go through in order to have that prized job offer. The bank subjects its candidates to Merrill Lynch numerical test online. This involves answering 20 questions in a 20 minutes time frame (Kenexa test format).

Other institution that use aptitude tests are: Mitshubishi, Credit Suisse, UBS, Atkins, and Boston consulting among others.  It is important to know whether the company you are applying to work for offers employment aptitude test as a requirement in the recruitment process. You also need to prepare adequately for the test before the interview. It is also important to bear in mind that these tests may not be like anything you have undertaken in the past. This might not necessarily be true in terms of skill level but in format in which the test questions are presented. The nature of aptitude tests require you to work under severe time constraints and this often produces results that you didn’t expect and forces you to make mistakes. However, pressures which come with limited time can easily be overcome with proper guidance and preparation. Graduate monkey has aptutorial packages which can provide you with an understanding of how these tests work and what you need to do to compete with the best.

Aptitude Test Practice Makes Perfect

Nowadays, scoring well in aptitude tests is gaining a lot of importance more than ever before for graduates and job applicants seeking to work for major graduate employers such as banks and accounting firms. This is because aptitude testing has become an integral part in the job recruitment process. As soon as you have clicked “send” on the online job application form, odds are that you will be promptly invited to take some online verbal and numerical reasoning tests. For those applying for more specialized roles, say IT or financial modeling perhaps, you will probably be required to take diagrammatic reasoning tests as well. Candidates must show ability to complete the numerical reasoning aptitude test, verbal reasoning aptitude test and diagrammatic reasoning aptitude tests quickly and carefully in order to qualify for the next stage of the job in question. In most cases, aptitude testing is the first stage in the screening process. If you succeed in this stage you will progress further to other interview rounds. However, don’t be surprised when you are subjected to further tests. It is therefore important to practice these tests way before the actual test.

Aptitude tests can strike fear at times even to the most confident student. It is important to note that almost everybody is likely to face an aptitude test at some stage in their life. It is therefore wiser to face the fear now and find out what these tests involve than crossing your fingers and waiting for the worst.  Whenever you fail to prepare you prepare to fail.

Let’s take numerical reasoning aptitude tests for example. Apart from knowledge on simple arithmetic, this test requires you to have a strong grasp of pie charts, tables and graphs. The types of questions asked need not the candidate to have crammed complex equations and formulas. They can easily be mastered through regular practice of aptitude tests. Once you have practiced numerical reasoning aptitude tests several times, the format will stick to your mind and you will have better chances for passing the numerical reasoning aptitude tests. As a matter of fact the format may become a second nature to you and you may not have any difficulty in them anymore.

Every candidate should understand that employers are looking to check if the best candidate is committed enough to have had gone an extra mile and had prepared for the assessments properly. The employer is not testing the level of your IQ but your dedication to high standards of performance and perseverance.

Verbal reasoning tests on the other hand are used to test candidate’s comprehension ability. The candidate might be presented with a short passage on any subject and required to read a short statement and state if it is true or false. It requires one to have a lot of practice in this area in order to pass the test. Practicing aptitude tests online have proven to improve the test scores of many candidate significantly. They help the candidate to know what the examiner is looking for and when the candidates know what the examiner is looking for then the tests prove more than manageable.

Abstract (or non-verbal logical) reasoning aptitude tests are used to test the ability of a candidate to follow logical sequences. Just like numerical reasoning aptitude test and verbal reasoning aptitude tests, practicing diagrammatic reasoning aptitude tests can help candidates improve their test scores significantly. It is important not to overthink diagrammatic reasoning aptitude test. Following the “gut instinct” is the most effective method for passing these aptitude tests.

Aptitude tests are used by the employer to distinguish the best and the most appropriate candidate for any job. These days, it is not enough to have impressive exam results and multiple extracurricular activities in order to secure your ideal job.  You need to master aptitude tests by practicing aptitude tests online in order to succeed and rein in today’s contemporary and competitive job market.

aptitude test tutorial

aptitude test tutorial, Aptutorial

Your chances of securing your dream job increase with a higher score on the test.  To achieve higher scores, ensure that you concentrate on aptitude tests that are most challenging to you and that is of most difficulty to others.

It is not so much about how difficult the aptitude test questions are but the time pressure of answering as many questions as possible in the shortest time possible. It goes without saying that the more you practice answering aptitude tests, the easier it will be. Some test publishers such incorporate negative marking (for incorrect answers) in the aptitude tests they offer. This means that the candidate will have to work quickly but systematically so if they make a wrong guess they may pay for it dearly.  Graduate Monkey offers Aptutorial Packages and test preparation packs to help you prepare for your aptitude test in most comprehensive way.  In sum, it may be worth investing your time in making use of the available resources online to prepare you for the test and launch you into your long-awaited career.

How to prepare for your aptitude tests


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!

Why Large companies Use Aptitude tests?

Why Large companies Use Aptitude tests?

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Many organizations worldwide have incorporated aptitude tests in the recruitment process particularly for graduate jobs. This is because depending on the job, graduate recruitment tends to attract thousands of job applicants especially when advertised online. This could partly due to the rapid development of online social networking sites where organizations or individuals can share job vacancies to interested parties free of charge (save for the time taken to post!). Consequently, the hiring company would be overwhelmed by the sheer number of applications. Hiring graduates could be tricky particularly in situations where all have papers that meet minimum requirements e.g. a distinction in chemistry. A way has to be found through which a smaller number of applicants is selected to go to the final interview panel.

Companies have therefore employed various forms of graduate online aptitude tests to help downsize the number of applicants. These graduate ability tests/ aptitude test for recruitment/incorporate various questions that test for specific skills sets and knowledge. Getting a distinction does not mean one can do what he purports to. Online sites have been developed to support candidates in preparing for company aptitude tests.  Popular practice test packages include Kenexa reasoning tests and Cubiks test. These tests contain sample aptitude tests for graduates that measure numerical, verbal and logical reasoning albeit using different test terminology.

Graduate test preparation also benefits from access to recruitment test tutorials that are constructed very similarly to the ‘real thing’. These are materials that contain questions popularly asked in these exams but most importantly, invaluable tips of answering them in a timely manner. Some sites do provide free graduate test videos to enrich the learning experience.

A google search of “list of large companies that use aptitude tests” returns more than a million hits, perhaps as an indication of just how widespread these tests for job recruitment are. Some of the companies listed in one of the hits (http://www.practiceshltests.com/list-of-companies-using-shl-aptitude-tests) include: Barclays capital, Betfair, BNP Paribas, British Airways, Capital One and Centrica.

Others are: Danone, Deloitte, Deustche bank, EDF Energy, Fidessa, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, ICAP, Jaguar Landrover, Johnson and Johnson, Kimberly Clark, and KPMG.  Lloyds Banking group, London Stock Exchange, M&G Investments, Moore Stephens, Natwest, Nomura, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), PZ Cussons and Rio Tinto also employ aptitude tests. Also in the list are: Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Smith ad Williamson, Tesco, Thales Group, Thames Water, Transport for London (TFL), TUI Travel (Thomson and First Choice Holidays), TulletPrebon, and Yorkshire Water.

Evidently, aptitude tests are used by a wide range of organizations. Financial institutions dominate the pack but transport companies and companies in the energy and water sectors also employ these tests. An important feature of these companies is that they are the dream career destinations for many graduates. This implies that with the advancement of platforms for knowledge sharing and social networking sites, many college students will increasingly line up for these jobs therefore the aptitude tests will increasingly be employed around the world.

If you are going to apply for a job and want to have tips about successfully passing your recruitment aptitude test, then you should have to be familiar with the nature of job along with gathering some relevant skills. Also, you should be confident within yourself and have faith in your expertise. You can also take sample graduate online test to have an idea about questions and your insight on the subject.

Comparative analysis of your skills, academic background, career guidance tests evaluation and past experience is also important to qualify for a job. Other things that companies determine from the graduate test include your hobbies, family support, preferred work environment, age, personality, and ethical values. All these factors help companies to shortlist their desired candidates and evaluate on the basis of their performance in past jobs and efficiency. Normally, companies have certain requirements of age and experience and they create tests according to the expertise or mind set of candidates. Like there are some tests for senior citizens where they are required to answer different questions associated with their past lives. They are inclined towards emotional quotient as the people, taking tests, have achieved a lot of success in their professional lives.

Technology changes, preferences change. It, therefore, goes that aptitude tests will change. New concepts will surface. New terminology like “aptutorial”, coined by Graduate Monkey; will inevitably become lingua franca for job and college applicants. This could ultimately shift the cost of hiring graduates on to the candidates themselves since these tests are not entirely free of charge. However, given that these tests could be the “mountain” standing between the graduates and their dream jobs, all efforts to secure a seat at the interview panel are worth the pain.

Is Aptitude really a myth?

The fact that one can prepare and improve their score on almost all types of aptitude tests raises an important question. Does what they call aptitude tests really measure your aptitude level? Let’s review the definition of what aptitude is.

An aptitude test is, generally, any test designed to measure one’s potential for achievement. The word aptitude is sometimes misused to mean ‘ability’ or ‘achievement’; however, there is a subtle difference between the three words aptitude, ability and achievement, which can be distinguished as follows:
aptitude – how quickly or easily you will be able to learn in the future;
ability – what you are able to demonstrate in the present;
• achievement – what you have accomplished in the past.
There are nine different types of aptitude, which may be summarized
as follows:
• General learning: learning and understanding, reasoning and making judgements. Example: how well we achieve at school.
Verbal aptitude: general lexical skills – understanding words and using them effectively.
Numerical aptitude: general mathematical skills – working with numbers quickly and accurately.
• Spatial aptitude: understanding geometric forms, and the understanding and identification of patterns and their meaning. Example: understanding how to construct a flatpack piece of furniture from a set of instructions.
• Form perception: inspecting and perceiving details in objects, and making visual comparisons between shapes. Examples:
studying an object under a microscope, and quality inspection of goods.
• Clerical perception: reading, analysing and obtaining details from written data or tabulated material. Examples: proofreading,
analysing reports and understanding graphs.
• Motor coordination: eye and hand coordination, and making quick and accurate rapid movement responses. Examples: actually being able to assemble the flat-pack piece of furniture once you have understood how it should be done, being able
to operate a computer keyboard quickly and accurately, and sporting skills.
• Finger dexterity: manipulating small objects quickly and accurately. Examples: playing a musical instrument, and sewing.
• Manual dexterity: the skill of being able to work with your hands. Examples: painting and decorating, building things
and operating machinery.

In the case of most aptitude tests there is usually a set time limit, which must be strictly adhered to in order for the test to be valid,
and there is usually an average score that has been standardized in comparison with the scores of a group of people who have
taken the same test.

In sum, either aptitude itself a fluid concept and it can be influenced through learning and practice OR no one really has a pure aptitude but what we have is hybrid form of constantly evolving ability combined with only minimal innate abilities.

Regardless of which one of the above is really true, you can always improve your test by using one or more of our aptutorials (aptitude test tutorials).