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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.

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Psychometric Test Categories (Types) and Formats

shl reasoning test, kenexa reasoning test, cubiks test, abstract reasoning, numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning

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.

How to Pass Graduate Recruitment Tests?

How to Pass Graduate Recruitment Tests?GM_comics RESIZED

So you’re fresh out of school and applying for the job you’ve spent the last few years studying and preparing for. You’ve got the lambskin diploma to back you up. But you’re not out of the woods yet.

Because as it turns out, as you start applying to a graduate job, many of your employers are going to require something from you as a graduate recruit – a graduate recruitment test or, a company aptitude test.

Typically, aptitude tests are meant to test you on a variety of topics that your employer feels you’ll need when you take on the job you’re applying for. One of the most common types of tests you’ll be taking- the SHL reasoning test– comes with a variety of sections, including ones that cover numerical reasoning, logical reasoning, abstract reasoning, and diagrammatic reasoning. You might also be expected to complete the Saville reasoning test – which covers a wide variety of logical reasoning questions.

In short, your employer wants to make sure that you’ve got a basic handle on all the skills and smarts that the job requires. And for many employers, aptitude tests are almost like you’re being slotted on the first day of the job – all without clocking you in. It’s an easy way to know for sure if you’re the right person for the position.

With how important recruitment aptitude tests can be, it’s imperative to make sure that you’ve got a good handle on the material involved. And if you remember anything from your days back in university, you understand the importance of studying and preparing yourself for all kinds of exams. Aptitude test preparation is of utmost importance.

The number of questions varies from test to test. For example, the typical SHL numerical reasoning exam might have anywhere from 18 questions while an inductive reasoning exam might have about 24 questions. Chances are, you’ll have anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes to complete each exam and answer test questions, depending on how many questions it has and the subject matter.

Before you take your exam, it helps to have a good night’s sleep and a well-rounded breakfast. These aptitude tests may be shorter than your midterms and final exams back at university were, but they’re no less important. After all, how well you do on an aptitude test might affect whether or not a prospective employer will want to hire you.

There’s a ton of resources out there designed to help you feel better prepared for taking recruitment aptitude tests. For one, there are recruitment Graduate Monkey test tutorials that will help guide you step by step through various aptitude tests. Websites like aptutorial, Graduatemonkey.com and jobtestprep.co.uk have video tutorials designed to give you a good idea of what to expect when you take the exam.

There are also numerous websites out there that offer aptitude test preparation material, workbooks, and even practice tests to help you hone your skills.

Graduate Monkey, for instance, offers aptitude test preparation guides on a 4-month subscription basis. They also offer free recruitment test tutorials and videos designed to give you a good idea of what to expect and help you optimize your chances of finding your ideal career.

Well, you’ve got the resources. So what do you do?

Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for your test. Cramming for your aptitude test in only one night before you take it won’t do you any favors.

Give yourself ample study time.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to take lots of notes and highlights passages- pick yourself up an aptitude test preparation work book. Then you can mark all the passages you need to and highlight any terms that you need to focus on.

Taking a practice test, whether that’s online or in a workbook, will do wonders for helping you prepare for the kinds of questions that will be asked on the aptitude test. Pay attention to any kinds of questions you had trouble with or got wrong- you’ll want to make sure you have a better understanding of these kinds of questions when you go to take your aptitude test.

When you’re testing for the aptitude exam, there are a few things to keep in mind.

For one, don’t leave questions unanswered. Most aptitude exams are multiple choice. If you’re confused about a question and you’re not sure what the answer is, sometimes it’s okay to guess the answer on the test, unless you’re told otherwise.

And when your aptitude test is scored, what tends to happen is, employers won’t take into account your complete score but instead how well you measure up to other applicants and people with similar backgrounds to you.

So when you take an aptitude test, it is key that you prepare yourself so you’re better able to ace the exam. After all, the best employee is a well prepared one, whether that’s on the job or while you’re testing.