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Many graduate employers use psychometric tests as part of the recruitment process. A range of tests is often used to determine the skills, knowledge, personality and behaviour of applicants, helping to identify the strongest candidates.

Get prepared before the interview by practising different types of psychometric tests to give yourself the best chance for success. Assessments include verbal and abstract reasoning, numerical problem-solving, personality and learning styles.






What are psychometric tests?

This is the term applied generally to both personality questionnaires and ability tests which organisations will often use during their assessment of students.

Such assessments occur online at an early stage of the application process, but can also be reproduced during an assessment day - either as a further test or to validate that the online test was taken appropriately.

Ability tests typically include verbal, numerical, and logical reasoning. You may also be asked to complete situational judgement tests and e-tray or in-tray exercises.

Personality questionnaires do not have 'right or wrong' answers, and you should answer genuinely without attempting to anticipate the most desirable response. They are used by organisations to gain an insight into your personal preferences, working style, and likely behaviour within potential roles, and to see if you will be a good fit for their organisation. Your results might be compared to the profiles of existing employees doing similar jobs 'fully and well'.

Practicing tests (see below) will improve your results. Results are compared with a "norm group” of graduates who have taken the same test and a "pass” mark set by the recruiting organisation. Unlike straight percentage scores, this can vary depending on how high the organisation wishes to set its entry mark.

Practice psychometric tests

The Careers Service subscribes to several leading test suppliers and as a current student or member of staff you can use them for free.

The Careers Service pays for the following tests on your behalf:

Profiling for Success

This provides examples of a personality questionnaire similar to Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), and a range of numerical, verbal, and diagrammatic tests. Some of the tests are accompanied by online tutorials, giving you the chance to practice and learn before taking the test. It also has a careers interest questionnaire. Now includes examples of EIQ (Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire) and RSQ (Resilience Scales Questionnaire).

Graduates First

Graduates First allows you to practice a wide variety of tests in timed conditions. You'll be able to view your result as a percentile of other candidates and  get feedback on the questions and areas where you didn't perform as well.  You'll also be able to access numerous short videos with expert advice on how to approach the tests, and tips for success. 

Additional practice tests

Some are free, some you will be asked to pay for:

Disability and psychometric testing

There are guidelines to be followed by organisations when testing students with disabilities (including dyslexia).

Good practice, as defined by the British Psychological Society, is that you should be asked about any disability and how you cope with it, and provision should be made for the testing to be effectively carried out (including the provision of additional time or other reasonable adjustments if required).  For some individuals psychometrics tests are not an effective way of assessing their abilities and an employer may allow candidates to go straight to interview.

A full description of what organisations should consider offering by way of alternative arrangements;  OPP - Disability Guidelines

A recent appeal (04/05/2017) to the Employment Appeals Tribunal concerned provision for an applicant with Asperger's syndrome sitting an online situational judgement test. (The Claimant argued that because of her Asperger's she was unlawfully disadvantaged by the multiple choice method of testing and that she should have been permitted to answer the questions in the form of short narrative written answers.) The Tribunal found that the Claimant had been indirectly discriminated against, and that she had been treated unfavourably because of something arising in consequence of her disability.

If you would like to know more about psychometric tests and disability, there is a guide