Psychometric tests are commonly used by employers and educational institutions as a way to evaluate the cognitive abilities, personalities, and attitudes of candidates. These tests can be challenging, as they assess a wide range of skills and traits in a limited amount of time.
In this article, we will provide a comprehensive guide to psychometric tests, including an overview of the test types, how to approach them, and free practice materials to help you prepare. This guide will provide you with the knowledge and tools to master these tests and improve your chances of success.
What is a psychometric test?
Psychometric tests are assessments that measure various cognitive abilities, personality traits, and emotional intelligence. The tests typically consist of a series of standardized questions and tasks designed to measure cognitive abilities, personality traits, and other factors that may be relevant to the purpose of the assessment.
These tests are becoming increasingly popular among employers in various industries. Over half of the employers—56 percent—use pre-employment examinations to evaluate job candidates' knowledge, skills, and talents, according to the SHRM study of 1,688 participants. Some popular psychometric tests used by employers include the Hogan Personality Inventory, Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal, and Caliper Profile for personality, critical thinking, and job-fit assessments.
When do you have to take psychometric tests?
Psychometric tests are commonly used in a variety of contexts, including for job assessments, career orientation, and diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in the psychology field.
For pre-employment assessment, psychometric tests are frequently used as part of the recruitment process to give insights into the candidates' cognitive abilities, personality traits, and other factors relevant to job performance and how well they suit the position and companies.
For career development, psychometric tests can also be used to help individuals explore the career paths that may be a good fit for their personality, interests, strengths and weakness. The Strong Interest Inventory and the Holland Occupational Themes assessment are commonly-used tests for this purpose.
For clinical purposes, psychometric tests are also used by psychologists as part of the diagnostic and therapeutic process for mental health conditions.
Psychometric test is a powerful tool designed to measure a variety of psychological qualities. These traits include cognitive ability, personality traits, aptitude, skills, personal attitudes, behaviors, and core values.
- Cognitive ability: a person's mental processing capabilities and reasoning skills, including verbal, numerical, spatial, and logical reasoning.
- Personality traits tests: a person's characteristics, behaviors, motivations, and attitudes that make up their personality.
- Aptitude: a person's potential to learn and succeed in specific areas, such as abstract thinking, and problem-solving skills.
- Skills: a person's knowledge, abilities, and experience in specific areas, such as software proficiency, language skills, and general knowledge.
- Personal attitudes, behaviors, and core values: a person's personal beliefs, values, and moral compass, as well as their decision-making processes and overall outlook on life.
Graphic: What qualities does a psychometric test assess?
- Cognitive ability: verbal, numerical, spatial, and logical reasoning.
- Personality traits tests: characteristics, behaviors, motivations, and attitudes.
- Aptitude: the potential to learn and succeed in specific areas
- Skills: knowledge and experience in specific areas
- Personal attitudes, behaviors, and core values: a person's personal beliefs, values, and moral compass.
Overall, psychometric tests provide employers, educators, and counselors with a more accurate and comprehensive understanding of a person's strengths and limitations, helping them make better-informed decisions and recommendations regarding candidate selection, counseling, or psychological diagnosis.
Psychometric tests come in various formats, each with its own unique style of assessment. Here are some of the most common formats:
- Multiple-choice questions: a set of questions with several answer options, of which only one is correct.
- True or false questions: a series of statements, where test-takers need to choose whether the statement is true or false.
- Game-based assessments: a series of games or puzzles designed to measure specific cognitive abilities.
- Performance-based assessment: requires test-takers to do a specific task, such as typing, error-checking, programming, or completing a set of math problems.
- In-basket exercises: a simulation of a real-life work situation where the test-taker is given a set of tasks to complete within a specific time frame.
In the pre-employment process, these psychometric tests are mostly standardized - which means that the employers expect certain behaviors and qualities from the test-takers. In addition, regardless of the format, the end goal of the psychometric tests is to determine whether the candidates possess the necessary qualities for the job. Therefore, if you are preparing for the psychometric, you should focus on developing the skills (cognitive and job skills) that can be applied to any test format.
Generally, psychometric tests can be categorized into three types: aptitude tests, personality profiling tests, and EQ & IQ tests. Let’s have a closer look at each type.
Aptitude tests are the assessment used to evaluate an individual's potential to succeed in a particular field or job. Aptitude tests can consist of:
- Cognitive skills test, which measures an individual's thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving abilities. The common test types for cognitive skills include numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, deductive reasoning, and inductive reasoning test.
- Job skills test, which assesses a candidate's ability to perform job-specific tasks and duties. The skills to be assessed are varied based on the nature of the job description. Some of the tests are mechanical reasoning or error-checking test.
Personality and Behavior Profiling Test
Personality profiling tests measure an individual's personality traits and help examiners understand how a test-taker might approach their work and life decisions. Some common personality profiling test includes:
- Personality test, such as Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), categorizes individuals into personality types based on how they perceive the world and make decisions.
- Situational Judgment Test (SJT) evaluates an individual's judgment, strengths, and weaknesses in a decision-making work scenario.
EQ and IQ Test
EQ and IQ tests are assessments used to measure emotional intelligence and intellectual abilities, respectively.
- Emotional intelligence (EQ) test measures an individual's emotional intelligence and ability to understand and manage their emotions.
- Intelligence quotient (IQ) test measures cognitive ability, including problem-solving, critical thinking, and learning potential.
Key takeaway: Each type of psychometric assessment has its own unique purpose and set of benefits. By understanding the different types of psychometric assessments available, individuals can better prepare for the specific test they will be taking and have a better understanding of what the results may mean.
Since each test type has different formats, purposes, and requirements, it is vital to have suitable approaches for each type of test. We will give you a brief guide to prepare for each type of psychometric test.
Prepare for the aptitude test
Aptitude tests can be challenging, but with the right preparation, you can increase your chances of success. Here are some tips you can take to prepare for your aptitude test:
- Research the test formats and types you will take: Understanding the format and types of tests can help you develop a study plan that is tailored to your needs. Take practice tests to familiarize yourself with the types of questions you may face.
- Understand the strategies to approach each test type: Knowing the different strategies and techniques to approach each type of test can help you improve your accuracy and speed. For example, for numerical reasoning tests, learn how to use ratios and percentages to quickly solve problems.
- Practice and learn from mistakes: Practicing with sample tests can help you identify your weaknesses and improve your performance. Review your mistakes and understand why you got them wrong. This will help you avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
- Improve time management skills: Practice with time limits and work on increasing your reading speed to answer questions quickly and accurately. With these strategies, you can boost your confidence and perform your best on your aptitude test.
MConsultingPrep can help you with your preparation with our All-inclusive Aptitude Test package.
- With over 1000 questions covering numerical, verbal, deductive, and inductive reasoning, you'll have plenty of opportunities to practice and perfect your skills.
- Our detailed study guide with expert strategies and tips will help you approach each type of question with confidence.
- Our practice tests feature time limits and step-by-step explanations. Hence, you can identify your strengths and areas of improvement, ensuring that you're fully prepared to ace your aptitude test.
Prepare for the personality profiling test
Personality profiling test can be not as mentally demanding as aptitude tests, but there are preparation needed to show how your qualities align with the company's culture and the job description. Here are some tips to help you prepare for the personality profiling test.
- Examine your job description and company culture: You should have a clear understanding of the job role and the company's culture. This knowledge will help you to answer the questions based on how your personality aligns with the job and company culture.
- Align the answers between your personality and company culture: It is essential to answer the questions based on how your personality aligns with the company's culture and the job description. Reflect on your own qualities and which ones you demonstrate for the specific roles and company culture.
- Don’t make up your personality: It is essential to be honest when answering the questions. Trying to manipulate the test by making up your personality to suit the job or the company's culture may backfire. Most personality profiling tests have a built-in lie detector, and any attempt to manipulate the test will be evident in the results.
- Practice with mock test: Familiarizing yourself with the test format can help you focus on reflecting on your own personality and know what to demonstrate during the real test. There are online tests available to you to use such as 16Personalities MBTI test or Big Five Personality Test.
Prepare for EQ and IQ test
Preparing for the EQ and IQ test can seem daunting, but there are ways to improve your chances of success. Here are some tips to help you prepare for both types of tests.
- Take practice tests: You should practice with mock tests to get used to the format of the EQ and IQ.
- Improve your reading and comprehension skills: Both the EQ and IQ tests require strong reading and comprehension skills, so it's important to practice these skills as much as possible. Read a variety of materials, including academic and technical texts, to build up your vocabulary and work on summarizing what you've read.
- Work on your math skills: The IQ test often includes math questions, so it's important to brush up on your math skills. Practice basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry to improve your chances of success.
- Practice mindfulness: The EQ test assesses emotional intelligence, so it's important to work on mindfulness and self-awareness. Practice meditation or other mindfulness exercises to help you become more aware of your own emotions and better understand the emotions of others.
Can I prepare the psychometric test in one day?
It’s not unlikely, but in reality, learning psychometric tests in one day is extremely difficult. The psychometric tests cover a wide range of test types, measuring various skills and abilities. In particular, the aptitude tests often the most challenging part to prepare since the skills takes more effort to acquire. MConsultingPrep recommend you to start with preparing for aptitude test and skill test first. We have a full article on learning aptitude test in one day.
Currently, there are various popular psychometric test publishers in the industry (both aptitude tests and personality tests), including:
Knowing the test providers that administrate the psychometric test for the company will help you be aware of what you will face in your actual test. You can check out the details of question types, approaches, and how to pass each test in the above article.
MConsultingPrep has a lot of free resources to help you with your preparation for the psychometric test. Take a look at our list here.
Free aptitude test
Check out our free trial Aptitude Test here. This free test covers numerical, verbal, deductive, and inductive reasoning tests. Each practice test comes with a time limit, scoring, and a full answer guide for each question for your review and learning.
Free guide for aptitude test
- Guide to Numerical Reasoning Test
- Guide to Verbal Reasoning Test
- Guide to Deductive Reasoning Test
- Guide to Inductive Reasoning Test / Abstract Reasoning Test
- Guide to Spatial Reasoning Test
Free guide for personality test
Companies’ online assessment: You can research on the online assessment formats and question types from each company
Is a psychometric test an IQ test
Not necessarily. A psychometric test is a broader category of tests that assesses cognitive abilities, personality traits, and other characteristics that may impact job performance. IQ tests are specific type of psychometric test that measures intelligence.
Is the psychometric assessment hard?
The level of difficulty of psychometric tests can vary depending on the type of test and the purpose for which it's used. However, from the insider’s perspective, psychometric tests can pose quite a challenge to those who take them due to the pressing time limit and various skills to be tested. It's important to prepare for the test, and at the same time, approach it with a clear objective and a positive mindset.
What is the passing score for aptitude tests?
There's no fixed passing score for aptitude tests, as the scores are usually interpreted in the context of the specific job or program you're applying for. The hiring manager or recruiter will typically consider your test results alongside other factors, such as your resume, work experience, and interview performance, to make an overall hiring decision.
Can you fail a psychometric test?
It's not a matter of passing or failing a psychometric test. The test measures your abilities, skills, personality traits, and values, which are neither good nor bad. However, you can receive a low score in a particular area or skill, which may affect your job prospects. It's important to remember that the psychometric test is just one part of the overall recruitment or selection process, and it's always worth following up with the recruiter or hiring manager if you have concerns about your scores.