We have had a number of queries recently from students looking for help preparing for employer tests. Some students have even asked us whether it is worth paying for practice tests. So I thought it was worth a reminder that the Careers Service offers free test practice via Graduates First for both current students and graduates. Lets explore what employer tests have to involve and what Graduates First has to offer!
Psychometric tests, recruitment assessments, employer tests.... what are they?
There are a variety of different terms floating about to refer to these types of tests. They are tests employers use to assess a variety of different abilities, aptitudes or traits. There are four key types:
- ability or cognitive
Each of these types can include a variety of different tests. You might have heard of numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, situational judgement or in-tray exercise to name a few. Different employers also might use similar tests, but be looking for entirely different things. This is particularly true of personality tests where there won't be a universally correct answer.
We have more advice on how to approach these tests and more information on the different types. Go to Types of psychometric and occupational tests and how to prepare for them.
However our top advice for getting to grips is to practice, practice practice! Both to get familiar with how the tests work and to identify where you can make improvements. This can particularly be true of some of the basic maths skills you might need for numerical reasoning (if this is something you are struggling with then MASH can help). Practice makes perfect and Graduates First gives you the opportunity to do just that.
Graduates First offers a lot of different tests. We’d recommend finding out what employers are planning to use in their recruitment before using these to practice. As you can see there are a limited number of tests to run through so it is wise to save these until you know for certain what test you are doing and can do some effective practice in the run up to the real test.
The types of test Graduate First offers include:
- 10 verbal reasoning tests
- 15 numerical reasoning tests
- 15 logical reasoning tests
- 3 abstract reasoning tests
- 4 diagrammatic reasoning tests
- 3 spatial reasoning tests
- Workstyle personality questionnaire
- Interview Question Identifier tool
- Situational judgement test
- Assessment centre exercises
- 5 game-based assessments
- Watson Glaser critical thinking practice test
- IPAT (IBM style) tests
- CAPP tests
- Checking tests
The majority of the tests come with insight into what the test is assessing, detailed reports, explanations of incorrect answers and video tutorials.
Graduates First also has a guide to job assessment stages for a variety of big graduate employers. So you can get a sense of what tests different employers are likely to ask you to do, and at what stage.
Although we are talking about tests today, it is also worth pointing out that Graduates First also offers an interview practice tool. You can record yourself answering questions and get some automated feedback on this.
How to access
Both current students and graduates have access to the Graduates First package through the Careers Service. It is really important that you register using our dedicated Bath link on MyFuture. If you go straight to the Graduates First website, you will be prompted to pay for access!
You also need to make sure you register with your bath.ac.uk address. For Graduates use your @bath.edu alumni address.
How to use
Using this resource is really a case of just doing the tests! But in order to get the most out of these we’d recommend:
- Using them in the run-up to a real employer test rather than practicing randomly with no upcoming test in mind
- Making sure you are in a quiet place with minimal distractions
- Give yourself plenty of time – the tests do have time limits but is also good to give yourself some time to reflect on the answers afterwards and work out which areas you need to work on for next time
- Read all the instructions carefully
If you need further help or have any questions we are here to help. We can help you track down information on specific questions and offer advice on how best we can help you. Email us via firstname.lastname@example.org
For more help on psychometric tests, have a look at our Get Started guide to psychometric tests.