An aptitude test is something that is being used more and more by employers as an accurate way to assess your skills. Completed under exam conditions, an aptitude test is a crucial stage in the recruitment process.
Candidates who prepare for aptitude tests are more likely to succeed than applicants who fail to undertake little or no preparation.
Depending on the opportunity that you are applying for you should have a good idea of the type of test you will be asked to complete, whether its verbal reasoning, logical reasoning or a combination of multiple tests.
As well as researching online and sitting practice aptitude tests, you can also prepare by completing activities such as puzzles but under timed conditions.
It is also recommended that you find sample questions and answers, so you can familiarise yourself with the various types of questions that you will be asked.
Approach an aptitude test in the same way as you would an interview; arrive in plenty of time, dress professionally and remember to bring everything you need such as identification, glasses and anything else that you have been asked to take with you.
As well as evaluating your key competencies the tests will also assess your performance in terms of speed and accuracy while working under pressure. Preparing for an aptitude test is therefore crucial, but how exactly do you practice and what steps do you need to take to properly prepare?
#1 Use online resources
The internet can be a hugely beneficial resource so use it as best you can. There are countless websites that offer practice aptitude tests in the areas that you will be tested on. Find a website that specialises in the types of aptitude test that you will be asked to complete.
It will also help you familiarise yourself with the setup of the test and the types of questions that you will be asked. Make sure that you practice regularly before the test. Completing a one off practice test won’t have the same effect as regular time allocated to sitting practice tests in the days and weeks leading up to the actual test.
#2 The right equipment
Success during any test depends on having the right tools. If you are asked to sit a numerical reasoning test, take with you a good calculator and get into the habit of using rough paper to jot down your calculations and thoughts.
The more you practice using the tools and resources that you need, the more you will become accustomed to working with these when it comes to sitting the actual aptitude test.
#3 Learn to follow instructions
As you practice your aptitude tests online, you will find that you are provided with a series of instructions to follow about how to answer the questions. Many students have failed an aptitude test completely because they have not read the instructions at the beginning of the test.
Skipping through instructions on an aptitude test can mean that you overlook important information that can result in you completing the whole test incorrectly.
The more you practice aptitude tests, the more you can develop your technique. Aptitude tests are often completed under timed conditions and you will have to progress through a series of questions in a very short period of time, working quickly and accurately.
Depending on the test, you are allocated 30 seconds to one minute to answer each question. The more practice you complete before the actual test, the more effective you will become in your technique, so you can move through the questions with speed and accuracy.
Everyone approaches aptitude tests differently and by completing lots of practice tests you can develop your own approach and find a technique that works for you.
#5 Develop confidence
The more you practice the greater your confidence will be because you will be able to work through the questions more efficiently due to your increased familiarity with the material during the real test.
With a certain degree of uncertainty eliminated and your ability to complete the tests under pressure in timed conditions, you will be able to approach the tests with increased confidence. Increased confidence will only have a positive impact on your performance.
#6 Perfect your timing
Aptitude tests are timed, and many are designed in such a way that you won’t complete all of the questions and to achieve a good score, you don’t necessarily have to answer every question. The best approach is to set a milestone for each question.
If you don’t know the answer or you can’t complete the question in a certain period of time, move on to the next question. If you have time you can always revisit the questions that you have missed at the end.
The more practice aptitude tests you complete, the more effective you will be at working to your milestones and getting your timing right for each question.
#7 Ask for Feedback
Once you have completed the aptitude test, it is always good practice to ask the recruiter for feedback on your results. With an aptitude test you are likely to receive a score which will give you an overall idea of how well you performed during the test.
You will also be able to see your weaker areas and identify where you need to improve. Use any feedback that you receive and focus your practice on weaker areas to improve your performance on future tests.
Even though an aptitude test may seem like a daunting prospect, the key to success and achieving a favourable result is to prepare and practice often. Research the company to find out the types of aptitude test that you will be asked to complete and understand the type of employee they are looking to recruit.
This will always help you before the test, but nothing will prepare you more effectively than completing lots of practice aptitude tests.
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