Ability tests are used by employers to understand your skills and competencies before you go to an interview or before you are offered a position to ensure that you are the best candidate for the job. Here’s how to give yourself the best chance possible to prepare for your test.
- Read, re-read, re-re-read your invitation letter
These letters will detail the type of test, what you need to bring and might include some sample questions. Don’t get caught out because you forgot to bring your calculator!
- Practice practice practice!
If they have enclosed sample questions, make sure that you can answer these and then try to find other sample questions online to get into the right mindset. If they do not enclose practice questions, there’s no harm in reaching out and asking for some or do some digging to see if you can find the company that create the tests for the company you’re interviewing for.
- Is it an online test or in a testing centre?
If your test is online, make sure that you have your testing station set up. Aim to take the test when you are not going to be disturbed, and try to find a time of day that you are most awake and alert. If you don’t know when this is, take practice quizzes at different times of day and compare your scores.
If it’s in a testing centre, make sure that you feel confident and comfortable. When you sit down, check that there are no distractors around you. Also, make sure that you get there with plenty of time – you don’t need extra stress in your system from rushing in at the last minute!
- Read every word of the questions
Read every question twice, and if possible, highlight the key terms to make sure that you really understand what is being asked of you. What units are they asking for? Are you sure that you are interpreting the words correctly? Taking that extra second to double-check the question can save you a headache in the long term.
- Try to narrow down your options
Ability tests usually have time limits, and you probably won’t have the time to double-check your answers. As most ability tests are multiple-choice, try to eliminate the answers that you know can’t be right. Watch out for distractors that are designed to look correct to throw you off!
- Do. Not. Cheat.
If your test is online, you might think that there’s no harm in calling your friend who is a whiz at Maths or English. Though you might ace the test, you might be called in to do a test in person. As well as this, you might just not be a good fit for the company if you can’t pass their tests, and the position may just not be the best one for you.
…and did we mention practice?