Have you applied for a job and gotten an email inviting you to take an assessment test? Or maybe you’ve been through the interview process and discovered that you need to pass a test to get the job? Then you’ve come to the right place! In this post, we will outline what you need to know about ability tests and what they aim to achieve.
Aptitude tests are commonly used to measure intellect. If you have ever gone online to do an IQ test, then you have already got experience with ability tests. You also probably did similar tests during your school years. So good news! It’s nothing new. In fact, there is evidence that the ancient Chinese used examinations to ensure that the applicants had the skills for prized political positions. These exams were not only a test of aptitude but also of endurance. They would often last a full day and night: bet an hour-long multiple-choice quiz doesn’t seem so bad now!
Ability tests are standardised tests designed to measure mental capacities, such as verbal or numerical reasoning to see if you’re a suitable candidate for the role. They are becoming more and more common in recruitment as they allow an employer to assess skills that aren’t apparent from interviews or previous work experience. They also allow the employer to narrow down a pool of applicants through comparable results to ensure that they are spending time and resources on people that would be a good match for their workplace.
The majority of ability or aptitude tests are online and can be done at home at your leisure, though you may be asked to go to an assessment centre instead. You may also be asked to take a few ability tests throughout the recruitment process to ensure that you didn’t cheat on the online test as well as measuring different aspects of your abilities. You may also be asked to complete a skills test, such as completing an Excel task, to further establish that you are the prime candidate for the job.
The types of tests that you may take will depend on the job and the sector that you are applying for. So, for example, the tests that one takes for an HR role will differ from those for an engineering position. The skills that are measured by these tests will probably play a role in the position that you are applying for. Therefore, brushing up on your skills will be useful for getting a great test score, but also to improve your performance when you get the job.
To get some more hands-on experience with ability tests, to get a better feel for the questions or to challenge your skills, check out our free practice tests here, and start getting yourself ready for a life beyond ability testing!