This website uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Click here for more information.

Job Search

Graduate Marketing OfficerGraduate Marketing Officer
West Midlands 26/11/2017

Graduate Direct MarketingGraduate Direct Marketing
West Midlands 24/11/2017

Strategic AdvisorStrategic Advisor
London 13/01/2018

School Direct Teacher Training ProgrammeSchool Direct Teacher Training Programme
East Anglia 06/01/2018

Teach in ChinaTeach in China
Rest of the world 31/03/2018


A Comprehensive Guide to Psychometric and Aptitude Tests

Graduate schemes are an excellent opportunity for university leavers to embark on their chosen career path, but the recruitment process is thorough with candidates having to progress through a number of different steps to successfully secure a place. One of the most popular methods employers use to assess the suitability of graduates is with a psychometric or aptitude test. These assessments are frequently used as a strategy to filter applicants so only the very best reach the interview stage.

As with any type of test the more you practice, the better you become and psychometric tests are no different. In fact it is strongly advised that you practice as much as possible for these type of assessments so that you can familiarise yourself not only with the style of questioning but also working quickly and progressing through each of the questions within the allotted timeframe.

Psychometric Tests and the Recruitment Process

There are not any set rules as to when in the recruitment process you may encounter an aptitude or psychometric test but typically they can arise; 

  • Immediately after you send your application form
  • Before your first interview
  • At the second interview or as part of an assessment day 

It is not uncommon to have to sit the same aptitude test twice, once at the beginning of the recruitment process and again towards the end and is a way for employers to confirm results of earlier tests.

Different types of aptitude test

Before you can start to prepare for the tests it is important to understand the different styles of psychometric and aptitude assessments that you may be expected to complete as part of the application process.

Verbal Reasoning – Evaluate your ability to process and comprehend written information, evaluating arguments and statements to reach a decision

Numerical Reasoning – Assess your capability to interpret numerical information such as statistics, graphs or charts

Logical Reasoning – Evaluate your ability to evaluate information and follow through to a conclusion using rules or guidelines. Logical reasoning tests are sometimes referred to as a deductive reasoning test.

Non-Verbal Reasoning – Assesses your ability to identify patterns or follow through to a conclusion based on specific information. Also known as inductive reasoning tests.

Deductive reasoning tests are often used in industries that demand logical problem solving such as business, management or marketing where you may be asked to observe a specific scenario and then form a solution or make predictions. Deductive reasoning tests will start by presenting a number of rules which are then applied to the situation to determine what will happen in certain cases. Deductive reasoning can be quite complex so it is important that you carry out the necessary preparatory work before you attempt to sit the actual test for the recruiter.

Inductive reasoning tests on the other hand are often found in technical roles such as IT, science or engineering. These types of assessments will usually consist of a set of multiple choice questions which have to be completed under timed conditions. Each question may include a series of pictures which are slightly different and you will be asked to choose which picture will come next in the sequence.

Aptitude Tests

An aptitude test will evaluate your potential to acquire a new skill required to carry out the work in the role you have applied for. If you have applied for a position in the IT sector, you may be asked to complete a networking aptitude test. Financial careers often require graduates to sit aptitude tests such as numerical or verbal reasoning, using information that you would typically encounter in your day to day duties.

Preparation for Aptitude and Psychometric Tests

The best way that you can prepare for your test is to find out the types of test that you will be expected to complete and then carry out a number of practice tests which can be found online. Practicing for the tests online is the best way to familiarise yourself with the structure and type of questions that are asked. Practice tests can also help you refine your technique, improving speed and accuracy which is crucial for certain aptitude tests. There are a number of websites online offering free practice tests including on WikiJob. 

Top Tips for Success

If you have been informed that you have to sit a psychometric test as part of the recruitment process, there are a number of things that you can do as well as the practice tests. It is always a good idea to complete activities such as puzzles and identifying patterns which will allow you to refine your skills in logical thinking. If you are asked to complete a numerical reasoning test, you should sharpen your general maths skills, looking specifically at graphs, charts and interpreting statistics. Basic maths is all that’s required for these tests; you don’t need advanced mathematical capabilities to do well.

In terms of verbal reasoning tests when reading news items or a newspaper, think about the statements behind the stories and the different ways in which they could be interpreted. Also look out for commonly misspelt words or grammatically incorrect sentences which can often creep into even the best publications.

Succeeding at a psychometric test takes time, planning and an understanding of what is required. On the day of the test, it may seem like an old cliché but try to stay calm and focused. Remember to take everything that you may need such as glasses, your inhaler if you need one and hearing aids. Although you are often issued with a calculator, pens and other equipment during the test, it won’t hurt to prepare your own set of materials to take with you, although that being said, the majority of tests are now completed online. Ensure that you go to bed early the night before and get plenty of sleep. Set your alarm early so that you arrive in good time and you arrive in the right frame of mind for the test.

Once the test has started, listen carefully to any instructions that you are given. These may be crucial to completing the test correctly. If you are provided with a few practice questions, take the opportunity and don’t be tempted to skip them to get the test finished quicker. If there is anything that you don’t understand this is the time to ask for clarification.

Staying focused, completing the required preparatory work and understanding each type of psychometric or aptitude test will give you the best chances of success and allow you to progress to the next step in the recruitment process.

This article was provided by Edward Mellett, founder of

Please share

Careers Advice

Careers Advice

Where to begin?

Undecided about what to do next after university? Don't panic GradJobs will help you! It is important to remember that you are not alone – there are many who don’t have any idea what to do after graduating.If you are unsure which career is right for you, or simply not sure where to start on your job hunt, then head to the Advice Clinic at the National Graduate...


Careers Advice

Interview Advice

You’ve made it through the first round and you’ve got an interview! Yet, it’s nerve-wracking going into a room and getting grilled to prove how you are the best candidate for the role. To create the right impression and make a positive impact at interview stage, there are a number of things you must take into consideration and prepare for...


Careers Advice

Applying for a Job

From the perfect CV to cover letters, online applications, recruitment agencies, psychometric testing, job AND assessment centres, applying for a job can sometimes seem a little daunting, and that’s before you’ve even secured an interview! Follow our step-by-step guides and handy tips from industry professionals to make you stand out from your...


Recruitment Exhibition

How the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition can aid your job hunt

How the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibition can aid your job hunt

For many graduates, looking for their first job can be a daunting and unsettling process – not only are you moving away from university and the community that you have built but you are also having to take that first step into the working world...


Career advice videos

Online aptitudes tests

Are you prepared to tackle the intense recruitment process ahead of you? Get a head start on your peers by taking a psychometric aptitude test! Get full access and learn how to increase your chances of passing the tests successfully.

Take an aptitude test today >> 



Not registered yet?

You can opt to:

  • Search and apply for jobs online
  • Register for the National Graduate Recruitment Exhibitions
  • Receive personalised job alerts
  • Upload your CV for recruiters to find you


Why register?

GradJobs - Login

Please login or register

If you have a GradJobs account sign in below:

Forgotten your password?