You may hear people say that you can’t improve your scores in psychometric tests. This is simply untrue. Everyone, if they practice, can improve their test scores.
In any emplyment Aptitude Test, the biggest gains are achieved quite quickly and result from becoming familiar with the types of question and from getting ‘into the groove’ of answering them.
Research suggests that the amount of improvement you can expect will depend on three areas.
1. Educational Background
Studies suggest that familiarity with any type of examination process (formal and timed) will give you an advantage over candidates who don’t have this experience. However, since you will most likely be competing with other graduates from similar disciplines the effect of this will be minimal. The type of degree you have will also play a part, depending on whether it is science or humanities based.
2. Personal Interests
Personal interests also play a part. For example if you are someone who habitually solves crossword puzzles, enjoys word games or is an avid reader, then your spelling and vocabulary may be highly developed.
However, if you don’t do these things on a regular basis then both your spelling and vocabulary may have suffered, depending on your degree. This is hardly surprising as everyday vocabulary is very limited and most of us let our spell-checkers take care of our spelling mistakes. Practice will refresh these dormant skills.
3. Quality of Practice Material
If you are unfamiliar with the types of test questions then you will waste valuable time trying to determine what exactly the questions are asking you to do. This unfamiliarity also causes you to worry about whether you
have understood the question correctly and this also wastes mental energy, which you could otherwise spend on getting the correct answer. By increasing your familiarity with the style and types of questions you will improve your scores.
The first of these factors ( ie: your educational background) is beyond your control, the second may be worth addressing in the longer term if you feel that increasing your facility with English, for example, would benefit your career. However, solving crossword puzzles is not going to make much difference to your psychometric test results in the short term. This leaves you with the ‘quality of the practice material’ as the best way to improve your score, and it is up to you to decide which one works best for you.
In order to perform your best at any aptitude test you’ve been called to sit, here are guidelines you should follow:
- Simulated Study Material: The practice material itself needs to match as closely as possible the tests that you expect to take. Questions should be based on the question types used by the most popular test providers in the industry and updated regularly to reflect the latest trends. You can find a lot of employer specific practice tests online and at Testpremier’s library
- Realistic Practice: Secondly, you should practice the material in the most realistic way possible. Find somewhere where you will not be disturbed and go through each paper without interruption and try to stick to the time limit. Do not have anything with you that are not allowed on the day of the test (dictionary, thesaurus or calculator) and switch off your mobile phone.
- Be well informed: They say Knowledge is power. Knowledge in this sense could also mean – to be armed with wealth of information needed to succeed. To prepare adequately for success in any aptitude test, you need to access as much information as is available on that test. You can google search words like “how to prepare for XYZ aptitude test”. There are also a lot of online forum where you can read past test takers share their experience about the test you’re going to sit for. This information might just be the edge you need.
Lastly, Success is much easier to achieve and maintain when the objective is clear and you can see that every minute of the time you are spending is taking you nearer to that goal.