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Test Taking Tips - How to Pass Employee Selection Tests

Catherine Z Jones

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If you listen to the BBC News you will hear them say that more and more employers are using job aptitude tests to help select employees and research indicates that the number of people asked to carry out such tests is around 40%.

Here are some test taking tips to help you when taking a job aptitude test.

General Test Taking Tips

There is no need to worry about the fact that you are taking the test. With the exception of math questions, there are no right or wrong answers - it is simply your overall aptitude for the job you are applying for that is being looked at.

Most of the questions are multiple choice style and are set with time limits and performed under normal examination conditions. Don't worry if you do not finish the test in the time allotted as not many candidates actually do.

There is no such thing as a ‘pass mark’ for this type of test. More often than not your results will be compared to those of people who are already doing the job you have applied for.

More than one area is usually covered by the job aptitude test. For example, one part may take into account your ability to reason with numbers or read diagrams, whilst another section is likely to concentrate on your interpretation of text.

If you can find out what type of job selection test you will be faced with prior to the interview this will give you the opportunity to practice. Why not give the Human Resources or Personnel Department a call? The worst thing that can happen is that they are not prepared to give you further details. On the other hand if they say yes, this means you may have a head start over the other candidates.

How to Improve Your Test Results

Here are 10 test taking tips to help you improve your selection test results:

  1. Make sure you arrive at the test location refreshed, in a positive mind set and in good time.
  2. Carefully listen or read the instructions. You may find that marks are not granted on an even basis throughout the test. Section A may only carry 10% of the total marks whilst section B may account for 40%. Allocate your time wisely to achieve the maximum marks.
  3. Find the happy medium between accuracy and speed. If you go too fast you will make mistakes and if you go too slow you will not answer as many questions as you could do.
  4. Don't spend too much time agonizing over a question if you know you cannot answer it - simply move on to the next one. Having said that, don't give up on a question too quickly either.
  5. Don't waste your valuable test time checking and double checking your answers.
  6. If you are unsure about the answer to a certain question, write down your best guess and move on. However, try to avoid wild guesses - they don't do you any favors in the long run.
  7. There is no need to panic if the questions appear to be getting more difficult as the test goes on. This is quite often the case so you can expect to take longer to complete the latter questions.
  8. If calculators are permitted in the test, take your own one in with you. You are familiar with it and you know how it works.
  9. There may be some practice questions at the start of the test. If you do not understand these questions thoroughly, ask the test administrator who will be happy to explain things to you.
  10. And finally, the most important of our test taking tips. Practice makes perfect so get some practice tests in prior to attending the interview.

Here's some specific advice on numerical tests and logic test questions


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