Starting Points Series

					Starting Points Series



Aptitude Tests                                                              Career Development Centre
                                                                            http://careers.ulster.ac.uk
                                                                                       September 2009
What are they?
                                                     2)     Personality Questionnaires:
They are structured exercises, usually in
                                                     They are used to gather information about
multiple-choice format, used to assess your
                                                     how you behave in different situations, your
reasoning abilities or show how you are likely
                                                     attitudes, values and preferences. There is no
to respond to different situations.
                                                     preparation for a personality test, so simply
                                                     answer without thinking too much. There are
Why are they used?
                                                     no right or wrong answers.
 To recruit the best person fit for the skills
  and temperament of the job.
                                                     3)    Case study style tests:
 To identify strengths and weaknesses for
                                                      McKinsey – case studies can be found in
  job development purposes.
                                                        the “Preparing for interviews” section
 To assess suitability for different careers.          under “On-Line Case Studies”
                                                        www.mckinsey.com/careers
The Career Development Centre can help
                                                      Bain & Company – 3 interactive case
                                                        studies can be found on
It is possible to prepare for these tests and
                                                        www.joinbain.com/apply-to-
practice tests are available at you Career
                                                        bain/interview-preparation
Development Centre. You can arrange to
                                                      Kearney – casestudies can be found on
complete these in the Centre by emailing
                                                        www.atkearney.com Click on “careers”
http://careers.ulster.ac.uk/guidance The
                                                        then “applying to AT Kearney”.
Career Development Centre now provides
access to on-line aptitude tests. This is
                                                     4)   In tray exercises:
available via the myCareer section of the
                                                      http://www.careers.ed.ac.uk
PDSystem http://pds.ulster.ac.uk within the
subsection called Psychometric Tests.                 http://www.faststream.gov.uk

The two tests, verbal reasoning and numerical
reasoning, will let you try out your capabilities.   Practice Tests on Employer sites
Results are then sent to you with information
on sources of help.                                     Faststream Civil Service
                                                         www.faststream.gov.uk
Types of aptitude tests                                 Proctor & Gamble www.pg.com/jobs
                                                         Search on recruitment process then step 3
1)     Aptitude Tests:                                  KPMG www.kpmg.co.uk/careers/
They are used to assess your reasoning                   Business challenge, calculator quiz, audit
capability or aptitude. They are not tests of            quiz, tax quiz.
general knowledge, but usually assess verbal
and numerical measuring and sometimes
spatial skills. When invited to complete tests if
possible find out from the recruiter which
types of test you will be sitting and revise that
area.

 THIS SHEET CAN BE MADE AVAILABLE IN ALTERNATIVE (EG LARGE PRINT) FORMATS –
                     PLEASE ASK AT THE RECEPTION DESK
Golden Rules
As well as taking the practice tests in the Career Development Centre or on the PDSystem and on
the Recruiters’ websites, there are a few points to remember:

Before the Test:
 If you need special assistance (eg enlarged type, or extra time) to deal with a disability, inform
   the tester well in advance.
 Practise as often as possible.
 Revise basic maths (subtraction, ratios, division, percentages, times tables etc) without a
   calculator if possible.
 Improve your verbal reasoning skills, by reading journals, manuals or technical reports.
   Condense main points in a summary.
 You cannot practise for a personality test. Just answer as accurately as you can. Remember
   there are built in “lie detectors” so be honest.
 Get a good night’s sleep.
 Make sure you bring glasses if you use them.
 Arrive in good time.

During the Test:
 Listen closely to all instructions. Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are not clear about the
  examples. Ask if there is negative marking.
 Work through the questions as quickly and accurately as you can.
 Don’t spend too much time on any one question – only go back to the question if you have
  completed the whole test.
 Most tests are designed to assess speed and accuracy so you might not get it finished.
 Remember the aptitude test is only one part of the selection process.

Reference Materials
Available in the Career Development Centre:
How to Pass Numeracy Tests (H Tolley & K Thomas)
How to Pass Computer Selection Tests (Sanjay Modha)
How to Succeed at Assessment Centres (M. Wilson)
How to Master Personality Questionnaires (Mark Parkinson)
Passing Psychometric Tests (A. Shavick, How to Books)
Psychometric Tests for Graduates (A. Shavick, How to Books)
Career Aptitude and Selection Tests (J Barrett, Kogan Page)

Useful Websites
 www.prospects.ac.uk/links/aptitudetests for example tests
 www.psychometric-success.com provides over 50 practice tests
 www.psychtesting.org.uk/ptc/roles$/the-public.cfm frequently asked questions and tests
 www.assessmentday.co.uk insight into a range of assessments used by organisations
 www.morrisby.com/
 www.keirsey.com/
 www.shldirect.com/
 www.ase-solutions.co.uk/product.asp
 www.ets.org Practice questions for GMAT, GRE and TOEFL
 www.gmac.com Information for graduates interested in applying for MBA courses.

 For further advice and guidance contact the Career Development Advisers on campus or via web
                              http://careers.ulster.ac.uk/guidance

				
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