February 16, 2017
It is becoming increasingly more popular for employers to give future employees aptitude tests as part of the recruitment process. The aptitude test is used to gain insight into the future employee’s skill-sets, character traits, working style, and ability to handle a workload. It’s also becoming common to offer these tests in a computerized form. With a computer-based test, comes a whole new set of challenges that job seekers should be aware of. I am here to help, and give you a cheat sheet for beating the online exam!
Tackling the clock
Unlike the old-fashioned paper exams, when taking a computer based exam, there is a digital timer reminding you how much time is left in the test. Here is an inside tip! Most tests are not meant to be completed. This means that its ok if you do not cover all the material, and you should not let the time constraint control you. A great way to gain an advantage over other candidates is to be familiar with pacing yourself and learning to use the time clock. Practicing online is the easiest way to do this.
Quality vs Quantity
It is always hard to know whether you should take educated guesses on more questions, compared to answering fewer questions more accurately. The answer is; you need to strike a balance. Overall, getting good marks on fewer questions, is better than getting a poor mark by finishing the assessment. The best way to practice is to complete practice exams, learn from your mistakes, and see which types of questions were difficult for you. When taking practice exams there are score reports which have explanations, and hacks that can save time on the real test.
Cheating is a big no-no
Sometimes companies may give you the aptitude test, to take in the comfort of your own home. I know what you are thinking, I have been given this test at home, maybe I can help myself out a bit. Let me stop that thought before it even enters your mind. Companies have very sophisticated methods to verify your scores. If you show up to the job and your actual skills do not match those required for the job, your company will notice. Additionally, many companies will have you take a section of the test again on the site. There are no short cuts. You know what they say “cheaters never prosper.”
Understand your strength and weaknesses
Those who created the tests are truly in favor of equal opportunity for all, all questions that is. Great news! Easy questions and hard questions are usually worth the same amount. The test is formatted that easy and hard questions are staggered throughout the assessment. By preparing ahead of time, you can identify which questions will be easier for you and those that will be harder. This way you can know how much time and effort to allocate to each question.
Know your enemy
Before the test day, make sure you know what you are up against. If possible, gather as much information about what you are going to be encountering on the day of the test. Here are some tips for gathering information:
Take advantage of the tools given to you
While some numerical aptitude reasoning tests will allow you to use a calculator, others will not. If they allow the use of calculators, brush up on the different types of operations the calculator can perform. Most of us have not used an old fashion calculator, that is not our cell phone, in years. Additionally, understanding graphs and tables are an important tool, especially when the picture is not on paper in front of you. Make sure you familiarize yourself with these types of questions.
This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and blogger at JobTestPrep. She specializes in writing about the employment hiring process.
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