Date posted: 27/07/2018 5 min read

How to prepare for a psychometric test

A psychometric test can reveal your personality traits and capabilities. So how do you prepare for a test that can feel like it’s designed to discover the real you?

Psychometric testing is just one of the ways an employer can figure out whether a recruitment candidate will be a good fit for their company. These tests can come in a variety of forms - from aptitude assessments and motivation tests to values questionnaires and gamified tests. Which one you'll get is totally dependent on what the employer wants to find out about you, so try and be honest with your answers.

The good news is that you can prepare for these kinds of tests if you have the right information and resources at hand. Check out our four best practice tips for taking a psychometric test and discover some easy ways to get prepared for your next one!

Create your own workspace

The ideal "test-friendly" workspace is neat and tidy with good lighting, a comfortable chair and, most important of all, glorious silence1. Turning off your phone and putting it away or in another room entirely can help to reduce the distraction caused by incoming notifications. Even a little thing like quickly checking a text during a test could mean you miss a question or lose concentration, which could end up affecting your score. Just as important as having a clutter-free workspace is ensuring you have a reliable internet connection. It may sound like a given - but there's nothing worse than being halfway through the test and having your connection drop out (especially if you can only take the test once).

Get some shut-eye

Psychometric testing often requires you to answer as quickly as possible to capture your initial gut-reaction - and so you don't have time to overthink your answer. Getting enough sleep can help you to remain focused during the test2, but if you have trouble sleeping, try creating a night-time routine. It can be simple or include a number of activities like filling in a page in your journal or turning off your phone 45 minutes before you go to sleep.3

Research is your friend

With just a little Googling, sometimes you can discover the test provider and determine what type of psychometric testing they use. If you can find out, that's great - you'll know what to expect. There are plenty of informative websites4 out there that you can use as a guide to the types of testing you might encounter to help you prepare for any one of them. Getting familiar with the process and potential content of the testing can help you not to be blindsided when the real thing comes around.

For example, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand's Achiever Programme recruitment process uses a game-based psychometric assessment. The test measures a candidate's verbal knowledge, numerical reasoning and ability to problem solve.

Practice makes perfect

Practice is the best way to become familiar with the format and style of questions you might be asked and think about how you will respond to them. Give a few online practice tests a go - make sure to trial different test types - or get a friend or family member to ask you some questions so you don’t have to prepare alone. Some tests are timed, so be sure to practice against the clock too!

A few simple training exercises like these should help you get used to thinking quickly and using your natural instincts to answer questions. Effective preparation ahead of testing can also help to calm any anxiety you're experiencing5 and most importantly, get you ready to take on the real thing.