Psychometric Tests

paper psychometric test questionnaire

Psychometric tests - aptitude tests or personality assessments - are often used by employers as part of the selection process. They can also help you identify your strengths and abilities and assess your suitability for particular careers or occupations.


Aptitude tests

These are sometimes known as cognitive, ability or intelligence tests. The most common assess your abilities in the areas of verbal and numerical reasoning. Abstract or diagrammatic reasoning tests may also be used to assess your logic and visual thinking skills.

Tips for success when sitting aptitude tests
  • Try out the type of aptitude tests used by many employers by registering for our online practice test. See Additional practice tests for more examples of aptitude tests.
  • Reach the test location in good time, well-rested and in a positive frame of mind.
  • Take the time to work through any practice questions, before the test itself begins.
  • Try to be aware of the time as you work through the questions - work out before the test starts roughly how much time you have for each question.
  • Try to work quickly and accurately.
  • Don't spend too long on a question that you are struggling with, but don't abandon a question prematurely if you are close to solving it.
  • Avoid wild guessing - in some tests marks are taken off for incorrect answers.
  • Try not to be overawed by the formal nature of the test or to be panicked by the time pressure.
Useful websites:
Help with numeracy skills

For help with numeracy skills, Maths-Aid at the University have practice tests and resources to help you refresh your maths skills. You can also get free one-to-one help from tutors in the Maths-Aid drop-in centre in the Robinson Library, though please try the numerical reasoning tests on their website before visiting - the tutors can then help you with more specific problems, rather than general ones. You can find more details including opening hours on their website.

Additional support can also be found at mathcentre, via a range of self-study resources including video tutorials, workbooks and online practice exercises. BBC Bitesize includes tests and revision material for GCSE level maths. For tips on taking a numerical reasoning test, visit the Assessment Day website.



Personality questionnaires

Personality questionnaires are used to see how you react to different situations. There are no right or wrong answers and the questionnaires generate a profile of you highlighting your personal qualities and characteristics. The questionnaires are usually untimed, but you will be encouraged to complete them relatively quickly.

Tips for completing personality questionnaires
  • Be honest with your answers.
  • Go with your first thought, and 'be yourself'.
  • There is little point in trying to identify what qualities the selectors are looking for - there is unlikely to be one exact 'profile' and tests are usually designed to identify when someone is giving a false picture of themselves.

See Additional practice tests for examples of personality questionnaires.



Careers Service online practice test

We offer access to online numerical and verbal reasoning tests from Kenexa, which you can sit where and when you choose. Once you complete the tests, you will receive a report containing your results, an analysis of your performance and some advice on improving your test strategy. You can bring your report into the Careers Service and discuss it with Rachael Roberts or Chris Traynor, our careers advisers trained in aptitude test administration and feedback. Contact the Careers Service on 0191 208 7748 to find out when they are available.

To register for the tests, we recommend that you visit the Careers Service.  As well as explaining how the system works, we can also show you practice test information, resources and websites.

If you are unable to come in, please contact us using our enquiry form and include the following details:
Title (e.g. Ms, Mr, Mrs etc)
First Name
Email address

We aim to register you within three working days of receiving your email.

Extra time for the tests may be available for applicants with special requirements, e.g. dyslexia. For more information or to request additional time, please get in touch.



Additional practice tests

This section includes links to online tests and a list of reference books available within the Careers Service. For examples of case study tests, see Assessment centres

Practice aptitude tests


Personality Tests
Specialist tests
  • Most Medical Schools and some Dentistry Schools are now using the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UKCAT) - you can try out a practice test on this site.
  • The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is used by some Medical Schools, especially for the 4 year graduate entry course. Visit the UCAS website for more details. Practice GAMSAT questions are available to buy on the GAMSAT website together with tips and advice.
  • BMAT is the admissions test for Medicine and Veterinary Medicine used for some courses at Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Leeds, Lancaster, UCL and the Royal Veterinary College. Site includes example questions.
  • Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) - the GMAT is used as an entry requirement by most major US Business Schools and is used worldwide.
  • GMAT Guide - advice and tips to help prospective graduate business students plan and prepare for the GMAT (US-based site).
  • Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) - the GRE is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the US. Includes sample tests and details of test centres.
  • LNAT National Admissions Test for Law - used for admissions to law undergraduate courses at several UK universities including Birmingham, Bristol, Durham, Glasgow, King's College London, Nottingham, Oxford, SOAS and University College London.
Example tests from employers
  • Procter & Gamble - practice reasoning test.
  • EY - situational strengths test.
  • Hogan Lovells - includes practice questions based on the Watson Glaser Critical Thinking Test, which is designed to find out how well people can reason analytically and logically. Often used to test staff who will be involved in complex decision making (policy formulation, strategy planning, etc) and is similar to the GMAT test.
Reference books

The following books are available for reference use in the Careers Service.