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