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Recruitment Tests

Recruitment tests are often used by employers as part of the selection process. They can also help you work out your strengths, abilities and suitability for particular careers or occupations.


Recruitment tests can be used to assess your verbal, logical and numerical reasoning skills. They may also be used for assessing how you would react in certain workplace situations. Generally, they are used early on in the recruitment process. These tests are more common for larger graduate recruiters, but are also used by smaller companies

Tips for success when taking recruitment tests

  • Practice the tests available below. Practicing can help you work out what areas you struggle with, as well as what answers employers are looking for 
  • 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
  • Before the test starts, work out roughly how much time you have for each question and keep an eye on the time as you work through the test
  • Don't spend too long on a question that you are struggling with, but don't abandon a question too soon if you are close to solving it
  • Avoid wild guessing, sometimes marks are subtracted for incorrect answers

Further information

The following websites provide further information about recruitment tests and how to prepare for them:


The time allowed in these assessments can be limited. Students with some disabilities might find this particularly challenging.

You may want to  share with a potential employer that you have a disability if you think a recruitment test is going to disadvantage you. Companies should be able to make alternative reasonable adjustments if given enough notice.

You can discuss in confidence whether you should share information about a disability with one of our careers consultants. Free advice is also available from EmployAbility.

Practice tests

Online practice tests can help you prepare. In this section you will find links and resources where you can access online practice tests. 

Graduates First online practice tests

Graduates First offer a range of recruitment tests and advice on preparing for job assessments. There are step-by-step guides to over 100 graduate employer's recruitment stages. These include hints on how to pass their assessment process.

How to register for Graduates First

  1. Go to the Newcastle University Graduates First portal
  2. Register using your Newcastle email address ( and complete the registration form in full
  3. If you have a disability that could affect your performance on the tests (eg dyslexia), you can request additional time (25%) when registering
  4. You should receive an email providing you with a link to confirm your email address, and then you’re ready to start your practice tests. If you don't receive an email after registering, please check in the Clutter folder of your Newcastle email account.

If you're a Newcastle graduate from the last 3 years, you can still access Graduate First. Contact us on MyCareer by clicking on the Resources tab to submit your query. Include your full name, email address and degree title and we'll create an account for you. Let us know in the message if you require additional time for the tests. We aim to register you within 3 working days of receiving your email.

How to use the tests on Graduates First

  1. Login to the Newcastle University Graduates First portal with the username and password you created.
  2. Choose the test you would like to complete and click it to start.
  3. Once you have submitted the test, you'll receive a detailed report immediately after. This will include your strengths, areas for development and improvement.

If you have any technical problems with the tests, please contact Graduates First at The Careers Service will not be able to help with any technical issues.

Tests available on Graduates First

Additional example tests and advice

General psychometric test websites

  • SHL – this is widely used by UK graduate employers. It provides assessment advice and practice tests including verbal and numerical reasoning, personality questionnaires and situational judgement tests
  • Assessment Day – includes verbal, numerical, inductive, diagrammatic and situational judgement tests
  • Saville Consulting - practice tests include verbal, numerical and abstract reasoning
  • Mark Parkinson: Practice psychometric tests – comprehensive list of tests, including situational judgement tests

Sector specific tests

For examples of case study tests, see our information on Assessment centres.

Personality Tests

Personality questionnaires are used to see how you react to different situations.

There are no right or wrong answers. The questionnaires generate a profile of you, highlighting your personal qualities and characteristics. They 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'.
  • Don't try to identify or second guess the qualities selectors are looking for. There is unlikely to be one exact 'profile' to fill. Tests are usually designed to identify when someone is giving a false picture of themselves.

Example personality tests

The following websites provide examples of personality tests and questionnaires.

Specialist Tests

Some sectors, such as medicine, business and law, have specialist tests.

Medicine and dentistry

Most medical schools and some dental schools use the UK Clinical Aptitude Test (UCAT) for entry to their courses. You can try out a practice test on the UCAT website.

The Graduate Medical School Admissions Test (GAMSAT) is used by some medical schools. Usually 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
  • Royal Veterinary College. The BMAT website includes example questions.

More information is available on our applying to medical school page. 


The Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT) is used as an entry requirement by most major US business schools and is used worldwide. GMAT Guide is a US-based site. It provides advice and tips to help prospective graduate business students plan and prepare for the GMAT.  

The Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) is an admissions requirement for many graduate schools in the US. Includes sample tests and details of test centres.

The TopMBA website includes links to the five top free GMAT preparation resources online.


The LNAT National Admissions Test for Law is used for admissions to law undergraduate courses at several UK universities including:

  • Birmingham
  • Bristol
  • Durham
  • Glasgow
  • King's College London
  • Nottingham
  • Oxford
  • SOAS
  • University College London.

For more information about applying for jobs in law, see our Explore Occupations section.

Game-based Assessments

Game-based assessments are becoming more popular in graduate recruitment. They are typically used in the early stages of the recruitment process.

Several large graduate recruiters, such as Unilever, KPMG and Deloitte use game-based assessments.

Game-based activities can be more fun for the candidate. They are often used alongside traditional recruitment tests and assess similar qualities. They test a candidate's natural ability and assess their response to a test they’ve been unable to prepare for in advance.

As you complete the game/s you will be assessed against competencies and characteristics chosen by the employer. These could be cognitive ability, attitude to risk, decision-making and interaction style. Most of the games are simple so you don’t have to be an expert gamer to complete the assessment.

The type of games used and the time it takes to complete them can vary. You may be asked to complete several short games to test different competencies and characteristics. Or you could be given a longer job simulation involving different types of tests seen above.

Employers may also use these tests to see if you would be a 'good fit' and compatible with their company and its culture.

Tips for taking game-based assessments

  • Try out practice tests to get an idea of how you’ll be assessed
  • Research the company and job description to understand their qualities, values and competencies. These values are likely to be what you’ll be assessed against. However, be yourself when completing personality tests. These tests are usually designed to identify when someone is giving a false picture of themselves
  • Find a quiet space and set aside plenty of time. If you’re using your phone to complete the test set it to ‘do not disturb’ so you don’t get interrupted
  • Take time to read through the instructions carefully - it's unlikely you'll be able to retake a test once you've started it. Some employers tweak the instructions of a game as it progresses, so ensure you monitor any changing information as you advance

Examples of employers using game-based assessments

  • Siemens uses Plantville - a game that simulates being a plant manager. It assesses productivity, efficiency, operation skills and understanding of sustainability
  • Marriott Hotel Group uses My Marriott Hotel where candidates run a virtual restaurant. This includes overseeing the layout, purchase inventory, budget and employees
  • Arctic Shores - lists case studies of games they have produced for employers


Current students and registered Newcastle University graduates can use Graduates First to practice game-based assessments, including:

  • Cognitive memory game - measures your ability to remember complex patterns. This assesses your cognitive ability in memory and recall
  • Cognitive attention game - tests how you handle multiple sources of information to make a decision. This assesses your cognitive processing speed, attentional capacity and executive function
  • Balloon Analogue Risk Task (BART) – identifies your decision making and risk taking behaviour

Graduates First also includes psychometric tests and information and examples of assessment centre activities, including case study and in-tray exercises.

See Practice Tests for instructions on how to register with Graduates First.

Further advice

Find further information about game-based assessments on these websites:


Help with numeracy skills

  • Maths-Aid at the University offers practice tests and other resources to help refresh your maths skills. You can also get free one-to-one help from tutors in the Maths-Aid drop-in centre in the Marjorie Robinson Library.
  • Additional support can also be found on the library's Academic Skills Kit (ASK) website. There is help and advice on maths, numeracy and statistics.
  • See mathcentre for a range of self-study resources. This includes 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.