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Frequently Asked Questions

What are aptitude tests?

An aptitude, or psychometric test is a test that measures ability, preference or behavioural competence.

Ability tests have right and wrong answers, such as a numerical reasoning test.

Preference is measured using personality, whilst behavioural competence can be measured using situational judgement tests.

Sometimes ability and preference tests are grouped as cognitive assessments or IQ tests.

This is because they ultimately test one’s cognitive intelligence.

What are the most common aptitude tests?

Why do employers use aptitude tests in recruitment?

Aptitude assessments (especially online aptitude tests) allow employers to quickly measure the IQ and skills of large quantities of candidates.

Aptitude tests are a quick and proven method to select top talent at a low cost.

Most of the large global employers use aptitude tests in their recruitment process.

Top employers compare aptitude test results of candidates against the job profile and select the talent with the best “fit”.

Companies often use a combination of aptitude test results to select, e.g. numerical, verbal, personality, situational to have a more rounded picture of a candidate’s skills.

How to pass aptitude tests?

Practicing aptitude tests is the only scientifically proven way to get better results in recruitment processes (Bradley et al., 2019).

To pass aptitude tests you need to practise.

This helps you get familiar with how questions are asked, and better at working under time pressure.

Select practice sites that offer not only questions in a pdf format but the entire test experience. Details matter when you answer questions under stress.

What are SHL assessment tests?

SHL assessment tests are some of the most commonly used aptitude tests in the world.

They are designed by a company called SHL and based on decades of research and training.

These tests are renowned for helping organisations select the best job candidates.

There are ability and personality SHL tests and these are typically taken online.

What do aptitude tests measure?

Aptitude tests ultimately measure one’s cognitive intelligence.

Sometimes ability and preference tests are grouped as cognitive assessments or IQ tests.

Ability tests have right and wrong answers, such as a numerical reasoning test.

This ability test looks at how well you reason with numerical information.

Preference is measured using personality and situational judgement tests. These look at how you would respond at work.

Where are aptitude tests used?

Aptitude tests are used where the cognitive intelligence needs to be measured. In particular in the job application process, development, internal selection for career progression, and internal assessment and performance management.

Which companies use aptitude tests to recruit?

Most industries use aptitude tests in their recruitment. It is a cost effective and proven method to sift through candidates quickly. Key industries using aptitude tests include: Consulting, Banking, Finance, FMCG, Tech, Engineering, and so many more. All major multinationals such as Big 4 (e.g. PwC, KPMG), P&G, Goldman Sachs, IBM, GlaxoSmithKline, Amazon, Apple, etc. use psychometric tests for selection.

How to prepare for most common psychometric tests?

To prepare for numerical reasoning tests, you need knowledge of basic maths and its practical use. Refresh your high school maths: ratios, percentages, reading and interpreting charts.

For verbal reasoning tests, you need a good understanding of written texts and be able to spot cause-effect relationships. Reading helps but you can also seek and analyse text where the writer is looking for causation or patterns.

Preparation for logical reasoning tests is different because it requires the ability to find patterns quickly to pass. Sudoku, simple math games, and puzzle books can help with preparation.

Why do employers use SHL tests?

SHL is one of the oldest and most respected assessment test providers globally.

All SHL aptitude tests go through a rigorous scientific validation process.

These tests are built on decades of experience and have been used for a long time.

They are proven to select the best job candidates by the largest organisations globally.

SHL tests allow employers to quickly and accurately sift candidates to hire people with the best possible job capabilities.

SHL provides both the tests and required consultancy and training for HR departments using their assessment tests.

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