How to Prepare for SHL Psychometric Tests
Many employers will require you to take a psychometric test before they will hire you. These tests essentially provide your future employer with a profile of your behaviors and personality, not just your aptitude, but your ability to learn and your willingness to work hard. Performing well on these tests can make or break your application. Here are some tips that can help you prepare for psychometric tests:
1. Read the job application thoroughly and write down what the employer is looking for. Most job advertisements will actually have a bulleted list of the characteristics they are looking for in their idea applicant. As you prepare for your test, you will want to focus on highlighting how you meet those expectations. If they are looking for a team player, for example, you will want to make sure that your answers on these psychometric tests prove that you are a team player. If you cannot find the information you need from the advertisement, don’t be afraid to call the recruiter and ask them what they consider to be an ideal candidate.
2. Take a practice tests. Before you start doing any kind of preparation, it can be helpful to know what exactly you need to work on. You can do this by taking a practice test. This will give you a baseline score, will show you what you need to work on in order for you to provide a profile that is favorable to your employers. It will also give you an introduction to how these tests work. If you’ve never taken one before, you are definitely going to want to take at least one practice test before you actually sit down for the full test. Otherwise, you will be going into the test completely blind.
3. Learn about the different types of questions. Each section of the test is going to require you to answer different types of questions, ranging from multiple choice to open answer. Some parts of the test will require you to have specific knowledge of the area. For example, if you are given an aptitude test that measures your math skills, you will probably want to brush up on this math skills. There are, however, parts of the test that do not require you to have any prior knowledge. Generally, the parts of the test that evaluate your personality and behaviors is going to be something you cannot “brush up on.” However, knowing the types of questions you are going to be asked will prepare you providing answers that will help you get the job.
4. Plan your time. Your test is likely going to be timed. It will have many parts, and if you spend too much time on one part, you will not have enough time for another part. Planning your time will therefore be very important. Keep in mind that you do not have to finish the test. These tests are not designed so that the only way you can get a good score is to finish the test. Still, you do want to answer as many questions correctly as you can. If you are spending too much time on a question, move on and come back to it later, only if you absolutely have time to do so.
5. Take a prep course. There are lots of courses that will prep you to do better on these exams, not just with the aptitude portions, but with the entire test. If you have taken a psychometric test before and you have not done well, it would definitely be worth your time to take one of these courses. They are usually offered online and provide more direct guidance than can be provided from simply taking practice tests and trying to improve your score over time.
6. Ask other people about the test. Find a forum where people who have recently taken these tests are discussing them. You’re not looking for someone to give you the answers to the test, you’re looking for someone who can tell you what taking the test is like, what kinds of questions to expect, and how to make the experience as valuable as possible.
7. Get a good night’s sleep and eat before taking the test. It may sound silly, but if you do not eat before the test and you are not rested, your brain is going to function slowly, making it difficult to call up information that you know or to answer even simple questions rationally—two things that you need to be able to do in order to score well on this test. Don’t neglect to take care of yourself in preparation for your test.