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The basics

Psychometric tests are now a common part of the assessment of job applicants. The term covers both ability or aptitude tests and personality questionnaires.

What are psychometric tests?

Psychometric tests are used to assess a number of attributes. Some evaluate your reasoning abilities and skills, whereas others look at your preferences and likely responses or judgements in different situations.

The tests that employers use will have been carefully researched and trialled to ensure they provide valid and reliable assessment of the people who take them. For example, properly developed tests will have clearly understood indicators for the accuracy and reliability of the test-taker’s score, and a known range of uncertainty. A candidate’s score will be evaluated against the results of a large, representative ‘norm group’ which has been used to calibrate the test scores: in graduate recruitment situations the ‘norm group’ may well be a sample of recent graduates or even the company’s previous hires into the positions applied to.

The companies that develop the psychometric tests will provide the recruiting firms with information on the use and limitations of each test.

Why do recruiters use psychometric tests?

Employers frequently combine assessment methods to help identify candidates with the greatest likelihood of future success in the role and at that organisation. Psychometric tests are just one of of a range of tools they can use. They offer recruiters a cost-effective high-capacity tool, relatively free from bias, which can be used to evaluate a large number of applicants and make an objective assessment of candidates’ skills.

How are psychometric tests used?

You can come across psychometric tests at a number of places in a recruitment process.  Early in the process they can be used to screen large numbers of candidates, but will usually be used alongside evaluation of a candidate’s written application. Companies that use tests for screening purposes should set their ‘pass’ mark conservatively to avoid screening-out high calibre candidates (false-negatives).

It is not uncommon for candidates to complete psychometric tests at a later stage as well. For example, some organisations will re-test candidates at an assessment centre, or may use specific tests that relate directly to the kind of positions sought (e.g. coding aptitude tests for software developer roles; spatial reasoning tests for engineering roles). These later tests will be just one point of evidence and a less-than-ideal performance on one tests may be compensated for by a good performance in other selection exercises.

Types of test

Ability tests – verbal, numerical & abstract reasoning

Ability tests, sometime called aptitude tests, seek to assess either your logical reasoning or thinking performance, usually in verbal, numerical or abstract reasoning. They are neither tests of general knowledge nor of intelligence.

Tests will usually consist of a timed series of multiple-choice questions, and be computer-based. For tests of ability, candidates need to work both quickly and accurately and the tests are often designed so that few candidates will get to the end, so do not worry if you cannot complete every question.

The section below on preparing for specific test types includes more details about the kind of content you can expect to meet when taking ability tests.

Personality questionnaires

Personality questionnaires explore the way you tend to react to, or prefer to deal with, different situations. They are ‘self-report’ questionnaires and, unlike aptitude tests, there are no right or wrong answers, and tend not to be completed against a time limit. Your profile is based on your responses to questions or statements linked to personality factors, such as how you relate to other people, your ability to deal with your own and others’ emotions, your motivations, determination and general outlook. They capture information about your preferences and behaviour, and can be used to clarify which fields of work and what kind of role(s) someone may find intrinsically satisfying.

Personality profiles are not generally used for selection, although occasionally they may be used as the basis for discussions in an interview to understand your motivation and work habits. This is because recruiters should not be looking for a rigid or ‘typical’ personality profile for a specific role.  Whilst certain characteristics may be more or less appropriate for particular jobs or organisations the fact is that a mix of types is good for any part of an organisation, and people are frequently able to apply themselves and succeed by consciously behaving outside their core personality type; for example, a large proportion of highly successful actors are natural introverts, which at first may appear counter-intuitive.

Companies may use a personality test to identify which of the many different roles or positions available might be the best fit for you, and a few offer a test on their career pages which you can take (without fear of being evaluated) to help you make that judgement for yourself.

Similarly, the Careers Service recommends that people can use personality based tools to help explore career ideas.  We would encourage people who have taken personality tests to discuss their ideas and insights in one-to-one meeting with a careers adviser, although sometimes the insights gained from the test(s) can provide enough direction for the job-seeker to move forwards without additional advice. The Careers Service offers:

  • Access to our Oxford Careers Compass which offers a range of exercises to help you explore your values, motivations and core skill and strengths. From the start of the 2019-20 academic year Careers Compass will be replaced with a new web-based tool for all students and staff.
  • Monthly three-hour group sessions on understanding your personal style using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), led by our Alumni Adviser. These sessions are most appropriate for researchers and alumni, and there is usually a charge to cover the costs of the MBTI test. Details can be found on the event calendar on CareerConnect .

The best way to approach personality questionnaires is to answer them as straightforwardly and honestly as you can. Trying to second-guess what the employer or questionnaire is looking for is difficult, and can be counter-productive because tests will also evaluate the internal consistency of your answers and anyone trying to ‘game the test’ is likely to have their results red-flagged as unreliable (and therefore, unusable). Even if you do successfully mislead the tool and the recruiters, it’s worth considering whether you actually want to take on a job which is unlikely to really suit you and your preferred style.

Situational Judgement & Critical Thinking Tests

Situational judgement or critical thinking tests are used by many recruiters to assess candidates’ judgement when solving work-related problems. Candidates are presented with work-related scenario and asked for their judgements. Scenarios are most commonly presented as a short written scenario but companies are now using video and occasionally VR technologies to make scenarios more accessible and engaging.

Read instructions carefully to understand how you are expected to answer as there are a number of different answer styles in use, for example:

  • multiple-choice: select what ‘you are most likely’ and ‘least likely’ to do.
  • multiple-choice: identify the ‘most effective’ and ‘least effective’ options.
  • multiple answer: rank all the options from most effective to least effective.
  • multiple answer: for each action, rate it on a four or five point scale as to how effective the action is likely to be. [NB: it is possible that some (or all) actions can be ranked with the same level of effectiveness, and not all points on the scale need be used.]

Typically candidates are advised that the best way to approach these tests is to consider the detailed implications of the possible responses and then make an honest judgement, rather than trying to second guess the “best” response. However, it is worth remembering that you are taking a ‘Judgement’ test for a specific organisation. That is, there is a context for the test and the preferred answers may well have been determined by senior leaders or experts within the company to ensure that these properly reflect the organisation’s values and culture.

Our consistent advice is that job seekers should make a relatively small number of well researched highly tailored applications rather than a large number of generic and relatively poorly researched applications. In preparing for SJTs for example, we recommend candidates try to get under the skin of the firm – to understand who they are, how they see themselves and what that might mean in relation to the people they choose to hire and promote. Look at all of the advice on the company’s website.

  • Start with the recruitment pages: the ‘person specification’ and job descriptions for new graduate hires, and read other statements about ‘who they look for’.
  • Examine the company’s competency framework to evaluate how it reflects the range and style of working behaviours and decision making in the organisation.
  • And look beyond these pages for additional clues to the organisation’s values and culture, from the ‘founding myths’ in their history, the awards and achievements they promote, their CSR programmes and the talking-head videos of recent hires.

If you can, meet people at career fairs and presentations – or through your networking – ask them about the organisation’s culture. Seek examples that show:

  • “How we do things things around here”.
  • What attracts praise and promotion.
  • What kind(s) of people seem to thrive in the organisation.

Usually you will also be given the chance to take some practice questions (and examine the answers) before taking any of these tests, providing another opportunity to get an insight into the company’s way of thinking. If you get the practice questions right, then great – but for any you get wrong, review your answer against their answer with a view to understanding the subtleties of how the organisation’s stated values and competencies are reflected in that choice.

Some organisations provide practice questions anyone can try and then review your answers (e.g., Diageo and the Civil Service Fast Stream). However, remember different firms with a different context and ethos may make different judgements and so one-size will not fit every organisation.  For example, what may be required of someone seeking a business development or sales role in a highly competitive industry will be different from someone applying to service oriented role in say the healthcare sector.

Gamification of psychometrics: new styles of test

Some of the larger companies have introduced ‘game based assessments’ working with companies that have created video based assessment tools to measure well researched psychological traits. These assessments are designed to be easily accessible for everyone and not biased towards people with gaming experience. They are intended to provide a more enjoyable experience for the test-taker whilst providing high-quality data based assessment of candidates, and test providers report that their assessment are ‘highly acceptable’ to candidates: completion rates are very high, and candidates quite often enjoy doing the exercises.

As a candidate, you will be provided with a link to the test platform to take a series of video based exercises. Perhaps most important of all is to remember that you are being assessed even if the format looks and feels like a game on your mobile device.  We recommend that you:

  • ensure you have a sound internet connection;
  • have sufficient time to complete the exercises undisturbed – we understand the exercises typically take 20-40 minutes to complete.
  • Read all the instructions carefully before starting each exercise even if you have met the same test before with a different company.

The full bank of assessments will provide thousands of data points on each candidate. And data to evaluate each distinct personality trait will be gathered from multiple games, making it difficult to ‘fake’ results. This data is used to create a candidate profile which can be compared with the profiles created for the recruiting company, most usually by using current employees’ performance on the tests to calibrate the assessments.

Each exercise may appear relatively simple and will not require particular expertise or ‘gaming experience’. The range of traits being assessed can be quite extensive and is likely to include smoe or all of the following:

  • speed and flexibility of thought.
  • how you approach risk and reward.
  • your capacity to concentrate.
  • your reaction time and impulse control.
  • short term memory: ability to follow a stream of increasingly complicated instructions or repeating numerical, word or visual patterns.
  • resilience and response to difficulties or failure within a task.

The companies tend not to provide ‘practice’ resources but it is possible that you will have encountered similar tests in games that you have played for fun, rather than in a recruitment scenario. Two good free resources you can access to get some experience of the kinds of assessment games you might meet are:

  • Metro Trains Melbourne’s “Dumb Ways to Die” and
  • the MENSA Brain training app which you can get as a free 7 day trial

If you find others, please let us know.

Preparing for aptitude tests

You can and should prepare for the tests you will be asked to complete during applications.

Psychometric tests of ability are designed to assess your ‘potential’ rather than being a test of your ‘knowledge’ and the challenge is to work both quickly and accurately to demonstrate your maximum potential. Many tests are designed so that few people will complete all the questions, and questions may get harder as you go through them. Some computer-based tests also include adaptive questioning, so that the difficulty of the next questions increases or decreases according to whether you got the previous question correct, which allows the test to more accurately pinpoint an individual’s maximum level of performance.

The primary goal for practice is to become familiar with each test’s style and to hone your test-taking technique. If you are completely new to a test type or style, practice can improve your scores quite quickly: as you become familiar with the test you will need less time to decode how each question works so that you can focus you time and attention where it is needed, on finding the answers.

Practice and preparation can help you to:

  • Understand the nature of the test and the time pressures you will face. How long you will have? How many questions there are? Do individual questions have a time limit? Will question difficulty increase as you get more questions right?
  • Know what you must do to answer the questions. Are you picking one right answer in multiple choice or ranking options? If there is a graph or table of data, will there be just one question or a series of questions based on this? Can you use a calculator or not?
  • Gain insight into the type of challenges posed. What common numerical calculations are required? What fine distinctions of language are judged in verbal reasoning questions? For diagrammatic questions, are you looking for a sequences or shared patterns, and is extra irrelevant information/noise included to obscure a pattern?
  • Understand how will the test be scored. Is your score simply the number of correct answers or is there negative marking where you are penalised for wrong answers?

Once you are familiar with a test style, your test performance should be approaching your maximal level of performance. At this point, because the is now less scope for your performance to improve further, expect additional time practising to deliver lower returns. However, we recommend candidates should always complete the practice questions offered by the company applied to because this is the last chance to double-check you will not be faced by a style of question you have not practised already.

How much time anyone should invest in practising for a particular test? This is a personal decision, and for some, an hour or two will be sufficient to master one particular test type, and further hours spent doing more of the same will not be particularly beneficial. The same person may also find they need more practice on a different test type.

We encourage students to monitor their performance as they practise. You might, for example, make a judgement about whether ‘that last 15 or 30 minutes practice’ has actually helped to improve your score or understanding of the test?

Free practice tests offered by the Careers Service

Since September 2018 the Careers Service has provided free access to a very extensive range of practice material provided by JobTestPrep. This service covers the full spectrum of traditional recruitment tests and also includes practice materials specifically developed to mirror the tests used by individual named companies.

Matriculated students and alumni must apply to the Careers Service for an Access Code. This will give you 12 months free access to the site from the first time that you log in with the code. You should not share your code with anyone else. To requests a code, sign-in to your Oxford CareerConnect account and submit a query via the Queries tab using the title: Request for JobTestPrep Access Code.

For staff and students with an Oxford University email address (i.e. one ending .ox.ac.uk), we offer a second free practice resource. Users must register using their Oxford email on the landing page provided for us by Practice Aptitude Tests. A number of additional free resources on the web are listed in the External Resources section.

If you prefer video to reading, there is a series of free short training videos online with 12 Minute Prep that will help you understand the variety of cognitive ability tests you are likely to encounter most frequently. The videos also provide tips on how to prepare for each test type. Whilst the videos may be helpful, we recommend you also undertake some focused practice to deepen and reinforce your learning.

The companies that develop and sell tests also often provide access to free practice tests using questions that are still in development. However, whilst you will get an overall score on your test performance you will not normally be able to review responses question-by-question against the correct answers because the companies may want to use these questions in live assessment tests at a later date.

Numeracy reasoning skill tests

Remember that, unless a job requires a very high level of numeracy, numerical tests are not likely to be pitched higher than GCSE-level maths. Different test will include different elements, but expect tests to include:

  • addition, subtraction, division, multiplication.
  • calculations using fractions, percentages and ratios.
  • the ability to find and interpret information in charts, graphs and tables.

If you are unsure about your maths, or you are worried that your mental maths is a bit rusty, it will certainly also help if your start exercising your maths brain, and practise core mental arithmetic skills as well as with a calculator. In Michaelmas Term, the Careers Service offers workshops on preparing for tests and improving your maths skills, but you can make a start by playing mathematical games and puzzles and setting yourself challenges as you go through your day:

  • estimate how many passengers were on the train to Oxford, and what percentage of seats were unoccupied (both on the way to Oxford and when the train pulled out again).
  • calculate how many times will your bike wheel rotate between College and the Careers Service/your department; or to the sports ground/boathouse/your parents’ home?
  • how many lamp-posts are there in Oxford, or pay-as-you-go bikes?
  • add up the costs of your shopping basket as you fill it, or ‘beat the barstaff’ to calculate the cost of a round of drinks.
  • take time to examine graphs and tables in press and magazine articles to understand what they show before reading the explanation in the article.
  • use online GCSE revision tools and maths development games to practise (see suggestions listed in External Resources: Basic Numeracy below).

Also, seek out data tables and graphs, for example by reading financial reports and studying charts in the quality/financial press. One accessible starting point is the FT’s weekly Chart that tells a Story: sign up for free access using your Bodleian Library membership. Practise understanding these data sources quickly, for example by using titles, checking the labelling on axes and the other information provided to understand the information presented through the table/graph, the units and timescales covered, and so on.

In the tests themselves, the data tables and graphs used tend not be to massively complicated. For example, you may be given pricing information for four or five products and a graph showing sales volumes for each product over five or six months. The questions may range from simple (e.g. Which product was sold most in March?) to more complex and requiring some estimations or quick calculations (e.g. Which product showed the greatest percentage increase in sales revenues between May and June?).

Verbal reasoning skills

There is quite a range of question types you can encounter for verbal reasoning skills. The most frequently used are tests of comprehension and logical reasoning which assess your reading accuracy, your ability to extract information, and capacity to accurately judge whether or not the information provided allows you to identify subsequent statements as true or false, or if you have insufficient information.

Other tests may be a test of vocabulary and verbal dexterity, or ask you to identify and correct errors, and so it is worth knowing a few definitions, (e.g. what are antonyms; synonyms; homonyms) and being clear on differences between words and phrases that are commonly confused or misspelled (their/there; whether/weather; your/you’re; it’s/its)

Use the free resources sign-posted above to practice the range of tests to discover your strengths. Beyond this, reading unfamiliar academic and business journals, manuals and technical reports may help, and you can practise extracting and summarising the main points from passages of information.

Tips for sitting the test

You can be asked to do a test online in your own time, or in a formal test-setting as part of an assessment day, and don’t be surprised if you are re-tested at an assessment centre as this is quite common. If you have a disability which may affect your capacity to access the test fairly, you can expect the employer to make reasonable adjustments, but you will need to let them know this in advance of the session.  See the section below for a fuller explanation.

Our advice to all candidates is:

  • Before starting, ensure that you know exactly what you are required to do – do not be afraid to ask questions if there is a member of the recruitment team present.
  • Follow the instructions you are given exactly – usually you will be given ‘reading time’ for the instructions before starting any test.
  • Read through the questions and answer choices very carefully.
  • Eliminate as many wrong answers as possible. For example, with numerical tests a quick estimate may help you to discard several of the options without working out every alternative.
  • Both speed and accuracy are important, so:
    • Keep an eye on the clock.
    • Do not waste time on difficult questions. If you are stuck on a question, leave it and move on.
    • Don’t worry if you do not finish all the questions in the time – often tests are designed to stretch even the most able candidates.

If you do finish early on a paper and pencil test it can be useful to quickly check over over your answers again – but with an online test, the system may record how quickly you took the test as well and finishing early (without losing accuracy) tells the assessors something extra about your core ability.

Whether it is advisable to guess if you do not know the right answer will depend on how the test is being marked, so always try to find out the marking scheme before you star to chose your strategy. Where your score is a simple count the correct answers, eliminating definitely wrong answers will improve the chances of guessing right, and quickly guessing answers to remaining questions right at the end of the test time can help lift your score. However, when wrong answers are scored negatively, it makes little sense to guess answers.

Not passing the tests?

If you have not done well on a test, this does not necessarily mean that you lack ability because there can be a number of reasons for poor performance on the day. These could include feeling tired or under the weather, being unable to concentrate due to personal problems, misunderstanding what you had to do, answering questions too slowly or panicking.

Remember, it is inevitable that some test-takes will fall short in every test and falling short in one selection process does not mean you will not succeed in subsequent applications. Where the pass-mark is set by a particular company can be affected by a number of factors. For example:

  • performance may be assessed against a ‘high-performing norm group’, such as the firm’s previous graduate hires or management.
  • the point in the recruitment process when the test is used.
  • the number of applications received and quality of other candidates.

If you are concerned, you may decide that further practice will be sufficient, or decide to undertake some specific development work to further develop particular abilities or skills. In Michaelmas Term the Careers Service will run one or two preparation sessions, and at any point you may want to discuss your test technique with a Careers Adviser.

Information for disabled & international students

Disabled students

A number of major graduate recruiters have policies and processes that are proactive in recruiting students and graduates from diverse backgrounds. To find out the policies and attitudes of employers that you are interested in, explore their equality and diversity policies and see if they are a Disability Confident employer or are recognised for their policy by such indicators as ‘Mindful Employer’ or as a ‘Stonewall’s Diversity Champion’.

Psychometric tests can be useful to counteract the biases inherent in other evaluative techniques, such as interviews, because everyone who takes a psychometric test is given an equivalent assessment, and takes it under the similar conditions. However, to ensure that tests are fair and to provide a ‘level playing field’ for everyone, most companies will make reasonable adjustments where candidates have a disclosed disability. These adjustment may be similar to those you can expect for your academic work, such as allowing time to sit the test, setting a lower pass mark, providing a personal reader/writer or signer, or providing specialised equipment (e.g. loop systems/Braille keyboards).

The British Psychological Society’s Test Takers Guide contains general information information for people with disabilities.

The UK law protects you from discrimination due to your age, gender, race, religion or beliefs, disability or sexual orientation. For further information on the Equality Act 2010 and to find out where and how you are protected, and what to do if you feel you have been discriminated against, visit the Government’s website on discrimination.

Non-native English speakers

If English is not your first language, you may be anxious about the effect this might have on your performance in psychometric tests, in particular in verbal reasoning tests. While recruiters may take your concerns about your level of English into account, different companies will be more or less flexible about this. Test providers sometimes give employers an idea of the extent to which language ability may affect scores. Remember though that good English language ability will be important to organisations recruiting into UK based positions.

Our resources

Practice tests

The Careers Service has a partnerships with JobTestPrep to provide matriculated students and alumni with free access to a very extensive range of practice material provided. The JobTestPrep resources include not only the core numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning tests, but also extensive resources for Situational Judgement Tests; the Waston Glaser tests (frequently used by law firms); practice e-tray exercises; and an expanding number of practice tests designed to match tests used by specific employers. Apply for your personal Access Code via the Queries tab in CareerConnect.

An additional free resource offering a whole bank of tests to anyone registering with an Oxford University email address (i.e. one ending .ox.ac.uk) is provided for us by Practice Aptitude Tests.

Many employers who use these tests also offer practice versions on their own websites, and we recommend you use these to practise and prepare too if applying to that particular employer.

Books

General psychometric tests

  • Brilliant Psychometric and Other Selection Tests, Susan Hodgson
  • Brilliant Psychometric Tests, Robert Edenborough
  • Brilliant Tactics to Pass Aptitude Tests, Susan Hodgson
  • How to Master Psychometric Tests, Mark Parkinson
  • How to Pass Advanced Aptitude Tests, Jim Barrett
  • How to Pass Advanced Verbal Reasoning Tests, Mike Byron
  • How to Pass Graduate Psychometric Tests, Mike Bryon
  • How to Pass Data Interpretation Tests, Mike Bryon
  • How to Pass Numerical Reasoning Tests, Heidi Smith
  • How to Pass Professional Level Psychometric Tests, Sam Al-Jajjoka
  • How to Pass Psychometric Tests, Andrea Shavick
  • How to Pass Selection Tests, Mike Bryon And Sanjay Modha
  • How to Pass the QTS Numeracy and Literacy Skills Test, Chris Tyreman
  • IQ And Aptitude Tests, Philip Carter
  • The Complete Personality Assessment, Jim Barrett And Hugh Green
  • The Graduate Psychometric Test Workbook, Mike Bryon
  • The Numeracy Test Workbook, Mike Bryon
  • The Verbal Reasoning Test Workbook, Mike Bryon
  • You’re Hired! Assessment Centres, Ceri Roderick
  • You’re Hired! Psychometric Tests: Proven Tactics to Help You Pass, Ceri Roderick And James Meachin
  • Tips for Passing Psychometric Tests, Bernice Walmsley
  • Psychometric Tests for Graduates, Andrea Shavick
  • The Testing Series: Psychometric Tests, Richard McMunn
  • The Advanced Numeracy Test Workbook, Mike Byron

Postgraduate study in the USA

  • The Careers Service has a wide selection of GRE, GMAT and LSAT workbooks (standardised tests used by American universities for entry on to their graduate programmes).

Civil service tests

  • How to Pass the Civil Service Qualifying Tests, Mike Byron (Kogan Page) – based on the old test but still very useful.

Personality questionnaires

  • Every month we run interactive, three-hour group sessions on understanding your personal style with the MBTI. See the event calendar on CareerConnect for further information.
External resources

Numerical, verbal & abstract reasoning

  • Job Test Prep – An extensive range of preparation and practice tests across many different test types, and including practice tests designed to mirror tests used by some named companies. The Careers Service offers free access to current students and recent graduates: Request your personal Access Code by using the Queries tab in CareerConnect. 
  • Practice Aptitude Tests offers a wide range of free tests for Oxford students. Register on the Oxford landing page with your university email address [i.e. it must end @….ox.ac.uk]

Other advice and free sites you can use include the following, but please note that inclusion of a resource here is not carry any endorsement of the content or quality of the materials offered as we are not able to evaluate all the providers listed.

  • Psych Testing – information from the British Psychological Society on tests and test usage
  • TargetJobs: Psychometric Tests – a useful overview and links to free practice tests
  • Prospects: Psychometric Tests – provides a range of aptitude tests and personality and career development assessment examples
  • SHL Direct – examples of verbal, numerical and diagrammatic tests plus practice tests and feedback from one of the largest UK test publishers
  • Morrisby – contains advice and sample abstract, verbal, numerical, perceptual, shape and mechanical test questions.
  • Psychometric Success.com – free practice tests in a range of reasoning skills
  • Assessment Day Practice Aptitude Tests – includes numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, inductive reasoning, psychometric tests and assessment centres
  • PracticeReasoningTests.com offers articles and advice on different test types: the articles on verbal, numeric and inductive reasoning provide a link to one free test example. In 2018 they added guide to tests for university students.
  • Assessment-training.com offers unlimited practice with fully worked solutions, and a personal progress tracking system to find weak spots.
  • Mensa – not aptitude tests as such, but the pages might get you used to thinking quickly in test situations. Also, try down the free 7-day trial of the Mensa Brain Training App for short games to test your Memory, Concentration, Agility, Perception and Reasoning.
  • 12 minute prep.com – Series of free short introductory videos on different types of tests and advice on practise and maximising your performance.
  • Test Partnership – examples of numeric, verbal, inductive reasoning and critical thinking tests and some personality/style questionnaires. Use the “Candidate Preparation” button to launch a practise test.
  • TryTalentQ – click the Try Elements Ability Test to register for their free tests
  • Cubiks: Practice Tests – take free five-minute verbal and numerical reasoning tests (answers given, no feedback). Click on ‘Cubiks online – Ability tests’ to access them
  • TalentLens: Practice Tests – numerical reasoning and critical thinking tests

Personality questionnaires

  • Team Technology: Personality Tests – useful introduction to personality questionnaires with links to several examples
  • Diagonal Thinking TestA free test offered by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) that helps you check whether your skill-set fits a career in the advertising sector.

Situational judgement & critical thinking tests

Sector-specific tests

Basic numeracy

Equal opportunities

  • The British Psychological Society’s Test Takers Guide provides general information about preparing for a test, information for people with disabilities, what happens during and after a test session and what psychological tests measure.
This information was last updated on 28 August 2019.
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Business Career Alternatives to Management Consultancy – come along to the Oxford Careers Fair to find out more…

Blogged by Lara Hayward on 16/10/2019.

Many students in Oxford feel that they hear a lot about management consultancy and not enough about other options. If you are interested in having a high impact business career, whilst exploring entrepreneurship, social impact and business with purpose, this keynote talk is for you.

Cambridge graduate and successful businessman, Will Gardner, will speak about his career working for companies like Unilever and Mars, and how he has ended up championing purposeful business and supporting leaders in making their businesses purpose and value driven.

Will’s talk will take place from 12:30-13:15 at the Oxford University Careers Fair at the Exams Schools on Saturday, 19 October.

 About Will Gardner

Will developed his passion for Purposeful Business when he led the co-creation and rollout of Unilever’s ‘Crafting Brands for Life’ Way of Marketing – inspiring and equipping Unilever’s global community of 6,000 marketers to put social Purpose at the heart of the company’s brands.

He subsequently started up and led Collectively.org, a digital media and collaboration business focused on accelerating the shift to sustainable ways of living and consumption. Born from discussions at the World Economic Forum, partners included Unilever, Google, M&S, BT and Salesforce.

Will served for six years as Trustee for Sightsavers, the leading international NGO tackling avoidable blindness. He’s a B Leader, a Vistage speaker, an RSA Fellow and an Ambassador for the Positive Innovation Club.

An experienced strategist, marketer and change leader, Will believes that purposeful business is the key to unleash the full potential of employees, customers, and partners to do extraordinary things for people, planet and profit. It takes logic and magic to do it brilliantly: the logic of a well-crafted strategy and disciplined execution; the magic of compelling storytelling to draw people in and inspire them to action.

For further information see: https://willgardner.co/

Interested in a career in music? Don’t miss BBC Music Introducing Live

Blogged by Lara Hayward on 16/10/2019.

When: 31 October – 2 November 2019
Where: Tobacco Dock, London

Are you an aspiring music artist? Looking for a career in music on the artistic or the business side? How about music journalism? Learn from industry experts and leading artists at BBC Music Introducing Live 19’

This is one of the most comprehensive music career events available, that also enables you to network with industry professionals across all aspects of the music business. For further details, check out the programme online here.

For further advice on careers in Music & Radio see our sector page.

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