Psychometric Assessments

Psychometric assessments are frequently used in graduate-level recruitment. Although online testing has now mostly replaced pencil-and-paper type psychometric assessments, the approaches continue to measure the same, well-established, psychological metrics as predictors of future performance.  The styles of assessment fall into a number of categories:

  • Tests of ability, including verbal, numerical, spatial reasoning and critical thinking aptitude tests.
  • Personality and trait-based assessments, which may include personality questionnaires examining your preferences.
  • Situational judgement assessments where candidates are asked to make judgements based on diverse work-relevant scenarios.
  • Game based assessments, which often provide a blended assessment to evaluate candidates' abilities, personality and judgements.  

Psychometric assessments used by organisations for recruitment will have been developed by qualified psychologists, who are usually specialists in this field. These tests will have been rigorously trialled and evaluated to ensure that they measure what they are intended to measure, and that they do this fairly and consistently. In addition, recruiters should have been trained in the appropriate use of psychometric assessments for selection.

As a candidate, your score or performance will be evaluated against the results of a large, representative ‘Norm Group’. In a graduate recruitment situation, the ‘Norm Group’ may be recent graduates or even a large number of the company’s current staff working in related roles. This helps each organisation to calibrate the assessment process to their own needs, but makes it  difficult for candidates to judge what constitutes a 'good' score or where the 'pass mark' will be set. 

Free access to practice resources

Oxford University students can gain free access to comprehensive training material from JobTestPrep to help ace psychometric tests. 


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The goal for the recruitment process is to make accurate judgements about which candidates have the greatest likelihood of future success in the position(s) being filled. Psychometric assessments help with this, and can be a significant additional layer of information on candidates.

Psychometric assessments have known levels of validity and reliability, and are considered to offer a broadly objective assessment of candidates and their traits and abilities.

  • Tests development also includes evaluation of likely bias and 'adverse impact' for candidates, and companies are required by law to make reasonable adjustments for candidates who disclose relevant disabilities wihich are likely to affect their performance: for some candidates, this can mean they by-pass these assessments altogether.
  • Further, test-users (i.e. the companies and recruiters) should be trained in the appropriate use of psychometrics for selection. Where they wish to avoid 'false-negatives' and the risk of screening-out high calibre candidates, test-users should set the 'pass' mark conservatively.

For recruiters, online psychometric assessment can offer a high volume, cost-effective method to evaluate a large number of candidates. Some organisations now use these assessments for the initial screening of candidates, and have removed the written application stage (eg, CV & cover letter) - although when used as the first screening process, companies can set the bar higher.  Candidates may have to take psychometric assessments at different points in a recruitment process, and may also be asked to re-take assessments at an assessment centre.   

Psychometric assessments can also be useful in evaluating a candidate's potential and ability in important areas that are difficult to evaluate in other parts or the recruitment process. This includes tests that can be used to evaluate specific skills related to a role, such as:

  • language aptitude tests, similar to those used by Oxford for admissions to modern foreign language degrees
  • spatial reasoning tests used in recruitment to engineering roles; and
  • numerical reasoning tests for financial roles. 

Ability tests - verbal, numerical and 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. 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.

Other types of assessments that you may face, such as Situational Judgement Tests and Critical Reasoning Tests, can also incorporate elements of numerical reasoning as scenarios may include data tables and graphs you need to interpret, and the precise and specific use of language reflected in verbal reasoning tests also applies to the formulation of content in these alternative assessments.   

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 practice using a calculator quickly and accurately. In Michaelmas Term, the Careers Service offers workshops on preparing for tests and improving your maths skills, but you can make a start, for example:

  • take time to examine graphs and tables in press and magazine articles to understand what they show before reading the explanation in the article. Try the FT's weekly Chart that tells a Story (free access using your Bodleian Library membership).
  • use online GCSE revision tools and maths development games to practise (see suggestions listed in External Resources: Basic Numeracy below).
  • play mathematical games and set yourself challenges as you go through your day:
    • how many passengers were on the train to Oxford, and what percentage of seats were unoccupied? 
    • how many times will your bike wheels rotate between College and the Careers Service/your department?
    • estimate how many lamp-posts or man-hole covers are there in Oxford?
    • add up the costs of your shopping basket as you fill it.

In the tests themselves, the data tables and graphs used tend to be relatively simple, and the test is how quickly and accurately you can extract information. For example, you may be given pricing information and sales volumes for four or five products across five or six months. The questions posed can range from simple (e.g. Which product was sold most in March?) to more complex question which and require you to make some quick calculations or estimates (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)

Beyond the free practice resources sign-posted below, reading unfamiliar academic and business journals, manuals and technical reports may help.

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 will not usually be looking for a rigid or ‘typical’ personality profile for a specific role.

However, 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 you will sometimes find one offered on corporate career pages to help potential applicants understand which job role fits them best. Similarly, the Careers Service recommends using personality based tools to help explore career ideas. If you have taken a personality test and have any questions about how to use the insights offered, it can be helpful to discuss these in a one-to-one meeting with a careers adviser.

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, 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 and critical thinking tests

Situational judgement and critical thinking tests are used by many recruiters to assess candidates' judgement when solving work-related problems. Candidates are presented with work-related scenarios followed by a number of proposed actions or responses they can choose between. Scenarios may be presented as short written situation, but companies are now using video and occasionally VR technologies to make scenarios more accessible and engaging. 

There are a number of different answer styles used to assess the candidate's judgement, for example:

  • select what 'you are most likely' and 'least likely' to do.
  • identify the 'most effective' and 'least effective' options.
  • rank all the options from most effective to least effective.
  • for each action, rate how effective the action is likely to be, but note:
    • you may only be allowed to use each rating once in each question; or
    • it may be possible for some (or all) actions to be rated with the same level of effectiveness, and not all points on the scale need be used.

Read instructions carefully and be sure you understand how you are expected to answer each question, even if you have already completed other SJTs.

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, remember that the context for your 'Judgement' includes the organisation and role, and that the subject matter experts who helped develop the test will have done so in relation to the organisation's values and culture. We recommend therefore that in your research you should aim to understand the organisation, how they see themselves and what that might mean in relation to the people they choose to hire and promote. Look for information on values and culture on the company's website and if you meet meet people at career fairs or through your networking, ask them about the organisation's culture.

Before taking any of these tests you will usually be given the chance by the organisation to take some practice questions (and examine the answers). This is 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). Remember, however, that firms with a different context and ethos may make different judgements so that. For example, the judgements made by someone suitable for a service-oriented role in the healthcare sector may well be different to those of someone seeking a business development or sales role in a highly competitive industry.

Game Based Assessments

Some companies are using  'game based assessments' (GBAs) in their selection processes. These can be taken on a computer or any mobile device, although there is evidence that candidates that use a mobile phone score slightly lower. GBAs are designed to be easily accessible. The individual games will be simple to play and are not biased towards people with gaming experience. Test providers and companies believe that GBAs offer a more enjoyable candidate experience, and cite very high completion rates and positive feedback from candidates as evidence of this.

As a candidate, you will be provided with a link to the test platform to take a series of video-based exercises. Whilst they may have the look and feel of quite simple games, remember that it is still an assessment, so approach them with focused attention and a readiness to perform at your best. Also, read all instructions carefully before starting each exercise even if you have met the same or a similar test before with a different company.

We recommend that you ensure you have:

  • a stable internet connection;
  • sufficient time to complete the exercises undisturbed - perhaps 20-30 minutes.

Typically, there will be many short games to play, perhaps 12 or more. Because each exercise will be simple to play, companies rarely offer 'practice' resources beyond those needed to familiarise candidates with the platform. Candidates can take as much time as they need to understand the instructions (not timed), but once you hit 'play', the tool will be collecting data on your performance for that game, so make sure you are ready to 'go'.

As mentioned in the introduction, GBAs evaluate the individual against long established and well understood psychological traits. The tool will collects thousands of data points on every candidate, and data for each personality trait will be gathered from multiple games. This makes it extremely difficult for candidates to 'fake' results even if they are clear what traits are most desirable. The range of traits being assessed can be quite extensive and is likely to include some or all of the following:

  • Speed and flexibility of thought.
  • How you approach risk and reward.
  • Your concentration.
  • Your reaction time and impulse control.
  • Short term memory, e.g. by following increasingly complicated instructions, or repeating number sequences or visual patterns.
  • Resilience and response to difficulties or failure within a task.

Your final candidate profile will be compared against profiles created for the recruiting company, quite often based on the performance of their current employees who have taken the same bank of tests.

Although GBAs rarely offer you any 'practice' resources, you may well have encountered similar tests in games that you have played for fun, rather than in a recruitment scenario. The practice resources on JobTestPrep offered free to matriculated students at Oxford (see Our Resources section below) includes resources to prepare and practice the most commonly used GBAs. Or if you are curious and want some free and fun resources to use in order to understand the kind of games you might be asked to play, try:

  • Metro Trains Melbourne's "Dumb Ways to Die" [fun but a bit gruesome!] and
  • the MENSA Brain training app, which you can download as a free 7-day trial.

When taking psychometric assessments, you want to be entirely focused on seeking the correct answers rather than trying to understand what you must do for any question. Preparation focuses first on becoming familiar with the test(s) and honing your test-taking technique.

There are four ways that practice can help you improve performance:

  • Understand the nature of the test and the time pressures you will face. How long the test takes and how many questions there are? Do individual questions have a time limit? Will question difficulty increase as you get more questions right? Can you use a calculator?
  • Know what you must do to answer the questions. Mostly questions are multiple choice, but are you selecting one answer, multiple answers or ranking options, and do questions sometimes include a 'none' or 'all' of the options offered? If there is a graph or table of data, will there be just one question or a series of questions based on this?
  • Gain insight into the type of challenges posed. What common numerical calculations are required? What fine distinctions of language are being judged in verbal reasoning questions? For diagrammatic questions, are you looking for a sequences or shared patterns, and have the test designers added extra irrelevant information/noise included to obscure a pattern? Can you use a calculator or not?
  • 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?

If you are completely new to a test, you can expect your initial practice to improve your scores quite quickly as you become familiar with the test. Once that initial boost is achieved however, more time practising is likely to yield much smaller gains in performance as you near your actual potential. Because of this diminishing return on later practice, monitor your performance as you practise. For example, pause every half-hour to assess whether the last 15 or 30 minutes has helped to improve your score or understanding of the test.

How much time anyone should invest in practising for a particular test is a personal decision. Some may find an hour is enough to master one particular test type, but the same person may also find they need much more preparation for a different test. 

Finally, we recommend candidates should always complete any practice questions offered by the company before taking their tests. This is an important final check that the test you are about to take does not include a new style of question that you have not met in your practice.

Free practice tests offered by the Careers Service

The Careers Service provides current matriculated students with free access to a comprehensive test practice site: JTP: JobTestPrep. This covers the full spectrum of traditional recruitment tests, including materials specifically developed to mirror the tests used by individual named companies. Importantly, whether practising one question at a time or taking practice tests under timed conditions, you can review your answers and see full explanations of the correct answers.

Ask for a JTP Access Code using the Queries tab in your CareerConnect account, and send us a request with the title: Request for JobTestPrep Access Code. Your Access Code gives you 12 months free access from the first time you log in. You should not share your code with anyone else. 

We offer a more limited second free practice resource with Practice Aptitude Tests for staff and students, accessed using an Oxford University email address (i.e. one ending Other free resources available on the web are listed in the External Resources section provide plenty of material everyone can access. 

As for any assessment, it is good practice to plan and prepare to be at your best. And during the assessment, especially in  game-based assessments that might offer a fun user experience, keep in mind that you are being assessed and it will pay to remain focused throughout.

All organisations will allow at least a few days for applicants to complete each next assessment stage, so use the time to prepare well. Consider to following:

  • Review the information supplied and identify the test type(s) and test provider for more focused practice (for example, the invitation email may come from the test provider or link to their website, not to the employer's website?)
  • Sufficient practice will increase familiarity, reduce anxiety and help you to be ready to perform on the assessment.
  • Seek specific relevant training resources: does JobTestPrep have specific practice materials for the recruiting company, or the test type from the test provider identified? Targeted practice with these resources builds on the foundations of earlier preparation and practice and need not take many hours.   
  • Being well rested is important, so get a good nights sleep.
  • Prepare mentally, for example, getting your 'exam' mindset right, positive self-talk and refresh your commitment to staying focused throughout the assessment 
  • Plan ahead to give yourself your best chance of success:
    • ensure you will be in a familiar or well ordered space with secure, stable internet connection
    • plan to take assessments at a time of day when you tend to be at your best
    • ensure you will have enough time to complete assessments free from interruptions.

Employers are required to make reasonable adjustments for candidates who declare a disability which may affect their capacity to access the assessment fairly. Adjustments are likely to be in line with the kind of adjustments you receive on your academic work. Candidates must, however, inform the employer before taking the assessment, and it is best to do so early enough to allow a few days for them to determine what adjustments are suitable. If you suspect that you may have an undiagnosed disability or visual impairment that will make an online testing environment difficult to navigate, you may want to raise this with the HR team to seek their advice and guidance. You might also be able to make some adjustments as well, for example by following the 3 Tips for Easier Web Browsing  published by the Bureau of Internet Accessibility.   The information you disclose will be confidential to the HR team. See our more detailed advice in the EDI section below.

Tips and tactics for taking test

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.

  • Use the 'reading time' given to understand the instructions before starting any test.

  • Read questions and answer choices carefully - do not lose points due to simple mistakes.

  • For multiple choice questions, eliminate as many wrong answers as possible. For example, with numerical tests a quick estimate may help you to discard 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 finish early, go back to questions you skipped or quickly check over your answers. 

Whether it is a good idea to guess if you do not know the right answer will depend on how the test is marked, so try to find out the marking scheme and chose a strategy based on that. 

  • If your score is a simple count all the correct answers, eliminating definitely wrong answers and then guessing improves the chances of a right answer, and quickly guessing answers to remaining questions right at the end of the test time can help lift your score.

  • If the test is scored negatively - that is, you lose points for wrong answers - it is better to work more deliberately and not guess answers.

Should candidates use AI tools when taking online assessments?

Since 2022, AI tools like ChatGPT have become widely available and many students will have experimented and explored their potential in all sorts of different situations; online assessment by recruiters is one more environment where some applicants may be tempted to use the tools with the hope of boosting their performance. From your own perspective, you should first consider how comfortable you are with the ethical or moral dilemma of whether or not this constitutes 'cheating'.

The development of AIs also seems to be running ahead of the regulatory and legal frameworks; we do anticipate that recruiters will be developing their own policies, and they will expect candidates to follow any instructions or injunctions included in their recruitment processes. 

Whether or not using an AI to try to enhance performance or 'game the system' is explicitly banned, we advise against using these tools when taking psychometric assessments. Here are some additional reasons to consider: 

  • The recruiting organisation may consider it cheating or unethical. In this scenario, if you are caught using an AI, your candidacy will be terminated and you may also be barred from any future application round. Moreover, even if you have started work, you can expect to be summarily dismissed on ethical grounds. 
  • Some firms are likely to use 'online proctoring' that allows them to track screen use, key strokes and other methods to monitor test-takers.
  • For as long as remote and online testing has existed, organisations have required candidates to re-take assessments during in-person “authentic” assessment days: expect this to be common practice where organisations are concerned that candidates are using AI tools for remote assessments. 
  • Test developers are evaluating and assessing the scope for AIs to assist test-takers across all their assessments, and
    • AI tools perform poorly on some kinds of assessment.
    • Developers will be adjusting assessments to maintain the integrity and validity of their assessments, 
    • Some traditional assessments already include internal check/mechanisms to identify candidates attempting to 'game the test', and it may be possible for test designers to embed questions that will identify candidates using AI tools.

Last, remember that recruitment aims to identify candidates who are most likely to succeed in the organisation and in the role. Assessment processes are designed to provide evidence for decision making, so in a well-designed recruitment process, any candidate unable to pass online assessments without assistance may struggle to succeed in the role if they are appointed - and may, therefore, find their tenure limited!

If you do not progress after sitting psychometric tests it can be hard to be sure why you were not successful.

  • Firstly, you will not know if you were just below the cut-off, nor will you know how many other candidates there were and thus the likely proportion of candidates who will have also been screened out.
  • Secondly, it can be hard to judge your own performance: for example, many tests are designed so that few people sitting them will complete all the questions. In this situation, you cannot know whether completing 28 of the 35 questions was high or low in comparison to other test-takers or the 'Norm Group' used to anchor candidate evaluation.
  • Moreover, computerised tests can now include adaptive questioning, so that the difficulty of the next question you face will vary depending on your performance on previous question(s):
    • a useful methodology that allows the test to more accurately pinpoint an individual's maximum level of performance; and
    • it is a good sign for the candidate if the test becomes more and more difficult.

Further, the choice of where to set the 'pass-mark' can be affected by a number of factors that are not visible to candidates. For example:

  • the 'Norm Curve' used to calibrate the test: if candidates are assessed against a 'high-performing norm group', such as the firm's previous graduate hires or managers.
  • the number of applications received and quality of other candidates.
  • the stage in the recruitment process when the test is used.

Remember, it is inevitable that some test-takers are not successful. Falling short in one selection process does not mean you will not succeed in subsequent applications.

Review your performance on the day and consider whether you really were at your best. How good was your preparation and practice? Were you feeling tired or under the weather? How was your test-taking technique on the day - your focus and concentration? Was your set-up good - no technical concerns, interruptions or disruptions? Were you answering questions too slowly or did you panic or freeze? Do you need to prepare differently next time?

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.

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. To ensure that tests are fair, companies should make reasonable adjustments for test takers where appropriate to provide a 'level playing field'. However, as an applicant you must disclose relevant information before you take the test, early enough for the company to make the adjustments: companies cannot make any allowances for your performance if you disclose a relevant disability after you have taken the assessments.  

For candidates who have a disclosed disability, adjustment may be similar to those you can expect for your academic work, such as allowing more 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). In cases where reasonable adjustment is not possible, the company may even waive the requirement for an individual to take their tests, which will be judged on a case-by-case basis. 

Additional general information for people with disabilities is provided in the British Psychological Society's Test Takers Guide. The Disability Task Group at AGCAS (the Association of Graduate Careers Advisers) has also published a useful and practical guide for disabled candidates on psychometric assessments.

Recruiters are keen to have a diverse workforce, and many will have policies and processes that are proactive in recruiting students and graduates from diverse backgrounds. An increasing number of recruiters are offering traineeships, internships and insight events that are aimed at specific groups and many are being recognised for their approach to being inclusive employers.

Try the following to discover more about the policies and attitudes of the recruiters that you are interested in:

The UK Equality Act 2010 has a number of protected characteristics to prevent discrimination due to your age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion or beliefs, sex or sexual orientation. For further information, visit the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s webpage on the Equality Act and the Government’s webpages 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. Many tests are available in many different languages, so do ask the company if this option is possible. If the option does not existing in your own language, it can still be worthwhile notifying the company in case the can make appropriate adjustments or have access to information from the test providers which indicates the extent to which non-native language ability may affect scores.

While recruiters may take your concerns about your level of English into account, different companies will be more or less flexible about this. Remember though that good English language ability will usually be important to organisations recruiting into UK based positions.

Practice resources from Oxford Careers Service

  • JobTestPrep: The Careers Service offers free access to current matriculated students. Request your personal Access Code through the Queries tab in CareerConnect. An extensive range of preparation and practice tests across many different test types, including Situational Judgement Tests; the Waston Glaser CTA (frequently used by law firms); e-tray exercises; and tests designed to mirror tests used by some named companies.
  • Practice Aptitude Tests: An additional free resource accessed using an Oxford University email address (ending in

Web-based resources for everyone

Other advice and free sites you can use include the following, given in alphabetic order. Please note that inclusion of a resource here is not an endorsement of the content or quality of the materials offered as we are not able to evaluate all the providers listed.

Graduate Career Websites

Online test specific resources

  • 12 minute - Series of free short introductory videos on different types of tests and advice on practise and maximising your performance.
  • Assessment Day Practice Aptitude Tests - includes numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, inductive reasoning, SJTs and assessment centres.
  • offers unlimited practice with fully worked solutions, and a personal progress tracking system to find weak spots.
  • 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.
  • GRE - for a comprehensive set of materials for the GRE tests for postgraduate study in the USA
  • Job Test Prep - limited free practice tests.
  • 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.
  • Pearson TalentLens: Practice Tests - numerical reasoning and critical thinking tests
  • offers articles and advice on different test types: the articles on verbal, numeric and inductive reasoning provide a link to one free test example.
  • Morrisby contains advice and sample abstract, verbal, numerical, perceptual, shape and mechanical test questions.
  • Psych Testing - information from the British Psychological Society on tests and test usage
  • Psychometric - free practice tests in a range of reasoning skills
  • SHL Direct - examples of verbal, numerical and diagrammatic tests plus practice tests and feedback from one of the largest UK test publishers
  • 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

Personality questionnaires

Read our Generating Career Ideas briefing for advice and suggestions of many personality based resources you might use to support career planning and development. 

  • Diagonal Thinking Test. A 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.
  • Team Technology: Personality Tests - useful introduction to personality questionnaires with links to several examples

Basic numeracy

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

  • 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.
  • The AGCAS Disability Task Group's useful and practical guide for disabled candidates on psychometric assessments.
  • The Bureau of Internet Accessibility blog 3 Tips for Easier Web Browsing  provides suggestions for people with visual disabilities about the adjustments that users can make to improve online accessibility.  
  • The candidate information and guidance from the UK Civil Service on "Reasonable adjustments for online tests" is a succinct and comprehensive introduction to the variety and range of adjustments that candidates can seek or expect. Whilst written for civil service applications, it is a useful introduction from a reliable source, whatever applications you may have made.  
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