Learn About Psychometrics with Free Online Psychometric Tests
Increase Your Confidence and Improve Your Score with Free Online Practise Psychometric Tests
Many employers and recruitment agencies use a form of psychometric testing as part of their selection process. These tests measure your competence and intellectual capabilities as well as your logical and analytical reasoning abilities in a very specific area. They aim to assess your abilities to use specific job related skills and to predict subsequent job performance.
In an employment context this form of testing adds structured information to the informal information gained from other sources such as interviews and observations.
Regardless of the position you are applying for (management, graduate, professional, IT, administrative, engineering or any other), you are likely to face a psychometric test either before, during or after the job interview.
For some people this testing can be quite daunting, particularly if it’s your first time or it’s been some time since you were tested. This anxiety can lead to poor test performance and scoring, which may not reflect your true abilities. However, by using valid and reliable practise psychometric tests to prepare not only will know what to expect but you can identify areas where you need to improve.
In this Section you will find…
Part 1: An Introduction to Psychometric Testing
How psychometric testing works – what it is, why and how it’s used, the different types of tests and what the results mean. An understanding of the basic principles and administration of psychometric testing will help you to avoid some of the most common mistakes people make.
Part 2: Free Online Practise Psychometric Tests
This section includes a selection of free online psychometric tests including the Wonderlic Cognitive Ability test and career specific versions for the Defence Forces and Fire Services.
Don’t let anxiety or a lack of understanding get in the way of doing your best in the test.
Free psychometric tests give you an idea of how the tests work and a general indication of your strengths and weaknesses. The results are limited though and the test taking process doesn’t reflect true test conditions.
If you’re an active job seeker or candidate who is unfamiliar with the testing process, or you need to improve your test taking speed, skills and confidence, then for best results you need to prepare with valid practice psychometric aptitude tests.
Get all the tools you need for an optimal learning experience and watch as your scores improve after practising with real test simulations.
Part 1. What is a Psychometric Test and How do they Work?
Psychometrics simply means measurement of the mind. It’s derived from the Greek ‘psyche’ (mind) and ‘metron’ (measure). Essentially, it is a measure of how your brain works and provides a quantifiable measurement of your mental ability.
The psychological tests that measure our minds generally fall into two broad categories:
- Personality: There are tests designed to assess personal qualities, such as personality, beliefs, values, and interests, as well as motivation or ‘drive’. These are known as measures of typical performance. They are usually administered without a time limit and the questions have no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ answers. The answers reflect how the person taking the test would usually or typically feel, what they believe, or what they think about things.
- Performance: The second category includes tests that are designed to measure performance. These are called tests of ability, aptitude or attainment and are known as measures of maximum performance. They are usually administered with a fixed time limit, and the questions have right and wrong answers.
Who uses Psychometric Tests and Why?
Psychometric Tests (also known as Aptitude Tests) are frequently used during job recruitment and academic selection. They are becoming increasingly common with employers, up to 75% of medium to large sized organisations are now using tests or questionnaires during the recruitment process.
These tests focus on specific abilities required for a certain job or role and try to predict a candidate’s future performance in a particular field, rather than measure their overall general intelligence.
Psychometric tests, such as personality questionnaires and 360-degree (multi-rater) feedback systems, are also playing a growing part in graduate, management and leadership development, as well as the internal performance appraisal process.
There are Different Types of Psychometric Tests
Psychometric tests can come in many forms, depending on the skills required in the job. For example, more specialised aptitude tests are often required for senior management, military, police, medical, IT, engineering and science careers. The most common forms are numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning tests. These are typically presented in a multiple-choice format, with definite right and wrong answers, and they are usually timed.
There are Different Test Time Limits
There are generally three time limit categories however the important thing to remember is that even when there is a time limit, it will be the same for everybody.
Strict Time Limits
Some tests have very strict time limits, to ensure that people cannot complete all the questions in the test in the time available. These tests are designed to see how fast you can work. Usually the questions are not very difficult, but you have to work fast to do well.
Relaxed Time Limits
Other types of maximum performance tests have more relaxed time limits, or may have no time limit at all. For these tests the questions may be quite difficult, or sometimes start off easy and get progressively more difficult as you work through the test. In these tests the emphasis is on how many questions you can get right, rather than on how quickly you work.
Speed and Accuracy
In most cases, tests fall somewhere in between these two extremes. There will be a time limit, but this will be set to allow most people sufficient time to get to the end of the test. To be successful, you need to work through the test as quickly and as accurately as possible.
There are Different Test Modes
Online | Computer | Pen and Paper Tests
Although it is increasingly common for psychometric tests to be administered online, they can be administered through pen and paper or a computer at a recruitment centre or an employer’s premises. These are called test modes and where possible you should practise in the mode that will be used by the employer or recruiter. (Although any practise is better than none)
If you are required to complete an unsupervised online test early on in the recruitment process, and you make it through the pre-selection stage, be prepared to repeat a supervised test. This step filters out any candidates who may have cheated on the first test. (Surely not!)
What do the Results Mean?
While there is a total score for the number of correct answers the results of ability tests are expressed in terms of percentiles, e.g. you have scored at the 65 percentile. What this means is that compared to a representative sample who have completed the test in the past, you have scored in the top 35%, or conversely, you have done better than 65% of the population.
Preparation and Practise CAN make a Difference to your Scores
Many components in psychometric tests are based on acquired knowledge and skills therefore, those who received a better education are more likely to do well in the test. Also recent graduates are likely to perform better than people who completed their education a few years ago however, all of them are likely to find a psychometric test much more difficult than those who recently experienced psychometric testing.
The good news is that research has identified that effective preparation can improve results
- A study from the 60’s that investigated the impact of intensive training (six hours of training) revealed that such training can improve people’ s IQ (intelligence) by nine points on average. Although this is not a huge improvement (and it’s usually only temporary) it can be all that you need to get in front of other applicants for the same job.
- The most detailed research on the effects of test preparation on adults was published in North America in 1979 by the US Federal Trade Commission. The research focused on the SAT exam, which is an intelligence test completed by adults in the US who would like to study in a college. The SAT exam, similar to the psychometric test, has verbal and numerical reasoning components. The research proved that effective preparation improves people’s scores in the verbal and numerical reasoning tests.
- Other research, done by the US Education Testing Services, found that with the proper preparation people improve their scores on the verbal and numerical reasoning tests by 20 to 35 points on average.
- One study even went as far to put numbers on how much better you can get through practice. Applicants who scored in the 50th percentile the first time they took a test could move up to the 60th percentile the second time they took the test, and the 71st percentile the third time (Schleicher). In other words, from a starting point below the hiring cut off point, by taking and retaking tests, you can move to a much more competitive score compared to other candidates.
How can practising make me better at taking psychometric tests?
There are basically five ways which explain the impact of test practice (Hausknecht et al):
- Reduced anxiety
- Memory of previous responses (when sitting an identical test)
- Actual development of abilities
- Enhanced test taking strategies
- Regression to the mean (which means aligning to the average the more times you take a test).
By becoming more at ease with the tests and more familiar with the testing process, you are able to work through quantitative and analytical problems more quickly, which ultimately leads to a higher score. The greatest benefit of practise though for most test takers is learning how to work better under time pressure.
How to Prepare for Psychometric Aptitude Tests
The conclusion is clear, you can prepare for psychometric testing to improve your performance and results but you must undertake the proper practice and training to ensure you maximise the benefits.
Know the Type of Test
Some recruitment consultancies provide practise materials that are similar in form and content to the actual tests they use however, the actual questions in the test will be different. You should be notified well in advance of the test session whether practise materials are available. If they are not, then you should be told what types of tests you will be administered. If this doesn’t happen then make sure you ask. You have a right to know.
Practise in the Same Test Mode
The problem with psychometric and assessment testing is that it can get very complicated very quickly so at the risk of oversimplifying the research the most straightforward advice is this – it is better to practise in the same test mode.
- If the test is paper based then practise with pen and paper tests.
- If the test will be conducted in an online environment then practise using online practise tests.
- If it the test is computer based then practise on a computer.
Don’t take test after test without reviewing what is going wrong
In order to improve between tests, you need to think about what it is that you are doing wrong, and how you can solve the problem to get it right the next time (Schleicher et al).
Psychometric Test Taking Strategies, Tips and Techniques
You will find a more detailed explanation with a list of test taking tips and techniques in Excellerate’s article Success Tips for Personality and Psychometric Employment Testing.
Hausknecht, J.P., Halpert, J.A., Di Paolo, N.T., & Moriarty Gerrard, M.O.M. (2007). Retesting in Selection: A Meta-Analysis of Coaching and Practice Effects for Tests of Cognitive Ability. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 373-385.
Schleicher, D.J., Van Iddekinge, C.H., Morgeson, F.P., & Campion, M.A. (2010). If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try, Try Again: Understanding Race, Age, and Gender Differences in Retesting Score Improvement. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 603-617.
Part 2. FREE Online Psychometric Tests
Approach these tests in the same way as you would the actual test so that you get a feel for what the test will be like. Don’t just check to see that you have the correct answer to the questions, but ask yourself ‘Why is this the correct answer and how did I work that out?’ If you’ve been dependent on a calculator for the past few years, now might be a good time to brush up on your mental arithmetic with an appropriate practice test.
Disclaimer: The links to the free tests will open in a new windrow and take to you the site where you should use your discretion when providing personal details or acting upon the information provided.
Free Occupational Aptitude Tests
SHL is an international firm of psychometric test designers. Their website provides you with the opportunity to practise their “real” online questionnaires. These example tests (with answers) give you an idea of the type of questions you may be asked to complete when applying for a job
- Verbal reasoning
- Numerical reasoning
- Inductive reasoning
- Personality questionnaire
- Motivation questionnaire
Includes sample questions based on the Aviation Selection Test Battery (ASTB) Mechanical Comprehension Test
15 sample questions regarding the basic trade apprenticeship subjects such as; English, Math, Mechanical Reasoning.
Free Armed Forces and Fire Service Aptitude Tests
The Armed Forces and Fire Services of many English speaking countries often use psychometric and ability tests to select candidates and make decisions on appropriate placements. Although there are some differences in general, the following areas are required:
- Numerical literacy
- Verbal literacy
- Spatial reasoning
- Mechanical/Technical reasoning
- Higher level reasoning and critical thinking
These practice tests are designed to help you prepare for the real psychometric assessment. The questions are broken down into three sections which cover your verbal, numerical, and abstract reasoning.
The Fire Service selection process involves three cognitive tests. To give you an idea how well you might go, take the sample test which is based on 26 questions from previous tests.
The NZDF aptitude test is comprised of seven sections, some of which you may not have to sit depending on your job role. These tests can help you to prepare for them.
The Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) is a series of aptitude tests developed by the US Department of Defense and is used to determine and predict the potential/future success of military candidates. The ASVAB military entrance exam is a part of the U.S. Military screening process and is administered annually to over one million applicants
Improve your scores and test taking skills with Practice Psychometric Aptitude Tests
Affordable Prep Packs are available for immediate access 24/7 through your personal private portal. Detailed explanations and personalised score reports allow you to keep track of your performance. You can also choose different modes, Timed and Step-by-Step, to allow you to study at your own pace. Check out the comprehensive preparation packs and start preparing for your test today.
Engaging training empowering effective job performance
Excellerate designs engaging staff training that connects evidence based content with instructionally sound delivery to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence your people need to be more effective in their jobs.
When you need to more closely align your staff training outcomes with your organisation’s strategy, culture,and workforce development goals discover how Excellerate’s ENGAGE customised staff training solutions can help you to meet those objectives more effectively and efficiently.
Listen to NFL players talk about their experience of taking the Wonderlic Test
Each year players from the American NFL Pre-Draft are evaluated not only on their strength and speed, but also their mental acuity by taking the Wonderlic test. The test has been administered for more than 30 years to almost every draft-eligible player although research has found little correlation between the Wonderlic scores and player performance. It seems that a good Wonderlic score doesn’t always translate into an advantage on the football field.
This is a list of NFL averages, according to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, by an NFL personnel man in “The New Thinking man’s Guide to Pro Football” by Paul Zimmerman.
Comparison Median Wonderlic scores for other professions**
Comparison Median Wonderlic scores for other professions**
Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Practice Tests for Job Applicants and Candidates
Are you required to take the Wonderlic test as part of an employment selection process? Prepare thoroughly with the most comprehensive online practice tests available including hundreds of Wonderlic sample test questions, answers, personalised score reports, and study and time management guides. Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Practice Tests