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Psychometric tests

Employers are using psychometric tests more frequently to assess candidates’ abilities and aptitudes in certain areas.

The results are presented in a standardised way, which helps employers make accurate and objective comparisons between you and other candidates.

What they assess

Tests vary from one company to another and will usually be carefully constructed to test skills that are relevant to a particular job or working environment.

They might assess one or more of the following:

  • numeracy
  • verbal reasoning
  • spatial or diagrammatic reasoning
  • logic
  • literacy.

Many tests will include a selection of maths, English language and logic exercises to test your ability to work quickly and accurately. Tests can be computer or paper-based. You might sit them individually or in a group. You might also work one to one with a trained administrator.

There is usually no pass or fail mark as such, but selectors will have in mind a norm for the type of candidate (eg student or graduate) or job. Your mark will be assessed in relation to this norm.

Sign up for a practice test

Many students report that they find psychometric tests difficult and express concern about under-performance. It's widely believed that practising this type of test improves general performance, and this can go along way to boosting your confidence levels.

Cardiff University Careers has established a partnership with Graduates First offering you free premium psychometric tests and job preparation tools. Available tests include:

  • 7 verbal reasoning tests
  • 7 numerical reasoning tests
  • 7 logical reasoning tests.
  • a work style personality questionnaire
  • interview Question Identifier tool
  • situational judgement test
  • assessment centre exercises.

If you'd like to practise taking a psychometric test, register using your University email address at: The Cardiff University Aptitude Tests Portal on the Graduates First website.

Graduates First offer a variety of psychometric tests and other job assessment preparation solutions for students, including detailed step-by-step guides to over 100 top graduate employer's recruitment stages and hints on how to pass their assessment process.

If you're a recent graduate, you can use the resources for up to two years after the end of your course. If you haven’t already done so, please re-register with us as a graduate, then email us at careers@cardiff.ac.uk to say you want to use Graduates First. We will set you up manually as you no longer have a Cardiff University email address.

What's available

The tests you can take are:

  • numerical reasoning (NRT)
  • verbal reasoning (VRT)
  • logical reasoning (LRT)
  • work personality questionnaire (WPQ)
  • question identifier tool (QIT). This identifies (based on your personality) the kind of questions that you might be asked at interview.

The tests reflect the level of difficulty you are likely to encounter when applying for graduate or professional opportunities, but the tests you take in the real world are likely to be longer.

How it works

The tests are timed. For example, the first numerical test gives you 15 minutes to work through 20 questions, so give yourself enough time without any interruptions.

Read or listen to instructions and questions carefully and use a simple and reliable calculator (in a real psychometric test setting, you'll need to check if this is allowed).

Answer as many as possible without scarifying accuracy, and don’t spend too long on any one question. Try eliminating wrong answers if you're having difficulty finding the right one. If you’re stuck, move on and return to the question later if you have time.

Keep an eye on the time, allowing for questions to get harder as the test progresses, but don’t worry if you don’t answer all the questions.

Once you have completed each test, you'll receive detailed feedback on your performance. You and can also download questions and solutions to each question. If you find you need to work on some of the basics (maths, for instance), we have a range of test books you can borrow.

Find out more

If you need help with psychometric tests, please contact us:

Careers and Employability