What should I do if
I have a disability
Employers understand the importance of awarding extra time and making reasonable adjustment when appropriate. If you do not feel that you can give your best performance in the conditions available, do tell the employer as soon as possible. Be clear on the adjustments you need – extra time, additional equipment, a different test format. The British Psychological Society’s Test Takers Guide contains general information for people with disabilities.
I struggle with Mathematics
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to have studied mathematics at advanced level to do well in numerical tests. Revisit some of the basics of data interpretation including how to work out percentages and ratios and do currency conversions. There are short videos and practice tests on Graduates First. We also run Employer Numerical Reasoning practice sessions with the Department of Mathematics. BBC Skillwise – Maths has some videos and basic worked examples to get you started.
I keep failing tests
Falling down in one area of the recruitment process is not uncommon and tests are used to screen out large numbers of candidates. Review your performance on the day. How were you feeling? Was your set-up adequate? Had you prepared? There are many reasons why a candidate might not be successful on a specific test or with a specific employer. If you have any concerns about testing, speak to a career consultant.
English isn’t my first language
While some recruiters may take concerns about level of English into account, others will be less flexible. Remember that good English language ability will be important to organisations recruiting into UK based positions. Reading and summarising articles can help improve your English language comprehension and help you better perform in timed tests.
I get nervous about tests
The best way to manage your test nerves is to prepare and practice. This means finding out as much as you can about the tests being used and trying our recommended practice test sites. Practice will take away some of the unknowns, often the biggest cause of stress during tests, and test familiarity should in turn improve your response times and confidence.
Graduates First has some useful video tutorials. Think about what you can do to improve your performance on the day. Simple things like a good night’s sleep and making sure you are not distracted can make a difference.
Where else can I look at practice tests?
There’s a wide range of testing resources available online, depending on the type of test you are being asked to sit and what you want to practice. Graduates First is the best resource for getting started. The main test providers like SHL, TalentQ and Kenexa all have example tests on their websites. Graduate websites Targetjobs and Prospects both provide useful overviews and links to practice tests. Remember to always sit any practice tests offered by the employer.
What about GRE and GMAT tests? How can I prepare and practice?
Do companies use specific types of tests?
While many employers use standard tests from the main test providers, some sectors and employers use specific tests to measure particular, often technical, skills sets. Many law firms use the Watson Glaser test and IT companies such as IBM, a Kenexa reasoning test. Start with the organisation's website to see if you can find out more about the tests they use. Graduates First has information on the types of tests used by over 100 employers. Assessment Day gives information about tests and recruitment processes used at over 60 large companies.
What type of tests do law firms use?
Watson Glaser is commonly used in the legal field where precision and reasoning is critical. It is a 30 minute critical reasoning test assessing your ability to reason through an argument logically and make an objective decision. Here are some sample questions. You can also practice the test via the LSE's subscription to Graduates First.