Psychometric tests: tips to improve your score

If you’ve applied for a job with a large employer, chances are that you have completed some kind of psychometric test as part of the application process. Employers use tests in different ways: some will use the scores from your tests alongside scores from other assessments, whereas other employers will use tests to screen out candidates at the start of the process.

Typical types of tests:

Verbal reasoning tests: measure your ability to understand written material

Numerical reasoning tests: look at your ability to solve problems using numerical information

Abstract/diagrammatic tests (shapes and sequences): assess your ability to generate ideas, think creatively and to solve problems

Personality or situational judgement tests: employers use these types of tests to assess your ‘fit’ with the role and the organisation. You may be given workplace scenarios and asked about action(s) you’d take under the circumstances, or you may be asked to select pairs of words which describe your personality

Improving your performance when completing tests:

– If there’s a factor which could affect your score (e.g. English as a second language) inform testers in advance

– If you don’t feel well on the day, see whether it’s possible to rearrange

– If completing the test at home, choose a quiet location and ask others not to disturb you and have a pen and paper ready before you start

– Practising tests will help you become more familiar with the tests – types of questions and how they’re phrased: see whether you can find out which testing company your recruiter uses and try their tests online:

– University of Chester students and graduates can access practice tests from Kenexa via:

For further tips and brief lists of typical test providers have a look at


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