Resources for Job Seekers

Ability Test Advice

How to pass an Ability Test

Ability Test basics

In recruitment, ability tests (aka aptitude tests, cognitive ability test) give recruiters a standardised way of assessing a candidate’s performance in various work related tasks.

Ability tests give employers a good indication of a candidate’s ability to perform in a specific role and measure their potential to do the job, rather than just focusing on academic ability.

The results of an ability test are usually combined with other psychometric information such as personality questionnaire profiles or the results of situational judgement tests you may have taken.

Ability tests are a great way for recruiters to gain an insight into how well a candidate can process information whilst sticking to a time limit. When used alongside other psychometric tests, they can provide employers with a well-rounded picture of how an individual may perform in the workplace.

Ability  Test Tips

Expect to be timed.

Ability tests will usually be timed and typically take around 10 – 20 minutes (on average) to complete so managing your time is key.

Don’t waste time.

Know when to move on if you’re struggling to answer a question as the hard time limits in ability tests mean you’re in a race against the clock.

If you¬†don’t know, make your best educated guess.

Generally speaking Ability Tests usually only have one correct answer for each question. This means for many tests you will have around a 25% chance of getting it right with your best educated guess.

You may even be lucky enough to get it right even if the guess is an uneducated one!

Brush up on your subject knowledge beforehand.

Questions in an ability test are designed to measure your ability in a particular area.

For example, if the test is numerical in nature then it makes sense to practice your numerical skills before taking the test. You could do a regular Sudoku puzzle or make a point of doing more mental arithmetic as you go about your day. 

Read each question twice. Read each question twice. 

Make sure you read each question twice so you don’t miss any key information.

As ability tests are timed you will need to make sure you read the questions carefully and then answer as quickly as possible

It might get more difficult as the test progresses. 

In some ability tests, questions will often get harder as the test goes on. Try to answer any easier questions as quickly as possible and don’t spend ages trying to verify ¬†you answer afterwards.¬†

Practice makes perfect. Kind of.  

You can improve your chances of doing well by trying a few practice questions before you sit the test for real. This will help you become more familiar with the format of the tests so you have a better idea of what to expect.

Get your beauty sleep. 

Try to get a good night’s sleep before the day of the test to give you the best chance of being on the top of your mental game.

More practice makes more perfect. 

Before doing the real thing, try to do as many practice tests as you can (lots of free practice tests can be found with a quick Google search or following the below link) as this will help you both perform better and feel more confident going into it.