What is a Psychometric Test?


A psychometric test assess a person's psychological characteristics by comparing them with those of other people.

Tests can be classified under four headings; manual ability, mental ability, personality and interests, and motivation. Manual ability tests are not commonly used in management selection. Situational judgement tests are commonly used, espcecially in things like university medical degree selection.

Mental ability tests can measure general ability and are frequently composed of a battery of sub scales measuring such specific abilities as verbal reasoning, numerical ability, abstract reasoning and mechanical reasoning.

The use of personality questionnaires in recruitment is more contentious, however if used correctly by suitably qualified individuals, trained in administration and interpretation, they can play a valuable role in identifying preferred ways of dealing with the world.

Tests of interest reflect the fact that tasks often have their own intrinsic motivation and a person who finds the work interesting will be happier and more productive.

Tests of motivation are used to determine which situations increase and decrease individual motivation and may measure things like a need for power, affiliation or achievement. Generally tests of interest and motivation are rarely used in recruitment.

The area of psychometric testing is a technically complex and often confusing one. Many people (including some who actually use tests professionally!) often misunderstand or misinterpret the terminology and procedures involved.


Psychometric Test Example Image

Question : Which of the shapes (a) to (d) above obeys the rule which govern the first four?
Answer - (a)
- the number refers to the sides of the shape - note that the third pattern contains the symbol for infinity.   

How do I pass a psychometric test?

It is not possible 'fail' a test although you can improve your test score.

Ability & aptitude tests may have a benchmark or cut-off score, and candidates who score lower than it may not be considered further for the job. Exactly where this cut off point lies is calculated based on a combination of factors including the difficulty of the job, the difficulty of the test, the number of capable applicants and the number of positions.  In simple terms, if there are a large number of positions to fill and a small number of candidates then the employer may be have to set the cut off point much lower than if there were few positions and a large number of applicants. This changes from job to job - so not reaching a cut off point for one application does not mean that  you'll fail to reach it on the next.

Personality tests do not have a pass mark - they are simply designed to produce an accurate overview of your personality. This is then compared to the profile which the recruiter thinks would make a person more successful at the job in question.


Examples of Psychometric Tests


Tests are divided into groups which reflect the commonest types of aptitude, ability and personality assessments in general use - verbal reasoning tests, numerical ability tests, abstract / diagrammatic ability tests, spatial / mechanical ability tests and personality tests.


I need help -  I want to try some Psychometric Tests


Why not try our example tests. We provide an explanation of that particular type of test, plus some free example questions and answers.