How Are Psychometric Ability and Aptitude Tests scored?



In the case of ability or aptitude tests your score is usually interpreted in comparison to the scores obtained by some other group e.g. the general population or graduates. Usually, you are not penalized for getting an answer wrong, other than not getting a mark for answering it correctly. 'Negative' scoring is very rare.


This allows recruiters to place candidates in rank order of ability and set a cut-off performance point i.e. the minimum level of performance needed to successfully perform the job in question.


Your score is usually presented in terms of where you are in relation to the average test score of a group of other people. This is known as a 'normed' or 'normative' approach.


In recruitment, personality tests are scored the same way, but cut off points are not normally used since the relationship between personality and job performance is much more complex than that between ability and job performance.


Ideally you should receive feedback, although logistical or practical issues may mean that this does not always happen. If you are invited to the next stage of selection, for example, an interview, then the results of the tests will usually be explained to you then. If not, then you could ask or write to see if you can receive feedback. Actual copies of test answer sheets etc will usually not be released to you.

You can download your Own Practice Psychometric Test Software (SOLUTIONS and SOLUTIONS ADVANCED), as well as a range of other career guidance tools, from our sister site at