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Saville Wave Tests

Saville Wave Tests

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Saville Wave Tests are popular personality tests used by many companies such as Jaguar, Nestle, Ernst and Young, and HM Revenues and Custom.

They are used to select many job roles, from directors, managers and team leaders, to apprentices, technicians, graduates and administrative staff.

Professor Peter Saville founded Saville Consulting. He wanted to create various psychometric and aptitude assessment tests to help some leading businesses pick out the top candidates in the selection process by testing verbal, numerical, abstract and mechanical ability.

Acquired and now named Saville Assessment, the company is a leading international provider of these assessment tests.

What Are Saville Wave Tests?

There are a few different types of Wave tests that are offered:

The Style Personality Tests

These personality questionnaires are the most popular of the Wave assessments to be used by employers.

Professional Wave Styles Test

The Professional Wave Styles test is the longer of the questionnaires, taking 40 minutes.

They help the employer indicate precisely the candidate's motives at work, strengths, weaknesses, talents, and if they are well suited to the role.

It also enables them to see any areas of development that may be needed.

It helps the employee see if they are suited to the role, and if not, which roles would perhaps be better.

It helps them to evaluate their personality traits and how they impact their work life.

Each question will give six statements and the candidate will be required to indicate which one suits them best on a nine point scale.

On the scale, '1' indicates 'strongly disagree' and '9' indicates 'strongly agree'.

If the candidate gives the same answer for two or more statements, they may be given the questions again and asked to state which one is most like them and which is less like them.

Here are some examples of the types of statements you might see:

  • I work best when working on my own
  • I am confident working on computer
  • I need to be praised highly at work
  • I have many innovative ideas
  • I let others take the lead at work
  • I am a very positive person
  • I am good at making friends at work
  • My focus is always on work
  • I like learning new things
  • I get easily distracted at work
  • I like talking on the phone
  • I do not like admin

If the applicant says, for example, that they have many innovative ideas and that they also let others take the lead, they will most likely be given some more statements to define which of these two is most true.

The Wave Focus Styles

This questionnaire is similar to the Professional Test but only takes thirteen minutes.

It is looking at similar indicators to the Professional Wave but is less extensive in its assessment.

Again, giving statements in a block of six, the candidate must answer on a nine-point scale.

Saville Wave Tests – What Are They?
Saville Wave Tests – What Are They?

Aptitude Tests

There are other aptitude tests offered that an employer may use as a tool to identify the cream of the crop of candidates.

Verbal Aptitude

This assesses comprehension and error checking skills. The candidate will be given a piece of text and asked a series of questions about it.

Example question:

Example Question

It was 7 p.m. in December, and Lewis and his friend Mark were walking back from football practice when a distressed lady approached them with red hair. She asked them for some change so she could use the public telephone box. Lewis dripped into his pocket, but just then, three other men approached and demanded that Lewis give them the money. They all had a different accent to Lewi's Southern tone.

1. Are Lewis and Mark walking home in the dark or light?

Example Question

2. Where is Lewis from?

Example Question

3. Does Lewis have a coat on?

Example Question

4. There are two grammatical errors in the passage – please state what they are.

Numerical, Diagrammatic or Spatial Aptitude Tests

These tests look at the candidate's ability to problem-solve, analyze and make decisions using diagrams, graphs and spatial movements.

Example question:

Example Question

What is the next number in this sequence?

1, 4, 16, 64

a) 640
b) 416
c) 256
d) 141

Mechanical aptitude

This test is used for candidates of technical positions and tests their mechanical knowledge and problem solving of related issues.

Example question:

Example Question

You need to push a 130-pound round object to a platform, 10 feet higher than where you are. You have a 30-foot ramp you can use to help push the object, but what amount of pressure will be needed to push the object using the ramp?

a) 20 lb
b) 40 lb
c) 90 lb
d) 120 lb

Strengths Test

Another questionnaire with six blocks of statements and a nine-point scale, this Wave assessment focuses on understanding the talents of an individual and which positions are best for them.

Statements you might see include:

  • I like to help others at work
  • I am great with technology
  • I am great at writing
  • I am a good communicator
  • I mix well with all personalities
  • I am confident in new situations

Situational Judgement Tests

Saville also offers situational judgment tests, which see how an applicant reacts and handles specific work-based scenarios. This is commonly used for customer-facing roles.

Using realistic work situations, the employer can accurately measure how the individual would perform within their organization.

These tests are tailored to the employer, and so each one is unique to the particular role.

Tips for Completing a Saville Wave Test

It can be frustrating when you are asked to take extensive personality and aptitude tests when interviewing for a new role, but they are a great indicator of role suitability for both the employer and employee.

Following some top rules and tips will make the tests a more straightforward experience to complete.

  • Try and find out which tests the company uses to assess suitability before applying for the role. Also, read the Saville guidance notes, which offer advice on improving ability and some example questions.

  • It is important to be honest in the exams. There is no point in only choosing the option that you think best suits the job role if it is completely different to your own personality. It may appear contradictory to another response, and the employer will refer each answer to previous information such as work experience that you have supplied. It also may mean their role is not for you, and you will be unhappy in that position.

  • Take some time before the test to conduct some practice tests. This will help in the actual test, and no questions should be a surprise. There are a variety of free online practice tests online.

  • Read all questions and statements carefully to ensure they are fully understood and interpreted.

  • Try to answer from a work perspective rather than a personal point of view. For Example, you may find it easy to make friends out of work; however, in the work environment, you are less confident.

  • Ensure you have a good night's sleep before the test to ensure you can focus appropriately and are not too tired.

Final Thoughts

Some of the world's leading employers use the Saville Wave Tests to assess and identify employees' and candidates' strengths and cultural traits.

They are not designed to catch anybody out and do not have to be challenging if prepared for and approached in the best way.


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