Character and ability tests are used to measure different attributes and work-related skills. Character tests are used to evaluate your personality and values, to determine whether they would be a good fit for the position and the organisation. Aptitude tests are used to ascertain practical ability - from your cognitive ability to spatial and mechanical reasoning skills. Tests are often timed and some will be multiple choice. Of the two overall test types there exist four main sub-types:
Verbal and numerical reasoning tests are the most common types of aptitude test. Verbal reasoning assesses your ability to think constructively and to understand concepts presented through words. Numerical reasoning tests your understanding of arithmetic and requires you to answer fact- and figure-based questions. These tests are normally multiple choice.
Creative aptitude tests assess your ability to think creatively and solve problems by looking at them from different, often unusual, angles. Strategic aptitude tests measure the qualities you need for effective strategic thinking - often a key criteria employers look for when hiring for managerial roles.
These tests assess a variety of skills and are often part of the application process for engineering or technical roles. Tests include mechanical reasoning - your ability to apply mechanical principles to solve problems. Other common tests include spatial reasoning - your ability to visualise two-dimensional images as three-dimensional objects and make effective functional changes, and abstract reasoning - your ability to identify the logic behind patterns and thereby propose effective solutions.
Employers may have an ideal ‘personality profile’ in mind when recruiting for certain positions. Personality tests assess your suitability for the role based on your personality, character and how you react to certain situations. Tests will often be multiple-choice and you will sometimes be asked the same question in different ways, to ensure you are answering honestly.