Aptitude Test: Free Practice Aptitude Tests
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What Is an Aptitude Test?
An aptitude test is a systematic means of testing a job candidate's abilities to perform specific tasks and react to a range of different situations.
The tests each have a standardised method of administration and scoring.
The results are quantified and compared with all other test takers.
No prior knowledge is needed, as the tests measure innate ability at a particular competency.
How Are Aptitude Tests Administered?
Aptitude tests are usually administered online – most often after a candidate has made their initial job application – and are used to filter unsuitable applicants out of the selection process, without the need for time-consuming one-to-one job interviews.
Employers use aptitude tests from a variety of providers – such as SHL, Talent Q and Cubiks – alongside general interview advice, application forms, assessment centres, academic results and other selection methods.
No test is perfect, but all aim to give an indication of how candidates will respond to the challenges they will face in their day-to-day role at a firm.
The tests can be taken online or at a testing centre, such as a firm's offices, where they are usually paper-based.
Often a firm may ask you to complete both types of test, to confirm you did not cheat during the initial unsupervised online test.
What Are the Different Types of Aptitude Test?
These are the most common types of aptitude test that you will encounter:
Numerical Reasoning Tests
Verbal reasoning tests assess your ability to comprehend passages of text and make accurate deductions.
In-tray exercises provide a simulation of an email inbox, where you are required to respond to an imagined scenario. Often these will be followed by an interview or presentation at an assessment centre.
Diagrammatic tests measure your logical reasoning ability, usually under strict time conditions. They usually require you to infer a set of rules from a flowchart or similar diagram, and then to apply those rules to a new situation.
Situational Judgement Tests
Situational judgement tests are psychological tests that assess your judgement in resolving work-based problems.
Inductive Reasoning Tests
Cognitive Ability Tests
Cognitive ability tests measure intelligence through logic, reasoning and problem-solving exercises.
Mechanical Reasoning Tests
Watson Glaser tests are often used by law firms to assess a candidate's ability to critically consider arguments. There are five types of question, each tests a different aspect of critical thinking (inferences, assumptions, deductions, interpretations and evaluation of arguments).
Learn more about Watson Glaser tests by visiting our dedicated article
Abstract Reasoning Tests
Abstract reasoning tests use diagrams, symbols or shapes instead of words or numbers. They involve identifying the underlying logic of a pattern and then determining the solution to test general intelligence and reasoning ability.
Spatial Awareness Tests
Spatial awareness tests assess your ability to form mental images and visualize movement or change between them. They are often used in applications for jobs in design, engineering and architecture.
Error Checking Tests
Take a Free Practice Numerical, Verbal and Diagrammatic Test
If you would like to practise simulation numerical, verbal and diagrammatic reasoning tests, please try the ones below, which were created by WikiJob in association with psychometric experts, and which are closely modelled on real tests.
The numerical test consists of 10 questions to be answered in 10 minutes, while the diagrammatic and verbal tests consist of 5/10 questions to be answered in 5 minutes (although there is no timer on the test itself).
Our tests are slightly harder than the real thing, in order to make them sufficiently challenging practice.
Don't forget to first check out the test tips and techniques mentioned further down this page.
You can take the tests as many times as you like.
Click the 'Take test' link below on either to get started.
The tests include a timer and worked solutions at the end.
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Verbal Reasoning Practice Test
Verbal reasoning tests are used by interviewers to find out how well a candidate can assess verbal logic. SHL is perhaps the most well-known producer of verbal reasoning tests, and the most widely used.
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Diagrammatic reasoning tests assess your capacity for logical reasoning, using flowcharts and diagrams. Try these five practice questions, designed to be similar to those used by major graduate employers.
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Test Structure for Aptitude Tests
Tests are timed and are typically multiple-choice.
It is not uncommon for some available answers to be deliberately misleading, so you must take care as you work through.
Some tests escalate in difficulty as they progress.
Typically these tests are not designed to be finished by candidates.
Scores and Marking
Your score relates your performance to an average group.
Your aptitude, ability or intelligence has a relative value to this average result.
Typically, an 'average' performance is all that is required to pass an aptitude test.
Most employers take people's backgrounds into consideration for marking.
For example, maths graduates will have an unfair advantage over arts graduates on a numerical test.
Consequently, most employers use these tests as only part of the assessment process.
Many aptitude tests incorporate negative marking.
This means that for every answer you give incorrectly, a mark will be deducted from your total (rather than scoring no mark).
If this is the case, you will normally be told beforehand.
In any test that does incorporate negative marking, you must not guess answers, even if you are under extreme time pressure, as you will undo your chances of passing.
What exactly is an aptitude test and how should you approach one? Find out more in this short video.
Aptitude Tests: Preparation and Practice
Practice in Advance
Evidence suggests that some practice of similar aptitude tests may improve your performance in the real tests.
Practice exam technique and try to become more familiar with the types of test you may face by completing practice questions. Even basic word and number puzzles may help you become used to the comprehension and arithmetic aspects of some tests.
WikiJob recommends practising aptitude tests prior to the real assessment. JobTestPrep offers a wide range of professionally constructed psychometric questions, written in the same style as PSL and SHL tests (the tests most graduate employers use to assess candidates).
Preparation Before the Test
Listen to the instructions you are given and follow them precisely.
Before the actual aptitude test itself, you will almost certainly be given practice examples to try. Make sure you ask questions if anything is unclear at this stage.
You will normally be given some paper on which to make rough workings. Often you can be asked to hand these in with the test, but typically they do not form part of the assessment.
Taking the Test
You should work quickly and accurately through the test. Don’t get stuck on any particular question: should you have any problems, return to it at the end of the test.
You should divide your time per question as accurately as you can – typically this will be between 50 and 90 seconds per question.
Remember that the tests are difficult and often you will not be expected to answer all the questions. Be particularly cautious if the aptitude test uses negative marking; if this is not the case, answer as many questions as possible in the time given.
Remember that multiple-choice options are often designed to mislead you, with incorrect choices including common mistakes that candidates make.
Tips for Success
These five tips are well worth remembering before you take an aptitude test for real:
Treat the test like you would any other exam
Work swiftly and accurately through any test
Work out the maximum time you can spend on any question and stick to it religiously. You can return to questions at the end. Never get stuck on any particular question, even if you think you nearly have it.
If you are going to an assessment centre, take a calculator you understand with you. If you do not, you will be forced to use whatever they might provide you with.
Answer as many questions as possible in the time given. But be wary of negative marking.
WikiJob recommends taking practice reasoning tests for better performance during the examination.
Our partner JobTestPrep has copious sample tests to try, until you have really mastered this type of assessment.
Who Are the Different Test Providers?
There are numerous organisations that produce aptitude tests, including:
SHL. An international company operating in over 50 countries, providing tests in over 30 languages.
Kenexa. An IBM company providing recruitment services to organisations in a variety of industries.
Talent Q. An organisation owned by Hay Group, which provides assessments whereby a single test can be used to measure a number of different aptitudes.
CAPP. A provider of aptitude packages that test powers of analysis, comprehension and technical ability.
Frequently Asked Questions
A career aptitude test is designed to assess a person’s work-related cognitive ability or intelligence. Test questions are designed to assess logical reasoning skills and mental ability.
A career aptitude test assesses a range of abilities, including diagrammatic reasoning, mechanical reasoning, numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning.
Each test has a standardised process for administration and scoring, with test results being quantified and compared with the results of other test-takers.
A career aptitude test measures a person’s innate ability in certain competencies, so no prior knowledge of the subject matter is required.
Aptitude tests measure a person’s logical reasoning skills and mental ability.
During an aptitude test, test-takers must answer questions designed to assess their diagrammatic reasoning, mechanical reasoning, numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning skills.
Aptitude tests are a useful way to assess a person’s intelligence and find out what they are capable of doing, rather than how they do things.
A job assessment test is used by many employers as part of the vetting and hiring process. Some employers ask shortlisted candidates to complete a job assessment test prior to the interview stage, whereas others incorporate them as part of the interview or assessment centre.
Results from a job assessment test help employers to narrow down the selection pool to make an informed hiring decision.
Each job assessment test is slightly different, but they usually focus on soft skills and general competencies.
The Situational Judgement Test (SJT) is an example of a psychological aptitude test. During an SJT, the test-taker must solve a range of problems related to typical workplace scenarios.
Each question has a set of multiple-choice answers, with candidates being asked to choose the most effective and least effective answers, or rank the answers according to how effective they would be in the given scenario.
SJT’s are a popular tool for hiring managers, as they are designed to measure a person’s aptitude for solving problems, making decisions and maintaining effective working relationships.
Other types of job assessment tests are designed to assess a candidate’s suitability for a certain job role, whereas the SJT assesses whether a candidate will be a good fit for a particular working environment.
Ability tests are a type of cognitive assessment. They are designed to measure a candidate’s mental performance.
Many employers use ability tests as part of the recruitment or hiring process. Popular examples include the Predictive Index, Revelian and Wonderlic tests.
In this type of psychometric assessment, test-takers must solve logic puzzles, reasoning assessments and problem-solving questions.
A person’s test results are used to determine their overall intelligence.
Cognitive ability tests tend to be computer-based, with questions presented in multiple-choice format. For most ability tests, candidates are given a time limit within which to answer as many questions as possible, but in some cases, candidates will be expected to answer all of the test questions.