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How to pass a recruitment aptitude test in less than 500 words

PUBLISHED: 16:01 21 June 2016 | UPDATED: 16:01 21 June 2016


Online aptitude tests are now a mainstream feature in the recruitment process to determine whether a candidate is credible enough to get an interview.

Although some features may differ between providers, the majority include online numeracy and verbal reasoning questions, language assessments, and behaviour and critical thinking tests. The outcome of this set of company requirements can either restrict or boost your career, so advice on how to pass this stage has become just as crucial as submitting a polished CV or performing well in an interview. South East recruiter, Grafton Banks, shares their top tips for success.

Prepare for success

Equip yourself with everything you may need during the test, for example a calculator or writing materials. Ensure that you have a thorough understanding of what the test requires by reading the opening instructions carefully - you don’t want to be caught out on a technicality. You may be told that the test will incorporate negative marking. If this is the case, steer clear of any guess work and just answer what you can.

Do not focus on one area

Aptitude tests are to assess your overall suitability as a candidate, from your work culture fit to how well you can solve a problem. If you shine in one area, for example language or maths, do not expect to sail through the test by focusing on this strength alone as all candidates are usually marked by an average benchmark. If an ‘average’ score is all you need to pass, it’s safe to assume that the recruiter will also be taking your background and experience into account. 

Don’t stick to the status quo

When faced with a behaviour or personality test, many candidates will often consider what the company would like to hear rather than how they actually conduct themselves at work. Some questions are designed to be deliberately misleading to test your reasoning abilities, so if you simply side with the status quo, you may risk producing a run-of-the-mill application. Critical thinking assessments, for example, measure suitability rather than ability, and personality tests measure consistency. Answer as honestly throughout to save time and find the best company fit for you – you may also reveal a few solutions that help you to stand out from the crowd. 

Practice, practice, practice

Timed conditions and a salary on the horizon are both potent elements for creating exam jitters. Like any big test, you can familiarise yourself with formats, the way questions are structured and the pace of the process by completing some online practice tests while you wait for your upcoming assessment. Tests can be used at various points in the recruitment process: after you have submitted your CV; before or after an interview; or at a later stage. 

Grafton Banks is a financial recruitment specialist in the South East, with extensive knowledge and experience of the financial markets, so if you’re looking for a new role in the industry contact the team to find out more.


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