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How to succeed in employer aptitude tests – top tips from WikiJob

By Weronika Z Benning, on 20 May 2016

Many organisations across a number of different sectors now use aptitude tests to assess the skills of applicants as part of the recruitment process. Frequently used in entry level positions, these tests are designed to evaluate applicant capabilities in numerical, problem solving, critical thinking, behavioural and communication tasks so that they can recruit the highest calibre candidates. All of the tests are completed under exam conditions and in some businesses, particularly those which are extremely competitive, the pass mark is high. If you are to succeed in the recruitment process, preparatory work is absolutely essential for any type of aptitude test.

Preparation is Key

As with any other assessments, there are no shortcuts to passing aptitude tests. Success requires time, patience and practice. The first step in the preparation process is to research the type of test that you will be asked to complete. This is usually provided in your confirmation letter or email sent by the recruiter. There are many different types of aptitude tests including verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and logical reasoning. Each of these tests will include slightly different questions so you must ensure that you prepare for the right test or tests.

Test Questions

Once you have an idea about the type of test that you will be asked to complete, there are a number of resources online to help you practice for your aptitude test. It is strongly recommended that you make use of these practice websites to sit as many tests as you can work through. As you progress you will notice that you will improve your speed and accuracy so you can approach the actual aptitude tests with more confidence.


With all assessments you will be provided with a set of instructions. It is really important that you read these thoroughly before you begin as there have been some instances of candidates misunderstanding the instructions and approaching the test incorrectly. Overlooking important details in the instruction information at the beginning can have a detrimental impact on your score, so always read them carefully.


One of the great things about carrying out practice aptitude tests is that it gives you the opportunity to perfect your technique. Aptitude tests are very fast paced, with approximately 30 seconds allocated to each question so the more practice and preparation you carry out, the faster you can progress through each question. One of the main challenges within any of the aptitude tests is to evaluate how well candidates can think when working under pressure. However, it is really important to read the question properly and provide a prompt answer. Don’t spend too long thinking over a question; if it is too difficult move on and then you can always return to it at the end.

Trick Questions or Answers

Aptitude tests are designed to make you think. By familiarising yourself with the questions you will be able to identify whether the question is designed to confuse you or are designed specifically to make you think. The majority of test questions are quite straightforward but there will be some sprinkled throughout the test which require a little more thought.

Top Tips for Aptitude Tests

We have put together a list of top tips that can help you prepare for aptitude tests and increase your chances of securing an interview or progressing to the next stage in the recruitment process;

#1 Practice, Practice, Practice

Aptitude tests are often completed through an online assessment system, so practice these as much as you can online to familiarise yourself with the way in which they are structured.

#2 Materials

If permitted, take with you the necessary tools for your test. This could include blank sheets of paper, pens, a watch and a calculator

#3 Time

One of the main problems associated with aptitude tests is getting the timing right; candidates need to learn how to work quickly and accurately to progress through the test.

#4 Location

When you practice the aptitude tests ensure that you are in a suitable environment and free from distractions.

#5 Practice Tests

On the day of your actual aptitude test the assessor may issue you with a set of optional practice questions. Never pass this opportunity by as it is a great way for you to familiarise yourself with the style of the test before you begin.

#6 Guidance

Always read through any accompanying notes or guidance that you are provided with in the test. These could offer vital pieces of information to complete the test correctly.

#7 If in doubt move on

Don’t spend too long answering a single question. Aptitude tests are designed to be fast paced so you don’t have time to spend more than 30 seconds on each question. If you find a question difficult, move on to the next one and then return to it at the end if you have time.

#8 Make Notes

Depending on the type of aptitude test it is always advised that you have a piece of A4 paper to hand so that you can make quick notes or write down calculations rather than trying to work it out using the corner of your assessment paper or on screen.

#9 Calculator

It may seem trivial but use a good calculator that you are familiar with so you can work out your answers quickly.

#10 Feedback

After the aptitude test always ask for feedback particularly if you didn’t make it to the interview stage. Ask the assessor if you can have a copy of your paper and answers to see where you went wrong and the areas which require improvement. Feedback is a great way to see where you can improve.


Guest blog post contributed by Edward Mellett, WikiJob


Help preparing for job tests

By UCL Careers, on 5 February 2015

UCL Careers has a new subscription to a site you can use to practice and prepare for aptitude tests. These tests are common in graduate recruitment, particularly if you’re applying to large companies or some jobs in the public sector – for example, the Civil Service Fast Stream. You may need to take them online as part of the application process, or at an assessment centre.

If you don’t have much experience with aptitude tests, you can almost certainly improve your scores with practice. You usually have a fairly short time limit when you take the tests, so being familiar with the types of questions you will be asked is important.

Our new subscription package from Assessment Day lets you practice:

  • 2 x Verbal Reasoning tests
  • 2 x Numerical Reasoning tests
  • 1 x Inductive Reasoning tests
  • 1 x Logical Reasoning tests
  • 1 x Diagrammatic Reasoning tests
  • 1 x E-Tray Exercise

These are full length, timed tests similar to those used by companies.

You will receive detailed feedback after you complete the test, including which questions you got right and wrong and how you performed compared to others. You’ll be able to see what the correct answers were for each question, and an explanation of how the answer was worked out. You can download your results or email them to yourself.

There are also PDF versions of tests and answer sheets to download.

You can register here by entering your name and your UCL email address. You’ll receive an email in your UCL email inbox with a password to log in.

You can log back in to Assessment Day to practice again as many times as you want.

If you’re looking for more information and other sites which offer practice tests, please see the resources on our digital library. (You’ll need to log in with your UCL IT username and password).

We also have books to help you prepare for tests in the UCL Careers library. You can use them in our library area at any time we’re open. You can also borrow them for 2 working days for a £10 cash deposit, which you get back if you return the book on time.

– Linsey Chrisman, Information Officer, UCL Careers