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Top tips for online tests

Weronika Z Benning4 February 2016

Many of you will be discovering that more and more recruiters are incorporating online testing as part of their recruitment processes.  Commonly used tests include verbal reasoning (understanding logic or patterns with words), numerical reasoning (drawing data from graphs or solving maths problems), situational judgement (aiming to find out about the type of worker you are, and how you would respond in different workplace scenarios), and e-tray exercises (assessing your skills of organisation or prioritisation by using a simulated work email inbox). Whilst these tests will vary from one employer to the next there are a few useful tips that will apply to everyone taking them:

  • Do your research – find out as much as you can about the tests before you sit them. If you feel employers are being a little vague about the content of their tests or the time needed to put aside to do them, then contact them by email or phone to see if you can find out more. Failing that, The Student Room forums can be a really useful resource to hear from other people who have been there and done it.
  • Practice makes perfect – a little practice will help you get used to the type of questions that may come up and the best ways of approaching them. These tests are often strictly pass or fail so they need to be taken seriously. Swotting up on basic maths can be particularly useful if you are sitting numerical tests as this is an area we can all get a bit rusty on!
  • Apply common sense – in the overwhelming majority of cases these tests aren’t set up to trick you. With tests such as situational judgement and e-tray in particular they are merely trying to work out how you would react in corresponding real life work scenarios so think carefully about the best actions to take and how this may impact on others.
  • It’s not a race – the ‘winner’ really isn’t the person who completes all questions first, so give yourself plenty of time to read (and re-read) the question carefully and work at a steady pace, giving yourself the time you need to reach the right answer.

Where to go from here?
There is lots of useful information available through the Help With… section of the UCL Careers website (Interviews and Assessment Centres), including information on how you can use your UCL email address to access subscription-based test materials on the Assessment Day website for free. And don’t forget that Careers Tagged will also hold a plethora of helpful info. Alternatively, you may find the following websites useful, which also give access to free practice tests:

By Hannah Morton Hedges, Careers Consultant/Internships Officer – Arts & Sciences BASc, February 2016