8 smart steps to prepare for your pre-employment aptitude tests

For most large and medium-sized companies, especially in the IT and services, the salary fund is up to 80% of all costs. So, finding employees who bring the company a profit, or just more money than they cost, is a fundamentally important task. All large employers require applicants to pass psychometric aptitude tests in order to determine their intellectual and psychological abilities. For companies, it is important to understand what the employee will be like at the workplace and how well he or she will be able to fulfill his/her duties. After all, the employer bears the risks of hiring a candidate who does not meet expectations and does not strengthen, but weakens the company’s team.


The needs of the HR market led to the emergence of various categories of aptitude tests to assess the psychological, intellectual and professional qualities of candidates for jobs.

For you, as a job seeker, practicing aptitude tests before taking the real test plays a vital role in achieving success when applying for a good job.

According to existing statistics, an unprepared candidate has a chance of getting a prestigious and profitable workplace in conditions of high competition no more than 1 in 10. Proper training dramatically increases the chances – up to 1 to 3 and even 1 to 2.

advantage in pre-employment process

There are several types of psychometric aptitude tests that are most likely to be offered to you during the pre-employment process. And you need to prepare for all of them. Some of the most common types of aptitude tests are:

  • verbal reasoning tests;
  • abstract or diagrammatic reasoning tests;
  • numerical reasoning tests;
  • situational judgement tests;
  • mechanical reasoning tests;
  • general knowledge/erudition tests.

No matter what type of aptitude test you have to pass, there are 8 general tips that can help you to prepare for testing.

  1. Focus on the rules and general concepts when practicing aptitude tests

You can never be “too prepared”. The more you practice mock aptitude tests, the faster you will be able to recognize and pass them, and, as a result, the more you will be confident and calm when taking a real aptitude test from the employer.

The key to successful practice and future high score is understanding what types of questions may appear in your real aptitude test, and on what rules and concepts they are based. Thus, learning the general rules and concepts when taking mock aptitude tests can be the most important thing of your pre-employment preparation.

  1. Treat each test as a real exam

When you practice aptitude tests at home or in your office, choose a convenient time and tune in to a calm, collected state. Make sure you are in a quiet and peaceful place with good internet access. Do not forget to turn off the phone and make sure that no one will bother you. HR experts even recommend wearing a suit to create the right mood.

  1. Provide yourself with the necessary tools

tools for aptitude tests practice

Another important thing in preparing for aptitude tests is to get the right tools. Have a dictionary, a good calculator, a pen and paper on hand. Learn how to quickly use these things. This is especially true for the calculator: often when taking numerical tests, it is required to do complex calculations in several actions. The ability to use calculator functions such as M, M1-2-3, MR can significantly speed up your work in such a situation.

  1. Keep track of time

keep track of time

Most aptitude tests give you limited time to take them. The time limit may vary from 30 to 120 seconds with most of aptitude tests having 1-minute time limit. To get high scores, you need to be able to keep track of time spent in different parts of the test. If you spend a lot of time on one question, leave it and move forward. In many tests (like SHL, Kenexa, Saville, Criterion and others), you can return to unanswered questions after answering others. The only exception is Talent Q (Korn Ferry) aptitude tests where you cannot go back. Avoid getting stuck on one question, because you get scored for the entire number of correctly answered questions.

  1. Keep maximum concentration and accuracy

Being accurate and finding the right answers is more important than just completing your aptitude test quickly. There are many tests that subtract points for each incorrect answer. This means that putting answers at random can be a bad strategy. And, although it is required to pass your aptitude tests in a given time limit, do not sacrifice accuracy for speed. With some practice you will be able to minimize chance for mistakes.

  1. Read instructions carefully before each aptitude test question

Before starting your aptitude test, make sure you read instructions for the whole test and for each question. And that you clearly understand what exactly is required to do in the given time limit. Many applicants make mistakes just because they miss something from the instructions.

  1. Read reviews and recommendations of people who have already passed aptitude tests from this employer

Usually, if you wish, you can find information about your upcoming tests. Most often, the employers themselves do not make this a secret. Also, many applicants share their experience on forums and review websites. Try to find out what types of aptitude test questions are usually used; what time limits you may have and what other features may be.

  1. Prepare physically and mentally

prepare mentally

We wrote about psychological preparation earlier: it is extremely important to take your aptitude test collected and calm. This is already half the success. After all, many unprepared job seekers fall into a stupor of panic simply seeing the tests that they have never seen before, such as numerical or abstract. Practicing and understanding the rules and strategies for taking aptitude tests will give you a hundred points ahead in terms of knowledge and self-confidence. But it’s important to be physically prepared: sleep well before taking the tests, have a bite before testing but don’t have a full stomach.

Advice from HR professionals: the day before and on the day of the test, take a couple of some nootropic supplements. These can be as simple and cheap as glycine or vitamin B. This simple proven tool improves mental ability and activates long-term memory.

The last rule that makes the summary is: choose the right website to practice aptitude tests. At you will find the whole range of the most popular psychometric tests. These are numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning and situational judgement tests for managers, office, sales and customer support staff. For just 2 EUR you will be able to practice over 1000 mock aptitude tests made by professionals in HR. Remember: practice makes perfect.

Read more about aptitude tests practice:

Psychometric aptitude tests – should I prepare?

SHL psychometric tests

Numerical Reasoning Tests: what they are, examples, solutions and tips to pass them

Verbal reasoning tests: what are they and how to pass them

Abstract reasoning tests: all you want to know about them

10 tips for taking a situational judgement test

Situational judgement tests used by employers and qualities that they test

Psychometric aptitude tests for managers

Psychometric testing for call center and customer support jobs

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