application formThis month the Association of Graduate Recruiters released a report in which they revealed that for every UK financial services graduate level job there are more than 112 applicants per place.   While this seems very high, for FMGC companies such as Proctor and Gamble this figure was even higher with over 200 applicants per position.

These figures demonstrate the intense level of competition there is for top UK graduate jobs.  Further to this with continued economic uncertainty and pressure to reduce costs companies are unlikely to be have the capacity to significantly increase the number of jobs available in the short term.

So what does this mean for job applicants?  It means that graduate employers can pick the very best applicants who perform the best in each stage of the application process.

If you have been selected to sit a psychometric test as part of the application process you have already done fantastically well.  These tests cost a lot of money to administer and employers are prepared to invest money establishing whether you are the right candidate for the job.

In order to pass the psychometric test stage of your application there are a number of things you can do to maximise your chances of success.

1)     Find out what sort of psychometric tests you will be taking.  Most employers ask candidates to sit a numerical and verbal reasoning test but many are increasingly expanding the range of tests they use to assess candidates to differentiate the best candidates.  Employers are increasingly using Situational Judgement Tests and E-tray exercises to identify the top candidates.

2)     Practice as many questions as possible before your assessment.  Feedback we receive from candidates indicates that practicing questions increases your accuracy, speed and confidence and with such intense competition it is essential to be well prepared.

3)     Practice psychometric aptitude tests under exam conditions.  This means in a quiet environment, with the calculator you intend to use in your real assessment and most importantly sticking to timings.  Get used to taking the tests under timed conditions and not rushing or panicking if you get stuck.  Remember the easiest questions are not necessarily at the start of the test and you don’t always need to finish the test to pass.  Accuracy and speed are key to success and these can be improved through practice.

The Association of Graduate Recruiters report highlights how important it is in the current job market to excel at your psychometric aptitude tests.  Think of them as an opportunity to demonstrate your abilities to the employer and a way to differentiate yourself from the competition.  Focus on the questions you find the hardest, everyone likes doing what they are good at but it is important to spend time on your weakest areas too.

With many of the major UK graduate schemes opening for applications in August / September use the time now to get prepared for your psychometric tests.  Take the first step towards preparing for your psychometric tests and upgrade now to get access to +350 psychometric test questions developed with psychometric test experts.

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