Passing aptitude tests such as those tested by the majority of large graduate and professional employers can be more than manageable if candidates approach the tests in the correct way. It isn’t necessary to get 100% to pass them or even finish the tests.

Numerical Reasoning tests

These will consist of 5 graphs, tables of data or charts. There will be 4 questions on each of these graphics and each question will be multiple choice with a choice of 4 possible answers.

It is important to spend around 5-10 seconds familiarising yourself with the graphic. Start by reading the title to see what it relates to and then glance at the axis. After this spend a further 5 seconds looking to see what the trend of the graphic is. Ask yourself is there a general increase or decrease for instance.

Having spent this short time looking at the graphic go on to read the first question, read the question quickly but carefully and if necessary read it twice to ensure you understand the requirement. Don’t worry if you can’t do the first question. They are of mixed difficulty so you won’t necessarily get the easiest questions first. Candidates who will pass the tests are those that are not afraid to move onto the next question and get the easy questions right first. You can always come back to harder questions later. It is better come back to the question later than take a wild guess!

Verbal Reasoning Tests

These aptitude tests will typically consist of 5 short passages of text which are between 150 and 200 words long. Candidates will be presented with 4 questions / statements per passage and asked to prove a ‘true’, ‘false’ or ‘cannot say’ response to each of the 4 statements. When approaching these tests it is important to spend around 15 – 20 seconds skim reading the passage initially to get the general gist of what the passage is about.

After this then spend another 30 seconds carefully reading the text and try to identify the key points in the passage. Time spent doing this will pay dividends later seeing as the next 4 questions are all about the same passage. Candidates should avoid the temptation of reading the questions first and then rushing and reading of the paragraph too quickly. Again, if you get stuck on a question then it is important to move on and not worry about it, getting the easy marks first is the most important thing to do to pass the tests. You can always come back to the harder questions later in the test.

Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests

These tests test candidate’s ability to identify sequences and they can look very confusing at first. In the real test it is important not to over think the questions. They should not be too time pressured but do not spend more than 2 minutes on each sequence. It is more important than ever with these tests to move on if you get stuck. Some will be really quite straight forward while others will be very challenging so to pass just concentrate on picking up the easy marks!