Revelian is a test publisher based in Australia, and was founded in 1999 as Onetest. Revelian tests are used widely by employers in the telecommunications, logistics and consulting industries, such as KPMG and PwC.
The most popular pre-screening test in the recruitment process is the Revelian Cognitive Ability Test (RCAT), but other tests produced by this publisher include:
- Values and Culture Fit
- Reliability and Integrity
- Emotional Intelligence
- Work Preferences
- Gamified Tests (Cognify, Emotify, and Theme Park Hero)
In the RCAT, you will be asked a random selection of 51 questions that need to be answered in just 20 minutes. As you progress through the test, the questions get increasingly more difficult.
According to Revelian, most people do not answer all the questions in this time frame.
In the verbal reasoning sections, you will encounter questions on antonyms and synonyms, word swap, analogies, and word logic problems. In these questions, the answer is presented in a multiple-choice format.
In the numerical reasoning section, the answers are not multiple choice and you will be expected to complete the necessary calculations using a pen and paper rather than a calculator. There will be word problems as well as questions that require you to recognise patterns to find the next number in a number series.
In the abstract reasoning section, you will be presented with five to six pictures. These might be shapes or drawings, and could include geometric or abstract designs. In these questions, you will need to find the two pictures in the series that do not fit the pattern.
The RCAT is scored with one point for every correct answer, and no penalties for incorrect answers. Raw scores are compared to three distinct norm groups: a role specific group, a job level group, and a more general norm group. The percentile score in comparison to these norm groups is what is used by the recruitment team to make a decision on whether to take your application further; in general, a score that is within the top 20% is considered good enough to move forward.
The test is considered difficult because of the very tight time constraints – you will have less than 25 seconds per question.
Although the cognitive abilities tested in the RCAT are not something that can be revised particularly, there are a few things that you can do to improve your performance and your score. Here are ten suggestions:
1. Know the test
If the role you are applying for requires candidates to take pre-employment screening tests, you can sometimes find this information in the job description. If not, you will be contacted by the recruitment team when you have applied with details of the tests that you will need to take.
Finding out which specific test you will be taking as early as possible will give you the opportunity to make the most of your practice time.
2. Take practice tests
The content of the Revelian tests is not necessarily challenging, but the layout, structure and time limit makes them difficult.
Any practice tests on the relevant aptitudes will be beneficial to your practice, but it is definitely a good idea to seek out Revelian-style practice tests so that you can not only become familiar with the wording of the questions, but also so you can see how the test will be structured and how each question needs to be answered.
There are some official practice tests available on the Revelian website that are particularly useful.
3. Make your practice realistic
The benefit of realistic practice will make you more comfortable when you are taking the real test. Set up somewhere quiet, have a timer set, and ensure that you are not going to be disturbed (turn your phone on silent, for example).
4. Brush up on relevant skills
For the verbal questions, make sure you know what a synonym is, what an antonym is, and what an analogy is. It is beneficial to practice recognising logic in an argument too.
In the numerical questions, you will be expected to perform basic calculations using simple operators like multiplication and division; these need to be completed on paper, not using a calculator.
With the abstract questions, you can think a bit laterally for skills revision. Exercises like simple ‘spot the difference’ will help get you thinking about the relationships between pictures and shapes.
5. Look after yourself
Tests can be nerve-wracking, so making sure that you are mentally and physically prepared for them will help you to feel more confident and improve your performance.
Get enough sleep in the days running up to the assessment, and on the day have a good breakfast and drink plenty of fluids. The more awake and nourished you are, the better you will perform.
6. Prepare your test area
The Revelian tests are delivered online, so make sure that your laptop (if you are using one) is fully charged, your internet connection is fast and stable, and you have downloaded any software you will need.
During the test, be somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed, and remove any distractions like your mobile phone. Similarly, be sure that you have everything you need to hand, like a pen and paper and a drink.
7. Read the instructions
The instructions provided with the test will give you all the information that you need to answer the questions appropriately.
Whether the test instructions are included as an introduction to the test, or there are more specific instructions for each question, take some time to make sure that you understand what is expected of you.
8. Pace yourself
Although the test is timed, don’t rush. Rushing could cause you to make silly mistakes that could cost you some much-needed points.
Similarly, don’t dwell on the questions, especially if you find them challenging. There are no negative marks for wrong answers, so try to progress at a reasonable pace through the assessment so that you give yourself the best chance to answer enough questions.
9. Remember the questions get harder
The randomly generated questions get harder as the test progresses – so bear this in mind if you are getting through the earlier part of the assessment without too many problems.
10. Stay calm
Taking tests makes most people feel anxious, but panic will not help you answer the questions. With enough practice, you should feel confident about how the test will work, and what you can expect.
Even if you feel like you are skipping questions because they are too challenging, remember that it is completely normal for test takers to not complete every question on the assessment. If you do need to skip a question, you can always come back to it at the end.