What is a Saville test?
A Saville test can come in one of many forms, but all are used by hiring organisations to assess a candidate’s suitability for a given role.
Its psychometric aptitude tests cover all areas of ability, including verbal, numerical, logical and mechanical aptitude. In some cases these are taken as stand-alone assessments; more commonly, they are combined to form a blended assessment, which Saville publishes under its Swift series.
As the company was founded by Professor Peter Saville, co-founder of SHL, Saville tests are similar to SHL tests. Both consist of questions containing information similar to what a test taker would expect in their line of work.
Saville also publishes situational judgement tests, and personality questionnaires under the Wave banner. The latter are highly regarded as one of the most reliable indicators of a candidate’s working style and personal preferences.
Saville aptitude tests
As mentioned, Saville aptitude tests can be taken on their own or as part of a Swift assessment. A Swift assessment is a quick-fire test covering various areas, lasting from 9.5 to 24 minutes.
Single assessments focus on a particular skill and tend to take longer to complete. The following covers all the different types of aptitude tests you may encounter if invited to complete a Saville assessment.
Saville’s numerical aptitude tests require that you draw fact-based conclusions from statistical information. You’ll need to pick the right option from a set of multiple-choice answers by interpreting data in the form of tables and graphs.
As a standalone assessment, you may sit the numerical analysis aptitude test, a 24-minute test used for high-level roles and graduate positions.
Alternatively you may be asked to take the numerical comprehension aptitude test, a 16-minute test designed for entry-level roles, similar in style but less complex in subject matter.
As with numerical aptitude, there are two main versions of Saville verbal aptitude tests: one for entry-level roles, and one for higher-level positions.
The 24-minute verbal analysis aptitude test is commonly used for professional, management and graduate roles. You’ll be given paragraphs of text, and asked to answer true, false, or cannot say on a series of statements based on the evidence within the written prompt.
The 16-minute verbal comprehension aptitude test is used for entry-level roles, and combines questions as above with word-definition problems.
In the diagrammatic test, you’ll be given a series of operators: inputs, processes and outputs. Questions come in the form of diagrams that show the operators in action. Your task is to identify which operators result in the illustrated outcome.
You’ll also be tasked with finding faults and comparing flowchart sequences, with 24 minutes to work through the test. There’s also a shorter, slightly easier version which focuses solely on operators.
The Saville mechanical aptitude test measures your understanding of physical principles and is used for technical roles of all kinds.
You’ll be challenged on mechanical concepts like force and direction, and will need to choose the right multiple-choice answer based on illustrations involving things like gears, pulleys and levers.
Individual tests take 16 minutes to complete. When part of a Swift assessment, mechanical aptitude is commonly measured alongside diagrammatic and spatial aptitude.
Abstract aptitude tests are designed to measure your logical thinking, by assessing how well you can identify rules and relationships in patterns and sequences.
In the Saville version, you’ll have 16 minutes to work through as many patterns as possible, in which part of the pattern has been removed. You’ll need to select the right multiple-choice option to fill the gap.
One of the shorter standalone tests, this eight-minute assessment looks at your spatial awareness when working with shapes.
Each question involves four objects. In some cases, these will be shown at different angles, and in some cases not. You’ll need to examine the objects to identify the odd one out.
Differences can be subtle, so this test takes a keen eye.
Error checking aptitude
On its own, the error checking assessment takes just six minutes to complete. It is used for entry-level roles and evaluates a candidate’s ability to identify errors in numerical, verbal and coding information that has been transposed.
You’ll be given original information and transposed information and asked to check for accuracy. In some cases there will be no errors, and in others multiple mistakes.
This is a fast-paced test that requires both speed and attention to detail. There are also longer versions designed for specific professions.
This test is only administered as a standalone exam, so you won’t find it as part of a Swift assessment (though you may be asked to take it alongside).
Candidates will see multiple sentences relating to workplace scenarios. In each sentence, a word will be missing, and you’ll need to choose the correct word to complete the sentence from multiple-choice options.
You’ll have 16.5 minutes to answer as many questions as you can.
Saville situational judgement tests
Saville situational judgement tests offer employers insight into how well a candidate fits within their organisation, by measuring their personal response to a range of specifically designed hypothetical scenarios.
Questions revolve around a realistic workplace situation, to which candidates are given a response and asked to rate how effective they deem this action to be.
The exact nature of your situational judgement test will be dependent on the hiring organisation, as these are designed to suit each employer on a test-by-test basis.
Wave personality questionnaire
Saville’s Wave personality assessments use complex rating systems to measure an individual’s working styles, preferences and behavioural tendencies. They are widely considered as one of the strongest indicators of a candidate’s future performance and culture fit.
The Wave series comprises four test types used for differing purposes, but the two commonly used in the recruitment process are Wave Professional Styles and Wave Focus Styles.
The only difference between the two is duration. Professional Styles is a 40-minute test, whereas Focus Styles is just 13 minutes long. In both, you’ll rate statements on a scale of very strongly disagree to very strongly agree.
Your responses will be collated into in-depth reports that detail your working personality in terms of things like problem solving, relationships and communication.
Which employers use Saville tests?
Saville is a popular test publisher, owing to its extensive library of assessments. In addition to the tests outlined above and the Swift assessment series, it also offers versions designed for specific sectors.
With that in mind, Saville tests are used by numerous employers in a range of different industries. Some well known names to make use of these assessments include Dyson, Jaguar Land Rover, Virgin Media, Merck and Johnson & Johnson.