Practice as much as possible – The key to passing all psychometric aptitude tests is to practice as many questions as possible before your assessment to get used to the types of questions you will be asked and the tricks that assessors use to try and catch candidates out.
Find out how many minutes per questions you have – this can be done by doing a quick calculation in your head before the exam even starts. Simply divide the number of questions you have by the time allocated and you’ll have a guide as to how long you should be aiming to spend on each question. Don’t worry if you don’t finish the exam though, accuracy is more important than speed so work quickly and carefully but don’t rush with wild guesses to catch up with the clock.
Be aware of the time – It’s very easy to get bogged down on a particular question and waste valuable time. If you’re stuck take an educated guess or more appropriately flag the question for review and come back to it later. Also don’t be afraid to move on, you may find the more difficult questions are at the start of your assessment so by not moving on you could be missing out on some easy questions and easy marks.
Skim read the paragraph – Make sure you skim read the paragraph before reading the questions so you have an idea of what the passage relates to. There will be typically be anywhere between three and five questions per paragraph so it’s reasonable to spend 20 seconds quickly reading the paragraph before attempting the questions.
Just use the information in the passage – verbal reasoning tests are designed so anyone can sit them. Even if you know the information in the passage is not factually correct or you disagree with the author just use the information in the paragraph when answering the question. There’s no where for you to write a comment in the assessment so you won’t get any credit for disagreeing with what is written in the paragraph. Don’t be afraid, however, to tell your assessor if you disagree with a particular answer, they will respect you more for having the confidence to challenge the exam.
Don’t rush – you won’t score extra marks for finishing with 10 minutes to spare so make sure you take your time and if you do have time at the end of the exam go back and review your answers if possible.
Find out as much as possible from your assessor before you sit your assessment – try and find out what sort of verbal reasoning questions you will be asked to answer. Typically they consist of a short paragraph of two to three hundred words but ask them in advance of your sitting to make sure your verbal reasoning assessment will take the same format.
If you are in an exam room with other candidates try to stay focused on your particular paper, ignore what other candidates are doing. Assessors will often give candidates different questions or mix up the order of the question to stop people attempting to cheat but aside from this if the person next to you is 4 questions ahead it doesn’t mean you should speed up, focus on your exam.
Get used to practicing your verbal reasoning assessment in the same format which you will have to sit your real assessment. If you are going to have to sit it on a computer (the more common method) then get used to practicing on a computer, reading on the screen can take longer than on paper and you need to get used to this.
Practice, practice, practice – our final and most important tip. Practice aptitude tests as much as you possibly can before your real assessment. The more questions you have seen the more comfortable and confident you will be in the exam and the higher mark you will score. It can be laborious at first but scoring highly in your aptitude tests is as important as performing well in your interview or producing a good CV so it isn’t time wasted. If you practice you will improve.