Psychometric Test Candidates
Introduction and Guides
This information has been prepared to enable psychometric test candidates (i.e., those about to undergo a psychometric test as part of a job application or development process) to know what is involved. PsyAsia International is an international organization, however, we believe that the British Psychological Society provide the clearest guidelines and ethical principles on test usage and for this reason, we quote them as necessary.
Email Support Only
Please note that the only support we provide to psychometric test candidates is by email and it is only for serious technical issues (e.g., your test cannot start; your computer crashed etc.) All other FAQs and advice can be found on this page. Please do not call us by phone and please do not email us with non-serious technical enquiries. If you really need to email us, please ensure that you have read this entire page first. The reason for this is that we deal with 500+ candidates per day and cannot respond to requests for advice and so on. Also it would be unfair to give any other type of support unless we give it to all psychometric test candidates.
Psychometric Test Candidates Q&As
What is a psychometric test?
A psychometric test is a well-founded method of assessing your ability or personality. Many years of research have demonstrated the utility of these tests in workplace prediction of job performance. Ability and aptitude tests have right and wrong answers and generally are designed so that candidates are not able to answer all questions; so, do your best, but do not be too concerned if you are unable to complete the whole test. Personality assessments are simply measures of your personality, so do not have right and wrong answers, you just need to be honest when completing these assessments. Personality assessments generally have inbuilt measures of response style, meaning that it is possible to tell if you have not paid attention to the questions or if you have been dishonest in your responses.
Why use a psychometric test?
Psychometric tests, along with other relevant information (resume or employer references etc.), allow us to make accurate predictions about how well you are likely to fit into a given job or career area, your likely performance in that position and your potential training and development needs. They assist the decision-maker and you by helping to ensure that the right person is selected for a position, that you will enjoy the work and that any significant development needs are addressed appropriately.
I have top marks at University - you still want to test me?
You may have had top marks at your university and if so, well done. However, in the world of work you are being compared to many other top performers from other universities. If everybody received top marks, how can an employer choose which person to employ. This is where psychometric tests come in. Your university grades are more about attainment. They demonstrate the level of knowledge you attained after various courses. Psychometric Tests tell us more about your Ability (as in what you can do right now) and your Aptitude (as in what you are capable of doing in the future). Simply put, psychometric tests tell us different things that university grades and help us distinguish between top performers.
How can I access more information on a particular test?
The British Psychological Society offer a review of UK-published psychometric tests. The review is fairly technical and requires some expert knowledge in order to fully understand it. Many tests provide information online at dedicated websites. Additionally, you may always ask the person that has asked you to complete the test for further information.
How are psychometric tests administered?
There are various forms of test administration available. Research suggests that the form of administration does not have a detrimental effect on test outcome. You may be asked to complete a test in paper format, simply reading questions from a question booklet and marking your response on the answer sheet provided. Alternatively, you may be asked to log-in to a secure website and complete an assessment. Irrespective of the style of administration, all candidates are provided with clear, standardized instructions. During the actual testing session, talking/asking questions is not permitted, this is in order to maintain a quality working environment for all involved. If you are taking the test on your own, possibly at home or in your office, please keep to this code by ensuring that you commence your test when you do not expect interruptions, remembering to silence the telephone and other similar distractions. It really doesn’t help to explain poor test results by later stating that you took the test in a noisy environment!
How do I know if the test administrator is competent?
In the United Kingdom, the British Psychological Society maintain a database of individuals qualified to administer tests (BPS Level 1 Assistant Test User Qualification). PsyAsia International is very particular about ensuring that individuals using our tests are appropriately qualified, thus, this would have been ascertained prior to providing the individual with test materials and online access. The British Psychological Society also maintains a register of individuals qualified to administer, score, interpret and provide feedback on ability (BPS Level 1 Ability Test User Qualification) and personality (BPS Level 2 Personality Test User Qualification) tests. Many of our clients in Asia have undergone significant training in psychometrics to the level of the aforementioned qualifications. For online test administration, the computer administers the test, but behind this is a qualified individual who chose your test and who will interpret it.
Can I have a copy of the test in order to practice before the session?
Depending on which test you are completing, you may be provided with a few questions that represent those found in the actual test. However, you will not be provided with a copy of the actual test prior to your testing session under any circumstance. This is because it is important to keep test materials secure in order to prevent reducing the utility (reliability and validity) of our tests. Also, we wish to know your current level of performance or your preferred way of approaching the world. Providing you with a copy of the test would provide you with a learning advantage and therefore your results would not be reflective of the real you. This may lead to you being selected for an inappropriate job, unnecessarily rejected for a job, short-listed for inappropriate training and development or not put forward for required training and development.
How can I best prepare for the testing session?
If you are sent practice materials, you should complete these as detailed in the instructions.
Your test administrator should send you some details about the test(s) that you are going to complete. Ensure that you read and understand all of the information you are given. Make sure you know where the testing session will be held (how to log-in if you are using on-line testing), the time the session commences and the time required to complete the tests. Make sure to bring any necessary aids with you such as reading glasses etc. If you are uncertain about any aspect of your testing session, please contact your test administrator as far in advance of testing as possible.
If you have been asked to complete an Online Test, please ensure that you use only an up-to-date PC, excellent internet connectivity and reliable power. Before starting any assessment please ensure your PC has the most up-to-date browsers. We recommend Google Chrome as this is generally faster than Internet Explorer. Furthermore, Google Chrome self-updates and so you will always have the most up-to-date browser for the test software. Please note that we test significant numbers of candidates each week. The systems of our test publishers are very reliable and have been extensively tested with different browsers and operating systems. We come across problems at most about once or twice per year and this is usually as a result of the setup of the individual’s PC.
The practice test answers are wrong!
If you get questions wrong, you should try to work out why. Sometimes candidates email us insisting the sample answers are incorrect. Please be advised that the tests have been extensively tested over many years on huge groups as well as subject matter experts. Kindly re-check your response very carefully and do not contact us to advise us the answers are incorrect.
Is it possible to cheat an unsupervised aptitude test?
Not really. Some unethical candidates come up with stories about how the test started suddenly on its own without them realizing and so on. They ask us to reset the test for them in cases like this. Often we won’t. Sometimes instead of resetting the same test we give them a different one. If the story is believable and we do reset the test, there is another issue for the candidate to consider as follows. Many of our clients use unsupervised aptitude tests to shortlist a large number of candidates into a more manageable group. Perhaps a candidate manages to get through this stage of the selection process. However most clients will then give candidates a FULLY SUPERVISED aptitude test at a later stage of the process. If the candidate does less well at this final stage, it indicates that they attempted to cheat in some way before. This leads to rejection of the candidate and of course threatens their professional reputation and integrity for life.
Are there any special arrangements for people with special needs?
Yes, wherever possible. It is important that you inform your test administrator in good time of your requirements in order that s/he may try to satisfy them.
Can I take the test at home?
Some of our tests may be taken at home (on your PC) and others must be administered in more controlled environments. Your administrator will be aware of the conditions and have made an informed decision as to where your test should be completed. If you were not provided with the option of testing at home, then you should assume this option is not available for your particular test. If you have been provided with the option of home-based testing, please ensure that you know exactly what is required of you prior to the testing session and that you will have an ample amount of time free from distraction of any kind. Turn off your telephone! Do not start the test if you have children around, dogs barking, construction noise and so forth!
What happens after the session?
After the session, your responses are analyzed and a report produced. Due to the volume of candidates being assessed, it may not always be possible to offer feedback. If you are offered feedback, it will be in a non-technical format that you can understand. If there is anything that you do not understand, then ask the person providing feedback to clarify. Usually, an interpretation of your results will be given to the person or group of people that have/has asked for testing to be carried out. You will be aware of who these individuals are because you gave permission for them to see your results prior to test administration. Your results will not be seen by anybody that you have not given permission to view. Finally, your test results will be considered alongside all other sources of information that we have about you before making any final decision on selection or development. Test results alone are never used for decision-making.
What happens to my data?
Your results always remain strictly confidential in accordance with your country’s data protection act. As an example, please see the Hong Kong Privacy Law or Singapore Personal Data Protection Act. If you are completing an internet-based assessment, your data will initially be stored in a secure database maintained by perhaps a UK or Australian Internet Service Provider and thereafter the responses will be forwarded directly to the trained person who has commissioned your assessment. Unless specific arrangements have been made, the data will thereafter be stored securely by the test publisher for six to twelve months, after which, it will be anonymized, i.e. all reference to the original source will be removed. This allows the developers to continually monitor the quality of the assessments. If you are completing a non-internet based assessment, the Internet Service Provider and publisher are still involved in the process as your responses will be added manually to the system. We do arrange data-sharing with some organizations, again to allow us to monitor the quality of our assessments. Where this happens, you will be duly informed and have the right to request that we do not hold your data. Again, any data held will be anonymized after six to twelve months. The person who commissioned your assessment will be able to provide you with further details on that particular organization’s data-protection policy. All policies should conform to the legislation mentioned above.
What is the worst thing I can do in my psychometric test process?
There may not be a single “worst” thing that you can do, so instead, we have put together a collection of things that will ensure things go terribly – DO NOT DO ANY OF THESE!
-Wait until the last minute (just before the deadline) to complete your online psychometric test
-Use a computer with low battery to complete your online test
-Access your online test from an unreliable, slow, wireless internet connection
-Don’t read the test instructions carefully and thoroughly
-Don’t get a good night’s sleep before the assessment
-Don’t eat before the assessment
-Don’t visit the washroom before the assessment
-Complete your online test in a noisy environment
My job application was rejected after I failed the aptitude test - I am unhappy.
Of course you are unhappy. Most people who are assessed by our tests are already very desirable candidates. The fact that you were asked to complete the test in the first place demonstrates how highly the employer thinks of you. Tests are not cheap and they would not waste their money on candidates who they do not believe in!
However, don’t forget that along with you there may be another 1000+ candidates completing the assessment. So even though you think you are the best person for the job, there are bound to be other strong candidates.
Any company who uses our psychometric tests are already aware that test results alone should not be used to make selection or rejection decisions. So, if you have not been invited to the next stage of the process it is not due to your aptitude test results alone. Following your aptitude test, all information that the employer holds on you was reconsidered alongside all other applicants and the evidence pointed to other applicants as being stronger in the competencies required in the job than you.
You were not rejected on the basis of your aptitude test results alone. In fact some candidates scoring just below average might be invited to the next round whilst others scoring just above average might be rejected at this stage!
Also, remember that what is average may be different to what you are used to. If you are used to being above average at school/university, it may come as a shock that you are no longer above average when compared to other very capable individuals from around the world!
This is of course disappointing especially as you would have worked hard to get this far. Please see this as a unique experience and know that given your background you will have another chance to prove yourself either with this employer perhaps a year or two down the track or with an alternative employer.
We have attempted to answer the majority of questions that psychometric test candidates may have in this page. If you still have questions, kindly ask the person who commissioned your assessment.
Contact PsyAsia International - Psychometric Test Candidates
In order to contact us about technical problems with your psychometric test:
Please click the link below and choose “Test Candidates” Department.
Please note that before contacting us you should read this entire page.
If your question is already answered in these resources, we will not reply.
Please DO NOT CALL us. If we need more information we will email you or call you.
Tickets are dealt with in the order they are received.
If you have left taking the test until the last minute and are now facing technical difficulties, reminding us of your deadline will not speed things up as we need to be fair to those who took the test in good time. Thank you for your understanding.