Psychometric tests are often carried out within the early stages of the recruitment and selection process, generally at an assessment centre.  These tests are structured, systematic ways of evaluating how well people perform in relation to tasks and situations.  Employers use psychometric tests at different stages of the recruitment process.  Some use them to decide who they should invite for interview; others use them as part of a series of selection exercises.

 How do they work?

In virtually all cases tests are now computerised.  They are mostly delivered in multiple choice formats and have time constraints built in.

 Types of Psychometric Tests

There are three types of psychometric tests:

  1. Aptitude / Ability Tests: these are generally multiple-choice and timed.  They test your capabilities in numeracy and problem solving and thinking performance.

  2. Personality Questionnaire: these explore the way you tend to react to, or deal with, different situations.  They focus on a variety of personality traits, such as how you relate to other people, your ability to deal with your own and others emotions, your motivations and determination and your general outlook.

  • Situational Judgement Tests: these will pose typical work scenarios and ask you to select appropriate responses to the situation.  You will need to take into account the role you are applying for when deciding how best to respond.

Some employers value the results provided by psychometric tests and use them all the time, other employers use them rarely or never.  Employers that intend to use them as part of the recruitment process should inform you in advance prior to any testing session.

 Tips for dealing with psychometric tests

It is not always possible to preapre for every kind of test administered by employers but here are a few quick tips:

  • Try to get a good rest the night before your test.

  • Arrive in good time at the test location.

  • Leave your mobile phone and personal belongings outside the test room.

  • If you have a disability, discuss this with the employer in advance.

  • Do not be afraid to ask questions.

  • Follow the instructions carefully and read the paper carefully.

  • Work quickly and accurately.

  • Do not waste time on difficult questions.

  • Avoid wild guessing 

Read our quick guide on Tips for taking online numerical tests 

Psychometric Tests - free for you!


The Graduates First package offers free access to University of Bolton students to a range of different tests.  You can register using your university email address and instructions can be found here.

Resources include:

  • Numerical, verbal and logic tests
  • Progress monitor (how you are performing)
  • Feedback reports
  • Work personality questionnaires

Register for Graduates First here!



Psychometric Test Information and Resources