Here are some useful tips, strategies and handy advice which you could use to help maximise your chances of passing your verbal reasoning test.
Trying one or more verbal reasoning tests before hand, experiencing timed conditions and seeing the solutions afterwards is the most important thing you can do before a test. Naturally, it will serve to bolster your confidence, hone your skills and identify areas which require more practice, and which are strengths. Similarly, you are provided with an opportunity to familiarise yourself with the format and layout of these tests, helping to dispel fears of the unknown.
Choosing the right environment
With unsupervised, email invitation format tests, candidates can take verbal reasoning tests anywhere with an internet connection. Deciding when and where to take this test is therefore an important issue. Naturally, you will want to choose somewhere which is quiet, distraction free and with a stable internet connection. The time of day you choose to do your test may also be an important issue, and a personal issue. Are you a morning person? A night owl? Whatever your preference, take your test at the time you feel most alert and sharp.
Ensuring that you read all the information provided to you within the test or by an assessor is pivotal. Although this may seem like obvious advice, you would be surprised how many people skip important information, even vital information. Information like “You cannot go back to previous questions”, which is “not the correct answer” and “please select two answers” can make a huge different if ignored, significantly affecting a final test score. If the test is in a supervised format, i.e. at an assessment centre, feel free to ask questions before the test has started. It is better to ask and get an answer than to not ask, and make wrong assumptions.
In order to increase the difficulty of their tests, psychometric test publishers will often include trick questions, in which the answer may appear deceptively obvious. Be very careful when reading the question, as little details may significantly alter the way in which you calculate the correct answer. For example the question may request the answer to two decimal places, but may include answers which are to three decimal places as options. Not knowing the finer points of the questions can lead to lower test performance.
Which test publisher
Organisations will often publicly state which psychometric test publisher they are using in order to test candidates. Finding out this information can go a long way when preparing for the test, and knowing what to expect. Although many top test publishers use a similar format and style of test, each publisher’s tests will be different, and knowing these differences may give you an edge when it comes to passing them.
Most people get anxious or nervous before taking a test, and with a career on the line, psychometric tests can be particularly nerve-racking. It could be argued that a certain amount of nerves may keep you focused on the task at hand; however serious anxiety can only serve to hamper your abilities. Give yourself plenty of time to practice and prepare beforehand, don’t leave the test to the last minute and do the test at a place in a quiet, calm environment.
Update your browser
Sometimes psychometric testing platforms are unable to function on older versions of internet browsers. Ensuring you have the latest version of Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome etc. is a prudent step in ensuring you are able to complete the test. Similarly, deactivating popup blockers and other customised security settings may be necessary in order to access the test.
Psychometric test publishers and employing organisations will happily provide reasonable adjustments to tests and testing environments if you provide them with enough notice before hand. Should you require any adjustments, such as extra time, it is imperative that you inform the organisation as soon as possible, providing then with enough notice to make adjustments. If you leave it until the last minute, they may not be able to make the necessary adjustments and your test may be cancelled. Similarly you may be required to show evidence that you have special requirements, such as a certificate for dyslexia. Having these documents at hand can help ensure you get the adjustments you need.
Often people think to themselves, “what if I just get my friend to do this instead”. Although this strategy may seem desirable, psychometric test publishers and employers are one step ahead. Often at the assessment centre, verification testing is used, testing the reliability of the candidate’s scores. If it is found that the candidate's response pattern or performance differs significantly between the online test and the follow-up verification test, this will likely alert the attention of the assessors.