Category Archives: Aptitude test design

In this aptitude test design Category, you can firstly find all of our most useful and up-to-date aptitude test information.

Secondly, you can find all of the tips and practice on our site.

We hope you find both of these useful.

Rob Williams Assessment Ltd specialise in designing highly predictive psychometric solutions. In particular, situational judgement test design, realistic job preview design, aptitude test design, ability test design, verbal reasonign test design, numerical reasoning test design, abstract reasoning test design and personality questionnaire design.

We work across a wide range of sectors and job roles. Our tailor-made psychometric offerings are as unique as our clients’ organisations.

Our organisation prides itself on client satisfaction. We have many positive LinkedIn reviews from our big client projects.

Our Psychometric Test Designs

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Screening

We cover both bespoke pretesting and bespoke screening tests. Screening tests can help you identify which applicants are a good match for the role and for your company culture.

These are more valid than cv’s which can leave recruiters to fill in the gaps between what’s written and what’s actually relevant. Skills tests during the application stage help filter out applicants who don’t have the skills you need. 

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Numerical Reasoning Test Practice

Numerical Reasoning Test tips

Many medium-sized and large companies now use Numerical Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. A standardised Numerical Reasoning Test gives everyone the same numerical reasoning questions.

Our numerical reasoning test book 

Free numerical resoning test practice Buy numerical resoning test practice

Why test numerical reasoning?

Numerical Reasoning Tests need to accommodate the very wide difference in mathematical ability from school leavers to senior managers.  Correspondingly there is a range of increasingly difficult Numerical Reasoning Tests from the basic Numeracy Tests (which only require mathematical knowledge of the 4 basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) to the most complex and numerical reasoning involved in the interpretation of complex statitistical data.

Continue reading Numerical Reasoning Test Practice
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SHL Practice Tests

Welcome to our SHL practice tests; SHL are the publisher of the OPQ in the UK, and globally.

* * * Content updated Q4 2021 * * *

PwC’s SHL psychometric tests

PwC uses SHL (CEB) test provider for their psychometric tests – the online reasoning tests are highly effective to filter to the best 10% of applications, from the several thousand they receive per role.

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Digital skills guide

Welcome to our digital marketing jobs listings.

We also offer a short exploration of the latest digital marketing skills.

       


      Welcome to our exploration of digital marketing skills. Plus, the new era job roles for which these specialist marketing skills are most needed,

      We start with one of the most widely publicised, the professional gamer.

      Continue reading Digital skills guide

      Numerical reasoning and verbal tests

      Free online test practice

       Free online numerical reasoning test practicefree online verbal reasoning test practice

      Passing numerical reasoning tests

      There aren’t any quick wins for being good at maths but some focussed practice will improve your score, as will following a few test-taking strategies.

      As a timed assessment, you need to average around one minute per question. Work briskly but accurately. Each question counts the same so pick off the easy ones first and don’t waste your test time on the most difficult questions.

      Numerical reasoning test practice is an excellent means of brushing-up on any maths functions you haven’t used in a while. Ensure that you are comfortable using data tables, interpreting graphs and manipulating large financial figures.

      You can practise the most common numerical test types at the main test publisher websites. Practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL as these sites cover most of the tests you are likely to find.

      Passing verbal reasoning tests 

      Verbal reasoning assessments come in many different types of format.

      The traditional comprehension format is to have a short passage followed by a series of questions – asking about facts, opinions, and conclusions – based on its content, a bit like those English tests in primary school where you answered questions on a novel extract.

      Regardless of the type of test, it’s vital to carefully read each question. Often questions hinge on one or two key words, so you must take more care to interpret these accurately. If questioned whether something “always” applies whilst the passage states that it is “sometimes” the case, then this is a false interpretation.

      Scan the passage initially and then read it in more detail. It’s easier to answer each question if you can recall roughly where to find the answer in the text.

      Passing abstract reasoning tests

      These ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”.

      The easier questions typically appear at the start of the assessment and will involve one change in colour, position, size etc .of the figures shown.

      Questions become more difficult as you progress and must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. Once you’ve worked out at least one of the feature changes, check through the answer options to discount those that do not conform.

      Passing personality tests

      When it comes to answering psychometric surveys that evaluate personality, the best advice is to give your “first response”.

      Visualise how you would behave at work on a typical good day. Don’t second guess what is being looked for since “faking” and lying are easily picked up.

      Practice, practice, practice psychometric tests

      Like anything, practice makes perfect. And don’t be afraid to ask the employer which publisher’s tests they use – most will be happy to tell you.

      Being familiar with the format, as well as the kinds of questions asked, will give you a clear advantage. On the day, keep calm and remember that most assessments are timed, so answer the questions as swiftly as you can.

      Being familiar with the format, as well as the kinds of questions asked, will give you a clear advantage. On the day, keep calm and remember that most assessments are timed, so answer the questions as swiftly as you can.

      Popular Personality Surveys

      You might also enjoy the following:

      Firstly, How stressed is your child?

      Secondly, How effective is your decision-making style?

      Thirdly, How are your Basic Tutoring Skills?

      Also, IntelligenceTypes.

      And, How Effective Are Your Time Management Skills?

      Plus, Do your Tutoring Skills Need a Tune-Up?

      Finally, How well-developed are your English writing skills.

      Data Analyst jobs Londonge with tech pieces.

      Practice tests

      Welcome to our aptitude tests info and practice test tips.

      How to do well on verbal reasoning tests

      These come in many different types of format. The traditional comprehension format is to have a short text passage followed by a series of questions about facts, opinions, conclusions from the passage content. A bit like those English tests in primary school where you answered questions on a novel extract. Regardless of the type of test, it’s vital to remember:

      • To carefully read each question. Often questions hinge on 1-2 keywords so you must take more care to interpret these accurately.
      • If questioned whether something “always” applies whilst the passage states that it is “sometimes” the case, then this is a false interpretation.
      • One useful strategy is to scan the passage initially, then to read it in more detail.
      • It’s more efficient as you answer each question if you can recall roughly where to find the answer in the passage.

      Aptitude Test Design Services

      We are specialists in psychometric test design. In particular aptitude test design:

      • Verbal reasoning test design.
      • Numerical reasoning test design.
      • Abstract reasoning test design.

      Aptitude Test Tips

      There are many free aptitude test tips and aptitude test practice papers throughout our site. For example, here’s our free practice literacy test.

      The general advice given is typically to give your “first response”. It was certainly important to visualize how you would behave at work, say on a typical good day.

      Kkey psychometric pillars

      Being Non-discriminatory

       Standardization  

      Since the first IQ tests were developed the whole point is to compare with a group of previous test-takers.

      Reliability

      There are two key types of psychometric reliability:

      • Test-Retest Reliability
      • Internal reliability.

      In summary, aptitude test reliability means if I take the same test next week, my results will be similar.

      Aptitude test’s psychometric terms

      • Test-Retest Reliability

      This concerns score consistency over time. If the test is measuring some stable characteristic of the individual such as intelligence, then the test should produce similar results if a group of candidates are examined using the same test at two points in time. The time gap between the measurement is important, as some psychological characteristics change considerably over time. Yet, a short gap of two weeks should not cause major changes.

      Still, an external event in the period between the two assessment might cause a change, but here it is expected that the change will affect similarly all the candidates. This type of reliability is also known as test re-test reliability. It is assessed by correlating the tests scores measured first time with the test scores measured the second time. Ability tests are expected to have a reliability of at least r = .75, yet personality tests might have somewhat lower reliability.

      The internal consistency refers to the question of whether all the test items measure the same concept. It can be assessed in two ways. The first method is known as the split-half reliability which require correlating the score based on half of the test items with the score based on the other half (e.g., scores on odd and even items). Alternative method is item-total reliability which requires correlating each item score with the total score of the rest of the items. There is a statistical measure called Cronbach alpha that summarises all the correlations into one figure. A test should have an alpha of at least a = .80.

      Validity – means the test measures what it says it measures. MindX knows which personality traits are measured because we have compared our results to well-established personality tests. HireVue validates its video assessments using high performer data and job analysis results.

      Norm-Referenced

      Every psychometric test has at least one norm group.

      The standalone score has little meaning, so a comparison with previous candidate performance is used. For example, percentile rank.

      Pre-test (or Pilot) Item

      A trial item as part of a larger-than-necessary set of pre-test items. The  final, refined test is created by refining those items that work best. This is based on a statistical analysis of the trial item set’s results.

      Aptitude Test Reliability

      Firstly, is the test a reliable measure?

      Most commonly the internal consistency index coefficient alpha or its dichotomous formulation, KR-20. Under most conditions, these range from 0.0 to 1.0, with 1.0 being perfectly reliable measurement. A reliable test may still not be a valid test.

      Aptitude Test Validity 

      Secondly, is the test valid? A measure of what it ‘says on the tin’?

      In our opinion, both the initial content validation and later criterion validation analysis are vital for any bespoke psychometric test.

      We recommend collecting additional recruitment data over time so that additional validation studies can be conducted. Such as assessment centre data.

      There are many other types of psychometric test validation evidence, and one-off studies investigating a psychometric test’s criterion validity are common.

      British Airways Aptitude Test Design Example

      The Army psychometric design project we led for KenexaIBM encompassed several psychometric test designs:

      • Situational judgment test design;
      • Numerical reasoning test design;
      • Verbal reasoning test design
      • Personality questionnaire design.
      • Aptitude test design

      For these two British Airways roles:

      – Cabin crew assessment; and

      – Customer service representative assessment.

      British Army Aptitude Test Design Example

      Psychometric lead role with Kenexa IBM; managing twenty associates.

      • We developed over twenty psychometric tests;
      • Situational judgement tests for Officers and for Soldiers;
      • Realistic job previews for Officers and for soldiers;
      • Ability tests (including problem-solving test) for Officers;
      • Ability tests (including a spatial reasoning test) for soldiers;
      • Officer personality questionnaire;
      • Soldier career guidance tools.

      Aptitude Tests’ Vital Role

      Many companies today are turning to testing and assessment tools to help them address these challenges and make more substantive and data-driven hiring decisions. Assessments are a great way to level the playing field and evaluate many candidates for the same skill sets in an objective fashion, using real-life technical scenarios that mirror the work they will be performing on the job. Automated assessment tools in particular can scale to make better use of your time and resources. Several key recruitment benefits are listed below.

      Differentiation Benefits

      Providing unbiased assessments is a great way to distinguish yourself to candidates in a crowded hiring environment. Candidates will see that you really care about hiring the most qualified tech workers in a manner that is unbiased and uncovers their true value.

      Recruitment Cost and Recruitment Funnel Benefits

      Automated testing helps you scale your recruiting efforts, evaluating many candidates simultaneously to save engineering hours, and ultimately the cost of those used hours, time and costs, which is particularly important for larger tech organizations.

      Hiring, training and replacing a bad hire can cost almost 5x their annual salary. Making the right choice the first time around is vital to growing your business and keeping costs low.

      Removing bias

      Assessment tools give you a structured mechanism to remove bias from the evaluation and interview process. And it mitigates the disadvantage a candidate whose first language is not English may have in a traditional format.

      Focusing on skills, not experience

      Experience listed in a profile isn’t necessarily the most important indicator of true skills and expertise.

      Assessments help you find candidates that may not have a lot of experience in a certain field. But nonetheless have the skills you’re looking for.

      Consistent process benefits

      Assessment tools help you standardize your ongoing evaluation process. You’ll get an objective look at how candidates perform in the testing phase and can then compare it to their success on the job. A post-mortem can reveal how a good (or bad) hire performed in the assessment and help you to duplicate (or avoid) that performance in the future.

      Rob Williams Assessment Ltd has considerable experience in assessing test reliability test validity. This is one of the key final stages in any psychometric test design. Most recently we have been asked to validate situational judgement tests. In addition to testing the SJT reliability and to advise on suitable cut-off scores which minimise any adverse impact (due to gender, age, ethnic group and disability).

      Many of the UK’s and US’s leading test publishers have used Rob Williams Assessment’s to assist with ensuring the psychometric properties of their trial psychometric tests. We consult on how to improve any test’s psychometric properties, particularly the test’s internal reliability and construct validity.

      Our verbal reasoning advice on YouTube

      Verbal reasoning test test design is one of our key psychometric test design specialities.

      We also specialise in other forms of psychometric test design, such as personality test design and situational judgement test design design.

      Clerical Checking Tests Samples

      • This has been the most dreadful storm this millenium.  The torrantial rain is causing chaos.  Thousands of devestated families have had to evacuate their homes.
      • Your cycling proficiancy test will take place next month.  It is advisible to recap on your highway code in the time leading up to your test.  Remember, it is imperative to put safety first.
      • This is  a fire percaution.  The key is available from reception.  Always return the key straigth away as others may need it.
      • Statistical tables show the values of the cummulative distribution functions.  They also contain probability dencity functions of certain common distributions for different values of their parametres.
      • Volunteer conservationalists worked through the night in a desparate attempt to rectify the damage from the storm.  They specialies in rebuilding fences and moving debrie from pathways.

      Clerical Checking Test Example Questions

      • Already his dedication to the promotion of our policies has made a significant impact in our local area.  Therefore please vote for him as our new president in the comittee elections next month.
      • The endurance test required competitors to tolerate extreme physical challenge.  One potental problem being that the weather forcast had predicted rain and strong winds.
      • The immaculate appartment was bursting with antiques, and various other treasures he had acumulated from his world-wide travels.  He claimed the most precious items were those with sentimental value.

      verbal reasoning test tips

      Why test verbal reasoning?

      Many medium-sized and large companies now use verbal Reasoning Tests as part of their standard recruitment processes. A standardised verbal Reasoning Test gives everyone the same opportunity to demonst.

      Useful Websites

      Firstly, try test publisher websites. Visit the test publisher Website once you know the type of psychometric tests you will be taking. Since most test publisher Websites offer practice questions.

      For example, practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM TalentQ and SHL sites. Reputable test publishers will send you some sample questions for you to practice in advance.

      Secondly, familiarise yourself with the test format. Read the instruction and introduction sections carefully for each psychometric test you will take. This should ensure you are familiar with the test format.

      Verbal Reasoning Test Practice Tips. man in suit at computer, thinking.
      Secondly, Passing Numerical Reasoning Tests book by Rob Williams

      Aptitude test tips

      Verbal Reasoning Assessment Practice

      Although you may not finish the test, the best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.

      • Firstly, before deciding upon your final answer. You may be able to rule out one or two of the multiple choice questions as incorrect.
      • Secondly, read each question and also review each chart very carefully.
      • Each question is worth the same so don’t spend too long on a single question. So, remember that you may find subsequent questions easier to answer. If there is time at the end of the test you can return to any unfinished questions.
      • Work efficiently, but do not rush.
      • Remember that you are not expected to finish the verbal reasoning test.
      • In fact we recommend that your best strategy is to answer as many questions as you can in the time available.
      • Remember to only use the information that is provided.
      • Do not use any of your own background knowledge.

      You can practise the most common verbal test types at the main test publisher websites. Practise sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL as these sites cover most of the tests you are likely to find.

      verbal reasoning test tips

      Our Practice Aptitude Test Books

      • Passing Verbal Reasoning practice test book. This is regularly featured in Amazon’s top ten study guide.
      • Plus, our Numeracy Test Practice book, which reached Number One when the publisher Pearson offered it for free (throughout the UK’s first 2020 lockdown) .  

      Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests Amazon reviews

      5 star    62%
      4 star    14%
      3 star    19%
      2 star    3%
      1 star    2%

      5 / 5 stars 

      Brilliantly practical advice

      The advice and practical examples will answer all your questions about an impending assessment. The book is easy to read and covers preparation, practical examples and an overview of the usual proceedings on test day. The author also highlights questions to be asked before test day and (I was very pleased to see) encourages feedback after assessment. The recaps at the end of every chapter are great for a quick overview before test day. Definitely a worthwhile investment and sure to put you at ease before an assessment of this kind.

      2 people found this helpful

      5 / 5 stars  – brilliant

      It really helped with my Police assessment

      Great Book

      It helped me a lot

      5 / 5 stars 

      A MUST BUY for anyone attempting to pass any verbal reasoning test.

      An informative yet easy to read book which helped me get through graduate level tests to the next stages of application. Would highly recommend.

      5 people found this helpful

      5 / 5 stars 0  Brilliant Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests

      very useful

      5.0 out of 5 stars 

      Excellent sample verbal reasoning tests and explanations

      Passed the VRT for HMRC Legal Trainee Scheme this year after reading this book.

      LATEST BOOK REVIEWS for Passing Verbal Reasoning Tests

      4 / 5 stars Very useful and good practice

      The book has a good range of tests that reflect what comes up in real tests – so pretty good practice for the real thing

      5 / 5 stars Highly recommended

      Just what I needed to further my career.Now I’ve tried the tests I feel more confident.

      Definitely one of the best books on verbal reasoning! Clearly outlines how to tackle each passage and makes you very aware of things that are designed to catch other people out such as Key Words. Pick this book up if you are taking a Verbal Reasoning Test.

      Very good. Great for both…

      Grads and experienced hires applying to large firms.

      I was told that I needed to get good results in verbal and numerical reasoning for an upcoming job, but I felt very nervous about it. This book carefully explains why the tests are used and how to do your best. It was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want to waste $40 on those silly Test Monkey type websites, so I was happy with this book for US$10.
      It would be great if he could produce a book that contains only practice tests for the True, False, Cannot Say tests since those are the common ones.

      An excellent guide to verbal reasoning tests.

      This book is an extremely well written and helpful guide for anyone needing guidance in how to perform well in verbal reasoning tests. There are plenty of examples of the different levels of tests.Clear explanations of the correct responses are given. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who is facing taking verbal reasoning tests in pursuit of a new job or promotion.

      7 people found this helpful

      5 / 5 stars 

      A must have for verbal reasoning test preparation.

      This book is great. The author is involved with writing these kind of tests so the examples and explanations are excellent. Its helped me to see where I’ve been going wrong, especially with the true/false/cannot say multiple choice type questions. The book has lots of examples which are relevant to the RAF aptitude test which I am studying for.

      4 people found this helpful

      Helpful

      4.0 out of 5 stars … have previous editions of this book and would definitely recommend to those who are preparing for these sorts of …

      I have previous editions of this book and would definitely recommend to those who are preparing for these sorts of tests, great variety of example questions to get lots of practice with.

      6 people found this helpful

      4 / 5 stars – Found the layout of the book easy to follow

      Found the layout of the book easy to follow. It has made the tests more accessible to me and will hopefully help me in my job search.

      Must Have for Verbal Reasoning

      Definitely one of the best books on verbal reasoning! Clearly outlines how to tackle each passage and makes you very aware of things that are designed to catch other people out such as Key Words. Pick this book up if you are taking a Verbal Reasoning Test.

      5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. Great for both grads and experienced hires applying to large firms.

      I was told that I needed to get good results in verbal and numerical reasoning for an upcoming job, but I felt very nervous about it. This book carefully explains why the tests are used and how to do your best. It was exactly what I was looking for. I didn’t want to waste $40 on those silly Test Monkey type websites, so I was happy with this book for US$10.
      It would be great if he could produce a book that contains only practice tests for the True, False, Cannot Say tests since those are the common ones.

      aptitude test tips

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      abstract reasoning test strategies. Abstract shapes.

      Abstract reasoning test practice

      Welcome to our abstract reasoning test practice and abstract reasoning test tips.

      Many big organisations, such as banks and managament consultancies, use Abstract Reasoning Tests to recruit top graduates and for their managerial selection.

      Abstract reasoning test tips

      Graduate abstract reasoning test scores provide an indication of learning potential. Abstract reasoning tests indicate an ability to reason logically and to work with new ‘ideas’. In summary, non-verbal reasoning tests assess critical thinking.

      Most of these practice test sites also offer their own abstract reasoning test tips and non verbal reasoning tips.

      Free Abstract Reasoning sample questions

      GL Assessment offer a popular school progress test called the CAT4 which assesses all of the following skills:

      <  <   <   FREE sample CAT4 Abstract Reasoning test paper    >   >   >

      What is an abstract reasoning test?

      • Abstract reasoning is often the test format which people are least familiar with.
      • There are several abstract reasoning test formats. You may be familiar with these from any IQ tests you’ve completed.
      • Abstract reasning tests contain many figures – grouped together in pattern(s) which need to be identified.

      What are abstract reasoning skills?

      • Analysing Shapes and Letters
      • Breaking Codes
      • Completing Series of Shapes
      • Matrices
      • Find the Odd One
      • Similar shapes and figures

      How to do well on abstract reasoning tests

      Abstract reasoning tests ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”. The easier questions typically at the start of the test, will involve one change in colour, position, size etc of the figures shown.

      Questions become more difficult as you must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. It can help, once you’ve worked out at least one of the feature changes, to check through the answer options to discount those that do not conform said feature changes.

      Alongside SHL’s practise test pages these three sites cover most of the psychometric tests you are likely to find. You can ask in advance which test publisher’s test you will take.

      Types of Abstract Reasoning Test

      The individual boxes contain a series of ever-evolving figures. For example, there may be one black square and four white circles in the first box. The pattern could be an increase in the number of black figures by one for each step in the series. Thus, the pattern in the second box would be two black figures, three black figures in the third box and so on.

      Alternatively, the pattern in the second box could shift such that the colour moves along one place in the series. Thus, the single black square would become a white square and the first white circle would become black.

      “Complete the pattern” abstract reasoning test tips

      Similar to the series abstract reasoning format, instead of having a line of 5 boxes the abstract reasoning format could be more elaborate.  You need to select which of the five answer options completes the 2 by 2 / 3 by 3 box.

      It’s key not to panic. Whilst the question may look more complicated than the series row of boxes, you find the answer in the same way. The pattern will be both horizontal and vertical. This actually makes it easier to spot the similarities across and down the boxes. Once you have spotted the abstract similarities you are very close to knowing how the pattern differs going from one box to the next. Yes, exactly the same as in the simple series form of non-verbal reasoning question.

      Abstract reasoning test practice

      Abstract reasoning strategies

      Questions become more difficult as you must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. It can help, once you’ve worked out at least one of the feature changes, to check through the answer options to discount those that do not conform said feature changes.
      Alongside SHL’s practise test pages these three sites cover most of the psychometric tests you are likely to find. You can ask in advance which test publisher’s test you will take.

      The key is to always identify those patterns that differentiate Set A from Set B. You can find further UCAT abstract reasoning test practice tips here.

      SHL abstract reasoning test

      Whereas, SHL abstract reasoning tests ask you to look for the changing pattern(s) in the “pictures”. The easier questions typically at the start of the test, will involve one change in colour, position, size etc of the figures shown.

      Questions become more difficult as you must spot two or three changes in any of the features shown. Once you know one of the feature changes, check each answer option to discount any in conflict with it.

      Introduction to Abstract Reasoning tests

      Abstract reasoning is the ability to perceive logical patterns and relationships and then to be able to extrapolate this information to new patterns/relationships. Being able to do this effectively is an important component of complex problem-solving.

      The term general intelligence was conceptualized in the 1920’s by Charles Spearman. He believed that general intelligence was the most important estimate of someone’s overall intellectual ability. Spearman defined general intelligence as the innate ability to perceive relationships and to predict co-relationships. In other words, to understand how different concepts relate to each other; and to be able to assimilate new information into these concepts.

      Abstract Reasoning Tests measure general intelligence by assessing the ability to identify the inherent patterns in a series of shapes/figures. The candidate needs to identify logical patterns and relationships in the sets of complex shapes and figures that are presented in each question block.

      UCAT abstract reasoning test

      Each block of Abstract Reasoning questions starts by presenting the candidate with two sets (labeled Set A and Set B) of six square blocks each. The six squares that make up Set A and Set B each contain a variety of different figures. These may include traditional geometric shapes (circles, squares, triangles etc), arrows, hearts as well as unusual and more intricate shapes. Each shape may be black or white and may enclose other figures. Please refer to the Example Items 1-3  section that appears later in this Test Taker’s Guide for an illustration of the format of the Abstract Reasoning Test.

      Upon first appearance it may appear as though the different figures/shapes appear randomly. However, it is both useful and confidence-building for you to recognise that there are only a few different types of pattern. Such useful test-taking hints for the Abstract Reasoning sub-test are provided in the subsequent sections of this Test Taker’s Guide.

      For each question block of Set A and Set B there are 7 questions that the candidate needs to compare to Sets A and B. There are three answer options available: whether the shapes in the question have most in common with Set A, with Set B, or share characteristics of Sets A and B. For each answer your response should be A, B or C respectively. Only one answer is correct for each question. You need to start by deciding which rule is followed by the shapes in Set A and which variation of this rule is followed by the shapes in Set B. Once you have decided this, then consider whether the shape in the first question belongs in Set A or Set B or if it has features of both – as so it does not clearly belong to either Set A or Set B.

      No time limits are given for the practice questions presented in this Test Taker’s Guide. However, you do need to remember that the UK-CAT Abstract Reasoning Test requires you to answer 65 questions in 16 minutes.

      Strategies for Completing Abstract Reasoning Tests

      Each of these question blocks needs to be approached in the same logical way. To answer the first question in a block of Abstract Reasoning questions you will need to differentiate between Set A and Set B. The steps for doing this are given below:

      First Step – Identifying Set A’s Features

      Review the six squares in Set A. Ask yourself what features the figures in Set A have in common. There are a number of different features that you need to look out for. The main ones are as follows:

       Number of abstract reasoning figures

      • How many figures are contained within each square?

      Size of abstract reasoning figures

      • Is there one large shape shown in each square?
      • Are there two medium-sized shapes?
      • Are there a large number of small shapes?

      Shape of abstract reasoning figures

      • Does the same shape feature consistently within a square?
      • Does the same shape feature consistently within a square?

      Colour of abstract reasoning figures

      • Is a figure wholly black or white?
      • Is a figure partly black or white?

      Position of abstract reasoning figures

      • Is there one central figure?
      • Are there two figures positioned in a row?
      • Is there a figure in each of the four corners of the square?

      Second Step – Identifying Set A’s repeating pattern

      • Ask yourself what features are a repeating pattern across all six of the squares in Set A.

      Third Step – Identifying Set B’s features

      • Ask yourself what features the figures in Set B have in common.

      Fourth Step – Identifying Set B’s repeating pattern

      • Ask yourself what features are a repeating pattern across all six of the squares in Set B.

      Fifth Step – Identifying the theme that Set A and Set B have in common

      • There will be one characteristic that links Set A and Set B.
      • You need to identify the theme that Set A and Set B have in common. This will link the repeating pattern that you have found for Set A with the repeating pattern that you have found for Set B.

      Sixth Step

      • Not apply what you have learnt to Question 1. Do the figures in Question 1 have most in common with Set A, with Set B, or share characteristics of Sets A and B?

      This sixth step is what you now need to apply to answer question 2 and the remaining questions in that block. Then on reaching the second block you need to go back to the First Step again in order to differentiate between Set A and Set B.

      Top Ten Abstract Reasoning Test Tips (1-5)

      This section is designed to highlight ten tips to enable you to perform at your best on the Abstract Reasoning. These Tips are presented in no particular order since each may be more or less relevant on a particular Abstract Reasoning question.

      1. Always follow the recommended step-by-step approach given previously.  This will save you time pondering and avoid getting stuck on a particular question. 
      2. It is very time efficient to adopt a structured approach to each question in terms of your strategy for answering and in terms of how much time you allocate to completing each question. If you have an alternative structured approach to the one given above then use this as your strategy.
      3. One type of misleading question that you may encounter is where there is the same type of shape appearing in several of Set A or Set B squares. For example, the crosses that appear in several of the Set A and B squares in the question block 15-21. These are deliberately used to distract you and to not contribute to the overall pattern that you are looking for.
      4. If you cannot allocate a set of figures to Set A and B do not spend too long trying to find why. Remember that answer option C is the third option and covers both components of Set A and Set B – even if you haven’t bottomed out what these actually are.
      5. You may find that even if you are unable to identify the underlying pattern in Set A and/or Set B you can intuitively see or feel that a question belongs in either Set A or Set B. In this case do not be afraid of giving that best estimate as your answer.

      (6-10) Abstract Reasoning Test Tips 

      1. You will find some items much easier than others. This is why it’s important to get to the end of the Abstract Reasoning subtest before the allocated time. That way you can return to the more difficult items and at least have attempted answers to all the questions.
      2. If you have spent considerable time attempting to differentiate between the figures in Set A and Set B then try to apply the same explanations as have been demonstrated to you in this book. Maybe one of these, or something similar will be what differentiates Set A from Set B.
      3. One pitfall to avoid is spending too long on the first half of the subtest. Ask yourself the question when you are halfway through your allocated time, Have I finished half of the questions?  If the answer is yes then you are working at the right pace. If you have completed less than half you may like to speed up your working. Do not do this at the expense of accuracy.
      4. You may find that you can automatically run through the recommended sequence of stages once you are familiar with the Abstract Reasoning sub-test format of the CAT. Obviously if the answer “jumps out at you straight away” then you may well have detected the underlying pattern without having to spend much time thinking about it. The time saved will benefit you when you come to Abstract Reasoning questions that you find more difficult to detect the underlying pattern.
      5.  If after having completed the Abstract Reasoning subtest practice items you still have concerns about your ability to pass this CAT subtest then you may like to memorise each of these Top Ten Tips over the next few days.

      Best Three Strategies for you to Remember

      The best current strategy for you to adopt now is a three-fold one:

      1. Work through a number of examples and get a feeling for how comfortable you are doing this sub-test;
      2. Check your answers against those provided at the end of this Test Taker’s Guide; and then;
      3. Review those questions that you did not complete correctly. It is vital that for each of the questions that you answered incorrectly, you read the rationale and learn how this reasoning has been applied to this particular type of question. Do ensure that you spend sufficient time going over the reasoning provided.

      Other Psychometric Test Practice

      Try our abstract reasoning test practice

      What are Abstract Reasoning Tests?

      The aim is to test your thinking about realizing the rules, patterns for problem solving and decision making.

      The test will show your ability to proceed with data and information, detect patterns and relationships between them, then offer solutions to problems at a level of abstract thinking.

      Typically, companies asking candidates to do this test to look for the following skills in the candidates:

      • Be able to understand the meaning behind the information and data. For example, the Statue of Liberty in the United States is not simply a statue, but a symbol of freedom.
      • Be able to grasp abstract theory about a certain phenomenon. You can introduce the concept and overview of different data.
      • Identify relationships, connections between discrete ideas. For example, you can find patterns of customer behavior through changes over time.

      Abstract Reasoning Test samples

      Here are some typical images from an Abstract Reasoning Test.

      (Image source: Aptitude-test)

      Which is the next image?

      Your task is to observe and analyze to identify a pattern to be able to select the next image.Subscribe to The Morning Email.Wake up to the day’s most important news.

      There’s a limited time period. This requires you to analyze information quickly and accurately in a short time.

      In addition, the difficulty will increase gradually through each question. This means you need to identify many more patterns and their complexity will increase.

      Abstract reasoning test tips

      Other types of abstract reasoning test

      Reasoning: In addition to questions about how to identify the pattern over the image, you will encounter questions related to the diagram. There’s a a diagram to identify the rules. Then you apply the rules listed to apply to a different diagram to solve the problem. You would need analytical skills, critical thinking and the ability to relate to the symbols to find out the answer.

      Given this flow diagram:

      Identify what x equals here:

      Answer: E

      Explanation: When you look on the diagram, the black square turns into the white circle after going through the process in between. It means that there are two changing factors. They are shape and color. Therefore, in the answer, the black circle turns into the white square.

      (Image source: LSE)

      Diagramming Abstract Reasoning Test Practice

      Given these commands:

      And this sequence of diagrams and commands:

      Which sequence is correct?

      Answer: D

      (Image source: LSE)

      In this example, to be able to pick out the correct answer, you should be able to interpret the information and grasp the meaning of these commands. Then, based on that sense, you apply in order to find the most accurate diagram.

      Extra Abstract Reasoning Test Tips

      To be able to quickly identify the pattern, you need to compare each factor between images and information. Factors here include the size, location, color, angles, movement and you compare it with other factors to identify certain rules between them.

      To avoid boredom, you should invite your friends to practise with you. You can participate in a competition to train your reflexes. This is actually an interesting test for you. You will become more passionate as you become better.

      You can practise analyzing information by looking at the financial statements, statistical tables of human behavior on social networks. Then try to find the meaning through the raw data.

      Moreover, to be able to finish a test in time, you need to focus on core aspects of a question. Distinguish between the important elements and those elements not relevant. If you caught a very hard sentence, you could skip to the next sentence and do it. For such difficult questions, you can observe the answers to find the rule.

      Abstract reasoning test tips

      Psychometric Test Design. People having colour fight.

      SPECIALISMS

      Rob Williams Assessment Ltd specialises in custom psychometric test design services for SME’s and scale-ups. Plus we’ve helped SHL and Kenexa IBM with larger EU, BA and CItibank psychometric design projects; designed video assessments (HireVue); and been commissioned by leading psychometric consultancies, such as SOVA and CAPP.

      Psychometric test design specialists

      Contact us Today

      Our Bespoke Psychometric Designs

      Many of the UK’s and US’s leading test publishers have used Rob Williams Assessment’s to calculate and prove the reliability of their Personality Test designs and Situational Judgement test designs.In addition to situational judgement test design, we also specialise in Assessment designs, Aptitude test designs and Job preview designs.

      What is our definition of

      Workplace diversity?

      Diversity needs a very wide definition to cover all the possible personality traits, attitudes and values which Rob WilliamsAssesment Ltd measure in our bespoke psychometric tests.

      Workplace inclusion?

      • Inclusion is ‘making the mix work’ by
        • Valuing people as individuals.
        • Respecting their differences.
        • Applying that individual knowledge and skillset.
        • Having an open and trusting working environment
      This is what unlocks diversity’s power.

      Workplace equality?

      • Ensuring that no single employee is given favorable treatment because of who they are.
      • Do all members of staff have qual access to what’s needed for effective work performance, career opportunities and rewards.

      What are the risks of making the wrong recruitment decision? Costs

      • Time
      • Effort
      • Recruiting costs
      • Business results

      Risks

      • Reputation
      • Customer service quality of care

      Benefits

      • Positive experience for customers and staff
      • Efficiency
      • Quality

      Our Bespoke Psychometric Design Principles

      For training consultancies, Rob Williams Assessment Ltd has built coaching and employability profiling tools.With recruitment agencies we’ve designed culture and role fit personality-based assessments to improve the efficiency of matching clients to the best-fitting jobs.

      Our psychometric test design solutions

      • Our consultancy work focuses on aptitude test practice and bespoke psychometric test design.
      • We believe in the benefits of practice and ensuring fairness in testing. We, therefore, offer some practice aptitude tests and some practice psychometric tests. The intention is to promote as ‘level a playing-field’ as possible.

      Psychometric Test Design. Man at desk working at laptop, picture taken from the top

      Our SJT designs

      As psychometric tests have become more commonplace, the bigger users have commissioned their own bespoke situational judgement tests.Rob Williams Assessment has worked on several such projects for High Street banks and for the European Union. Another recent innovation of test developers has been online adaptive tests. With these tests, if you are doing well, you will find that the questions get progressively harder.The innovative design of shorter and more efficient tests was driven by an increasingly aware of the immediacy of the Internet and our increasing use of emails and social media, in short, sharp bursts.This discourages test takers from spending 30-40 minutes online doing the same questionnaire. It’s better for everyone to keep test takers engaged when being tested – not bored!

      Knowledge-based situational judgement test design

      Some or all of the scenarios presented in an SJT can test specific job knowledge. For example, a retail marketing SJT may ask questions about the 3Ps (price, position, promotion) of product marketing. Alternatively, both an SJT measuring generic decision-making skills may be used alongside a knowledge-based test.

      Our video-based situational judgment test designs

      Simulated situational judgement tests are increasingly common as recruitment sifts. Adding 2D or 3D workplace scenario graphics brings the situational judgment test scenarios to life. This can only promote the company brand and make employers using simulated situational judgment tests more desirable employers.

      psychometric test design

      UK and US psychometric test publishers have produced both video-based and animated SJT scenarios. Animated SJTs are easier – and therefore cheaper – for global companies to develop.

      Our consultancy work focuses on aptitude test practice and bespoke psychometric test design. We believe in the benefits of practice and ensuring fairness in testing. We, therefore, offer some practice aptitude tests and some practice psychometric tests. The intention is to promote as ‘level a playing-field’ as possible.

      Values based recruitment

      Example values-based recruitment Question – Describe an example of when you have made a decision which had a positive effect on a customer? Probes: What actions did you take? Who was involved? What was the outcome of your actions?

      Positive behavioural indicators

      • Uses their initiative.
      • Takes personal responsibility.
      • Describes the example’s context, their actions and the outcome(s).

      Negative behavioural indicators

      • Applies limited effort.
      • Only describes own actions.
      • Omits  the outcome.
      • Doesn’t describe their individual contribution.

      We always follow BPS Standards in Psychometric Test Design

      To be psychometrically sound a test must be:
      • Objective – the results obtained are not influenced by the administrator’s personal characteristics or irrelevant factors such as the colour of a test taker’s socks.
      • Standardised – the test is administered and scored according to standard procedures and people’s scores are compared to known standards.
      • Reliable – the test measures in a consistent way. The potential error is small and is quantifiable.
      • Valid. Our psychometric test design measures the characteristic(s) that it set(s) out to measure. So, if we design a sift psychometric test to select a job applicant should predict job performance. Whereas, if we design a psychometric test of verbal ability then it will predict verbal reasoning abilities.
      • Discriminating. Any of our bespoke psychometric tests designs should show clear differences between individuals on the behaviour being tested. But should not be discriminatory. In other words our psychometric test design does not unfairly discriminate against a minority group.

      Our bespoke psychometric test designs

      Example Psychometric Test Projects 

      Rob Williams has over twenty years of experience of bespoke psychometric test design. Plus ten years prior to this spent working for several of the UK’s leading test publishers. These include IBM, OPP, SHL and HireVue.British Airways blended assessment project:
      • Firstly our BA Situational judgment test design;
      • Secondly,  our Numerical reasoning test design;
      • Thirdly our Verbal reasoning test design
      • Finally our Personality questionnaire design.

      BUPA SJT Design

      • Best practice was followed throughout the design process in SJT design.
      • An SJT was produced which successfully incorporated a range of care home-specific scenarios.
      • The most suitable set of scenarios could be hand-picked at the SME panel meeting, as well as gaining buy-in and discussing implementation.
      • Providing some scenarios for telephone interview sifts.
      • Setting a suitable cut-off and validating the tool.
      EPSO Test Design
      • Development of project management test.
      • Design of IT skills-based aptitude tests.

      Psychometric test design

      Our Work Styles assessment designs

      We will work with you to design the most suitable work styles tool to suit your needs. Our Bespoke Personality Questionnaire design process aims to:
      • Firstly, include key role dimensions.
      • Secondly, reflect the personality, attitudinal and motivational aspects of the role-specific dimensions.
      • Thirdly, have face valid questions.
      • Also, to be capable of completion in 20 minutes approx.
      • And to adopt a single-stimulus question format (Likert scale)
      • Plus, adopting a normative format of scoring utilising a sten look-up table (for each personality scale)
      • And finally, using a Social Desirability scale to deal with the issue of faking or extreme scoring patterns

      Psychometric test design

      Recent situational judgement test trends

      Situational judgement tests (SJTs) have also become prevalent in graduate recruitment. These tests present scenarios to applicants and ask them to select the best and the worst thing to do next. SJT’s are very popular in the United States due to their excellent record of fairness across different ethnic groups.

      Recent personality test trends

      Candidates may also have to take a personality test as part of the recruitment process. There is a vast array of personality tests, which pose questions about a candidate’s behaviour and personal preferences. A typical question may ask whether you prefer attending parties or staying home with a good book. These personality tests help employers to determine whether a candidate has the right profile for the role.

      How companies use aptitude tests

      Aptitude tests are used by many companies as a standard part of the recruitment process. If you’re currently aplying for jobs, you’re likely to face one or more psychometric tests, measuring everything from verbal reasoning and numeracy to emotional intelligence. I would say that 90 per cent of big companies use skills and/or aptitude tests, though the kind used will depends on the role and industry you’re aplying for,’ says Rob Williams.How you perform matters. ‘Even if you wow a potential employer with a great first or second interview, the results can make or break your chances of getting hired,’ says Rob. Research backs up the claim. Nearly 90 percent of companies said they would reject candidates if the test showed them to be deficient in basic skills, according to a survey by the American Management Association.What are the most commonly used aptitude tests? The most commonly used aptitude tests measure numerical, verbal and logical reasoning,

      Graduate Aptitude test designs

      • Our first point is that a well-designed selection procedure focuses on predicting a graduate’s competence within a particular work context.
      • Secondly, that psychometric assessments only form one part of the selection procedure.
      • Our third point is that personality assessments can give an indication of how well an individual applicant will fit into the existing workplace or team.
      • Finally, psychometric assessments can assess which applicants are most suited to the demands of the vacant job in terms of both ability and personality factors.
      In fact i

      Our assessment designs – graduate psychometric test design example

      Graduate recruiters who want to minimise recruitment costs see online ability tests as an efficient and effective means of sifting the initial applicant pool.A bespoke verbal reasoning test design and numerical reasoning test design offer a reliable and standardised solution. This should ensure that an optimal number of good candidates are seen by the business at the much more expensive ‘face-to-face’ stage.

      Using standardised tests to improve your diversity of hires

      Using standardised tests in the recruitment process helps to ensure that applicants from different countries and from different ethnic groups are treated fairly.

      Aptitude test design – Employability example

      All of our psychometric test practice resources are free. So, we hope you enjoy using them!   In our opinion, there is plenty of the right type of aptitude test practice, aptitude test tips and test-taking strategies.We certainly hope you get maximum value from our free psychometric test practice resources!  Psychometric test practise works best when it’s specific to the test type and the level of difficulty of the psychometric test you will be taking.

      Best practice in assessment design

      • Our first point is that a well-designed selection procedure focuses on predicting a graduate’s competence within a particular work context.
      • Secondly, that psychometric assessments only form one part of the selection procedure.
      • Our third point is that personality assessments can give an indication of how well an individual applicant will fit into the existing workplace or team.
      • Finally, psychometric assessments can assess which applicants are most suited to the demands of the vacant job in terms of both ability and personality factors.

      Best practice uses of aptitude test data

      • Firstly, it’s fundamental to the use of any psychometric test is that users are aware of a test’s effectiveness and its known limitations.  This information is calculable through knowledge of a measure’s reliability and validity.
      • Secondly, importance is attached to test results and decisions are made using test data.
      • Thirdly, you must be sure that the tests you are using have sound credentials and have been properly developed.

      Bespoke psychometric test design

      Psychometric test design pillars

      An IQ test compares each respondent’s IQ score with a group of previous test-takers. There needs to be a standardization phase when developing any aptitude test.This standardization sample provides the norm group against which the individual scores of all later psychometric test respondents are compared. Otherwise, an ‘IQ score’ would be meaningless!The second psychometric test property is…

      Reliability

      There are two key types of psychometric reliability. In each case, ‘psychometric test reliability’ means that if I take the same test next week, my results will be similar.Internal Reliability, or Internal ConsistencyThis is the first type of psychometric test design reliability.Whether all the test items measure the same concept. It can be assessed in two ways. The first method is known as the split-half reliabilitywhich require correlating the score based on half of the test items with the score based on the other half (e.g., scores on odd and even items).An alternative method is item-total reliabilitywhich requires correlating each item score with the total score of the rest of the items.Cronbach alpha then summarises all the psychometric test reliability correlations into one figure. A test should have an alpha of at least a = .80.

      Our Bespoke psychometric test designs

      Secondly, Test-retest Reliability relates to psychometric score consistency over time. In other words, how reliably a psychometric test measures. A time gap of at least two weeks between the two measurements is key. Since some psychological characteristics change considerably over time.Then, the test re-test reliability is assessed by correlating the tests scores measured first time with the test scores measured the second time. Ability tests are expected to have a reliability of at least r = .75, yet personality tests might have somewhat lower reliability.

      Validity

      Psychometric test design validity means the test measures what it says it measures. MindX knows which personality traits are measured because we have compared our results to well-established personality tests. HireVue validates its video assessments using high performer data and job analysis results.Aptitude Test Design Reliability – is it a reliable measure?
      • Most commonly the internal consistency index coefficient alpha or its dichotomous formulation, KR-20.
      • Under most conditions, these range from 0.0 to 1.0.
      • 1.0 is a perfectly reliable measurement.
      • Although, a reliable test may still not be a valid
      Aptitude Test Design Validity – Secondly, is the test valid?A measure of what it ‘says on the tin’? In our opinion, both the initial content validation and later criterion validation analysis are vital for any bespoke psychometric test.

      Final Validity Recommendations

      We recommend collecting additional recruitment data over time so that additional validation studies can be conducted. Such as assessment centre data.There are many other types of psychometric test validation evidence, and one-off studies investigating a psychometric test’s criterion validity are common.

      Assessment Reliability

      The reliability of any exercise depends upon many factors:
      • Quality of the competency framework.
      • Use of experienced and well-briefed / well-trained assessors.

      Biodata approach to psychometric test design

      • Such biodata test designs were popular in the 1970’s/80’s in the UK., but fell out of fashion due to concerns about face validity.
      • Face validity is how job-relevant a test’s questions appear to be.
      • Assessing this is difficult because of the way that the biodata approach to psychometric tezst design fits questions to job performance.

      Biodata example questions

      • Asking about previous working and life history facts.
      • Biodata questions can include personal attitudes, values, beliefs.
      • There are therefore both autographical and biographical perspectives.
      • For example, how effective previous working relationships were with managers and/or colleagues.

      psychometric test design

      Personality Values Test Design

      We also design values based  assessments. Values impact goal content whereas personality traits impact the efforts that individuals make towards their goals.

      Ability Tests Introduction

      • Often employers are interested in your aptitude or potential to do a task.
      • In this case, they may use assessment methods that aim to simulate aspects of that task.

      Personality Questionnaire Introduction

      • These measure behavioural preferences of how you prefer to work.
      • There’s no right or wrong answer.
      • That said, of course, certain behaviours are more suited to particular jobs.

      Situational Judgement Test Introduction

      • These psychometric tests assess your ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations.
      • Respondents read a scenario / view an animation;
      • Then select the Best and Worst responses to that aspecific work situation.

      Intro to Assessment Centres

      Assessment centres have a well-proven track record for recruiting new employees and selecting existing staff for promotion. Research supports their use as one of the most valid and fair processes available to occupational psychologists – if used in accordance with best practice.An assessment centre involves written exercise, intray exercise, presentation exercise, role play, and / or a group exercise. Group exercises and presentation exercises are particularly popular for graduate assessment centres.

      Assessment Centre candidate pov

      • Assessment centre candidates complete a range of assessment exercises, which are observed by assessors.
      • Trained assessors rate each candidate’s assessment for each competency – relevant to that exercise – from the complete competency job list.
      • Such Assessment Centre Exercises can be delivered either directly or as a virtual assessment centre.
      • In which case you will be asked to complete each virtual assessment exercise remotely.
      • Video calls simulate the ‘normal’ candidate-assessor interactions of a direct assessment centre.

        Intro to Interviews

      • The most likely interview questions will ask for specific details of your work experience to date.
      • Plus, the specific role competencies of the job you are applying for.
      • Be honest and use relevant examples from your career, studies.

      Our free personality self-assessments:

      Our other psychometric test design specialities

      What is involved in clerical aptitude test, spelling, grammar and accuracy on paper.
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