Here we describe skills tests.
These are used to verify whether a candidate has the skills they say they have, and are proficient enough to do the job.
For example, a design challenge using Photoshop for graphic designer. Or a proof reading test for editors.
Superskills and Microskills
The market uses various terms to describe skills (eg, abilities, skills, competencies, soft skills, work skills, hard skills, etc.). It’s time to sort this out and use a simpler vernacular going forward.
As we see it, skills include two types of skills: superskills and microskills.
Superskills are the “components” that make up the unique “operating system” of a person. These include, but not limited to, problem solving, critical thinking, quantitative thinking, creativity, listening, communication, change agility, perseverance, motivation, willingness to learn, curiosity, coachability, social skills, leadership, risk-tolerance, and working in teams.
Microskills are the “apps” that the person “runs” (or could run) on their unique superskills “operating system.” These are the things a person can do really well (or learn to do), given their unique superskills footprint. Microskills can include graphic design, software development, financial modeling, equity trading, project management, enterprise sales, product development, QA testing, school teaching, journalistic writing, market research, urban planning, etc.
Passing pre-employment tests
How you perform matters. 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.
Companies use pre-employment tests to identify which candidates are most likely to perform well on the job, potentially saving time and cost in the recruitment process and decreasing employee turnover.
Aptitude tests are more general and are used to evaluate an applicant’s ability to learn new skills and indicate how they may react to different situations once hired.
How to do well on numerical reasoning tests
The general advice given is typically that some focussed test practice will improve your score. Unfortunately, there aren’t any quick wins for being good at Maths.
- Give your “first response”. Don’t second guess what is being looked for since “faking” and lying are easily picked up.
- As a timed test 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.
- Practise some of the most common numerical test types at the main test publisher websites. For this reason alone, we strongly advise practising sample questions from Kenexa-IBM, TalentQ and SHL sites. ensure that you are comfortable using data tables, interpreting graphs and manipulating large financial figures.
How to do well on verbal reasoning tests
These come in many different types of format. There is a traditional comprehension format. This is to have a short text passage followed by a series of questions about facts, opinions, conclusions from the passage content.
- Carefully read each question. Often questions hinge on 1-2 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, then to read it in more detail.
- Efficiently answer questions. For example, by roughly recalling where to find the answer in the passage.
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.
You can find more detailed advice in our non verbal reasoning test article for City Kids online magazine.
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Secondly, in our opinion this is the best aptitude test practice book forPassing Numerical Reasoning Tests.
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Links to Employability Resources
- STEM Careers Guidance Blog.
- Entry Level Assessment Trends 2019.
- Employability Skills.
- Career Drivers.