5 Strategies for Taking Psychometric Tests

31 July, 2020
The golden rule to acing psychometric tests is relaxing. You'll be surprised how well your mind works when you're free of tension and pressure. Trust yourself and remember that it isn't the end of the world if you don't pass.

Psychometric tests can be very useful within a certain framework and when they’re administered by a qualified expert. In general, they measure intellectual ability and aptitude, as well as personality traits and values. They’re often used in the academic and/or professional world for hiring processes.

These tools help identify some traits and patterns that aren’t necessarily obvious on the surface. Although psychometric tests are generally multiple-choice, that can vary. Some workplaces or institutions might even use the Rorschach test, which is designed to bring out an individual’s unconscious thoughts and traits.

The results of psychometric tests are usually in the form of a number or percentage which will make up part of the total score for the candidate in question. Getting good results obviously depends on whether or not you have the basic skills required for the position. However, you can use some strategies to do well on these tests. In today’s article, we’ll share some of those strategies with you.

1. Psychometric tests require honesty

When you’re taking personality tests, remember that a determining factor will be measured: honesty. A mistake people often make is trying to choose the most socially acceptable answers. For example, if the question asks what your response is to a person who’s in trouble, you might try to choose the “correct” answer (i.e., help them). However, that’s not how these tests are supposed to work.

Psychometric tests have a series of questions that crossover in ways that you probably won’t pick up on. The person who grades the test, however, will use that crossover to estimate how honest you’ve been with your answers. In general, if they find a low honesty index, they’ll throw out the entire test.

Two people discussing psychometric tests.

2. Read the question carefully

If you’re taking a test that measures your intellectual ability, it’s very important that you read the prompts very carefully. That’s especially true if the question contains a hypothetical situation in which there are problems to be solved.

The situations often seem straightforward when you read them the first time, but be careful. They can be misleading. Re-read the prompt and take your time to analyze it to find ambiguities or expressions with double meanings. You can ace a significant portion of a psychometric test with good reading comprehension alone.

3. Concentration is key

Focus and concentration will reduce the number of mistakes you make on the test. Especially if you keep in mind that these tests contain a lot of “trick” questions. In other words, questions that have elements that you could easily miss or that have more than one meaning.

Sometimes, these tests are long, and that makes it hard to concentrate. If you notice that your attention is wandering and you’re starting to focus on things around you, don’t worry. Simply close your eyes for a moment, take a deep breath, and then come back to the test. That little pause can help a lot.

4. Prepare for the test

The Internet is an amazing resource for test preparation. Today, you can find hundreds of psychometric test simulator sites. Take advantage of them! Set aside a time to train with these tools and you’ll be able to hone your skills. That’ll increase the likelihood of getting a good score when you take the real test.

The goal of this kind of preparation isn’t to memorize answers or hope that you get the same questions on the real test. The important thing with test preparation is to become familiar with the test. They’ll also help you identify your strengths and weaknesses more clearly. Also, taking these practice tests will help you feel less stressed and anxious, though you might not notice that right away.

A woman taking a psychometric test.

5. Sleep well the night before and relax

There’s nothing worse than taking a psychometric test after you’ve tossed and turned all night, or when you’re feeling sluggish. It’s also not ideal to try to take one of these tests when you’re overly stressed or overwhelmed with other problems.

Therefore, the best thing you can do is organize your time so that you have a chance to be very well rested before you take the test. Before you arrive at the place where you’ll take the test, take a moment to relax physically and mentally. Do some breathing exercises if you feel anxious.

We know that you take these tests to get better opportunities, and that you obviously want to pass them. But remember that all you can do is focus your efforts in the most intelligent way possible. If you don’t achieve your goal, remember that it isn’t the end of the world. Either way, you’ll have gained valuable experience that you can use for the next opportunity that comes along.

  • Oltra, J. A. B. (1972). Repertorio de pruebas psicotécnicas. Anuario de psicología/The UB Journal of psychology, (6), 127-160.