Preparing for School Leaver Programmes psychometric and aptitude tests
Almost all companies offering School Leaver programmes use online psychometric tests as part of their recruitment process. This is done in order to try and ensure that the companies only hire the best possible people.
School Leaver online tests
After applying for a particular company’s school leaver programme, you will most likely be sent an email asking you to complete a battery of online aptitude tests. Even though you will take these tests from your home computer they are timed and when the time is up the test finishes, whether you have completed all the questions or not. These aptitude tests are designed to assess your abilities and competencies in a variety of fields and are used to filter out large amounts of potential candidates.
These tests are usually presented with the same level of difficulty as the tests used on Graduates and thus vary depending on the company. One possible difference is that School Leaver online tests may have lower cut off grades for the same tests.
Types of School Leaver aptitude tests:
Different companies have different application processes and this can also mean they use different aptitude tests as part of their assessment procedure for School Leaver programmes. In particular the type of school leaver aptitude tests you will face are dependant on the assessment companies being used by the firm you’re applying to.
What this means is while both KPMG and PwC use Numerical and Verbal tests on their School Leaver candidates, the KPMG School Leaver tests will be supplied by Cubiks while the so PwC School Leaver tests will be supplied by CEB’s SHL. There are subtle differences in the test providers and even if you practice one set you may not be fully prepared for the ones you will take for another specific application.
Find out more information on the different assessment companies used by employers here.
That being said, School Leaver tests are all likely to use the following popular test types:
Popular School Leaver Aptitude Tests used:
The three online aptitude tests most likely to be used for School Leaver programmes are the following:
- School Leaver Numerical Reasoning Tests
- School Leaver Verbal Reasoning Tests
- School Leaver Situational Judgement Tests
In addition to these, school leaver aptitude tests can also include the following:
Numerical Reasoning Tests
These tests are designed to assess your mathematical and analytical abilities. The tests will present you with a number of graphs or tables portraying numerical information together with multiple choice questions on the data. Questions often pertain to calculations involving ratios and percentages.
Below is an example of how a Numerical Reasoning question can look like:
Introduction to Economics Exam Statistics ( % of students who passed)
In which year did over 2/3 of the students who took the exam fail?
E. Cannot say
Numerical Reasoning practice tests like the ones used by employers.
Verbal Reasoning Tests
These tests are designed to assess your reading comprehension and logical abilities. The tests usually provide you with a selection of text in the form of excerpt or paragraph. Along with this main text your questions will often present you with a sentence making a claim or conclusion.
In order to answer correctly you will need to work out if the sentence is true based on the main text. The answers usually come in the form of 3 choices: “True”, “False” and “Cannot Say”. You will need to implement basic laws of logic together with a careful reading of all texts in order to get these questions right.
Below is an example of how a Verbal Reasoning question can look like:
Employees working within organisations have a legislative obligation to monitor the content of e-mails sent to external bodies and to eliminate potentially sensitive internal information regardless of the perceived importance of that information. To guarantee that employees fulfil their legislative obligation and to prevent the possible leak of exclusive information, employers have prepared mandatory contracts stipulating this responsibility to be signed by all employees and additionally, inserted a copyright section to every external e-mail that emphasises the confidentiality of the information provided. Employee's carelessness in handling information circulated via email may result in serious punitive actions.
Statement: Supervisors should monitor employees' e-mail accounts to minimise the leak of exclusive information.
c. Cannot Say
Get hold of Verbal Reasoning practice tests like the ones used by employers.
Situational Judgement Tests
School leaver Situational Judgement Tests differ from Numerical and Verbal tests in that they are less focused on your particular skills and abilities and more interested in the type of decisions you are likely to make and thus the values that are important to you. The tests present you with a variety of workplace scenarios requiring you to act or solve the situation.
These tests are multiple choice listing a variety of possible actions that can be taken, however there are two types of answer models used. One model simply asks you to pick the best possible action. The second answer type also gives you a number of choices but asks you to sort all the options from best to worst possible action.
These tests are designed to assess your compatibility with the core values or “competencies” of the organisation you’re applying to. To succeed on these tests it’s recommended that you look into the key values of the company. These values are often promoted on the company website.
Below is an example of how a School Leaver Situational Judgement Test question can look like:
You are the CEO of a major company. As you leave your office, a few union workers are waiting for you, presenting their demands to replace the Head of Personnel Management.They feel that he shows absolutely no respect to their rights and they are threatening that if he is not let go, they will start a general strike.
What do you do?
A. I ignore their demands, as it will set a precedent. I prefer not to hand over too much power which can be used against me in the future.
B. I listen to their arguments; I check the data and decide accordingly.
C. I call my personnel manager to my office and confront him with the union's people and their arguments to see what he has to say.
D. In order to prevent the general strike, I promise the workers the personnel manager will be let go but I prolong the decision and meanwhile talk to him and see how I can help him improve.
Get hold of Situational Judgement practice tests like the ones used by employers.