There is no such thing as a free lunch in today’s employment process. Many employers require candidates to take some sort of skills-based aptitude test as part of the hiring process. One of the difficulties arising from this, is that many of these tests are administered online. This means you need to ready yourself for a totally new set of challenges, that did not exist in the days of the pen and paper test. Let me walk you through five easy steps to conquer any online assessment test.
Make the clock your friend, not your enemy
For those out there who don’t know, when taking an online exam, there is a digital timer in the corner counting down each second that passes. Most people look at this tool as a menace rather than as a friend. Let me clear up a common misconception. Often, the employer assessment tests are not meant to be finished! I know… you wish someone had told you this sooner. In any case, you should still use the timer to pace yourself. You can save time answering the easier questions quickly, and then use any leftover time for the harder ones. Don’t break your back over a question you know you won’t be able to answer.
Should I be guessing?
On employment assessment exams, it is better to get fewer questions correct than to answer a higher number of questions incorrectly. This does not mean that it is better to answer one question correctly and leave the rest blank. Educated guesses are welcome. However, marking answers as if the test were a game of Russian roulette will probably look weird to the examiner. Let’s be reasonable; like with everything else in life, try to avoid extremes!
Easy and difficult questions are usually worth the same amount of points on employment tests. Easier and harder questions are mixed throughout the exam. This is a game changer, because it allows you to buy time and increase your overall test score. By taking practice exams in advance, you can identify which questions will be easier and which will be harder for you.
Do your research
Before taking aptitude tests, practice and research are crucial. People who are required to take assessment tests are often under the false impression that there is no way to prepare. This is not true! Assessment tests tend to reuse a similar format for the types of questions they use. Reviewing the various types of questions in advance will give you a leg up on your competition!
Get a good night’s sleep
This is an oldie but a goodie. Especially when taking a computer-based exam, it’s important to feel rested for test day. Being tired can adversely affect the results of an intelligence or aptitude test. If possible, don’t forget to request breaks between the different parts of the assessment. Sometimes we feel nervous asking for things, and this is particularly true during a stressful interview day. Don’t, let your online assessment test be one of those times!
This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and blogger at JobTestPrep. She specializes in writing about the employment hiring process.