In this article, we will look at the most common aptitude tests, including numeracy and literacy tests, along with verbal and logical reasoning assessments used in psychometric testing.
Having a clear understanding of the different natures and styles of each form of test using psychometric testing can greatly enhance your ability to succeed in them and how to prepare. Given the different styles, we show you various straightforward ways in which to solve them.
Numerical Tests
In psychometric assessment one of the most common forms of psychometric tests is number based. Mathematics is crucial in everyday life and in almost all professions. This is why they are such a common feature in psychometric testing. There are two distinct levels of numerical tests: numeracy tests and numerical reasoning tests. Numerical literacy and basic arithmetic operations: the 4 operations, basic calculations and use of a calculator.
Verbal reasoning tests are language-based tests tailored to see how well the applicant can read and analyse a text or apply logical thinking on text-based riddles. Verbal testing is typically found in the form of text analysis and linguistically based questions. Text Analysis- In most cases, the test includes a passage followed by 3-4 related questions. The questions require basic reading comprehension or the ability to draw logical conclusions based on the information provided in the text. The questions are usually multiple choice, with true/false/cannot say being one of the most popular types. Linguistically based questions- Included in this category are word analogies and odd-one-out questions where quick analysis of words and their meanings is vital. These questions are shorter and require a background knowledge of the vocabulary at hand.
While verbal reasoning is language based, language or literacy skills test are an assessment of your level of language and your ability to communicate clearly to others through writing. These are focused on the applicant’s knowledge in areas such as spelling, grammar, sentence structure and the general ability to use language proficiently.
Language/Literacy Skills Tests
Abstract reasoning is a broad category that includes tests which ask you to draw logical conclusions based on information expressed through shapes, patterns and words. The major abstract reasoning tests used and discussed below are inductive, deductive and diagrammatic reasoning.
Inductive Reasoning
Inductive reasoning involves using specific information to make general conclusions. Tests in this area often include a series of shapes or matrices where you need to decide which answer comes next in the series or which one is missing to complete the series.
Diagrammatic Reasoning
Diagrammatic involves drawing logical conclusions based on visual representations. This type of test uses letters, numbers and shapes to express information. You need to decipher the rules of the diagram to answer the questions.
Abstract Reasoning Tests
These tests are designed to assess your logical thinking. Deduction questions may examine your ability to apply a set of rules (“theory”) onto a specific example. Deductive reasoning tests can fall into three categories- verbal, numerical and nonverbal. While these categories utilise the same skills, non-verbal reasoning uses shapes and patterns to display information while verbal uses words and numerical uses numbers. Please see here for more on deductive reasoning.
Deductive Reasoning Tests
These are centred on assessing the candidate’s ability for a wide array of technical jobs e.g. technicians, plant operators, engineers etc. Included in this category are spatial and mechanical reasoning, error checking and concentration tests. These tests do not, in most cases, require prior knowledge of technical concepts, but rather indicate your aptitude for technical skills.
Spatial Reasoning
Spatial reasoning, awareness and orientation are all different names for the same test which assesses your ability to examine and navigate two and three-dimensional spaces. These tests use images and diagrams depicting mirror reflections, cubes, perspectives and two-dimensional shape organisation in the questions.
Mechanical/Electrical Reasoning
Mechanical and electrical reasoning tests either evaluate basic understanding of physics concepts, based on GCSE/high-school knowledge, or the aptitude/intuition to understand such concepts. page.
Error Checking
Error checking tests are commonly found in recruitment processes as they are an indication of your attention to detail and error spotting skills. The tests normally involve a list of numeric and alphanumeric data and you need to spot the inconsistencies in the data itself.
Concentration tests are used at a range of job levels where high level of concentration is necessary to perform specific tasks. These are simple to look at but the speed and accuracy required make these difficult to focus on, not to mention how you are shown the same or similar information over and over again. Find out more about concentration tests on our dedicated page.
Technical Tests
The modern workplace requires employees to have a good working knowledge of many commonly used computer programmes such as Microsoft Office. Companies like Kenexa have developed assessments designed to test your knowledge in key programmes such as Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Access Depending on the job you are applying for, these tests may play a crucial role in determining if you are the right person for the job.
Computer Programming Tests
Many jobs require employees to be familiar with various computer programming languages, such as C++, Go, PHP, JavaScript, HTML/CSS, Python, and SQL. The type of questions you will be asked can vary as some tests will ask you to identify the language used in a line of code. Other questions may ask you to spot an error in a line of code provided, and you can learn more about this type of test by visiting syntax checking page. A third type of question may ask you to identify the outcome of various pieces of code. These are very technical tests which require a solid understanding of computer programming that is often crucial for the job in question.
Clerical Skill Tests
Another skill set to be tested in psychometric testing, psychometric evaluation and psychometric assesment can be clerical/admin skills. These could take the form of document checking abilities, typing speed and accuracy.
Unlike the aptitude tests mentioned above, skill-based tests do require prior knowledge of concepts associated with a particular field. For example, many companies are looking to hire candidates with specific knowledge in various computer programs.
Helen Fenton: Senior Analyst, Business Optimization Training institute

Author's Bio: 

Business Optimization Training Institute (BOTI) is a Johannesburg based, Level 1 BBBEE business. As a Services and MICT SETA accredited company, we have trained thousands of individuals from over 650 companies and our extensive course offering consists of Short Courses, Soft Skills Training and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Learnership Programs. In addition, we offer bespoke training programs designed to cater to specific business needs. Our training courses are focused on knowledge and skills transfer and we pride ourselves in being able to provide training anytime, anywhere across South Africa.