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Selection Tests

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In brief

When applying for jobs, testing might form part of the selection process. Personality questionnaires, situational judgement tests and abstract reasoning tests are just some of the typical aptitude and psychometric tests used by graduate employers in recruitment. These tests assess the candidate cognitive abilities and potential performance in the job role and will inform the recruiters' selection and hiring decisions.

Situational judgement tests

In depth: types of test

Numerical reasoning tests

A numerical reasoning test is used by employers to assess your aptitude for numeracy by analysing and drawing conclusions from numerical data.

A broad range of employers use numerical tests including finance, banking, IT, management, engineering.

The tests are normally timed. There is usually a time limit for the overall test and there may be a set time to answer each question. The length of a test can vary depending on the employer, but they are usually between 20 and 30 minutes long. The test can include:

  • Table and graph questions - data is presented on charts, tables, or graphs with questions to assess your ability to draw inferences and conclusions from the visual information provided.
  • Word problem questions - these are written sentences asking mathematical questions to assess your logical reasoning and numeracy.
  • Sequence tests/number series questions - a series of numbers is provided and you are asked to work out the relationship between them to complete the sequence.

Preparation Tips:

Practise, practise, practise!

  • You might be using your numeracy skills every day, but it is important to understand how the questions are asked and the timings. Aim to familiarise yourself with the tests used by the employer. Check out their career websites for resources to help with this.
  • Recruiters look for both speed and accuracy. Completing practice tests will improve your response times and accuracy.
  • Do read the questions carefully!
  • The level of mathematics required is normally GCSE level so refresh your skills on ratios, percentages, probabilities, fractions to help you interpret data quickly. You might find it useful to look at BBC Skillswise - maths. This is also useful if you do not feel confident in your mathematical skills.
  • Do the tests yourself. Don’t be tempted to ask a friend. You may be retested during an Assessment Centre.
  • Find a quiet space to sit the test where you won’t be interrupted. You won’t be able to pause the test once you start. Aim to be at your best by getting a good night’s sleep and eating well.


Remember to check out the employer website for any specific resources and tips.


Further Help

Graduates First

GraduatesFirst gives you free unlimited access to 100+ assessments and tools which are used by over 8,000 of the world’s top employers.

University of Warwick have partnered with Graduates First, granting Warwick students free access to a range of practice psychometric and personality tests commonly used by employers as part of the recruitment and selection process.

These include Numerical Reasoning, Personality Questionnaires, Situational Judgement Tests, Video Interviews, Game-Based assessments, and many more.

Register with GradauteFirst for free.

Workshops & webinars

For more help search for workshops and webinars at ‘Events’ on myAdvantageLink opens in a new window.

Want to read more?

Ultimate psychometric tests / Mike Bryon Link opens in a new windowincludes worked solutions

Warwick Careers Blog: How to prepare for psychometric testsLink opens in a new window

Warwick Careers Blog: Recruitments tests – don’t be scared of themLink opens in a new window

The A-Z Guide to Psychometric TestsLink opens in a new window An overview of personality and testing.