Article | CareerSkills & Hacks

How To Prepare For Aptitude Tests: 5 Amazing Tips To Success

By Gaurab Singha Roy
Last updated on 8th Apr 2018
How to prepare for Aptitude tests

I have always been passionate about guiding my fellow students in the best way to take an exam or interview. Be it a competative exam or an aptitude test, a proper approach is the only key to success.

An aptitude test is a systematic means of testing a job candidate’s abilities to perform specific tasks and react to a range of different situations. The tests each have a standardised method of administration and scoring, with the results quantified and compared with all other test takers.

What Are The Different Types of Aptitude Tests?

These are the most common types of aptitude test that you will encounter:

  • Numerical reasoning tests. These tests require you to answer questions based on statistics, figures and charts.
  • Verbal reasoning tests. A means of assessing your verbal logic and capacity to quickly digest information from passages of text.
  • Business exercises. A business-related scenario that assesses how well you can prioritise tasks.
  • Diagrammatic tests. Tests that measure your logical reasoning, usually under strict time conditions.
  • Situational judgement tests. Psychological tests that assess your judgement in resolving work-based problems.
  • Inductive reasoning tests. Tests that identify how well a candidate can see the underlying logic in patterns, rather than words or numbers.
  • General ability tests. A measurement of general intelligence, covering many categories of aptitude test.
  • Counter Argument tests. Designed to assess a candidate’s ability to critically consider arguments; often used by law firms.
  • Abstract reasoning tests. Another name for inductive reasoning tests.
  • Spatial awareness tests. These tests assess your capacity to mentally manipulate images, and are often used in applications for jobs in design, engineering and architecture.
  • Error checking tests. An unusual type of aptitude test that focuses on your ability to identify errors in complex data sets.

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Preparation and Practice for Aptitude tests:

Practice in Advance

Evidence suggests that some practice of similar aptitude tests may improve your performance in the real tests. Practice exam technique and try to become more familiar with the types of test you may face by completing practice questions. Even basic word and number puzzles may help you become used to the comprehension and arithmetic aspects of some tests.

All it takes is practice! We recommend you to practice all types questions that you are anticipating to encounter at the test. Go for’s placement papers. They are the best in class. Just keep on practicing and in a month or two – you will solve all the aptitude questions like a pro. Don’t expect to master the aptitude skills in just a week or two. At least 2-3 months is the minimum required time.

Some other portals such as JobTestPrep offers a wide range of professionally constructed psychometric questions, written in the same style as PSL and SHL tests (the tests most graduate employers use to assess candidates). The questions are structured in a professional format, just like the real thing.

Preparation Before The Test

Treat aptitude tests like an interview: get a good night’s sleep, plan your journey to the test site, and arrive on time. Listen and read the instructions you are given and follow them precisely.

Before the actual aptitude test itself, you will almost certainly be given examples or instructions to understand the test pattern. Make sure you ask questions if anything is unclear at this stage. You will normally be given some paper on which to make rough workings. Often you can be asked to hand these in with the test, but typically they do not form part of the assessment.

How To Take The Test?

You should work quickly and accurately through the test. Don’t get stuck on any particular question: should you have any problems, return to it at the end of the test. You should divide your time per question as accurately as you can – typically this will be between 50 and 90 seconds per question.

Remember that the tests are difficult and often you will not be expected to answer all the questions. Be particularly cautious if the aptitude test uses negative marking; if this is not the case, answer as many questions as possible in the time given. Remember that multiple-choice options are often designed to mislead you, with incorrect choices including common mistakes that candidates make.

Tips For Success

These five tips are well worth remembering before you take an aptitude test for real:

  • Treat the practice tests as similar to the the main exam. This will help you to have a similar experience of giving an actual test. And as a result you will learn how to handle stress during an examination.
  • Work swiftly and accurately through any test. Try to maintain an accuracy over 90% during the test. Inprove your speed and accuracy by appearing for more and more practice tests.
  • Work out the maximum time you can spend on any question and stick to it religiously. You can return to questions at the end. Never get stuck on any particular question, even if you think you nearly have it.
  • If the test is to be taken with a provided virtual calculator, practice your calculations in a similar manner, before hand.
  • Answer as many questions as possible in the time given. But beware of negative marking.

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Though this article is mainly focussed on how to prepare for aptitude tests, I would strongly advise the students not to panic before the examination. And even if you can’t crack one exam don’t get disheartened. During a single season, there are many aptitude tests that are conducted. So be patient and keep faith in yourself and simultaneously do keep a note on the things that I have mentioned in this article.

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