A Brief Guide to Surviving A Pre-Employment Test In Singapore

Psychometric/Pre-employment tests – are words that are guaranteed to sink the heart of even the most confident job seeker. Many a star candidate has suffered a setback at the hands of the pre-employment test in Singapore, and with increasing numbers of employers using them as a key part of the recruitment process, they are here to stay.

With some research and understanding of what’s required, candidates can improve their performance during a psychometric test, when looking for jobs in Singapore.

What Is A Psychometric/Pre-Employment Test in Singapore?

A psychometric test is an impersonal and objective assessment that enables companies to compare applicants for specific vacancies on an equal footing, regardless of academic qualifications and experience.  There are two types of psychometric tests :-

  • Personality Tests – These assess character traits of candidates and their predicted behaviour in a given set of circumstances. They are primarily used to evaluate whether or not your personality will fit within the company culture. The recommended approach for handling these tests is to be completely candid with your answers. It is not in your interests – nor the employer’s – to force yourself to ‘fit’ within an organization. 
  • Aptitude and Ability TestsThese cover a range of tests, such as numerical and verbal reasoning and are normally carried out under stringent conditions. Employers may also incorporate them within an Assessment Day as part of a broader evaluation of your suitability for a particular role. Unlike personality tests, it is possible to prepare for an aptitude test.

Why Prepare For A Psychometric/Pre-Employment Test In Singapore?

The more time spent in preparation the higher your chances of succeeding in your test.  It’s estimated that nearly fifty per cent of all candidates have failed a psychometric/pre-employment test in Singapore during their career. In other words, they have not demonstrated the standards required to be successful in a particular position. Aptitude tests will be tailored to the role you are applying for, so numerical and verbal reasoning tests used for a financial position for example will be focused on that specific position.

Just as you would prepare thoroughly for an interview during your job search in Singapore, so you should prepare for the test to give yourself every possible chance of success.

Tips for Preparation

  • The Basics : You will normally be advised of the requirement to take a psychometric/pre-employment test in Singapore in advance. Some employers may provide sample questions to assist you in your preparation. Failing that, a number of tests are available online to enable you to practice. SHL, often used by PricewaterhouseCooper, is a popular provider but Kenexa, the Criterion Partnership and Saville Consulting also offer similar tests.  
  • Time Your Test : The test will take place under conditions resembling an examination. Practice your test in the same time limits as you will face on the day.  Familiarizing yourself with the various types of questions will reduce your anxiety levels. Dividing the time allowed for the test by the number of questions will give you a guideline of how long to spend on each question.
  • Brush Up On Your Skills : If you’re powers of reasoning are on the rusty side, you can improve your mental agility by completing word and number puzzles, together with practising some mental arithmetic. Revising your basic mathematical skills will also improve your performance on the day.
  • Always Read The Question : Most pre-employment tests in Singapore will offer multiple choice answers. Check and double check how it requires you to present your answer. Are you required to express your response as a percentage, a fraction or to a specific number of decimal places?
  • Accuracy Not Speed : Don’t rush through the test in the vague hope that you’ll achieve a high enough percentage of correct answers to pass. Test assessors often calculate the speed at which you took the test in comparison to the number of your accurate responses and may use negative marking, that is, deducting one mark for each incorrect answer. The type of role you have applied for will also influence how the test is assessed. For example, the role of a Safety Engineer requires patience and accuracy rather than speed.  It is preferable to answer as many questions as accurately as you can, rather than skip through leaving a trail of errors in your wake.
  • Don’t Guess : If time allows, make a calculated answer based on a process of elimination, rather than hazard a guess.  This may enable you to narrow your options down to a choice of two and increase your chances of a correct answer. 
  • Watch Out for ‘Distractors’ : ‘Distractors’ are options in a multiple choice answer which closely resemble the correct answer but are erroneous. For example, if the correct answer to a question is 8.25, you may be presented with several options such as 8.2, 5.8 or 85. Time spent preparing for your test will enable you to identify Distractors.
  • Focus on Your Strengths :As you practice, you will identify potential areas of weakness. Be aware of these weaker areas and don’t dwell on questions in the pre-employment test in Singapore that are causing you problems; move on and complete the test.  Focus on the areas that play to your strengths to increase your percentage of correct answers.
  • Practice Makes Perfect  : Some experts recommend up to twenty hours of practice before taking an aptitude test. Don’t rely on last minute revision. Download the free online tests available and begin practicing as soon as you are notified of your test. It is not sufficient to simply scrape a ‘pass’; employers and recruiters are looking for the candidates with the highest scores.
  • Make A Difference : While the final decision will not be based solely on your performance in the psychometric/pre-employment test in Singapore, it may prove to be the deciding factor in choosing between a number of outstanding candidates. A degree of research and due diligence carried out in the pre-assessment stage will enable you to perform to the peak of your ability when it counts and get the job you want.

One Reply to “A Brief Guide to Surviving A Pre-Employment Test In Singapore”

  1. I can see you are trying your best to get a better Google rank for certain keywords but don’t forget your professional responsibility not to give too much info away about testing. Sharing strategies is irresponsible since test taking strategy can tell us a lot about candidates.

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