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Many employers rely on aptitude testing to determine a potential employee's ability to perform specific tasks, to reason, and to respond to certain types of situations. The results of your aptitude test can often overshadow your resume and experience if you don't pass, so taking time to prepare prior to testing is essential. Aptitude tests may refer to specific aspects of the job you are applying for, so learning about the job and what's expected of you prior to testing can have a huge impact on your test score.
Ask, prior to testing, about the length of the test so you know how much time you have to work with when you sit down to take the test. Ask for an idea of what sections will be included on the test such as vocabulary, analytical reasoning and psychometric questions.
Practice taking sample aptitude tests, which can be found at online sites such as the University of Kent and Psychometric Success. (See links in the Resources section). You may also be able to find sample tests in the career center at your local library, or in the career section of local bookstores.
Give yourself plenty of time to take the test. Not completing an aptitude test can damage your total score, so making sure you have enough time to answer each question is essential.
Focus on the first five questions if you are taking a computerized aptitude test. Often, computerized testing gauges the remainder of the questions on the test by your response to the first five questions, which are often the hardest questions on the test. Answering those first five questions correctly can improve your total score dramatically.
Move on from questions that take too long to answer. Spending too much time answering a single question can damage your overall score if you fail to answer easier questions later in the test because you didn't have enough time.
Read questions carefully before answering. Many aptitude tests twist words and phrases purposely as a means of testing your attention. Spending an extra second or two reading over the question for clarity can help you spot twists and form a correct answer.
Double-check your answers, especially on the more complicated questions. Spend a few seconds reviewing your answers carefully.
Jennifer Hudock is an author, editor and freelancer from Pennsylvania. She has upcoming work appearing in two Library of the Living Dead Press anthologies and has been published in numerous print and online journals, including eMuse, Real TV Addict and Strange Horizons. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English/creative writing from Bloomsburg University.