Pre-employment tests, while a chore to prepare for, have become a staple in the hiring process in an attempt to make sure that the company not only gets applicants that are qualified on paper but also have the necessary skills needed to do their job well.
Although they want to give everyone a fair chance to land the job, it has become increasingly common for hiring managers to accidentally hire someone who submitted a highly impressive resume and gave them a stellar interview experience, causing them to assume that they are not only the right person for the job but also the best new hire for the company itself.
To prevent this, a number of companies now require applicants to pass a cognitive ability test so that they can be sure that the person isn’t just someone that submitted a highly tailored resume created by a website.
Fortunately, these exams are rather easy to prepare for and you have a number of ways to do this, such as taking advantage of a free cognitive practice test or even just studying a lot of them.
So, let’s take a look at the things that you can do in order to prepare, not only to pass, but also to ace the cognitive assessment test that a company may throw your way in your attempt to land your dream job.
1. Time management skills are important to build on
Most cognitive assessment tests have a strict, if not absurd, time limit of sorts all the while having a lot of questions that it is nearly impossible to answer all of them if you tried to give them the same amount of time to do them.
This is the case if you take the Wonderlic Test, Criteria Cognitive Aptitude Test (CCAT), and Predictive Learning Index (PLI).
All three of the aforementioned exams are designed to allow employers to know just how good an applicant’s cognitive abilities are despite being put under heavy time pressure.
This is because if they managed to score high on these tests despite the terrible time limit, companies will see this as a good sign that the candidate will be able to make the right decisions even if they are under immense pressure.
In order to succeed, you will either have to try and learn how to answer questions as fast as you can or learn to compromise: some questions in the exam are just that difficult and would take up more time that the one point may not even be worth it.
Why is this so? Well, it’s because there are easier and more numerous questions in the test, and if you use that time on them instead, you will get more points than focusing on that one difficult question.
2. Take advantage of the fact that there are no penalties for guessing
Making an educated guess in a cognitive ability test is not only a valid strategy but is also encouraged by a lot of course providers.
Why is this so? Well, in conjunction with your time management skills, these exams also aim to measure your decision-making skills.
As stated in the previous tip, there will be questions that are absurdly hard and will take a lot of time if you tried to answer them conventionally.
Although they are not worth the effort, you cannot ignore the fact that they are still worth one point, and that very singular point may be the reason whether or not you managed to meet the minimum score wanted by the company.
In some cases, this single point difference can also mean you being selected or ignored for another applicant who managed to land that question because they took the gamble.
That being said, you shouldn’t just answer questions blindly in cognitive ability assessments and you should at least try to understand both the question and the choices so that you can figure out which of them is the best one to pick.
3. Familiarize yourself with the subjects well
As with every exam there is in the world, one of the best ways to prepare for cognitive ability tests is to study as much as you can about the subjects contained within them.
While there are a number of ways to do this, such as participating in a study group or making your own materials, most job hunters these days instead make good use of online practice tests due to them having the similar, if not nearly the same questions, that you can encounter when you take the actual exam.
Since these tests are usually configured to have the time factor added in, this will also allow you to get a feel for the timed environment so that you can remain calm and even adjust your answering style on the day of the exam.
Another good reason why it is a good idea to invest in these practice tests is because a few of them will have tips or even extended explanations on how to answer each question or topic as fast as possible.
Not only will this improve your chances of getting a high score in any cognitive ability test, but it will also eliminate the time pressure factor if you managed to get the hang of them.