Psychometric tests and assessment centres

A person marks a test


Many graduate employers use psychometric testing and assessment centres during the selection process.


Psychometric tests

Psychometric tests can be used by graduate employers to identify your personality, skills and knowledge and they can help recruiters to test out if you're a good fit for the role and the organisation. They can form part of an assessment centre or be the first stage of the recruitment process. The main thing to do with these tests is practice.

What type of tests are there?

Personality Tests - Used to assess areas of your personality and see how you would respond or behave in certain scenarios. They look at your individual personality traits to analyse your suitability for an organisation.

Aptitude Tests - Assess your skills, reactions and performance, this allows an employer to determine what a candidate is capable of.

Read more about the types of tests you may face by visiting Prospects Psychometric Testing.

Online practice tests

Graduates First - We have established a partnership with Graduates First for practice aptitude tests, which includes:

  • Seven verbal reasoning tests
  • Seven numerical reasoning tests
  • Seven logical reasoning tests
  • A work style personality questionnaire
  • Interview Question Identifier tool
  • Situational judgement test
  • Assessment centre exercises

Graduates First offer a variety of psychometric tests and other job assessment preparation solutions for students including detailed step-by-step guides to over 100 top graduate employer's recruitment stages and hints on how to pass their assessment process.

Register using your University email address at free aptitude tests from Graduates First.


Assessment centres

Assessment centres are common in graduate recruitment, they involve candidates in groups of around 6-8, taking part in set tasks and activities. Some examples of what to expect are group discussions, written tests, role play, in-tray exercises and/or presentations, which are all designed to test your suitability for the job. They can last for a few hours up to a full day.

What are employers looking for?

Employers want to see whether you are the best candidate for their role, they will be scoring you throughout the day against a selection of desired competencies, skills and qualities that are essential to the role.

Preparation is key
  • Read all invite communications carefully so you know the running order and expectations.
  • Make sure you have engaged with the job description and person specification, so that you understand which competencies the employer is looking for.
  • Do your research and find out as much as you can about the company, competitors and strategy.
  • If you are unsure what activities you will be asked to do then contact the recruiter to check.
  • Practice as much as possible.
On the day
  • Focus on showing an employer the competencies they are looking for, rather than trying to compete against the other candidates.
  • Plan how you are going to approach the task as a team, give yourself a structure to follow.
  • Keep to the given time frame and task at hand.
  • Listen to, encourage and allow others to contribute – avoid overpowering.
  • Ensure that you participate, let your opinions and ideas be heard.

Read our guide to Preparing for an Assessment Centre to give yourself a head start on the day.

More information on assessment centres is available on Prospects: Assessment Centres.

Further support

Gain tips and understand what to expect when it comes to psychometric testing, as well as finding out about resources that will help you to prepare, by watching our Psychometric Testing in Recruitment and Selection Linked In Learning Pathway.

Listen to our Assessment Centres Linked In Learning Pathway to understand all you need to know about assessments centres, such as the activities you may be assessed on and how to perform.


Recommended books

The following books are available in the University Library

  • How to Pass Graduate Psychometric Tests by Mike Bryon
  • How to Pass Numerical Reasoning Tests by Heidi Smith
  • How to Pass Verbal Reasoning Tests by Harry Tolley
  • The Numeracy Test Workbook by Mike Bryon
  • Professional Level Psychometric Tests by Sam Al-Jajjoka
Useful websites
  • Assessment Day - Run by a student who took several tests around the UK. It has both free and paid-for tests in both verbal and numerical reasoning. There is also a long list of interview questions for both formal and technical interviews, and a discussion forum.
  • Graduate Prospects - Has a section on aptitude tests and psychometric testing which gives a list of links directing students to free tests, as well as explaining what they are designed to do.
  • SHL Direct - Aimed at the individual testing themselves at ability/aptitude tests and personality questionnaires, as well as providing the opportunity to collect feedback on your responses. It is split into 5 sections, one for students, and one on career guidance, plus help on the assessments, practice and feedback.
  • Practice Aptitude Tests - Has a large number of free tests that have been developed with chartered occupational psychologists.
  • WikiJob - Has an active forum, a jobs board for graduate schemes, lots of articles on interview questions and assessment centres and also provides practice psychometric tests. They offer a free numerical reasoning test and verbal reasoning test for you to try out.
  • IQ Test Labs - Offers a PhD certified IQ test, which tests your ability in nine different areas. The test is free to take online, and you receive a comprehensive 25 page report with analysis about your results after completion. This includes statistics which compare your own results against others who have taken the test beforehand.
  • Job Test Prep - Packed with useful information on preparing for, and taking, psychometric tests. The site includes aptitude test preparation, personality test preparation, group exercise preparation and job interview preparation.
  • Practice Reasoning Tests - Free aptitude tests and practice pages.
  • Psychometric Tests - Aimed at providing job seekers with the practice material they need to pass psychometric job selection tests. It has over 100 pages of information on psychometric and aptitude tests, free downloadable practice tests and a free eBook which gives expert advice on how to approach aptitude tests.
  • PWC - Psychometric Tests and Interviews.
  • Team Technology - A website that has a wide range of articles and resources on business, leadership and management, as well as information on the MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) personality test with an online questionnaire. They also offer an in-depth online version of the MMDI (Mental Muscle Diagram Indicator) personality questionnaire.

Speak to a careers adviser

Our Careers Advisers are on hand to help. Book an appointment on Advantage or by calling 0161 295 0023 (option 5).

Appointments are available for current students and graduates of the University of Salford only.