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How to pass a test

Providing tests is a standard recruitment procedure in many companies, so do not be surprised if you are asked to do a writing task. It can occur even if you are a highly skilled specialist. If you apply for a position such as programmer, accountant, etc. a test is a widespread task to check your qualifications.
In any case, you should not take tests negative. Tests help an employer to assess candidates more or less fairly: on the one hand, flunk out candidates with inappropriate qualification, on the other hand - find out real skills and knowledge of the candidates. Basically, you can get feedback on the results of your test. It will help you to estimate your advantages and disadvantages. This kind of information can be useful for you. If the results were not handed to you, ask the HR-manager about it.
 

Types of tests

There are many different types of tests. They fall into 3 major types:
  • Assessment of abilities, i.e. logical tests, IQ tests, analysis of data, attention and memory. They allow the employer to estimate your potential.
  • Assessment of personal traits - this test characterizes your probable behavior at work.
Psychological tests abroad are used in recruitment, distribution of responsibilities, and reassignment to another position, promotion and dismissal. Slowly but steadily, this practices are being implemented in Russia. A company needs this practices to estimate psychological compatibility in the group, provide psychological comfort (-which ofthen means productivity) of the employers and assess beforehand whether an employee is able to manage psychological stress, etc.
  • Assessment of acquired skills by managing tasks concerning your profession i.e., language tests.
The form of the tests can be different. One can do it on-line or in printed form. Answers can be provided (you have to choose the right one) or not. Finally, you can just be asked to do a task. One can be tested individually or in group.


How to prepare
  • Try to find out as much information as possible about the task beforehand: which of your skills will be assessed, what is the essence of the task, how much time you will have.
  • Try to do similar tasks at home.
For example Aizenk IQ tests are published in books where answers are provided. To train your attention and memory easy exercises can be used.
If a test requires special knowledge in some area it's best to review basic terminology and rules, before language tests - revise basic grammar rules and vocabulary and do a couple of exercises. Sometimes language skills are checked during the interview (you are just asked to tell something or answer questions in foreign language). In this case you should practice in listening and speaking and write a dictation.
  • Sometimes training tests can be found on the company web-site
  • Try to do the tasks as fast as possible while preparing
  • You should have a good sleep before the test - otherwise your reaction and memory may let you down.

 How to pass a test -  hints

1. Listen to all the requirements attentively: how much time you are given, what sources can be used, etc. don't hesitate to ask a question if there is something you don't understand.
2. Read all the tasks and start with the easiest ones. In some cases the number of questions a candidate manages to answer is measured: the more - the better.
3. If you are passing a psychological test, do not try to find definitely right answers. It is just your characteristics - and what your employer will find "good" depends also on the company.
4. Don't panic if you cannot do a part of the test. Have a rest for a couple of minutes or switch to some other task and after that - return to the difficult one.
5. Do not try to guess the answers. It's better if you choose the answer you find correct.
6. Don't give up in difficult situation and finish a test, even if you cannot answer several questions. Firstly, there is still a chance to get a job. Secondly, you gain experience in passing such tasks. At last, it's not what life is all about. Take your test as you take work - try to do it accurate, fast and don't be nervous.
 

Be aware of your rights

1. A potential employer cannot take money from you for the test.
2. A test can last from one to several hours. If you are asked to execute orders for the benefit of the company for several days - it is already a temporary work. Probably, you should think: a company might exploit you as a free workforce without an intention to hire you. There are unfair employers on the market - but just a few.

Candidates often ask if it is possible to refuse passing a test. For sure, it is. But take into account that your chances to get the job will be lower than chances of those candidates who have succeeded in passing the test.
Sometimes candidates are discontent because they have to fill in a huge application form. You can refuse to do it, but remember that each company has its own traditional procedures and it's not you who decides whether they are wrong. You can decide whether this company fits you or not and if not - reject the vacancy and search for some other.

Please remember that a job search is also a work, so be patient and fill in all the application forms and tests you are asked to. Then your chances to get the job will be higher.

How to be the Best Candidate

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