After making it through the initial stages of an application process, particularly with larger companies, you may come across some form of competency based test. Either to be completed online by the candidate, or occasionally done in hard copy, the aim of these tests is to discern how well you will perform in the role.
If you’ve never sat one before, the thought of a “test” to get you through to the interview round can be daunting. But we want to help best prepare you for what’s ahead, and make completing one of these tests second nature.
In this Intern’s Guide, we’ll be looking at Swift Analysis Aptitude Tests. This assessment is one of the most widely used for graduate candidates, and consists of a three component test designed to measure different areas of aptitude.
The three parts are:
a) Verbal Analysis (measuring your verbal reasoning skills)
b) Numerical Analysis (measuring your numerical reasoning skills)
c) Diagrammatic Analysis (measuring your conceptual reasoning skills)
The purpose of these tests are to base your competency on different kinds of analytical analysis you will be using in the role. It’s really just a way for employers to better gauge whether the way you reason through a problem would work for the role. Doing the test will also give you the chance to experience some of the reasoning and problem solving skills needed for the position, so there really is no reason to be daunted by the assessment.
The test is traditionally broken into three sub parts, and is often timed. Depending on the number of questions in each section (you won’t really find any more than ten) you’ll get a minute to complete it. The intention is not just to see how well you analyse the given information, but how quickly you are able to do so.
The skills tested are often familiar to you, but the style of the test might not be. The intention is not to find out how much you know, but how you interpret given information, so you don’t really need to go back and trawl your high school maths text books if you’ve been doing mostly social sciences at university.
That being said, practicing for these tests is essential. Because each company can choose to reproduce the test in their own way, there’s no set questions that you can simply memorise. However sitting some practice tests which you can find for free online will help you understand how to answer aptitude analysis questions. The goal of practicing is not just learning the style of question and response, but mastering how to complete each section quickly. Just because this style of testing is a little shorter than most others you may come across in a graduate recruitment process, it does not mean it will be easier.
By now most university students know that the shorter the test, the better prepared you should be, as there is very little time for you to labour over questions. To better prepare yourself, try and get through several practice tests. The internet is full of websites offering paid practice courses, but we’ve found a couple of free things you can do online to prepare:
- PRACTICE TESTS BY SAVILLE CONSULTING. This is the consultancy company that created the test, and they would be our recommendation for the best practice tests online. Work your way these to give yourself the best idea of what the tests will be like. They also have a few helpful PDF guides.
- PRACTICE TESTS BY THE PSYCHOMETRIC INSTITUTE. A few free online tests here at the institute of psychometric testing.
- FREE DEMO TEST. If you wanted to sit some further practice tests, rather than paying for them, there are also a couple of free demo tests here.
- EXAMPLE QUESTIONS. You can find some example questions on this site here.