Have you ever gone back to look at a test you’ve done in the past, only to realize you lost marks because you selected the wrong answer, when in fact you knew the correct answer all along? If you’ve had this experience, rest assured you are not alone. Even the most highly competent candidates make common aptitude test mistakes which reduce their overall score and their chances of being offered a prime position. Here, we share the most common aptitude test mistakes, so you can reduce the chance you’ll make an error and get an even better overall score.
- Reading questions too fast
Many candidates panic when they turn over that test paper, which is why so many people seem to rush through the reading portion of the test. Reading quickly may make you think you’re using time well, but it can actually mean you end up missing out on crucial information to help you select the right answer. As well as getting the answer wrong, you’re showing your potential employer that you don’t have the ability to focus when it counts, so make sure you concentrate on the reading aspect of even the most basic questions.
- Not reading all answer options before selecting the answer
Many candidates select the first answer that comes to their mind, believing that they intuitively know the answer. However, some aptitude questions are designed to trip you up. Instead of thinking you know everything, take the time to read all the answer options given to you and reflect briefly on what the question is asking you. When you spend a little extra time, you may pick up some extra points that you would have missed had you rushed through it.
- Not properly preparing for the test
A common aptitude test mistake is failing to properly prepare for the test itself. You simply cannot hope to score well in a test you have not prepared for; it is so important to purchase and use reputable test practice material proven to help people in your industry. Proper preparation enables you to work on your weaknesses, which will help you score better than you would have had you entered your aptitude test without any preparation at all.
- Ignoring your biggest weaknesses
Some aptitude test candidates believe it is okay to have a few weaknesses, as they will pick up points in other areas of the test. However, it is a much better strategy to enter the test as a fully-rounded candidate with a solid set of skills across the board. You never know what the test will focus on; if your potential employer chooses to only focus on the more difficult aspects of the test, then your chances of being offered a role reduce to zero.
- Spending too much time on difficult problems
It is difficult to manage time well when you’re forced to complete an exam under test conditions. An aptitude test is no different to any other test; ensure you are spreading your time out equally and not spending too much time trying to solve difficult problems. As a general rule of thumb, if you get stuck, press on and if you can, go back and work on the more difficult questions if you have time at the end. If you stay with the difficult question, and still fail to answer it, you would have missed out on potential points waiting for you further along the way.
- Lack of adequate sleep
A good night’s sleep is crucial if you’re looking to get an excellent grade on an aptitude test. Countless studies have proven that test takers perform worse when they have not been sleeping well. Make sure you get a full night’s sleep before the day of your test and be sure to arrive to your test location with enough time to get ready. You don’t want to be late to a test that could decide the fate of your entire career.
- Stressing about the test outcome
Going through the recruitment process is a stressful time, especially if you are interviewing for a job you’ve wanted your entire career. However, just like the lack of sleep we’ve mentioned, stress is also proven to have a negative effect on test outcomes. While it is nearly impossible to eliminate all nerves and stressors, do your best to reduce stress in the days leading up to and the day of your aptitude test. When you feel at peace, you will be in a calm headspace that will help you perform at your peak.
- Being unsure of what is tested
It is surprising to discover just how many aptitude test takers have no idea of what is being tested. Most of the time, it isn’t the fault of applicants at all. If you are unsure whether your potential employer has an aptitude test as part of their recruitment process, then be sure to ask. If your future employer does have an aptitude test, you are well within your rights to ask what the test will cover. Knowing this is a strength that will help you gain a new role or position, but only if you use that information wisely (aka practice!)
- Assuming you don’t need to practice
Some test candidates know they need to sit aptitude tests, but for one reason or another, don’t feel the need to practice. This is a common attitude seen in workers who have been in their respective industries for years or who have reached a high level of success in their role. But practicing for aptitude tests does not mean you lack skills, rather, it means you are smart enough to go over the basics to make sure you can show off the skills you have on the day.
Make a great impression
Aptitude testing is designed to test you to your limits, so be sure you thoroughly prepare to ace the exam. If you understand what is required of you and you put in enough quality practice, you can avoid the situation of losing points and make a great impression on your future employer as someone who focusses, concentrates, and gets good outcomes. What could a potential employer want more than that?
Try a free practice aptitude test and start your preparation now!