The Practice Aptitude Tests Graduate Competency Model model incorporates 8 core competencies. Some employers may prioritize competencies outside of the model below but it provides an excellent overview of what one might expect to be compared against when completing a SJT.
The competencies being assessed and a broad definition of each are provided below:
1. Communicating and Influencing
Relates well to others; adapts communication style to successfully influence and communicate with others. Listens to other people and communicates with impact and empathy. Communicates effectively orally, in writing and via electronic means in a manner appropriate to the audience. Successfully explains complex or technical information to non-experts. Makes an impact, putting one’s own point across with clarity and purpose.
2. Team working
Works effectively as part of a diverse team and demonstrates the ability to work collaboratively and empathetically within diverse teams. Puts the needs of the team above their own and demonstrates openness and honesty with team members. Builds a sense of team spirit by listening to, encouraging and supporting colleagues and wider team members.
3. Building relationships
Successfully networks within and outside of the organisation. Builds and sustains effective relationships within own area and across the wider organisation; forms long-term mutually beneficial working relationships with colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers that support the longer term goals of self, team and the organisation as a whole.
4. Customer Focus
Strives to anticipate and understand the needs of customers. Applies their understanding of customers to ensure they receive timely and efficient service, going the extra mile in order to surpass expectations. Focuses on customer needs and levels of satisfaction in all they do; acts upon customer feedback; takes customer concerns and feedback seriously.
The remaining 4 key competencies and associated guidance is just available to our members. Become a member today and find out more about the many benefits below.
Through practice you will develop your own technique for answering aptitude test questions to the best of your ability. However there is a general technique most people find useful to follow. Read the entire passage through once, then turn to the questions in-turn. Read the first statement and refer back to the relevant part of the passage to carefully consider if the statement is true, false, or impossible to determine without further information. It will often come down to just one or two sentences within the passage.
Get a good night's sleep before your test so that you stay focused during your real test. Arrive in plenty of time so that when you sit down to take your test you are calm and collected.
Make sure you understand the instructions. If your test is at an assessment centre the test administrator will explain the instructions and you will have the opportunity to ask questions. You usually get to go through a couple of example questions before the test begins for real. You will not be allowed to ask questions once the test has started, so make sure you take this opportunity to understand the test.
Are you comfortable, is your desk wobbly, are you distracted by noise from the next room? Make sure you raise any problems before the test starts with the test administrator.
Have an idea of how much time to allow yourself for each question and know when to move on. Concentration is essential, especially when every second counts. Don't let yourself get distracted by other test takers, this will slow you down.
Don't guess. The administrator probably won't tell you if negative marking is being used but rest assured it rarely is in the verbal reasoning tests used by employers. Instead of guessing outright, often it is possible to eliminate one of the possible three answers, thus reducing your options down to two. Beware some tests do have mechanisms for detecting random guessing, and this won't look good when the employer sees that you're a slap-dash risk taker. So don't be tempted to quickly guess the last questions just before the time runs out.
Base your answers on only the information contained in the passage. This is crucial, and if you don't do this you will probably get a lot of the questions wrong. Verbal reasoning tests are not tests of what you know, they are tests of how well you understand written information.
Focus on the next test. Employers use a whole series of tests, interviews and assessments to select candidates. The results are used in the whole; it is not the case that a poor result in one test instantly removes you from the running. If you don't think you did particularly well in one test, try not to let this affect your performance in another test.
Ask for feedback. Not all employers have the time or resource to offer this but it's worth asking. If you know how you performed, you can better prepare for that aspect next time.