Selection tests

Selection tests can be a daunting prospect, but with the right attitude and plenty of preparation you can improve your chances of success. Learn how to compete in the selection process with our helpful guide.

How we can help

  • Visit the Careers Service for one-to-one help and advice. We are happy to discuss any particular concerns you have when approaching selection tests.
  • Come along to our events, workshops and employer sessions to help you prepare.
  • Our subscription to Graduates First allows you to practise tests in advance.

Types of selection tests

Selection tests are used to help assess a candidate's skills, knowledge and personality. They also determine how you might respond to different situations. You may come across them during the preliminary screening stage, or as part of an assessment centre. Make sure you understand what tests you will be doing and the differences between them.

Personality tests

Personality tests are questionnaires designed to reveal aspects of an individual's character or psychological makeup. The MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) questionnaire is the personality framework most widely used by employers. It provides a highly insightful framework for individual and group development, provoking self-awareness by looking at how a person perceives the world and how they prefer to interact with others. If you would like to discuss your MBTI questionnaire with a Careers Adviser, please book an appointment via the Careers Service Welcome Desk.

Numerical reasoning tests

Numerical reasoning tests measure your ability to interpret, analyse and draw conclusions from data in graphs and tables. Numerical data is a key information source for employers and is used to monitor progress and achieve goals. This is why employers want graduates to be able to demonstrate their ability to collect, interpret, analyse and present numerical data.

Verbal reasoning tests

There are several types of verbal reasoning tests. Sentence completion and analogies are the easier forms and measure your ability to use English language in the working environment. More complex tests are based on business related reading material. These tests measure your ability to understand, think logically and draw conclusions from written information.

Situational judgement tests

Situational judgement tests assess your ability to choose the most appropriate action in workplace situations. These assessments are designed to assess how you would handle situations that you could encounter in the job you are applying for.

Practice tests

Here are some test websites you can use to hone your skills:

  • Psychometric tests & questionnaires: Chartered Business Psychologist, Mark Parkinson, has compiled this useful list, covering a broad range of psychometric and ability tests.
  • AssessmentDay: free tests available for each type. Includes a free situational judgement test.
  • The Online Test Centre: a number of free selection tests are available. To practice questions containing graphs go to 'Diagrammatic Tests' and 'Data Interpretation'.
  • Prospects: advice on tackling psychometric tests, including extra links to practice tests.
  • SHL Direct: a range of example tests online that can be accessed freely. They produce tests for many different employers. Some tests require users to sign up and not all tests are provided free of charge.
  • Institute of Psychometric Coaching: free practice tests and useful guidance about aptitude tests.
  • Job Test Prep: one free personality test is available. Other tests on this website require the user to pay to access them.
  • WikiJob: a few free practice tests and links to other paid services.
Can we help?

Our selection test software

We subscribe to Graduates First so you can learn about and practice selection tests.

Register using your Bristol email address to practice verbal, logical and numerical reasoning tests as well as situational judgement tests and work personality questionnaires.