So, you have an upcoming assessment test, and you want to know how to crush it. Well, considering the competitive nature of the job market (amplified by Covid-19), I am sure that you can use the extra edge – right?
So here is the formula for your success: accuracy + mastery + anxiety reduction = a high score.
This is true for a wide range of popular tests, including: The P&G Assessment Test, FBI special agent exam, Amazon assessment tests, CCAT, and so many others.
I am sure that this is not a formula that you have never seen before, so let’s clarify it one step at a time.
Knowing where to begin can sometimes be the hardest stage. When choosing a preparation program for your assessment test, the first question that should come to mind is, does the preparation and practice test accurately match the real test.
Let’s take the P&G Assessment Test as an example to better understand what that accuracy should look like in a test pack.
The P&G has two primary sections that are broken down into subsections. While we will not delve into the full test here, I would like to draw an example from the Grid Challenge, which falls under P&G’s Interactive section.
The Grid Challenge checks your executive attention in relation to spatial awareness. To go about this, the test shows you a number of dots with only one highlighted in red. It might not be so hard to remember where the dot was. However, after being asked to remember the location of the dot, you will then get a completely different orientation question regarding the symmetry of an arrangement of dots, only then to switch back to the original question. Well, that is no longer so easy, is it.
Or we can look to the FBI special agent exam as another great example of why accuracy is so critical when prepping and practicing. The questions on the test are very straightforward and are not meant to trick you; however, you have to fully understand the instructions to be able to answer the questions within a minimal time frame. Additionally, on the FBI Biodata test, learning how to keep your answers consistent to not portray yourself as “extreme” takes some practice.
It is for this reason that your prep guide and practice test must be accurate. The question simulations should match the exact styles of the questions to fully master the methodology behind the test. And that brings us to the next step of the equation – mastery.
Are you the master of your domain (Seinfeld?) Now that you have found an accurate practice test, it’s time to use it to master the material. But how can you go about doing this?
To help answer this part of the equation, let’s look at the Amazon OA1 and OA2 tests as an example. On these tests, you not only have to get the questions right, but you have to also explain your solutions. To this end, you want to ensure that the preparation provides you with practical solutions to master the material in-depth.
Here are a few example tips:
Think out loud: Some tests will be both paper/online and in an interview format. Thinking the code out loud will help you buy time while you walk the interviewer through the problem.
Formality is Key: When practicing, use the coding concept’s formal name while avoiding abstract or ambiguous terminology. This will help you keep track of the terminology.
Keep it Simple: Try using logical sequences to breakdown the coding. First, this will help you internalize the code, and second will make the conversation with the interviewer more engaging.
Practice Bring Confidence: Ensure that your prep guide gives you the ability to practice with in-depth explanations on every question and section easily. Additionally, you want a practice test that will feature timed and un-timed versions. This will provide a way for you to hone in on those questions or topics unfamiliar or uncomfortable.
Great, you now have the right prep test, which contains all the tools to allow you to truly master the material. But we still have one last part of our equation to solve – anxiety.
Take, for instance, the CCAT, which only gives you 18 seconds to answer each question. To make matters even more difficult, the questions increase in difficulty as the test progresses. So how do you overcome something like that?
Sometimes, you have to learn that it’s Ok to take an educated guess, don’t waste precious seconds. Second, as mentioned above, make sure to practice your weak spots before the test. Make sure that any prep guide includes practice tests, study guides, helpful answer explanations, and detailed score reports. Once you have a full picture of every aspect of the test, you will be sure to not only pass it, but overshadow your competing applicants.