All you need to know about Online Assessments
Have you been invited to take part in an Online Assessment? Are you wondering what it’s like to complete an ability test or a personality questionnaire? Or perhaps you just want to know how to prepare best?
Key facts about Online Assessment
If you haven’t taken part in an Online Assessment before, you probably have a list of questions ranging from how an Online Assessment is devised to what it’s capable of measuring. The questions and answers below will give you some background.
What is Online Assessment?
Online Assessment enables the evaluation of people’s specific abilities, behaviours or characteristics by using the web technologies available via the Internet. An Assessment combines a number of tests and questionnaires and it could:
- promote a more objective self-esteem
- provide clues in career counselling
- be used to consider which training, job or career will suit someone.
Why is Online Assessment being used more and more frequently?
Online Assessment has some clear benefits over more traditionally administered assessments.
Benefits for companies: Online Assessment
- is highly objective
- can predict with a relatively high degree of accuracy
- saves both time and money
- enables companies the inclusion of a large number of candidates in the pre-selection process in a relatively limited amount of time
Benefits for candidates: Online Assessment
- can be completed at any time at any place
- saves on travelling costs and time
- can be taken in your own familiar, stress-free environment
How is an Online Assessment constructed?
Online Assessments consist of several tests or questionnaires which are to be completed by the candidate. The combination of these tests and questionnaires are usually determined by the roles and competencies needed for the applied position.
For example, an Online Assessment could consist of tests for verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, inductive-logical thinking and could also include a personality questionnaire. The most optimal order to complete the tests is given. It is usually not necessary to complete all the tests in one sitting, allowing you to take breaks between them.
How are the individual tests structured?
The tests are designed with the same structure, although the format of the questions themselves will change depending on the type of test. A test always contains:
- a short introduction in which exercises or questions are described
- an interactive section in which the test is explained in greater detail and the actions you need to take (e.g. click or drag and drop) are demonstrated. You’ll need to follow the specific action outlined in order to move on to the next part of the instructions so you will be clear what is required and how to do it
- a few example questions or exercises to ensure that you have understood what needs to be done
- the most important points regarding the test
There is no time limit during the initial explanatory stages of the tests. You should take the time you need to work through the examples and look over your work when you have finished.
What types of tests are there?
There are several different tests that can be categorized as follows:
- Ability tests – to determine abilities such as concentration, logical reasoning or text comprehension
- Personality questionnaires – to determine qualities such as willingness to cooperate, ambition or sensitivity
- Knowledge tests – to determine specific professional knowledge such as language skills or mechanical reasoning
What is not tested?
In an Online Assessment, it is difficult to determine some interpersonal skills such as how willing you are to help or how you get on with people. These areas are mostly determined in interviews, role-plays or group discussions.
How can I prepare best?
What type of computer is needed?
Any computer can be used – PC or MAC. You simply need Internet access and a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox). It is best to use one of the newer browser versions because the very old versions are no longer supported. The tests are also available for smartphones or tablets.
Do I need any other equipment?
You don’t need anything other than a computer with a browser and Internet access. Other equipment is generally not required. However, for some of the tests, it is useful to have a calculator or perhaps pen and paper at hand. This will be indicated in the introductory notes.
What can I do to counter nervousness?
Getting nervous doesn’t automatically make you a nervous person. Being nervous is related to a situation – in this case, taking an Online Assessment. You know that you are expected to perform, but the performance could be not as good as you would want.
Actors describe the nervousness that suddenly plagues them before a performance as “stage fright” – and most of them don’t really want to get rid of it because nervousness can have a very positive effect on their performance. So, in this Online Assessment situation, remind yourself that nervousness is absolutely normal. A certain amount of pre-test nerves has a very positive effect: it channels your attention and mobilizes your energy. You will probably feel a little better when you know what to expect.
I have a disability. What should I do?
Participation in Online Assessment can be challenging for people with disabilities. For people who have visual or motor impairment, or any other disability, special arrangements must be made with the organization that has invited you to complete the Assessment. This is to ensure an accurate and fair assessment of all candidates. In some cases, disadvantages can be overcome with technical aids or equipment, or by changing your computer settings.
What else can I do?
You have already read this brochure and tried out the practice tests, but how else can you prepare?
Find out as much as you can about the company you are applying to by checking their website and social media. Often companies have interviews with recent hires or trainees or even show a video about their application process or what it is like to work there.
What should I consider when taking an Online Assessment?
When should I do the tests?
A great advantage of tests presented online is that you can do them whenever you want to. If you know that you perform best in the evening or at night, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do the test at night. The most important thing to remember is to complete them when you feel well and alert, and not likely to be disturbed. So don’t do the test when you come home from work or school, feel tired or after doing strenuous exercise.
What else should I keep in mind?
Ensures that there are no interruptions or distractions while you are working on the tests. Once you started the actual test, you can’t interrupt it and continue later – so it is important that you make sure that you have both a quiet atmosphere and sufficient time to work through the test from beginning to end.
How long does an Online Assessment take?
There is no standard answer to this question because it is influenced by the number of tests in the Online Assessment. In most cases, there will be no more than 5 tests to complete – and most tests do not last longer than 15 minutes. The invitation you receive could include information regarding the time you need to set aside for the testing.
Can I take breaks?
Once you have started a test, you cannot interrupt it. In most cases, the individual tests last no more than fifteen minutes. For many positions, multiple tests are required. However, you don’t have to do all of them at once. You usually have several days to complete all the necessary tests – but please check the deadline given to you for the final submission of the tests. The amount of time you need to complete all the tests is not monitored and has no effect on the results.
What do I do if a test suddenly doesn’t respond anymore?
In rare cases, technical problems can lead to the test suddenly freezing up, for example, if the browser crashes while you are working on the test. But this is not a catastrophe. Simply contact the person who invited you to do the Online Assessment so he/she can reset the test.
How does the organization know that I completed the Online Assessment myself?
First of all, you should be aware that it is never permitted to allow somebody else to do the tests for you as that person is impersonating you at that moment. If this should come to light, you would be automatically excluded from the selection process.
However, often re-tests are carried out at a later stage. This means that if you are invited to an interview after the Online Assessment, you may be asked to repeat a test from the Online Assessment. Clearly, if you have not completed the test before, as you wanted to inflate your scores with someone else completing it, you will struggle to do this at the re-test stage.
The tests have been selected to be part of the Online Assessment to give an indicator of how successful you are likely to be in the job later on. If you’re giving a false impression to get the job, consider if it is the right job for you.
How much time do I need to complete an Online Assessment?
Usually, you will have several days to complete all the tests, and you can do the various tests on different days. However, it is important to check the deadline given in your invitation email or letter.
The individual tests are generally subject to a time limit although personality questionnaires, as a rule, don’t have a time limit. This time limit is not allocated to give an indication of how you deal with stressful situations, but rather for more methodical reasons: if there was no time limit, all applicants could get all answers right and therefore all results would be the same, making the test a waste of time. It is quite normal that candidates are unable to answer all the questions in the time allowed – and indeed tests are often designed in this way
How fast do I have to work in order to pass the assessment?
Try to answer the questions quickly but carefully and avoid making obvious mistakes by not working faster than you did at school or during your studies. Incorrect answers tend to affect the overall results negatively so avoid guessing the answer.
What happens after the Assessment, where does it go from here?
What happens after the Online Assessment?
Once you have completed all the tests, all you can do is wait. The company you have applied to will be in touch shortly to give you feedback regarding the tests and to inform you about the next steps.
How is the Online Assessment evaluated?
In the case of ability tests, points are usually allocated to each correct answer and points deducted for every incorrect answer. At the end of the test, the points are calculated to give the final score. In the case of personality questionnaires, you are reporting your own descriptions of yourself, with regard to specific dimensions of your personality, and so there are no right or wrong answers. It’s more a matter of determining whether your personality is suited to the position and the company as a whole.
Do I get feedback?
Based on the assessment a report is generated. Usually, the company will make this report available to you.
What happens to my data?
The key point to remember is that your data remains your data. No company is allowed – without your explicit agreement – to use the data for any other reason than for the application procedure.
The test results will be saved on a secured server. Good agreements have been made for this, both with our customers and with our suppliers.
You can, of course, at any time, ask the company in question to delete your data