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How To Prepare For Aptitude Assessment Day

09 May 2019
Zara Woodcock
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The assessment day is usually the final stage of the application process. They take place at the company’s offices or at a private assessment centre. You will be evaluated with a series of individual and group tasks. The days are quite long and run between four and eight hours over a period of one or two days. However, some mass recruitment campaigns are sometimes a three-day process. The exact schedule varies depending on the role and will be given to you closer to or on the day. Example:

Online Tests

Ability and reasoning tests are part of the preliminary online application process. In most cases, only successful candidates who passed these tests are called to the assessment centre. During the beginning of the assessment, you can expect verification tests. You will be asked to sit a short version of the numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning or non-verbal reasoning test to confirm how you did in your previous performance.

Case Studies

Applicants are given particular situations and asked to give recommendations in the form of a brief report. The subject may be ludicrous at some as it is all hypothetical. You are being tested on your ability to analyse information and exercise your judgment.

Analysis Exercises

The exercise is the same as a case study and the only difference between the two is the name. The case study is more widely used but some companies may use the former term. You are not being tested on your ability to write a case study, you are being assessed on your analytic ability through means of a case study.

In-Tray Exercises

These are simulation exercises in which you are given a full in-tray with emails, company memos, telephone and fax messages, reports, and correspondence, as well as information about the structure of the organisation and your place within it. Decision-making and prioritising, delegating tasks and drafting replies are the main aims of the assessment. The exercise was created to test how each applicant handles complex information within a limited time frame. Some employers may ask you why you made certain decisions.


If presentations are not your thing, you better get practising. Some employers will ask you to give a short presentation. You will either be asked to prepare a presentation or most likely, prepare it on the actual day of the assessment. The assessor wants to see how well you structure talks and relay information.

Group Tasks

Group tasks may have you using equipment or materials to make or do something e.g. moving a golf ball from one table to another using a paper clip and a pipe cleaner. The aim is to see how the group interacts

Role Plays and Scenarios

You could be asked to take part in a role-playing exercise where you are given a briefing pack and asked to play a part that is related to the position you are applying for. The setup may include a few ‘actors’ in a scene of a day-to-day dilemma, placing you as the decision maker who is expected to cope with the dilemma and offer solutions. The assessors are looking at your individual skills as well as your verbal communication and planning skills.


These are an important part of the process. The assessment day sometimes includes more than one interview that is conducted by hired assessors, members of the recruitment team, and by a senior member of the team. A good interview is needed to change the overall impression you make at the company.