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Psychometric testing and assessments for Lawyers and other Legal Positions.
After sending an application for a job as a Lawyer in the UK one of the first challenges you will face are the various psychometric tests used by Legal Firms and Graduate employers. These tests are standard for Barristers, Solicitors and other Graduate jobs in the legal world. It is essential to prepare for these tests, as this is usually the stage where most candidates fall.
What are Psychometric assessments and aptitude tests?
In order to sift through the growing number of university graduates, companies now make job applicants sit through a series of tough psychometric tests. The first type of psychometric tests you will face are the online aptitude tests, these are usually sent to you by email after applying. The second type of tests are administered at the assessment centre and take place together with the interview stage. It’s important to remember that the initial aptitude tests can also be presented at assessment centres in addition to the ones taken online.
Aptitude testing for Lawyers and Legal Careers
While there are countless variations of different aptitude tests, as a prospective lawyer you will most likely face the following three test types:
- Verbal Reasoning Tests
- Watson Glaser/Critical Reasoning Tests
- Situational Judgment Tests.
Verbal Reasoning tests for lawyers
Verbal reasoning tests are a form of aptitude tests used by law firms and legal in-house departments to find out how well you can assess verbal logic. These tests usually present you with a number of connected paragraphs and sentences. You will need to use your reading and logical skills in order to answer the questions correctly. The most popular type of verbal reasoning test format offers you the answer choice of true/false/cannot say, though many tests also simply use multiple choice type answers. The purpose of these verbal reasoning tests is to evaluate a candidate’s ability to comprehend, analyse and interpret written text. Click here to practise Verbal Reasoning tests just like the ones used by employers.
Watson Glaser and other Critical Reasoning tests for lawyers
recruitment process for lawyers and the Watson Glaser test is the most commonly used of these tests. A significant number of Law Firms rely on the Watson Glaser as their primary assessment tool for new candidates. The Watson Glaser can take between 40 to 55 minutes and is made up of 5 unique sections. Each section tests a different skillset or ability. These sections are: Inference, Interpretation, Deduction, Recognition of assumptions and Evaluation of Arguments.
As an important aside, the BCAT test, required by students intending on taking the Bar Professional Training Course, is almost identical to the Watson Glaser test.
Click here to practise the Watson Glaser test.
Click here to practise the BCAT test.
Situational Judgment Tests for lawyers
Situational Judgment Tests (or SJTs) are different from most aptitude tests in that instead of examining specific skills, they are designed to assess a candidate’s values and priorities. These tests present you with a number of hypothetical situations or conflicts in the workplace environment as well as a number of possible actions to take for each scenario. The choices you decide on need to be sufficiently in sync with the companies values. It’s highly recommended that you have a look at the company website before taking this test as they usually list their company values on their site.
Click here to practise Situational Judgment Tests just like the ones used by employers.
Assessment Centres tests
After passing the online aptitude tests you will usually be invited to an assessment centre. Here you will face different types of psychometric testing such as In-tray exercises and Group exercises. In addition this is also where you will face the various interviews by the company assessors.
You can practise for these tests and interviews here:
So what does this mean to you?
First of all, just being aware of these tests is a huge advantage. Many graduates with impressive grades or credentials are caught off guard when first presented with these assessment tests. Studies show that stress has a large influence on results so it is vital that you prepare yourself mentally and get to know exactly what to expect before taking the tests. Secondly, the skills required to excel in these types of tests are not simply innate and can be learnt and greatly improved through the use of practice tests and gaining a better understanding of how these tests work.
You can get hold of practice tests and explanations for the psychometric tests used at law firms at JobTestPrep.