You probably thought tests ended when you left school. Not quite. Many companies have turned to practical skill assessments as another tool to find job candidates. To ensure that you land the best position for you, it’s important to maximize your ability to score well on these evaluations.

One study indicated that nearly 70% of employers leverage skill assessments to narrow their field of job candidates. As a result, you’ll need to get comfortable with these tests to compete for positions at most companies.

The precise tests will depend largely on your particular industry. However, there are some general steps you can take to optimize your test-taking ability. Here are tips to help you prepare as you go into a skills assessment:

Understand Your Skill Level

Don’t fool yourself. Overconfidence will only cause you to underestimate a skill assessment and deliver a disappointing score. Rather, go into the process with clear eyes. Be willing to seek out your weak spots and take the steps necessary to improve.

Research the Test

The more you know about the assessment, the better you’ll be able to do. This starts by understanding the material that will be covered. At the same time, you’ll want to learn how the information is evaluated, so you won’t be surprised in the middle of taking the test.

Master the Test Structure

Are the questions multiple choice? If so, how many selections for each question? Are there multiple parts? Is the evaluation timed? Is there a penalty for guessing?

Answering questions like these will give you an edge when you take the assessment. Get familiar with the structure and think about how they will influence your test-taking strategy.

Practice (If You Can)

Seek out practice assessments. The more you can take, the better. This way, you’ll know what skills you need to master to get a stellar grade. At the same time, you can get familiar with the testing process, so it feels natural when you attempt the live version.

Prepare Mentally

You’ve got a particular skill down perfectly. However, when the assessment comes along, you choke. The pressure forces you to seize up, and you don’t perform as well as you should.

That’s the downside of skills assessments. They favor people who perform well on tests rather than giving a full look at a person’s abilities on a day-to-day basis. Unfortunately, it’s on you to overcome this challenge. Do what you can to prepare mentally for the assessment.

Use Time Effectively

Many skill assessments come with time limits. Managing this limitation is part of the challenge of the test. Where possible, complete simple questions first and then attack the ones that will take more time. Also, in general, keep an eye on the clock. You don’t want to miss some easy points by losing track.

Check Over Your Work, When Possible

If it’s possible, given the testing structure, review the answers you delivered. When you’re stressed, and in a hurry, you’re liable to make mistakes. That’s natural. If you get a chance to take a breath and double-check, you can often save yourself a few points you would have otherwise lost.

Scoring well on a skill assessment gets easier when you’re the perfect match for the job. A top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can pair you with ideal opportunities for your abilities and background.

Contact SmartTalent today to push your career forward.