Prepare for an Online Test

Have you been invited to complete an assessment? Are you curious about taking a test? We have several different types of ability tests for you to check out.

We have collected the most frequently asked questions about online assessment and have asked our experts to answer them for you. Below you will find helpful tips and answers.

Check out a selection of our tests

No. 1

Application Tips

David Barrett, CCO, Aon's Assessment Solutions (formerly cut-e), offers tips on how to get through a company's screening and selection process and how to maximize your chances of getting hired. He also highly recommends practicing assessments.

No. 2

Key Facts About Online Assessment

Below you can find more information about online assessments, how they are developed, the different types of tests and more.

What is online assessment?

Online assessment is a process by which specific abilities or characteristics are evaluated via an online test. Such assessments are most frequently used for talent selection, to determine how suitable a candidate is for a specific job.

How is an online assessment developed? 

Online assessments consist of several tests or questionnaires to be completed by the candidate. Depending on the position you have applied for, various abilities and characteristics are evaluated. For example, an online assessment could consist of memory and concentration tests, as well as for language skill tests. They could also include a personality questionnaire. Often times you can choose the order in which you do the tests. It is usually not necessary to complete all the tests in one sitting, but rather you can take breaks between the tests.

How are the individual tests structured?

The tests developed by Aon are always structured in the same way. To begin, you will see a short introduction with descriptions of the test exercises. This is followed by an interactive sequence in which the test is explained in greater detail and the required actions are demonstrated. Usually, specific actions need to be performed in order to move on to the next part of the instructions. To ensure that you have understood the exercise properly, you are required to complete a few example exercises.

There is no time limit for these initial explanatory stages of the tests, which means you can take your time working through the example exercises and look over your work when you have finished.

After the examples, a final page appears, in which the most important points regarding the test are summarized. When you begin the actual test, you often have a set time limit. Once the time is up, the test automatically ends. As a rule, personality questionnaires are not subject to a time limit.

What types of tests are there?

There are several different types of tests. Performance tests measure abilities, such as concentration, logical conclusions or text comprehension. Personality questionnaires evaluate qualities, such as willingness to cooperate, ambition and sensitivity. Specific professional knowledge is determined with the help of knowledge tests.

What is not tested?

It is difficult to determine how willing you are to help, or how friendly you are in an online assessment. These requirements are, therefore, mostly determined in interviews, role-playing exercises or group discussions.

Why is online assessment being used more and more frequently?

Online assessment has clear benefits when compared to traditional assessments. Firstly, no administrators are needed to conduct an online assessment. This means 'gut feeling' is not a factor while taking the test or during the scoring, so online assessments are very objective. Secondly, online assessment can predict, with a relatively high degree of accuracy, how suitable a candidate is for a specific position.

Additional practical advantages

  • An applicant can complete an online assessment at any time, from anywhere, e.g. from their home. This saves travelling costs and allows the test to be completed in the applicant’s own familiar, stress-free environment.
  • The automated evaluation of results saves time and money.
  • From a company’s point of view, the relatively limited amount of time required is one of the main benefits, as it enables the inclusion of a large number of candidates in the pre-selection process.

No. 3

Online Assessment FAQs

What kind of device do I need, how do I tackle nerves, and how do I best prepare for an online assessment? We cover these and much more in this section.

What type of computer do I need?

Basically, any computer with internet access and a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox). It is best to use a newer browser version because older versions may no longer be supported. Some tests are also available for smartphones and tablets.

Do I need any additional materials?

Basically, you don’t need anything except a computer with a browser and internet access. Other materials are generally not required. However, for some tests it is useful to have a calculator or a pen and paper. For example, some of the exercises are made up of various steps and you might find it beneficial to jot down your thoughts. If any kind of aid is required or could be helpful, you will be informed during the test's introduction.

Is specific prior knowledge required?

You don’t need any special prior knowledge. However, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with online tests before tackling the online assessment.

How can I practice and where?

You can practice on our website. Here you have the opportunity to do various online tests and familiarize yourself with the functions.

What can I do to manage nervousness?

First, remind yourself that nervousness is absolutely normal. A certain amount of pre-test nervousness can have a very positive effect: it channels your attention and mobilizes your energy. You will probably feel better once you know what to expect. You can try various tests on our website.

I have a disability. What should I do?

Participation in an online assessment can be challenging for people with disabilities. For people who have visual or movement disorders, or any other disability, special arrangements must be made to ensure the accurate, fair assessment of all candidates. In some cases, challanges can be overcome with technical aids or the right settings. For example, people with visual disabilities can use a screen magnifier.

If you are uncertain if you can participate in an online assessment, the best approach is to contact the company to whom you applied. Under EU law, people with disabilities have a right to protection and facilitation by the employer. This also applies to the application process. Different countries and regions have similar rulings.

No. 4

What Do I Have to Know When Taking the Online Assessment?

Is there a best time to do an online assessment, how long will it take, what do I do if I am interrupted? These questions and many more are answered here for you.

When should I take the test?

A great benefit of online assessments is that you can do them whenever you want to. If you’re a night person, there is no reason why you shouldn’t do the test at night. It’s just important that you feel well and alert – don’t take the test, for example, when you come home from work or school and feel tired or after participating in a strenuous sport.

What else should I keep in mind?

Ensure there are no interruptions or distractions while you are working on the tests. Once you start the actual test, you can’t interrupt it and continue later. For this reason, it is important to ensure you have a quiet atmosphere and sufficient time to work through the test from beginning to end. Be sure to turn off your phone, and inform your family or roommates that you can't be disturbed until you finish the test.

How long does the online assessment take?

There is no standard answer to this question because it depends on the requirements of the company and the position you applied for. In most cases, there will be no more than five tests to complete. The invitation to participate in the online assessment usually includes information regarding the amount of time you'll need to complete it.

Can I take breaks?

Once you start a test, you cannot interrupt it. In most cases, the individual tests last less than fifteen minutes. Please ensure that you are not disturbed during this time.

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. The amount of time you need to complete all the tests is not monitored and has no effect on the results. However, it is important to check the deadline given in your invitation email or letter.

What do I do if a test is suddenly blocked?

In rare cases, technical problems can lead to the test suddenly being blocked, for example, if the browser crashes while you are working on the test. This is not a catastrophe. Simply contact the company who invited you to do the online assessment so that they can unblock the test for you.

How can you tell if I really did the online assessment myself?

First, you should be aware that it is illegal to allow somebody else to do the tests for you. If this should come to light, you would be immediately excluded from the selection process.

Often, retests are performed. This means that if you are invited to an interview after the online assessment, you will be expected to complete a repeat module from the online assessment. If you cheated in the online assessment, it will come to light during the retest, at the very latest. To summarize: it isn’t worth cheating!

How much time do I have for an online assessment?

Generally, you have several days to complete all the tests, and you can do the tests on different days. However, it is important that you check the deadline given in your invitation email or letter.

Individual tests are generally subject to a time limit. The exception is personality questionnaires that, as a rule, don’t have a time limit. This is not done to give us an indication of how you deal with stress situations, but rather for methodical reasons. If there was no time limit, all applicants would get all answers right and, therefore, all results would be the same, making the test a waste of time. It is normal for candidates to be unable to answer all the questions in the allotted time.

How fast do I have to work to pass the online assessment?

Try to answer the questions quickly but carefully. However, to avoid mistakes, you shouldn't try to work faster than you did at school or during your studies, as incorrect answers generally have a negative effect on the final results.

No. 5

Finished! What Happens After the Online Assessment?

Well done, you have completed all the tasks. But what happens next, how are the results evaluated and what happens to your data? These and more issues are covered below.

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 soon to give you feedback regarding the tests and to inform you about next steps.

How is the online assessment evaluated?

In the case of performance tests, points are usually added for each correct answer and deducted for every incorrect answer. At the end of the test, the points are calculated to give the final result.

In the case of personality questionnaires, there are no right or wrong answers. Your own descriptions of yourself, with regard to specific dimensions of your personality, are captured. 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?

Each of the tests has a feedback report that gives an explanation of the results. Ideally, the company you have applied to will make this report available to you.

What happens to my data?

Most important: your data remains your data. Any company you apply to is not allowed – without your explicit agreement – to use your data for any other reason other than the application procedure.

Different companies handle data differently. You should get information about how your data will be handled when you receive the invitation to the online assessment. Alternatively, you can ask the company about their data policy and what will happen to your data.

Normally the test results, as well as some personal data, such as name and email address, will be saved in a database for at least the duration of the application process. This database is usually on secured servers and access is limited to a few people within the company. Some companies delete the data directly after the application process is completed; some keep it for a specified time. Aon's Assessment Solutions (formerly cut-e) recommends companies retain the test results and personal data for a time but then to delete them. As a rule, data in our systems is deleted after 12 months. In addition, we work with an external professional data protection expert who is continuously checking and monitoring our databases and servers for data protection issues.

You can, of course, at any time, ask the company in question to delete your data.

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