Getting a Graduate Job at an Australian Top 4 Bank – Psychometric Testing

Bank LogosThis Post is part of the Australian Big 4 Bank Graduate Job Guide series.

Psychometric testing is heavily emphasised by all the Big 4 Banks. Each of them will make you take three Psychometric tests: Numerical, Comprehension, Abstract Reasoning. Again about 50% of people are culled at this stage, so after this stage about 25% of original applicants are left.

Numerical – involves interpreting numbers, charts and graphs quickly and performing basic calculations (you are able to use a calculator usually) to demonstrate your “natural” ability in maths and with numbers generally. The questions aren’t hard, but require you to move quickly as usually you need to answer about 40 questions in 15-20 minutes, all of which require you to identify the correct data, interpret it and calculate an answer. The answer format has been multiple choice in every one of these tests I have ever taken.

Comprehension – involves you reading paragraphs of text and then answering questions about those bodies of text. Usually you will get approximately 10 bodies of text and 4-5 questions on each text. These tests are usually structured to test whether you can interpret the logic in a body of text. An example is:

Text: Volcanos can cause massive damage to surrounding areas when they erupt. This damage can reach billions of dollars depending on the developments in the area. Melbourne is not near an active volcano.

Statement: Melbourne has avoided billions of dollars in damage by not being near an active volcano.

Question: Is the statement above True, False or Indeterminable based on the information provided by the text? (in multiple choice format)

The answer to the above is Indeterminable because we haven’t got any information on whether Melbourne has or has not avoided billions of dollars in damage. The question itself is not that difficult, but you will need to move quickly in order to ace the test.

Abstract Reasoning – involves looking at a sequence of pictures that demonstrate a pattern, and then identifying which of four options is the next logical picture in the sequence. This test usually will be 40-50 different pattern questions in 20 minutes.

With all these tests, you can gain experience to improve your skills in these areas. Google “psychometric testing” and there are a lot of free psychometric testing websites available. You can definitely boost your skills in these tests, especially abstract reasoning, by practicing.

The tests use a scoring matrix that measures both accuracy and speed. As such you should aim to be decisive and move as quickly as you can through the tests while maintaining as much accuracy as possible.