All you need to know about taking part in Online Assessments
Welcome to the cut-e free Online Assessments information and practice site for people invited to take part in Online Assessments
Have you been invited to an assessment? Are you curious to know what it is like to do a test? Currently we have three different types of ability tests for you to try out.
Especially when it is your first time - whether you are invited to take an online test or a full assessment centre - you are sure to have questions! We have collected the most frequently asked questions all around online assessment and have asked our experts to answer them for you. Below you will find a range of helpful tips and answers.
Tips for your application
David Barrett, COO, cut-e Group, offers tips on how to get through a company's screening and selection process and how to maximise your chances of getting hired. He also highly recommends to practice online assessments.
5 questions to prepare for online assessments
In addition to these 5 key questions, check out the Frequently Asked Questions below to understand how the tests work and what you can do to be best prepared to take online tests and questionnaires.
Key facts about Online Assessment
Below we have collected some information about what exactly is Online Assessment, how is it developed, what types of tests there are and much more.
What is Online Assessment?
Online assessment is a procedure by which specific abilities or characteristics can be evaluated via the Internet. Such assessments are most frequently used in the area of personnel selection, in order 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 which you have applied for, various abilities and characteristics are determined. For example, an Online Assessment could consist of tests for memory and concentration as well as for language skills and could also include a personality questionnaire. It is often possible for you to 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 cut-e are always structured according to the same scheme. To begin with, 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 to you in greater detail and the actions are demonstrated. Usually, specific actions need to be performed in order to be able 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 exemplary exercises.
In these initial explanatory stages of the tests, there is no time limit, which means you can take your time working through the exemplary 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 summarised. When you begin with 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 tests that can be categorised as follows: If the aim of a test is to determine abilities such as concentration, logical conclusions or text comprehension, we refer to them as performance tests. Qualities such as willingness to cooperate, ambition or sensitivity are determined with the aid of personality questionnaires; specific professional knowledge is determined with the help of knowledge tests.
What is not tested?
In an Online Assessment, it is difficult to determine how willing you are to help or how friendly you are. These requirements are therefore mostly determined in interviews, role-plays or group discussions.
Why is Online Assessment being used more and more frequently?
Online Assessment has some very clear benefits in comparison to traditional assessments: Firstly, no supervisors or invigilators are needed for Online Assessment. This means that ‘gut feeling’ plays no role, neither while taking the test nor during the assessment so Online Assessments are very objective. Secondly, Online Assessment can also predict, with a relatively high degree of accuracy, how suitable a candidate is for a specific position.
Over and above this, there are also some very practical advantages:
- An applicant can complete the Online Assessment at anytime from anywhere e.g. from their home. This saves travelling costs, and it also has the advantage that the test can be performed in the applicant’s own familiar, stress-free environment.
- The automated evaluation of results saves both time and money.
- From a company’s point of view, the relatively limited amount of time required is one of the main attractions, as it enables the inclusion of a large number of candidates in the pre-selection process.
FAQs about Online Assessment
What sort of hardware do I need, how do I tackle nerves, and how do I best prepare for an Online Assessment? This and much more is covered in this section.
What type of computer do I need?
Basically, any computer can be used. You simply need Internet access and a browser (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox). It is best to use one of the newer browser versions because the very old versions are no longer supported. You need FlashPlayer for doing the actual test – this software is often required for gaming sites.
For optimal depiction of the Online Assessment, we recommend that you set your screen to a resolution of at least 1024 x 768 Pixel.
Do I need any aids?
Basically, you don’t need anything except a computer with a browser and Internet access. Other aids are generally not required. However, for some of the tests it is useful to have a calculator or perhaps pen and paper at hand. Some of the exercises, for example, are made up of various steps, the results of which you might want to jot down so as to make it easier to find the solution in the end. If any kind of aid is required or could be helpful, you will be informed accordingly in the introduction to the test.
Is specific prior knowledge required?
You don’t need any special prior knowledge. However, it is a good idea to familiarise yourself with online tests before tackling the Online Assessment.
How can I practise and where?
You can practise on our website: http:\\getstarted.cut-e.com where you have the opportunity to do various typical online tests and familiarise yourself with the use of the functions.
What can I do to counter nervousness?
Getting nervous doesn’t automatically make you a nervous person. Being nervous is related to a situation – in this case, taking an Online Assessment. You are expected to perform, but the performance could be rated bad. Actors describe the nervousness that suddenly plagues them before a performance as “stage fright”. And most of them don’t really want to get rid of it completely because nervousness can have a very positive effect on their performance. First of all, remind yourself that nervousness is absolutely normal. A certain amount of pre-test nervousness has a very positive effect: It channels your attention and mobilises your energy. You will probably feel a little better when you know what to expect. You can try various tests on our website: http:\\getstarted.cut-e.com
I have a disability. What should I do?
Participation in Online Assessment can be very challenging for people with disabilities. For people who have visual or movement disorders, or any other disability, special arrangements must definitely be made to ensure an accurate, fair assessment of all candidates. In some cases, disadvantages can be overcome with technical aids or the right settings. For example, people with visual disabilities can use a screen magnifier. When activated, this device enlarges the area upon which the mouse is directed.
If you are uncertain whether you can participate in an Online Assessment, the best approach is to contact the company to whom you have applied. Certainly 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.
What do I have to know or do 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 do the test?
A great advantage 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 do the test when you e.g. come home from work or school and feel tired or after doing strenuous sport.
What else should I keep in mind?
Ensure that there are no interruptions or distractions while you are working on the tests. Once you have started the actual test, you can’t interrupt it and continue later – for this reason it is important that you ensure that you have both a quiet atmosphere and sufficient time to work through the test from beginning to end. Be sure to turn off your telephone and your mobile, and inform your family or flatmates that you do not wish to be disturbed until you have finished the test.
How long does the Online Assessment take?
There is no standard answer to this question because it is influenced by the requirements of the company and the position applied for. In most cases, there will be no more than 5 tests to do. The invitation to participate in the Online Assessment usually includes information regarding the amount of time you need to set aside for it.
Can I take breaks?
Once you have started a test, you cannot interrupt it. In most cases, the individual tests last no more 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 that you 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. But 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 determine that I really do the Online Assessment myself?
First of all, 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 excluded from the selection process without delay.
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 summarise: it really 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 various tests on different days. However, it is important that you check the deadline given in your invitation email or letter.
The 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 quite normal that candidates are unable to answer all the questions in the time allowed.
How fast do I have to work in order to pass the Online Assessment?
Try to answer the questions quickly but carefully. However, in order to avoid oversights, you should not try to work faster than you did at school or during your studies. As incorrect answers generally affect the overall results negatively any oversights can affect the final result to your detriment.
Finished! What happens after the Online Assessment and where does it go from here?
Well done, you have completed all the tasks. But what happens next, and 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 shortly to give you feedback regarding the tests and to inform you about further proceedings. If everything went well, you will possibly be invited to an interview.
How is the Online Assessment evaluated?
In the case of performance tests, we usually allocate points for each correct answer and deduct points 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, your own descriptions of yourself, with regard to specific dimensions of your personality, are captured – there are no right or wrong answers. 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 exact and comprehensible explanations 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 than for the application procedure.
Different companies handle data differently. You should really get some information about how your data will be handled when you get the invitation to the online assessment. Alternatively, you can always as the company in question about their data policy and what is going to 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 after. cut-e recommends companies to 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.