Whether you’re taking a Thomas assessment as part of a job application or for development, we can help you prepare with our guide to taking a Thomas assessment.
Have you been sent a Thomas Assessment?
We understand that taking assessments can be a daunting experience, but by having advanced understanding of what you are being measured on, how to do the assessment and what to expect from the results, it will give you the greatest chance of putting in your best performance.
Which assessment have you been sent?
Personal Profile Analysis
Personal Profile Analysis (PPA) is a behavioural profile that provides a non-critical behavioural analysis of a person, designed to emphasise his or her strengths.
When completing a PPA there are no right or wrong answers and you cannot pass or fail. Your response will highlight specific strengths and provide meaningful information to help you meet the demands of your environment, be it in the workplace, classroom or in sporting pursuits. The profile must be completed in isolation and without interruption. You should aim to take no more than 8 minutes to complete it. Be certain that you complete the Personal Profile Analysis thinking of yourself in your current situation; if you are not currently in a role, then think of yourself in your last environment. If necessary, think of yourself at home. You are presented with sets of four words. Choose one word or phrase that MOST describes how you actually operate in your working situation and one word or phrase that LEAST describes how you actually operate in your current situation. Your first response is usually the most accurate. Based on the answers that you select, the PPA generates a report.
General Intelligence Assessment
General Intelligence Assessment (GIA) is an aptitude and ability test that measures fluid intelligence and development potential.
This is a timed test that is administered through the Thomas website. It comprises 5 individual sets of questions that are designed to measure fluid intelligence and so give an indication of your likely response to training and ability to hit the ground running. GIA consists of a series of tests including reasoning, perceptual speed, number speed and accuracy, spatial visualisation and word meaning; measuring a combination of speed and accuracy. In order to provide full information on GIA, there is a pre-test booklet available here. This booklet contains examples of the items contained in the test and gives an opportunity to practise. We strongly recommend candidates to read this booklet before completing the assessment.
High Potential Trait Indicator
The High Potential Trait Indicator (HPTI) explores a person’s personality traits and provides an insight into how suited they may be for a given job role or position.
HPTI is a self-report questionnaire and will ask you to indicate your level of agreement with a particular statement from 1-7 (1 = Disagree Completely to 7 = Agree Completely). Your responses will highlight specific strengths in relation to a particular role and will provide meaningful information to help you to develop. You should take the assessment in isolation and without interruption. HPTI should take 8 - 10 minutes to complete. Remember that there are no right or wrong answers; too much or too little of a personality trait will have advantages as well as disadvantages, so try to choose the answers that are most true to your personality.
Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire
Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) looks at a person’s capacity to understand and control their emotions and recognise and manage those of others.
The questionnaire comprises 153 questions. For each question there are seven possible responses, ranging from 1 = Disagree Strongly to 7 = Agree Strongly. It should take 20 minutes to complete.
Thomas TEIQue Short Form provides a snapshot of overall levels of emotional intelligence. The questionnaire comprises 30 questions. For each question there are seven possible responses, ranging from 1 = Disagree strongly to 7 = Agree strongly. It should take approximately 5 minutes to complete. In line with trait emotional intelligence theory, there are no right or wrong answers, no bad scores, but simply facets of emotion that may or may not be relevant to your current situation. You must work quickly and intuitively and avoid thinking too long about the exact meaning of the statements.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is psychometrics?
This could get long and complicated. Put simply, psychometrics is the field of study concerning the theory behind psychological measurement. Psychometrics involves research into the measurement of skills and knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits. The theory of psychometrics is the foundation of assessment instruments, such as the Thomas set of assessment tools.
What are psychometric tests?
Psychometric tests provide an indepth insight of what goes on under the exterior. They compare one individual’s performance with others, or show what the relatively strong and weak areas are within an individual. True psychometric tests look at three basic areas:
- Abilities: a person’s capacity to work with numbers, words, diagrams and systems
- Attainment: what a person actually knows about an area
- Personality: how a person is likely to act. This covers a huge range of aspects from someone’s motivations and values, to how they characteristically react to authority and their honesty or integrity
Mix and match these and you get dedicated tests of areas like emotional intelligence, trainability, leadership, customer service orientation and how people think – areas that are directly related to particular careers. Assess lots of people in your company and you can get an organisational profile: how well your teams work; what particular skills you lack; who’s going to fit in.
What are psychometric tests used for?
Tests are used across business, education and sport to tackle a whole array of people decisions. Commonly, psychometric tests are used to recruit new staff, identify people with the potential to be developed, counsel people who are under-performing, put teams together, provide career advice, coach people, identify stress factors in an organisation, decide on the best organisational or team structure and create incentive programmes that really motivate. Any decisions about people individually or people in groups can benefit from the use of a psychometric test.
Do psychometric tests only test IQ?
We often think that testing looks at what you know; that a test is something you pass or fail. Yet you know that your knowledge is only part of what you bring to life - at school, work or home. Given how quickly the world changes, it might seem better to find out what and how easily someone can learn in the future rather than what they know now. What are often known as 'softer' factors are increasingly seen as important in success, for instance: how well you understand and get on with people, your ability to lead, how far you follow rules or come up with your own unique solutions and your ability to cope with stress. Testing is as much about these as about being a 'know-it-all'.
What is a behavioural profile?
Personality and behaviour assessments can reveal an individual’s capabilities and how they are likely act.
This information can be used to identify what sort of job they will be good at, how likely they are to perform under pressure, how well they fit within a team and even what type of career would best suit them.
These types of assessment look at how people behave and answer questions such as:
- What motivates them?
- What are their strengths and limitations?
- What is their preferred communication style?
- How do they interact with their peers and teammates?
- What is their value to the organisation?
- Are they modifying their behaviour to adapt to their current situation?
- How do they behave under pressure?
- Are they showing any frustrations in their current situation?
- What management or coaching style will get the best out of them?
Behavioural profiling won't show you 'good' or 'bad' qualities in a person, it simply provides an understanding of how someone prefers to behave in their working environment and the characteristics they will display. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' answers.
Personality and behavioural assessments can be used to recruit, identify potential, develop, put teams together, for career development, to improve communication and get the best out of people through better management.
What is an aptitude test?
An aptitude assessment measures a person’s fluid intelligence – how quickly they can learn and retain new skills and procedures. Aptitude tests are an accurate and reliable predictor of a person’s development potential.
Aptitude testing offers an objective way of assessing a person’s abilities. Aptitude tests can provide the answers to question such as:
- Can this person think on their feet?
- Can they cope with the mental demands of a role?
- How able are they to thrive in a high change or dynamic environment?
- Could this person be a high flyer?
- Is this person a problem solver?
These assessments are designed to measure your potential rather than your knowledge. They commonly include verbal, numerical and reasoning tests.
For example, numerical tests are designed to measure how quickly and easily your mind can manipulate numbers - not how accurately you can do algebra or quadratic equations.
Why are psychometric tests used in business?
Psychometric assessments can be used to recruit new staff, identify potential, develop, put teams together and get the best out of people through better management. Research shows that interviews, references and application forms are very bad at predicting whether people will succeed. Interviews are particularly dangerous because they are influenced by people's prejudices, likes and dislikes. Using tests can never prevent mistakes like this, but they can make them less likely.
Why are psychometric tests used in education?
Psychometric assessments can be used with students, teachers and educational organisations to get the best out of people. Assessments can provide practical careers advice to students, helping to bridge the gap between education and work. Psychometrics help students to determine their strength and weaknesses, helping them to progress into positive destinations after school or college. Educational establishments also use psychometric tests to recruit, develop and manage their staff, including teacher and support staff. Assessments help to place the right people in the right roles, providing more clarity to their people decisions.
Why are psychometric tests used in sport?
Psychometric assessments are used in sporting environments to create advanced coaching and training programmes, manage athlete development, build coach and athlete relationships, improve team communication and raise organisational performance. Psychometrics can help sporting organisations to get the best out of their people; be it their coaches, athletes or support staff. Assessment tools can provide objective feedback on people potential within a team, club or organisation.
How should I best take a test?
You should take the test in a good environment where you can concentrate on it without disruptions. If you’re taking test at school or in offices, the test administrator should put you at ease and be happy to explain anything you’re not sure of. Check that the test looks good – it’s not a photocopy or a cheap print out. Ask questions about the test: what it’s for and how it’s being used in the process. If you’re taking the test on the internet, make sure you chose a place and time where you feel comfortable, you won’t be interrupted and you have the time to finish filling it in. Finally, all good test users are trained to give feedback to you on how you performed once the test has been interpreted. This should always happen because you have a right to understand the results and learn a bit more about yourself.
Will the test decide whether I get a job?
No, not on its own. Good tests are supplied only to people trained in their use and they know that tests should NEVER be used on their own to make a decision. Tests are used as part of a process, each part of which (interviews, references, work simulations) provide different parts of the jigsaw. Tests only measure specific aspects of people and are often used to challenge subjective feelings and people’s prejudices with more objective, scientific information on your human qualities.
Will the test tell me what job I should do in the future?
Not exactly! The test doesn’t give you a list of jobs you should do, instead it highlights your key behavioural strengths and preferences and allows you to gain a better understanding of what areas of work would be most suited to you. It gives you an insight into what sort of working environment your behaviours would fit in, helping you make more informed decisions when choosing your university options, moving into work or your next career move.
Who will see the results of my test?
Our tests are completely confidential, meaning that the only people who will have access to your test results will be those that administrated your assessment. This means that you don’t have to worry about other people seeing your test results, such as peers, teachers or teammates. You will also receive a copy of your results should you wish to see them. We recommend that all test users receive feedback from a trained test administrator once the assessment is completed. This allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your results and to discuss any issues you may have. You may need to request feedback as it is not obligatory for assessors to provide this.
Should I be nervous?
A little bit of adrenaline helps in a lot of activities including testing, but there’s no need to be worried. Strangely, research shows that a lot of people enjoy a well-run testing process because the feedback gives them more information about themselves. Tests are there to help you as well as the person administering the test.