What Is An ACER Assessment?
An ACER assessment is one devised and published for use by the Australian Council for Educational Research.
ACER tests are used by schools and higher education providers along with government organisations, employers, and those in vocational professions such as medical or police. The tests are used by institutions and organisations in over 70 countries.
Some employer professions also use ACER tests, for example, those in financial services, technology, and public sector organisations.
There is a range of ACER tests available, each assessing a different ability or skill. Bespoke tests are also available for organisations that require specific assessment tools.
Which Tech Employers Use ACER Assessments?
ACER assessments are used by many employers who work within the technology space. Working alongside the OECD, ACER is developing new innovative assessments to assess digital learning. The 'Learning in a Digital World' review is a recent initiative assessing the digital skills of individuals.
How Acer Tests Work
There are different types of ACER assessments available; each test suite comprises several tests. This provides employers and academic institutions with a rounded overview of a candidate's skills and abilities as relevant to assessment criteria.
The ACER Core Skills Profile For Adults
Used by many employers across Australia, the ACER core skills profile test consists of five test elements.
Each test assesses a different ability or skill:
- Abstract Reasoning
- Mechanical Reasoning
Some of the tests are adaptive, meaning that the questions change according to how well a candidate is doing. The first ten questions are used to determine your level at the ability being assessed. The mark attained on these questions then determines the level of the following 15 questions in the test.
Whilst all of the tests are presented as separate elements, all the tests are taken in the same sitting.
The reading comprehension test looks at a candidate's ability to understand passages of information. Then to answer questions based on what they have just read. The test is adaptive, with 25 questions in total, the first ten questions assessing whether the candidate is at a low, intermediate, or advanced level.
The remaining 15 questions are set at the given level identified.
This test assesses a candidate's understanding of basic maths principles and calculations.
Skills assessed in this test focus on four areas:
- Algebra and numbers
- Geometry and measurement
- Probability and statistics
Candidates are presented with text-based or numerical data and asked to perform basic calculations. There are 25 questions in this test and the test is adaptive.
The writing exam assesses a candidate's ability to write information according to the person (audience) receiving the information. Candidates are given a topic to write on and guidance on whom they are writing to.
The two questions set involve writing a note to their neighbour and writing a letter to the council.
Basic writing skills are assessed in the test, including grammar, correct spelling, and how candidates go about constructing sentences. The ability to tailor the piece of writing according to the audience and quality of ideas is also important.
Results from both questions give a rounded view of the candidate's writing skills.
Abstract reasoning tests assess a candidate's non-verbal ability. Information is presented as a series of patterns or shapes.
Candidates need to determine the relationship or sequence between these data. Then to answer questions on what would follow next based on the relationship rule or to pick out the error in series.
Mechanical Reasoning Test
The mechanical reasoning test assesses a candidate's understanding and practical application of mechanical principles such as motion, volumes, and force. The test looks at the candidate's awareness of how these concepts work in practice and relationships, such as the cause and effect on objects.
The ACER Vocational Selection Test
Five tests make up the ACER vocational test:
- Verbal reasoning
- Abstract reasoning
- Quantitative reasoning
- With the two optional tests:
- Mechanical reasoning
- Interpersonal understanding
The three most commonly used tests are the verbal, abstract, and quantitative reasoning tests.
ACER Verbal Reasoning Test
The verbal reasoning test consists of several questions that assess candidates' all round verbal reasoning ability.
The sorts of questions asked in the verbal reasoning test focus on the following:
- Word association - whether a candidate can identify links between words
- A candidates understanding of the meaning of words
- Whether a candidate can read and understand a passage of information then answer questions that prove or disprove the meaning of the information provided
ACER Abstract Reasoning
As with the CSPA test, the ACER vocational selection abstract reasoning test assesses a candidate's ability to determine the relationship between shapes and patterns. Then, to answer questions on the relationship or rule, they have identified.
This test is a multiple-choice test, where candidates select the answer they believe to be the correct answer based on the multiple-choice answers given.
ACER Quantitative Reasoning
The quantitative reasoning test assesses a candidate's numerical ability.
Candidates are presented with numerical quantitative information. To answer the questions, candidates need to use their knowledge of and apply basic maths principles and concepts learned in school to perform basic calculations and answer the questions.
The mechanical reasoning and interpersonal understanding tests are the two optional tests that form part of the ACER vocational selection tests.
The mechanical reasoning test looks at a candidate's ability to understand the way mechanical systems and appliances and tools work and interconnect.
This test is different from the ability tests in that the interpersonal understanding test assesses a candidate's behaviours and motivations when it comes to the way they behave at work.
Candidates are presented with various work-based situations and asked to select in order of preference the answers that best represent how they prefer to work in the given situation.
How To Pass Acer Publisher Tests
ACER tests are comprehensive tests that assess a candidate's ability and skills. Before taking an ACER test, there are many things that you can do to ensure you perform at your best on each of the tests.
Practice Under Exam Conditions
When practicing tests, make sure you simulate the conditions you will be facing in the test. This could be timing yourself during the test to simulate the time pressure faced in the test itself or performing calculations without equipment such as a calculator.
Ensuring you practice under exam conditions means you become familiar with the pressures you will face in the actual test and become aware of how you react under this pressure. Having this awareness means you can adjust the way you approach the tests or use strategies to help minimize any worries that you may have when sitting the test.
Practice Different Test Types
It is important to practice all the different tests that you will be sitting on. This is so you become familiar with the format and the style of questioning.
Employer's tests vary slightly from one employer to another, so ensure that you have practiced each test and are comfortable with what each test is assessing, what equipment you can use, and the time allocations of the test.
Skip Or Pass
When completing ability tests, it is essential to work quickly but accurately. If you aren't sure of the answer, select your best-educated guess and then move on.
Marks can only be given for answers answered correctly, so try and ensure that you remain calm and complete as many questions as you can.
Build your confidence before taking the test by refreshing your memory on basic maths concepts and how to perform calculations. Look at the information presented as visual data in newspapers and articles and see if you can determine the key points the image is conveying.
By refamiliarising yourself with the concepts learned at school along with practicing tests, you can build your confidence and go into the test in a positive and confident frame of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Do Acer Assessments Take?
Each ACER test varies in duration. Typically each of the test components lasts around 20 minutes each. All the component tests are taken in the one sitting meaning.
It is worthwhile clarifying the test timings, so you are aware before taking the test.
How Is The ACER Test Scored?
The tests are scored via a marking system with marks given for correct answers. The scores are then ranked and benchmarked against other candidates who have taken the test.
How Do I Prepare For The ACER Exam?
There are various ways you can prepare for the ACER exam.
- Practice the tests beforehand, simulating test conditions
- Think about the ability areas that you feel are your weaker areas. Make sure you read around the subject and refresh your memory of any principles or concepts you will need to use in the tests
- Get a good night's sleep the night before the test, so you are refreshed and have a clear head
- Ensure you have eaten before taking the test
- Stay well hydrated before the test
Are ACER Tests Difficult?
ACER tests are comprehensive tests designed to assess a candidate's abilities and skills concerning roles applied for.
Some of the tests are adaptive, so the difficulty of questions asked will be relevant to the level of ability of the candidate. If, as a candidate, you practice the tests and familiarise yourself with the concepts and principles being assessed, you will be able to perform at your best in the ACER tests.