Pearson owns the TalentLens platform, which provides a range of aptitude tests used by many different employers, such as those in the technology industry. These tests include DAT Next Generation and Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (BMCT-ll), Watson Glaser and SOSIE 2nd Generation. If you’re looking to get into the tech industry, you might be asked to take at least one of the Pearson tests as part of your application. Below, you’ll find more information on all the different tests.
What Is A Pearson Assessment?
Pearson assessments are used as part of the recruitment process in several industries, with a range of psychometric tests that can be used in the early stages of screening.
Originally known as Harcourt Assessments and established in 1921, Pearson Assessments is now a division of Pearson Education and focuses on acquiring, developing, publishing and maintaining quality assessment tools, under the names Pearson Vue and Pearson TalentLens.
Pearson produces a range of assessments that are used for recruitment in roles like psychology, health, business, education and technology, including bespoke tests designed for companies to assess specific skills and competencies.
Which Tech Employers Use Pearson Assessments?
Pearson TalentLens contains a suite of specially designed assessments that are used by a number of technology employers. The assessments are designed to test aptitudes, skills and personality in order to predict performance, and are used by some of the biggest tech companies and other companies with a strong tech focus in the world, including:
Pearson assessments are recognised as some of the most effective tests for use in senior role recruitment or for jobs where high levels of competency are needed.
How Pearson Tests Work
Each Pearson assessment has been created to measure a specific competency, and that means that each test will ask different types of questions and need to be answered in different ways.
The Watson-Glaser test is known as the industry standard measure of critical thinking, demonstrating to prospective employers that you can look at a situation and understand it from multiple perspectives to reach a logical conclusion.
Critical Thinking is considered a key 21st century skill, and this test presents job-specific scenarios that assess your abilities to draw inferences, recognise assumptions, make deductions and interpretations and evaluate arguments.
You will often find Watson Glaser assessments as part of the recruitment process for more senior roles and those in law firms. The Watson Glaser test is a 30 minute assessment so it is quick and simple.
RANRA (Rust Advanced Numerical Reasoning Appraisal)
The RANRA is designed to assess the ability of a candidate to "understand and apply mathematical information under pressure" according to Pearson, and this is a competency that is necessary for several tech jobs - especially executive or senior positions
The RANRA test uses numerical reasoning to test critical thinking, unlike other numerical reasoning assessments that are more like applied maths tests. This numerical reasoning assessment looks at skills around problem-solving and decision making, deduction and analysis.
There are two sections, Comparison of Quantities which compares data and Sufficiency of Information which gives specific information that needs a particular answer combination.
BCAT (Bar Course Aptitude Test)
The Bar Course Aptitude Test (BCAT) is part of the entry requirements for any barrister training, and is very similar in structure and question type to the Watson Glaser test. It is used by the BSB, who oversees the regulation of barristers.
Using the same methodology, the BCAT is a measure of critical thinking, allowing the BSB to judge whether someone has the competency to do well on a barrister course.
UKCAT (UK Clinical Aptitude Test)
Now known as the UCAT, this test from Pearson is used in partnership with many of the universities in the UK that offer medicine and/or dentistry courses. It is a really important part of the entry requirement for those who are looking to study in these fields.
This computer-based assessment is a combination of reasoning questions that are taken by about 30,000 students a year.
This is a serious assessment; 233 questions to be answered in 2 hours with sections on:
IRIS Situational Judgement
The IRIS Situational Judgement Test is a specific measure of job suitability that is scenario-based, with different potential actions that could be taken to solve a realistic work-related problem.
The IRIS Situational Judgement assessment is designed for different job roles, with separate tests aimed at those that are in customer service, graduates, junior management and sales.
IRIS tests are untimed, but usually take around 20-45 minutes and can be taken online, like many of the TalentLens suite.
NDIT (Numerical Data Interpretation Test)
This assessment used to be known as ATHENA, and it is structured much like a typical numerical reasoning test.
Presented with numerical data in the form of graphs and tables, you will need to quickly read, understand and analyse the information given in order to answer the questions, which have both multiple choice answers and free response answers.
Although this isn't a maths test, you will be expected to perform some basic mathematical operations to reach the correct answer, and you will need to answer 21 questions in just 30 minutes.
This assessment can be taken online, and draws from a huge bank of questions that are relevant to realistic numerical problems that might be encountered in the workplace.
The SOSIE assessment is a tool that is used to assess personality traits and values to predict both cultural fit and job performance.
It assesses personality traits like dominance, responsibility and sociability among others, while also considering interpersonal and personal values.
Set up as a questionnaire, there are 80 questions that need to be answered, and the multiple-choice format to the answers means that you will need to choose the best option that describes you.
RAVEN's Progressive Matrices
There are two different RAVEN's Progressive Matrices - Standard and Advanced. They are the same in terms of what they measure - which is cognitive ability - and the way that the questions are presented.
Each question is a matrix, where there is a missing element - and you need to find the correct answer out of a series of possibilities. The main difference between the Standard and the Advanced test is the number of matrices that have to be solved.
This non-verbal assessment is often described as a diagrammatic reasoning test, and with the RAVEN matrices, the questions get harder as you progress.
Designed to assess a candidate on their lateral thinking and problem solving, it is also a great predictor of your ability to learn new concepts and overall success in the role.
How To Pass Pearson Publisher Tests
Practice Pearson Tests
As Pearson tests are so different from other psychometric assessments, practicing the specific type of test that you are going to be facing will have the most benefit for you.
You can find practice Pearson tests in many places online, and when you know that you are facing a certain test you need to get familiar with the layout, the structure and the type of question that you are going to be asked.
Focus On Tests You Score Low In
Although not everyone will admit it, test-takers will have areas that they do struggle with - and this is where you should focus your practice.
While it might be tempting to answer the questions that you are more confident in, taking the time to practice the more difficult tests will only have a positive effect on your overall score.
If you are not wasting too much time struggling to answer the questions that you find hard, you will have more time available for the easier questions - and every second counts in timed assessments.
Use Exam Conditions
A big part of the difficulty that candidates face when sitting pre-employment assessments is the pressure that they can feel - time constraints, unfamiliar structures, and tough questions all combine to make it hard for you to perform at your best.
To make the most of your practice time, use exam conditions when you practice so that you are more familiar and more confident. Set a timer, make sure that you are not going to be disturbed, and switch off notifications before you start so that your practice is as realistic as possible.
Read Questions Carefully
In many Pearson assessments, extra time is allowed for reading the instructions - but this is not usually true of the questions themselves.
Before you rush to answer, make sure that you have read all the questions thoroughly and you know what is expected of you to choose the correct answer.
While none of the assessments will contain trick questions, they will not always be straightforward and simple, so by taking a few extra seconds to read the questions properly you will save yourself time in the long run.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Tests Does Pearson Own?
Pearson has been in business for a long time - more than 80 years - and has taken ownership of many different test types, from Pearson Clinical to Pearson Vue, and the more familiar Pearson TalentLens.
As part of their drive to create the best in assessment tools, Pearson has acquired and maintained some assessments that are seen as the industry standard - from the Watson Glaser, which is thought of as the best test of critical thinking skills, to the Bennett Mechanical Reasoning assessment which is the gold standard for assessing a candidate on their knowledge of mechanical principles.
There is such a wide range of 'off the shelf' assessment options, but businesses can work with Pearson to create bespoke tests that are designed to find the perfect employees or assess current employees for promotions and extra training. This makes Pearson a popular choice for tech companies - and other industries - who are looking for the very best in staff.
How Long Do Pearson Assessments Take?
If you are to face a Pearson assessment in the application process, you will be informed of what to expect, how to access the test, and how long it will take.
Typically a Pearson test will take about 30 minutes, but some are as long as two hours.
Are Pearson Assessments Timed?
Pearson assessments can be untimed, especially those that are testing a candidate on their personality traits or judgement - but other, timed tests can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.
Are Pearson's Tests Difficult?
As with many psychometric tests, the majority of the tests in the Pearson catalogue are not hard - but they become more difficult with the added pressure of a time limit and exam conditions.
Some, like the Watson Glaser, are designed to be more challenging because of the type of recruitment they are used in - looking for senior management or lawyers, for example.
The best way to ensure that you perform well in Pearson assessments is to practice.