Tips to Ace a Psychometric Personality Test

by Avik Nigam

I am running 1 on 1 tutoring sessions for this test. Please contact me.

Bond University's Medical School introduced a Psychometric Personality Test for the 2018 onwards intake of medical students. Successful applicants with a competitive ATAR or GPA were invited to sit a Psychometric Personality Test. Note that this is NOT the University Clinical Aptitude Test run by UCAT ANZ Consortium.

This was conducted online by another independent organisation called Test Grid. The results were then forwarded onto Bond University to make a decision and invite prospective students to the interview based on 'desirable criteria' determined by the Medical School.

Personality tests aim to reveal your character, opinions, reactions to various scenarios, leadership ability and personal values.

This test in particular had a 2 hour time limit. However the same tips below apply to untimed psychometric tests.

Things to note for Psychometric Personality Assessments:

  • There is no right or wrong answer however there are some desirable qualities they are after.
  • Your mood/how you are feeling heavily impacts your approach to answering the question (nervous breakdowns, feeling angry, distraught or distracted can really cloud your judgement). So make sure to have a clear mind prior to starting the examination.

What is Personality?

We first have to understand what is 'personality' to have a better idea of what the recruiting institution wants from you. Personality simply refers to how we respond to different situations or how we behave in certain scenarios.

It has been found through past psychometric assessments that the employee's personality affects their outcome in a job. For example, if you are a charismatic person, you are more likely to get along easily with new people (patients, customers, other staff, shareholders), compared with those who are introverted or shy.

Similarly, if you prefer working with numbers, have a meticulous, attentive to detail approach, you are much more suited for engineering, accounting jobs compared to someone who embraces their creative and imaginative side. Not to say you cannot have both, but that's the aim of this test; to really determine what kind of person you are.

As you probably can tell, there is no right or wrong way, your personality has been shaped over your lifetime and there's nothing wrong with that. It is also very hard to change this in a short amount of time as your personality is built upon life experiences over your life. This leads people to give advice to 'be yourself' because this test just gets a good measure of your 'suitability' for that particular role.

However, there are particular kinds of attributes medical schools expect from medical students - and that's what we will discuss below. If you can start to practice and change the way you approach and deal with situations you will have a better edge over your competition in this test. I teach my students some of the attributes Bond University expects from us and perhaps this information can help you as well.

Desirable Criteria

Bond University in particular looks for the following outcomes in candidates for the interview. The personality test filters through the pool of applicants and this gives us a good understanding of what they are looking for.

  • Knowledge and critical thinking
  • Leadership
  • Initiative and teamwork
  • Communication skills
  • Responsibility
  • Ethical decision-making skills
  • Motivation
  • Non-verbal reasoning

While we can't really change our personality, we can definitely try and answer accordingly based on these criteria. Approach the questions and answer accordingly knowing these are the areas the medical school is looking for in potential candidates.

For example, you will be given scenarios where you will be asked what actions will you employ in a workplace setting where a team member cannot deliver the work on time. You should therefore be supportive and show initiative and try to demonstrate teamwork skills rather than be condescending and be rude to the colleague.

The test gets harder and there will be times where you will be asked to make a judgement call. For example, would you be the scientist working in a laboratory or the leader giving public speeches highlighting the breakthroughs? This was a tough question, while there is nothing wrong with either option, as a future medical student, you have to weigh up the domains this question relates to and answer accordingly. We go through the answer in my tutoring session and why it is such an important question (one of many) to ace and stand out from your cohort.

Questions relating to Emotional Intelligence (EI) in a situation once again require judgement to be made. You will be given options ranging from Not Likely (1) to Extremely Likely (5) with Neutral being (3).

My advice would be to answer with extremes (1 or 5) on each question only if you are confident with your answer. Picking (2) and (4) are much safer options depending on how confident you feel. Choosing neutral (3) is okay if you are not sure. So essentially, try and pick a side and this is variable depending on your empathy skills.

Tips for the Psychometric Personality Test

  • DON'T second guess yourself, stick with your initial answer. This is often a big problem in questions which require you to guess how the person in a photo is feeling.
  • On the day of the test try not be stressed. It is important to answer with a calm mindset. I did my test in a room with no distractions.
  • Even if the test is untimed, try not to get distracted. Do not use your phone (Facebook, Instagram or Snapchat) during the test, infact leave your phone in another room turned off or silent.
  • Approach it with normal testing conditions like you would attempt any other exam at school or college.
  • During the test you may notice some questions are repeated with different wording, they are testing for consistency! Be honest with every answer.
  • Stay hydrated and make sure to eat before the test - you answer differently when you are hungry!

Further Preparation / Tutoring

I run both a 1 on 1 individual tutoring service and a group tutoring service for students who want to pass the Bond University Psychometric Personality Test to gain a spot for an interview. Comprehensive training for both the 16 Personality Factor Test and the The Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test (MSCEIT) are offered as part of the tuition. If you would like more information, please contact me. It is best to start preparation as soon as possible to get the most practice out of the time you have remaining.

Last of all, good luck. If you have prepared for the test, you should have a good sense of what they can ask you. Some questions will be really weird and you will say to yourself after the test, "what was that". When discussion of this test is brought up between medical students, we still cannot believe we went through it.

Picture of Avik Nigam!

Avik Nigam

Avik is currently a final year medical student at Bond University, located in Gold Coast, Australia.

In his spare time he likes to develop interesting web apps and write blog articles for medical students and technology enthusiasts.

Read more about Avik