Tips for completing the IKM technical assessment
Many of our clients choose to use IKM assessments as part of their recruitment process. This is a multiple choice technical assessment that takes, on average, between 45 and 60 minutes to complete. You should expect to have to tackle between 30 and 50 questions; each of these questions takes time to read, and to answer.
Why have I been asked to complete a technical assessment?
- It’s useful for our client to have insight into your technical skills ahead of interview. The IKM test gives them a detailed breakdown of how well you performed in each subject area, so they know where to focus their questioning.
- If you are interviewing for a senior position, the role itself may not be technically hands on. But undoubtedly you will still have to work closely with technical people and have some familiarity with their technical environment. This is not a ‘pass/fail’ test but it does provide our client with insight into how well you can apply the knowledge you have gained throughout your career.
- Our clients take the results of these tests seriously. Often they use them as a guide to further interview questioning, but they will also reject candidates who do badly.
How to tackle the multiple choice IKM test
- Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed. We recommend using a PC or laptop rather than a mobile phone.
- It's very important to read the instructions carefully. The test is very sensitive and there are certain actions that can result in the test being suspended, such as:
- using the ‘back’ button on your browser (it's safest not to use your keyboard at all);
- skipping too many questions overall;
- skipping more than 3 questions in a row;
- taking too long over a question; or
- answering questions too quickly!
- After you have started – read the question and all the options in full before considering the answer. They can be quite detailed, and you will need a pen and paper at times.
- As a rule, there are most commonly 3 out of 5 answers that are correct. Sometimes it is 2, and occasionally it is 1. If a question asks for ‘the best way’ to do something, it is looking for a single answer.
- The answers can sometimes be worked out with a little knowledge combined with some common sense.
- If you are not certain of the answer to a question, make your best guess / guesses. You will get partial credit for an answer that is nearly right. If you can’t decide between two or three of the options, it’s usually worth selecting both or all three, as you will receive credit for the correct answer and won’t be penalised much if your incorrect answer is nearly right.
- Remember that our client has seen your CV and will know if you are either not technically hands on, or do not have experience in some areas of technology. Don’t think of it as a pass/fail assessment; the breakdown of skills is more important than the overall score.
About the IKM test
The tests adapt to your ability. If you’re doing well, you will receive harder questions. If you’re doing less well, the questions will get easier. After a while the test finds your level, and by the end you will almost certainly consider that the test has been difficult.
There are hundreds of standard tests in the bank, but our clients often create their own by combining sub-topics from a number of different tests. We’ll send you a list of sub-topics that the test contains if you would like to see this.You will see the following instructions when you log in to complete the test:
- Each question may have up to three correct answers.
- You may select up to three answers for each question.
- Skip a question if you have no idea of the correct answer.
- If you are able to narrow down the answers to two reasonable choices, you will always get some credit if you select them both and at least one is correct.
- YOU MAY NOT GO BACK TO A QUESTION ONCE IT IS ANSWERED OR SKIPPED.
- Answering correctly is much more important than answering quickly.
- For each individual question, time will not be tracked until the question is presented in your web browser.
- Once the test begins, you must directly proceed through the test until completion.
- You should only use your mouse or touch pad to answer questions. Using other key strokes (in addition to the CTRL key or BACK button) may result in a violation causing test suspension or cancellation.
So in summary: take it seriously, follow the instructions, read the questions carefully, and apply common sense.
P.S. Here's a link to our popular blog on this topic.
P.P.S. Here's a link to the advice we give to clients who are setting an IKM test.
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