mistakes in online assessments

11 Dumbest Mistakes Candidates Make During Online Assessments

Written By The Talent Games Marketing Team

Bad news. Rejection has reared its ugly head in your direction. That dream job went to another candidate. You’re now licking your wounds and mourning the loss.

Yes, job rejection hurts, and being turned down for a role you really wanted can be devastating. It may push you down in the dumps and shatter your confidence. However, many candidates don’t realize the negative responses from employers often stem from the blunders and terrible mistakes they themselves make during online assessments.

Let’s check out eleven of the most common mistakes candidates make during online tests:

Mistake #1 Not Doing Enough Question Practice

It is extremely important that candidates practice before the actual online test so as to improve their performance. Whether it is Maths or English, invest sufficient time in the area you’re weak before sitting your real assessment. This way you’ll get used to working quickly and efficiently under time pressure.

Many applicants cram before the test, but research shows that studying over many sessions results in better long-term retention. This is primarily because the information you let in through cramming gets stored in your short-term memory and is quickly forgotten once you turn in your test.

Practice online tests on platforms like Practice Aptitude Tests, Assessment Day, Graduates First, Test Partnership.

Mistake #2 Managing Time Inefficiently

One of the common mistakes candidates make during online assessments is not managing their time smartly. Before the start of the test, check how many and what sort of questions you’ve got to answer. Make a plan of how long you’re going to spend on each part and then make sure you stick to those timings.

Sticking to a proper plan will prevent you from feeling overwhelmed later during the assessment. But of course, how you structure your time will vary according to the way you work, and the types of questions you’ve got to answer.

Pro tip: While allocating your time to different tasks, make sure you assign some time at the beginning for planning and at the end to finish things off.

Mistake #3 Having a Poor Internet Connection

You might be familiar with the frustration of lag and connection problems if you often appear for online assessments. You’ll solve off a tough question only to wait for never-ending page loads – or see the browser presenting you with the T-Rex dinosaur game upon detecting no internet – and thereby, run out of time.

This kind of issues, caused by an interrupted or slow internet connection, can ruin your online assessments, leaving you with unfinished tests – and who wants to blow the golden chance of landing a perfect job?

While it is impossible to avoid the occasional internet issues altogether, as random glitches often pop up during online assessments, persistent bad internet connection may cost you a job opportunity.

So, before you begin the online assessment, make sure you have a strong and smooth internet connection. If the internet connection problem persists, you may consider cleaning your device’s cache, updating your browser or relocating your router.

Mistake #4 Answering Questions Dishonestly

Many organizations design their job assessments specifically to measure personality traits in order to discover if the candidate could be the right fit for the role. In such cases, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers.

Therefore, rather than trying to outsmart the test, your goal should be to answer the questions honestly. If you answer dishonestly, you may end up getting hired for a position that’s a bad fit for your personality and skills, which means you may be beginning your job search again anytime soon.

Mistake #5 Spending Excessive Time on One Question

Spending too long on one question is a big mistake most candidates make. It happens to all of us; we get stuck on a question that derails all our time management. When you come across a question that stumps you – a maths problem, a multiple-choice question or even a section of your essay that cannot be dealt with right away, don’t waste time staring at it!

The trick is to spend time on what you can do and then come back to the rest. You wouldn’t want to miss out on marks from the rest of the paper due to one hiccup. Leave the tricky questions for the end. But what’s most important is to keep working through the online assessment and give yourself enough time to tackle each section.

Mistake #6 Taking the Test in a Distracting Place

Since tests are time-limited, it is important to find a quiet, distraction-free environment where you won’t be interrupted. It’s no good trying to demonstrate your abilities while you’re too engrossed in your favourite TV show in the background.

Many candidates make the mistake of taking the test in a noisy place. As a result, they aren’t able to do their level best. Here switching off your phone and stowing all gadgets away is, therefore, a good idea.

So, if you’re thinking of taking the test at your home, tell your family when the exam is and set up the rules for quiet. If that’s not possible, look elsewhere. A college or local library might also serve the purpose of a quiet room.

Mistake #7 Failing to Read the Instructions Carefully

Every online assessment begins with a set of instructions provided by the test publisher. And these instructions provide you with invaluable clues that can be utilized later to answer the questions. But many applicants flip through the instruction pages quickly in excitement despite not knowing how they are supposed to respond to the questions coming their way.

Since during many online assessments, you might not get a second chance to reread the instructions. Here, be sure to read them carefully the first time. Look for the number of questions you’ll be asked and the time you’ll be allotted to answer them.

If there are any example questions, analyze them thoroughly to understand the format that you should be anticipating ahead. If you’re playing a recruitment game, it is critical that you understand the rules before you start playing as you might also be assessed on your ability to follow complex instructions.

Mistake #8 Trying to Cheat

Tests are meant to be an accurate measure of what you actually know. And cheating in the test is tantamount to telling yourself you don’t believe in your own abilities.

Many candidates try to cheat during online assessments to progress to the next stage, oblivious to the fact that their true capabilities would be shown at a later stage – during the interview. Besides, companies frequently retest candidates with onsite tests as well. So it’s totally not worth getting friends to help you pass the test or use other means to cheat.

Mistake #9 Not Reading the Questions Properly

Always read each test question carefully before moving on to answering them. We recommend taking a couple of seconds to read the question multiple times and then working your way to the end of the answer. This apparently looks tedious, but it will take a lot less time than double checking.

Mistake #10 Not Getting a Good Sleep

One of the dumbest mistakes candidates make before online assessments is not getting a proper sleep. Sleep is an active process during which your brain produces hormones beneficial for growth and repair to heal the body. Being well-rested before the test will not only improve your memory but also your concentration.

Therefore, make sure you go to bed at a set time. So you can wake up on the test day feeling refreshed and energetic.

Mistake #11 Intentionally Providing Incorrect Information

Many candidates provide false information – such as incorrect GPA or work experience – to the employers only to advance to the next stage. However, this has a negative impact on themselves as employers later find out about the wrongdoings.

Providing incorrect information is without a doubt – one of the biggest mistakes in online assessments that candidates make. They don’t realize the fact if the employer (company) finds out that the information submitted is incorrect, they can end up being blacklisted from the company’s recruitment process.


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