For many roles in various organisations, Saville Assessments are used as part of the recruitment process to assess the aptitudes of candidates. There are a variety of test types produced by Saville, and they are used by some of the biggest global businesses.
What Is A Saville Assessment?
Saville Assessments (formerly known as Saville Consulting) is a global company that produces psychometric tests used mostly in recruitment but also to assess employees for promotion and to identify training needs.
Saville Assessments was founded by Peter Saville, who was also one of the co-founders of SHL (another well-known testing publisher). This means that Saville Assessments are often similar in structure and content to SHL tests.
As many different industries and businesses use Saville Assessments, there are different levels of assessment that are used, but they are all completed online through a platform called Oasys.
Saville Swift Assessments
While many companies will adopt a package of Saville Assessments based on the competencies, aptitudes and skills that are needed for the advertised role, Saville has created a group of tests known as Swift that are shorter, blended assessments based on the needs of certain job levels.
Known as Swift assessments because the combined time for all assessments is less than 30 minutes (tests range from 1.5 - 6 minutes, with the combined verbal and numerical lasting 24 minutes).
Swift assessments cover several different aptitudes and the combination taken will depend on the job level applied for in the following categories:
- Analysis - aimed at managers, professionals, graduates and technicians. Tests include numerical, verbal, and diagrammatic
- Executive: for directors, managers, and professionals. Tests are verbal, numerical, diagrammatic and abstract.
- Comprehension: for operational, customer-facing, administrative or commercial roles. Tests include error checking, verbal and numerical.
- Technical: for production staff, tests include mechanical, spatial and diagrammatic.
- Apprentice: entry-level roles where more understanding of aptitudes might be needed. Assessments include verbal, numerical, diagrammatic, mechanical, spatial, and error checking.
Saville Assessment Categories
If you are required to take a Saville Assessmentas part of the recruitment process for a new role, you will usually be sent an email with a link to the Oasys platform, and you should know beforehand which tests you will be facing.
In each of the tests, the questions are designed to be related to the role you will be doing so if you are applying to work in a bank, you can expect questions about financial issues, for example.
Below are the descriptions of the test types published by Saville.
Numerical Aptitude Test
In this assessment, you will be presented with information in the form of tables, graphs and statistics. In order to answer the questions correctly, you will need to quickly understand and analyse the data provided and choose from multiple-choice answers based on your interpretation of the information.
These tests are similar to numerical reasoning tests by other publishers, and you will have 24 minutes to complete this assessment.
Verbal Aptitude Test
In a similar way to verbal reasoning tests, the verbal aptitude test is an assessment of your ability to quickly read, understand and analyse information presented as a paragraph of text.
Each question will be presented as a statement relating to the paragraph, and you will need to decide if the statement is true, false, or you cannot say based on the given information.
This assessment is 24 minutes long, and you do not need any previous knowledge of the subject as all the information you need to answer the question is provided in the text.
Mechanical Aptitude Test
Mechanical aptitude tests are designed to assess your knowledge of principles like direction, force and movement, as well as how well you understand the way gears, levers and pulleys work. The content of these questions are not designed to be more challenging than secondary school level physics, but the structure and layout of the assessment can make it challenging.
Each question is based on an illustration or diagram, and the answers are multiple-choice. This assessment lasts 16 minutes and is mostly used for production or technician roles.
Diagrammatic Aptitude Test
In the diagrammatic aptitude assessment, each question is based on a procedure diagram that usually shows an input, the process, and then the output alongside a reference key.
The questions relate to your understanding of the operators and what needs to happen in the diagram to get to the required result, alongside some questions on fault finding.
Each question has a multiple-choice answer, and the test lasts for 24 minutes.
Abstract Aptitude Test
Another image-based assessment, the abstract aptitude test is looking at your ability to make logical connections between pictures or shapes in sequence in order to identify the one that is missing.
These questions need you to find the pattern that governs the sequence, and then choose the right missing piece from the multiple-choice answers.
Speed and accuracy is important because you only have 16 minutes in this assessment.
Spatial Aptitude Test
Spatial aptitude refers to the way you can imagine and understand the relationship in space between different objects. In this assessment, each question features four shapes and you need to decide which one is the odd one out.
These questions are made more challenging as the angle the shapes are at might be different so you need to be able to imagine every side in order to make the right decision.
Each question is multiple choice and the assessment lasts for just 8 minutes.
Error Checking Aptitude Test
Accuracy is an important skill in many job roles, and the error checking test assesses your accuracy at speed and under pressure.
You will be provided with two lists of near-identical information, which might be verbal, numerical, or coding based (depending on the role you have applied for).
You need to find the errors in the transposed list by comparing it to the original list - and you only have 6 minutes to do it so speed is of the essence.
This is often an entry-level assessment, and it is a quick assessment of your knowledge of basic English as it relates to the workplace.
In this assessment, you will be presented with a number of sentences related to hypothetical work situations and have to choose the right words to replace the gaps. This multiple-choice assessment lasts 16.5 minutes.
Situational Judgement Test
In the Saville Assessments Situational Judgement Test, you will be presented with a number of scenarios. These scenarios are realistic yet hypothetical situations that are found in the job role you have applied for.
Each scenario will have a course of action at the end, and you need to decide how effective you think it is.
There are not necessarily any right or wrong answers in this, but the assessment is looking at your decision making, your work behaviour, and how you will fit with the business culture.
Wave Personality Questionnaire
The Wave Questionnaire comes in two forms: the Wave Focus Styles and Wave Professional Styles. Both come from the same model based on personal motives, talents, competency potential and preferred culture.
Both versions present you with various statements about work, personality and behaviour and you need to rate each one depending on how much you agree or disagree with them.
The Focus Styles assessment is shorter at just 13 minutes and is more likely to be used for lower-level roles, while the Professional Styles is 40 minutes and is usually used for executive and graduate recruitment.
From the answers on these personality questionnaires, the recruiter gets detailed feedback that they can compare to an 'ideal candidate' to decide if you would be a good fit for the role and for the company culture.
Tips To Pass Saville Assessments
Do Your Research
Saville Assessments can be tough because they are designed to be quick - so you need to know your stuff before you head in.
You can research the topics that you are likely to face depending on the role you have applied for; if you are going for a production role, you can guess that you will need to take mechanical and diagrammatic tests, so brush up on your physics principles.
Practice Aptitude Tests
The best way to understand how a test works and what it will be like on the day is to practice aptitude tests. You can practice on the Saville Assessments website and there are other places that offer Saville Assessment preparation based on the structure, layout, and content of the test battery.
Use Exam Conditions
Practice is made more useful if you treat it like a mock exam. This means switching off your mobile phone, turning off notifications on your computer, and setting a timer.
This gives you an insight into how much focus you will need to answer the questions as quickly as you will need to in the test.
Repeat Hard Questions
During your practice, you will undoubtedly find questions that are much harder than others. It is perfectly normal to be better at one type of question than another, and if you focus your practice on repeating those harder questions you will feel more confident in the assessment.
You don't want to spend too long on challenging questions in the real test and lose the opportunity of easy marks for the questions you know you can answer.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Psychometric Test?
A psychometric test is an assessment of your aptitudes, work behaviours and personality traits. Psychometric tests are often used during the recruitment process as a tool to screen a large candidate pool based on whether they have the required inherent skills and knowledge.
Psychometric tests are a great predictor for success in a role, and they show how easily a candidate will be able to learn new things as well as their natural aptitudes.
Is A Saville Assessment Hard?
Saville Assessments, like many pre-employment aptitude tests, are meant to be challenging. They need to be able to separate good candidates from a talent pool.
However, the challenge for most people comes with the test conditions and time limit, rather than from the content. In general, most people who have completed secondary education should be able to answer the questions, but the speed and accuracy needed to answer the questions within the time limit is one of the major challenges.
With practice and research, you should feel prepared to tackle the assessment and feel familiar with the structure and layout.
What Is A Saville Wave Assessment?
The Saville Wave Assessment is a personality questionnaire that is self-scored, which means that you need to rate each statement depending on how well you think it describes you.
This test is designed to let the recruitment team get to know you a bit better in terms of your personality traits, work behaviours and motivations.
Which Employers Use Saville Assessments?
Saville Assessments are used by a growing number of employers across a wide range of industries, including some rather well-known businesses such as:
- Ernst And Young
- Jaguar/Land Rover
- Virgin Media