The key to getting through online tests

Francesca Ballard, a recent Chemistry graduate, succeeded in getting a place on a graduate scheme with Rolls-Royce.  Online assessments and psychometric tests are commonly used by many graduate recruiters so her advice is widely applicable. 


After you submit an application to join a Rolls-Royce an internship or graduate programme, you will be invited to complete a series of online assessments.  Having put valuable time and effort into your application, you don’t want to fall down at this next hurdle!  Alongside your application, the score you achieve in these assessments directly affects whether you will be invited to an Assessment Centre.

I was a Chemistry student when I sat the tests in 2016, and was successful in obtaining a position in the Manufacturing Engineering Graduate programme. Some advice I would give to other students facing the online assessments follows –

  • Try to understand the type of assessments you will be given i.e. a Situational Judgement Exercise, Numerical Reasoning Test or Verbal Reasoning Test (depending on which internship or graduate scheme you are applying to), plus a Gamified assessment.
  • The key to success is preparation (for most of us), by practising similar assessments.
  • You can find free online assessments (and even books) with questions of a similar type. Slowly work through some questions to understand their structure and objective.  Following that, I would try to do some questions every day, building up your speed to match what will be required in the Rolls-Royce tests.
  • For the Situational Judgement Exercise, you can improve your chances of success by getting to know the company values, and aligning your answers to these.
  • You only get one attempt at the assessments.  Plan a day and time to take the tests, ensuring you complete them all before the deadline.  Find somewhere you can focus, and give them your best shot!  Be aware of your time, ensuring that you balance speed and accuracy.

Additionally –

  • The time invested to prepare for the online assessments will be valuable not only for Rolls-Royce applications, but also many other job applications that you may have to complete in the future.  I forfeited some study time to practice for the assessments, and justified this as time invested to secure a graduate job before exam time as I definitely wouldn’t want to have had to practice tests at that time!
  • You can practice these assessments even before you submit your application, which will give you more time.
  • No subject knowledge will be required to complete the assessments.

Within a few days of completing the assessments, you will be emailed to inform you whether you have passed. If successful, well done – your application will be reviewed by one of our recruitment team!  If you pass the application review, you will be invited to an Assessment Centre, which is fortunately the last hurdle to pass in securing an internship or graduate position at Rolls-Royce.


Follow Francesca’s advice and practise before you sit online tests. You’ll find free practice tests of many different kinds here: Selection tests



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