I need to do an Assesment. I know that I will fail...
A few weeks ago management told me that they will be sending me to an Assesment.  Reason? They want to establish my analytical abilities. At hire-time there were no mention of Assesment.
A typical Assesment lasting 8 hours consists of the following:
 1. Recognition of Shape + patterns. 
 2. Completing Numerical sequences.
 3. Summarize a 100 page operational detail report for Executive Management.
 4. Behavioral situation interview.
From previous experiences I *know* I will fail (1) and (2). Its my weakness!
Possible consequences, in order of possibility:
 1. My temp contract gets terminated.
 2. Being reassigned to do a less intelligence required function.
I love my job, I like this environment, I  of this job.. its my life, its fun, its in the heart of Gas & Electricity commodities trading!
Management said I must contact him with questions
My only obvious question is:
HOW can I avoid *NOT* doing this assesment..?
HOW can I best talk to my manager about this situation?
HOW can I otherwise proof my capabilities without getting demoted/fired?
Feedback from Management to me has always been very postive. However this could tip the scale.


stephenbooth_uk's picture

 I notice from your profile that you are in the EU, if your problems with 1 and 2 are due to a diagnosed disability then there may be something in the implementation in your country of the EU anti-discrimination legislation that will allow you to avoid those tests, or have a failing mark discounted, as a reasonable adjustment.  However, if those tests are for skills necessary for your job then the employer can still require you to take the tests and take account of the mark.  If the tests are not for skills necessary (or at least highly desirable) for your job then I'd wonder why your employer is spending the time and money on doing them.

Your profile indicates that you are a business analyst, so am I.  I struggle to see how recognising shapes/patterns and being able to complete numerical sequences fit into that job.  The latter could be a measure of numerical reasoning but a very basic one (far more basic than the numberical reasoning tests I sat last year, those questions were more about analysing tables of data about populations and agricultural production by nation by year to identify the country that had the largest average annual growth in production of wheat per capita between 1967 and 1972, in under 90 seconds per question).  The former possibly tests visual reasoning but that's not something I see as being important in a Business Analyst role (although I am aware that there is a wide range of variation in the role and many people have the job title but their job looks nothing like the ISEB or IIBA definitions).

If you know that you have issues with those sorts of questions, and they are relevant in any way to your job, then I'm curious as to why you haven't sought to address that weakness?   Even if the weakness is as a result of a disability you can still improve.  I have Dyspraxia that, amongst other things, causes issues with socialisation, visual reasoning, spatial reasoning and emotional reasoning.  I may also have some level of ADHD and Asperger's (the doctor who gave me the Dyspraxia diagnosis said that there were hints of those but too low to conclusively diagnose and that they often co-exist with Dyspraxia) which have an impact on concentration, socialisation and emotional reasoning.  I've addressed those weaknesses by seeking out development and tests that will help me to develop those skills as conscious skills (for most people they are unconscious and 'automatic').  It's a struggle but do-able, and I'm still working on the socialisation/emotional reasoning side of things.

I suggest that you go to you local library and find some books on psychometric testing.  Locate tests like the ones you're going to have to take and practice them, do as many as you can.  This has three advantages: Builds the skills needed to pass the tests; Builds familiarity with the tests so reducing fear; There are only so many ways to present such questions so there's a chance that the real test will have a question you've already done in practice.  Also approach your boss and say you're concerned about the tests, ask if there are any practice questions available (any reputable testing providor will provide practice questions) so you can get a feel for the questions.  An opener might be "Hey boss, I'm worried about this test coming up, mostly the shape recognition and number sequences.  I tend not to do very well on them.  Are there any practice questions available?"  After doing the practice questions you can then, presuming you think they're not relevant to your job, you can go in with "Boss, I'm really strugging to see how these questions relate to my job.  I really enjoy my job and think i'm doign well but I'm worried about the test."



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"Start with the customer and work backwards, not with the tools and work forwards" - James Womack


flexiblefine's picture

I agree with Stephen's advice about doing what you can to improve your comfort level with the assessment. Anxiety probably won't help your performance, even on the parts you expect to do well on.

Is this a regular assessment that your company has everyone (or everyone in certain roles) go through, or is this a special case? If it's a regular thing, the assessment probably tests things that are less useful for you but more useful for other roles. I work as a one-man web team for a retail company, and I had to take the same math test that basic store employees take, including how to make change for customers.

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Mark's picture

It sure doesn't impress me when you tell me you KNOW you're going to fail. That kind of negative thinking is not only destructive to you, your team, and your org, but it's not indicative of professionalism. Further, it's predicting the future. Be careful of doing that with certainty.

Study for the test. Be a professional and develop a plan to improve as much as you can in the time you have, and then TAKE THE TEST.

It's not unreasonable for your firm to ask you do so. Maybe you fail, and it affects your job. Well, that's life, and sometimes things are hard. But that doesn't make them wrong or unfair or inappropriate.

Stop worrying and start preparing, and stop thinking about how to get out of it.

Good luck.