Campus Placements.. Preparing for aptitude test

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Campus Placements.. Preparing for aptitude test Empty Campus Placements.. Preparing for aptitude test

Post  ramreddy on Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:00 pm

Campus placement season is the most awaited phase in any student's campus life. It can be made very memorable if one prepares well for the Campus Hiring Process. Let me take you through salient aspects of a typical Company Selection Process.

Most of the campus recruiting programs begin with a Pre - Placement Talk (PPT) by a Senior Manager of the Company. Students should do some home work even before attending the PPT by visiting Company's website and understanding the company profile. Read Placement Office notice clearly to understand the job profile and conditions of employment. Ask some intelligent questions during /after company's presentation. Making a good first impression through lively interaction with company officials during the pre- placement talk may kick start the selection process in an effective way. Ensure that you reach venue of PPT at least 15 minutes ahead of the scheduled time and settle down in the front row seat preferably. Make notes while attending the PPT as some of the details of the company shared during the PPT may crop up as questions during your interview.

Some of the important aspects of succeeding in campus interviews are preparation of an impressive CV, doing well in Aptitude & Technical tests, Group Discussion, Technical and HR Interviews. Let's see how you can fare better in the above selection stages.

Preparing an impressive CV:
While most of us use the terms curriculum vitae (CV) and resume interchangeably, there is a difference between these two documents. Employers ask potential employees for a CV while applying for a position. While both documents are used in the job application process, there is a subtle difference in what the contents of each should be. Curriculum vitae means "the course of life" whereas resume means 'summary'. While a CV discusses the course of life of a person, his resume is a brief summary of his skills and achievements. The meaning of the words offers the basic differences between the two. While a CV is detailed, a resume is to the point. A CV is longer than a resume. Usually, a CV is two or more pages long while a resume is essentially one page long. A CV can contain some information about other facets of your life such as hobbies and extracurricular activities. A resume strictly contains information relevant to the job. While the CV represents in-depth and structured information about the professional experience and qualification of a person, the resume usually is the same thing in a short form. This means that your CV could be same when applying to two different jobs, your resume has to be different, highlighting different achievements in different cases.

A CV should be well laid-out and printed on a good quality printer. You should use bold and/or underline print for headlines. Do not use too many fonts and sizes. Before submitting your CV, do not forget to spell-check/proof-read. This is important. Also, make sure that you include all the information about yourself that will help the recruiter to consider you as a potential candidate. Your CV must be precise, easy to read and attractive. After you have written your CV get someone else to look at it. What you have written may seem simple and obvious to you, but not to the other person (and ultimately an employer). Go through it again and again and refine it to make it short, easy to read, impressive and error-free. If you have your own web homepage, include it if it's good!. Do not give false or any misleading information to an employer under any circumstances. If you have got 59.45 % marks, do not round it off to 60%, Just write its as 59.45%. Do not exaggerate. Give verifiable and trustworthy information.

Quality of information is what really matters for any CV. Keep it real, at all times. While giving references, give two names of dependable persons who know you very well. Give correct contact numbers and inform the respective persons who are mentioned as references. Do not take the name of Placement Officers/ Principals unless they know you very well and after you have taken their prior permission.

Preparing for Aptitude/Technical Tests:
Most of the companies go for a written/on line technical/ aptitude test to start the selection process. So, you have to be very careful and give your written test a best shot. The first thing to do is to determine which type of questions you are going to be asked.

Types of question can be classified as follows:
  • Verbal Ability - Includes spelling, grammar, ability to understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions. These questions appear in most general aptitude tests because employers usually want to know how well you can communicate.

    Numerical Ability -Includes basic arithmetic, number sequences and simple mathematics. Sometimes you will often be presented with charts and graphs that need to be interpreted. These questions appear in most general aptitude tests because employers usually want some indication of your ability to use numbers/statistics.

    Logical Reasoning -Measures your ability to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution. Because logical reasoning ability is believed to be the best indicator of fluid intelligence and your ability to learn new things quickly, these questions appear in most general aptitude tests.

    Programming Test - Measures your computer programming knowledge and Object Oriented Programming Concepts. One should have to be strong with the basics of at least C and C++ (you might get questions from pointers and trees).

    Technical Knowledge -Designed to assess your domain technical knowledge. Prepare well on fundamentals and applications of respective courses/engineering discipline.

Strategy to prepare well for Aptitude Tests:Sincere and disciplined preparation is needed to do well in these tests. You must find out what type of questions you are going to face in specific company tests. Collect the information related to aptitude tests from seniors or from the websites on Campus Placements to get an idea of different types of questions. Acquire a good number of sample tests and practice a lot. Important thing to note here is that you can answer maximum number of questions correctly provided you have enough time. But as the time is limited during the test, it is wise to pick questions which can be answered fast and try to attempt time consuming tests towards the end. Particularly, when there is negative marking, this strategy will work well. In case, there is no negative marking, one should not fail marking answers to all un- attempted, unsolved or partly solved questions during final 5-10 minutes of the test. For multiple-choice type answers probability says that you would get 25% of such answers right. And those marks will greatly help in getting shortlisted for the next stage.

Many candidates may assume that they won't have any problems with verbal ability questions because they once got good marks in English. It is very easy to ignore the effects of not reading as much as you used to, and of letting your spell-checker take care of correcting your written English. The same thing applies to numerical ability. Most of you might have been out of touch with probability, profit & loss and time & distance for more than a few years and have forgotten some simple formulae. While it is easy to dismiss these as 'first grade' or elementary mathematics, most people do not work on these things on a day-to-day basis. So, do not take anything for granted - it's better to be sure! You should make your own decision about which types of question to practice. You could either concentrate on your weakest area or you could try to elevate your score across all areas. Whichever strategy you choose - keep practicing. Because of the way that aptitude tests are marked, even small improvements to your raw score will have a big influence on your chances of getting the job.

V. Uma Maheshwar
Placement Officer, Osmania University


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