The Sova Assessment (2023 Guide)
Updated November 18, 2023
Sova is a UK-based assessment publisher that specializes in creating data-based psychometric assessments.
These are usually a combination of reasoning and personality tests that are used both during the recruitment process and to help employers understand the development needs of current employees.
Sova assessments are generally found in the corporate world with many major employers using them as an integral part of their application process.
Sova has a range of 'off-the-shelf' options but also specializes in creating bespoke packages for corporate clients to suit the job roles they are recruiting for.
Some of the employers that use Sova assessments include:
- Bain & Co
- British Airways
- American Express
- Lexis Nexis
- Australia Post
- NBC International
- John Lewis Partnership
- General Electric
Results from psychometric tests indicate the candidates' potential to have success in a given job role. They are not tests of prior knowledge and need no specific learning to be completed.
Psychometric testing provides a simple and easy way for recruiters to sift through what can be an enormous pool of potential candidates, highlighting the top 5–10% of candidates for the next stage in the process.
It is standardized, objectively measuring candidates’ potential rather than their intelligence or knowledge.
Sova assessments focus on a 'whole person assessment', offering a battery of different tests with personality and cognitive ability questions.
There might be blended assessments that entail questions from more than one type of assessment, or just one question set.
The company provides flexible or unique packages to some companies, so the following descriptions of the different assessments are based on the ‘off-the-shelf’ options.
The ability test assesses how well you can process and interpret information.
This will be assessed using numerical, verbal and logical reasoning questions.
The data given can be in the form of a passage of text, numerical information or shapes, depending on the type of assessment.
The examples in this article are all official example questions taken from Sova’s assessment preparation site, on which you can find more.
Your score on the ability test will depend on the number of questions answered correctly as well as the time you will take to answer, despite no official time limit.
In the numerical reasoning section, you will be provided with numerical data, usually in the form of a graph or table.
There will be a multiple-choice question about it and you need to demonstrate basic mathematical skill to read, interpret and analyze the given data.
This is not a math test exactly but is a chance for you to demonstrate your numerical understanding of things like fractions, averages and general arithmetic as well as applying statistical information.
How many male employees work in the legal department?
Please select the correct answer from below:
In verbal reasoning questions, you will need to interpret and process information presented as words to find the answer.
All the information you need to make the right conclusion is provided in the text, and you need to quickly extrapolate from the given passage (either written or audio).
The information given will relate to a statement and you need to select if the conclusion is true, false or you cannot say.
’Department store managers need to work on moving more of their business online. A recent report on footfall on major highstreets revealed that it will become difficult to sustain large retail premises in some cases due to a decline in sales.
'The report also revealed that older shoppers over 60 were the main weekday shoppers who typically are less likely to shop online.’
Statement: All department stores will see a decline in sales over the next couple of years.
Please select from the options below:
- Cannot Say
In a logical reasoning question, you will be expected to make a logical deduction about an abstract pattern or sequence.
This could be using deductive, inductive, diagrammatic, abstract or critical reasoning.
To be successful in the logical reasoning questions, you will need to find the rule or pattern, then choose the next shape/image that fits the pattern.
Which pattern below is missing in the sequence above?
Personality questionnaires help organizations better understand the behaviour and preferences of individuals, provided they are answered honestly. There are no right or wrong answers, and personality tests are not pass-or-fail; instead, they present a true reflection of what you are like and how you behave in the workplace.
You can find sample questions on Sova's assessment preparation site.
Sova’s personality assessment measures tendencies and behaviours like:
- How you engage with others
- How resilient, driven and motivated you are
- How you learn and innovate
- How you make decisions and deal with complexity
A set of statements are presented, usually in a group of four, and you need to rate each one on a five-point scale – ‘Most like me’ to ‘Least like me’ - based on your view of your workplace behaviour in a work.
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Please rate the below statements from ‘least like me’ to ‘most like me’:
I am comfortable spending lots of time alone
I have lots of friends
I am ambitious at work
I like to be recognised for my good work
In the Situational Judgement Test (SJT), you will be presented with some short scenarios. These might be presented as text, images, animation or live-action video.
After the scenario, you will need to decide what the best course of action would be to deal with the situation – selecting the most and least effective from a given sample.
The scenarios place you in a work-related situation to see how you would react. The best way to answer these questions is to decide which action is more likely to be your preferred response, even if there is no ‘perfect’ option.
’You work in a department store in the soft furnishings department. You recently came across a customer who had a query regarding ordering an item of women's fashion. You were unable to find anyone from the women's fashion team to help the customer so took their details and promised that you would ask someone to phone them back.
'When you got home, you found the piece of paper in your pocket and realised you hadn't passed it on to be actioned. You then forgot about it for two days as you had the weekend off.’
Please identify the most effective and least effective response?
a) Make a call to women's fashion team, explain your mistake and ask them to give the caller a ring now.
b) Tell your supervisor what has happened and ask them to call the customer to see if they still require the information and apologise on your behalf.
c) Call the customer, apologise and explain your mistake, promise that the person who knows the information will call them straight away.
d) The customer hasn’t been in touch, so there is unlikely to be any action needed.
Sova assessment tests are completed online, remotely. You will usually be invited to take part through a link sent in an email, and the assessment is compatible with mobiles and tablets as well as laptops, PCs and Macs. As this is web-based, there is no specific software needed.
The assessments do not have a time limit. However, the marks you get for your test will depend on the time it takes you to answer the question.
All you need to take the Sova assessment is a reliable internet connection and a computer, tablet or smartphone. You should also ensure that you have a pen or pencil and paper as well as a calculator available to help you with working things out as you go through the assessment. You might want to have some water to hand too, just in case.
How to Do Well on a Sova Assessment in 2023
As the Sova assessment is a psychometric test, there is no need to learn anything specific.
These assessments do not test your knowledge of a particular subject and are not dependent on a specific education level for success.
With that being said, here are seven preparation tips to help you complete the assessment to the best of your ability.
Take the Sova assessment somewhere quiet, where you are not likely to be disturbed. If you are taking it at home, find an area out of the way and let your family or housemates know that you need to be left alone until it is completed.
Before the test, make sure that you have a good night’s sleep and you are well-rested. Have a decent breakfast and stay hydrated both before and during the test.
As the test is internet-based, you need to make sure that you have a reliable internet connection before you start. It is also worth checking that your browser is compatible with the web-based application; according to Sova, their assessments work with the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, Safari and Firefox.
If you are completing a test with audio or video components, make sure that your webcam, microphone and speakers are working properly.
When you are applying for any job, researching the company should be part of your application. In the case of a Sova assessment, you can use this research to find out what type of person they employ, so that you can demonstrate you have compatible behaviours.
You can use this information to help in the SJT and the personality tests – while you want to be honest, you can keep the beliefs and values of the company in mind when you are choosing your answers.
Although revising is not necessary for any aptitude test, familiarizing yourself with the format of assessments can you feel more confident in the actual test and Sova’s assessments are no exception.
In these practice sessions, try and answer the questions quickly so that you get used to putting some time pressure on yourself, to get the best time-to-complete score.
In the test, remember that all the information you need to answer the questions will be provided for you, so make sure to read the questions and data carefully.
If you feel like you cannot find the answer, try reading the passage using your finger to follow each word so you do not skip over any, or looking at the pattern again and describing it out loud. These help your brain focus on finer details you may have missed the first time.
Do not be tempted to make assumptions to answer the question – you do not need to apply any outside knowledge, opinions, or information.
For each section, you will be presented with a practice question. Even if you are well-prepared and have spent some time practising before the test, it is always worth reminding yourself of the question structure and how to answer.
You might be expected to choose more than one of the multiple-choice options, and, of course, you need to know how to move on to the next question once you have finished.
The test may not be officially timed, but your overall score will be determined by the time you take on each question.
Aim for each question in the logical and numerical reasoning section to take no more than 45 seconds, and no more than 30 seconds for verbal reasoning questions, to give yourself the best chance at a good score.
Do remember that your time will not matter if you get the question wrong, so rushing in blindly and panicking will do worse for you than taking longer to answer the questions. You still need to take your time in reading, understanding and analyzing the given information.
Sova is a UK-based test publisher that produces assessments for a range of companies across industries.
Sova assessments can be off-the-shelf tests or bespoke packages built for specific businesses, focusing on whole-person assessments with a battery of different tests. If you are facing a Sova test, you might get a blended assessment or just one type of question.
The basic types of questions that are found in Sova tests are:
Personality tests – Self-reporting based on statements to be rated.
Situational judgement – Scenarios with different courses of action.
The Sova tests are used regularly in different recruitment processes because they are taken completely remotely and online, so they are useful in screening many applicants for a role. Sova tests have no time limit, but you will be scored on both your speed and accuracy.
The different Sova tests are used to evaluate different aptitudes, competencies, personality traits and work behaviors. Whether the tests are being used as standalone assessments or as blended tests, you can expect to be evaluated on:
- Numerical ability
- Reading and understanding written information
- Decision making
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Personality traits
- Work behavior
- Work rate
The Sova tests are psychometric and aptitude tests, which means you do not need specific knowledge or education to be successful.
However, there are a few things you can do to give yourself the best chance of passing and getting taken into the next stage of the recruitment process for your dream job.
First, practice. On the Sova candidate preparation hub, there are practice tests available alongside lots of information about the tests which you will find helpful when getting ready to take an assessment.
If you want more practice, some excellent revision resources, and tips to help you succeed, then the material at JobTestPrep will be ideal.
Bear in mind that for some corporate clients Sova will have created bespoke assessments, so it might be worth looking at the careers information provided by the company you have applied for to see if there is any detail about the assessment that you can use.
As the Sova test is taken online, it is imperative that you have a good, secure internet connection and your chosen hardware is working. You can use a smartphone to take a Sova test, but the best results will come from using at least a laptop or PC. Check to make sure everything is connected before you get started.
Although you will have researched the role, the company, and the wider industry before you applied, revisit this as the detail about ideal candidates, the business values, and key ideas, and what other people in the industry are like will help you when it comes to answering the behavioral and personality questions as well as the situational judgment test. Be honest in your answers but think about demonstrating the qualities that they want to see.
One preparation technique that candidates often overlook is more physical – and that is giving their bodies and brain the right fuel for peak performance. That means that in the days before the assessment get a decent amount of sleep, eat regularly and healthily, and stay hydrated. This is especially important on the night before the test too.
Sova has a really helpful Candidate Preparation Hub which is designed to provide candidates with information about the test, the platform, and what to expect as well as practice tests.
The resources available at JobTestPrep are built around the Sova tests, with free practice tests available for each of the basic Sova test types as well as Prep Packs that also include revision material, techniques, and tips and tricks for success. You might also find a detailed Prep Pack for the employer that you have applied for which details both the bespoke testing packages and the other steps of the recruitment process so you can be more prepared.
Don’t forget to check out the careers page of the business you have applied for – quite often there is more detail about the pre-employment screening tests that they might use on the website and this can come in handy for bespoke assessments.
In most cases, when Sova tests are used as part of the recruitment process if you fail your application will not be taken further.
The Sova ability tests are marked on speed and accuracy, and there will be a benchmark that you will need to reach to be considered for the next stage in the recruitment process.
In the personality and situational judgment assessment, the requirements are slightly different – your answers will be compared to an ‘ideal candidate’ profile to ensure that your personality traits, work behavior, decision making and leadership skills match what the recruiter is looking for in a new employee.
If you fail, you may be able to reapply for the position and retake the assessments, but that is up to the discretion of the hiring team.
The best way to ensure you get the role you want is to perform at your absolute best throughout the Sova assessments.
When taken out of context, the content of the Sova test questions are not hard – but the circumstances are challenging.
Taking a test as part of a recruitment process is difficult because knowing that your results will dictate whether you are taken to the next stage or not puts you under pressure. Even without an obvious time limit, you will have to work quickly in the ability tests because you are being marked on both the number of right answers you get and the time you take.
Sova tests can also be hard because of the unfamiliarity of the structure, layout, and the way you answer the questions. If you go into the assessment without any practice, you are unlikely to feel comfortable and could risk marks for not understanding what is being asked of you.
To give yourself the best chance in the Sova test, take the time to prepare with practice tests so you know what sort of questions are going to be asked, how the test is structured, and the way you are required to answer. Familiarity will make you feel more at ease and comfortable, so you can get the best score.
Sova is a UK-based psychometric testing company that is known for both off-the-shelf test batteries and bespoke assessment packages for bigger businesses.
You will find Sova tests in the application process and employee development plans of companies including:
- John Lewis Partnership
- American Express
- Lexis Nexis
- General Electric
Although it might be tempting to look for a shortcut or a way to cheat the Sova test, it is not worth risking your career over it.
In the ability test, there is no tangible way to ‘cheat’ the system – all you can do is ensure that you have completed the practice tests and revised any weaker areas.
For the personality tests and the situational judgment test, you might be considering ‘gaming’ the system by giving the answers that you think the recruiters want to see – painting you in a more positive light. However, this is not an ideal way to complete the test as some of the statements used in the personality test might seem the same to you but give different results and it will be obvious to the recruitment team that you are not being honest.
Aside from risking your application if you are caught cheating, it is worth remembering that the point of a personality and situational judgment test is to see if your personality traits and work behavior match the needs of the role – and if they don’t, you might end up stuck in a job you hate and need to find another role.
By being as honest as possible in these tests, you will know that if you are successful, you will feel comfortable in the role you have applied for and are much more likely to be successful.
Familiarize yourself with the job description and the company's values. This will help you tailor your responses to align with what the company is looking for in an ideal candidate.
RSova assessments are often designed to evaluate specific competencies relevant to the job. These might include problem-solving, teamwork, communication, adaptability and more.
When answering situational judgment questions, use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method to structure your responses. Describe the Situation or Task, detail the Action you took and highlight the Result or outcome. T
If the assessment includes video or audio scenarios, pay close attention to the information presented. Practice active listening to ensure you fully understand the situation before responding.
Soft skills such as empathy, adaptability, and effective communication are often evaluated in Sova assessments.
Stay consistent in your responses and avoid contradicting yourself.
If there's a timed component to the assessment, practice managing your time effectively. Read questions carefully, but don't spend too much time on any single question.
Take some time before the assessment to reflect on your past experiences, both professionally and personally.
Approach the assessment with a calm and confident demeanor.
Reviewing and practicing will help you become more comfortable with the format and types of questions you might encounter.
Sova assessments can range from around 20 to 100 questions or more, depending on the assessment's depth and the traits or skills being evaluated.
Some assessments might have a relatively small number of in-depth questions, while others could include a larger number of shorter questions.
Yes, there is typically a time limit for Sova assessments, but the specific time limit can vary depending on the type of assessment and the organization using it.
The time limits for Sova assessments can range from around 20 minutes to an hour or more, depending on the complexity of the assessment and the number of questions.
When you are taking a Sova assessment, or any type of psychometric or aptitude test, as part of the application process for a job, remember that you are being assessed for your future potential, not your current knowledge.
Recruiters using the Sova assessment are looking for the best candidates who display behaviours matching their needs – the objective nature of these assessments makes them a great addition to a recruitment strategy.
Sova assessments look at the numerical, verbal and logical reasoning skills of the candidates, as well as how they deal with work-based scenarios and what personality traits they have. The tests themselves are not timed, can be taken at a time that suits the candidate and completed online anywhere.
The best advice to perform well in a Sova assessment is to answer honestly – the role you are applying for needs to be a good fit for you, and if you must lie to pass the psychometric testing then the job might not be the best fit for you. It is not a simple case of revising certain knowledge in a specific way to be successful, but practice and familiarity with the format and timing of the test will make you more comfortable and able to answer to the best of your ability.
Even the best Sova assessment score must be presented alongside relevant experience, a good resume an