The Sova Test
Updated 7 April 2021
What Is the Sova Assessment Test?
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.
What Does Sova Assess?
Sova tests 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
The ability test assesses how well you can process and interpret information.
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.
1. Numerical Reasoning:
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 this question, the information is presented in a table. To give the correct answer, you will need to add together all the men in each age bracket listed in the legal department to find the total, d) 14,625.
2. Verbal Reasoning:
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
This piece of text offers a great example of how making assumptions in verbal reasoning tests can encourage you to make the wrong selection.
Near the beginning, the text mentions that ‘it will become difficult to sustain large retail premises in some cases due to a decline in sales'.*.
If an assumption is made here that this means a decline in overall sales, you would want to select a) – but in this case, you actually cannot say that it is true because the data does not mention an overall decline.
This means that the correct answer is c) ‘Cannot Say’.
3. Logical 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?
Here, the pattern requires reading the grid left-to-right from the top to the bottom row, with each row a separate instance of the pattern. The stars from the previous square are increased in the next square, then the original stars are removed to create the following square. From the position of the stars in the seventh and ninth squares, the correct answer is a).
The Personality Test
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.
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
As mentioned, there are no right or wrong answers – it is best to go with your gut so that this is an accurate representation of how you like to work.
The Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
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.
As mentioned, there is no definitive right or wrong answer, but each recruiter will be looking for a demonstration of behaviours that match their company’s values.
What to Expect When Taking a Sova Assessment Test
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 Test
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.
1. Prepare Your Environment (and Yourself)
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.
2. Check Your Equipment and Connections
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.
3. Research the Company
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.
4. Practice Example Tests to Familiarize Yourself With the Format
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.
5. Read the Questions Carefully
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.
6 Complete the Practice Questions on the Test
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.
7. Take Your Time, but Not Too Much
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.
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