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Different Types of ACER Tests

Last Updated on October 11, 2022

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) is one of the top educational research centres in the world. The centre has designed the tests to provide a comprehensive overview of a person’s skills. Companies, schools, universities and training organisations use this test to assess individuals.

About the ACER Test

What is ACER?

Today, ACER is one of the top international educational research centres. The centre provides more than seven million tests every year to approximately 70 countries across the globe.

Since the ACER was established in 1930, the centre has spent years building its reputation as an independent educational research organisation. For more than 90 years, the ACER has provided expertise and support.

ACER doesn’t just provide research for the educational sector. The centre also provides assessments and professional development services. Later in 1999, ACER created Testgrid to smooth the transition to online aptitude testing.

ACER is an independent organisation that earns its income from contracted development projects and research. The organisation also generates an income from creating and distributing services and products.

Recently, ACER has seen some growth. The organisation has at least 400 staff members in countries that include Adelaide, Brisbane, Dubai, Melbourne, London, New Delhi, Perth, Jakarta, and Sydney.

According to ACER’s website, the organisation’s main goals are to provide “support [to] every learner, every learning professional, every learning institution and our learning society through our work.”

What Are the ACER Tests?

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The ACER tests are psychometric tests that were created to provide an honest look into a person’s skills in several different essential areas. As we’ve mentioned before, the ACER tests are used in colleges, universities, schools, governments, businesses and training organisations to assess students and new potential employees.

ACER provides its standard aptitude tests. The organisation also provides tests that can be customised to suit an organisation’s needs, whether they are in the educational sector or a business that’s looking to hire new staff.

These customised tests will ensure that businesses and organisations recruit the best staff for them. The ACER tests also assist schools and universities by gathering important information to make informed decisions in creating and improving learning outcomes.

If you’re asked to complete an ACER test, it will most likely be during the first stages of the company’s recruitment process. In some cases, you will be asked to complete the test at an assessment centre to ensure that the recruitment process remains unbiased.

Different Types of Acer Test

Two primary ACER tests can be used in the recruitment process. These two tests are the Vocational Selection Test (VST) and the Core Skills Profile for Adults test (CSPA).

These tests have been created to evaluate an individual’s abstract reasoning skills, verbal reasoning skills and numerical reasoning skills.

These tests are specifically aimed at evaluating a potential new employee’s skills in a timed restricted scenario. So it’s important to understand what’s expected in these tests.

ACER Core Skills Profile for Adults (CSPA)

The ACER CSPA test consists of literacy and numeracy tests. These tests will consist of literacy and numeracy tests to evaluate your mathematical and verbal skills. These tests will assist hiring companies in finding your strengths and weaknesses.

The CSPA test will consist of three main sections. These sections in the tests consist of writing, numeracy, and a reading section. The CSPA test is an adaptive test, so how difficult the test will depend on how you answer the first group of questions.

The first ten questions are used to set a standard level for the rest of the test. These questions will ensure that the test is low, intermediate, or advanced.

The test will typically consist of a total of 25 questions. You will be scored on how you answer all of these questions.

CSPA Reading Test

In the CSPA Reading Test, you will be presented with a number of texts that are related to a wide variety of subjects. There will also be questions based on the texts you’ve been given in the test.

You will need to read both the texts and the questions carefully during the test. You’ll be able to see both the text and the questions at the same because you won’t be expected to memorise any information.

CSPA Numeracy

This section of the ACER CSPA assessment will consist of questions related to statistics and probability, geometry and measurement, and algebra and numbers. These questions will assess how well you can interpret and manipulate numbers. So you’ll need to be comfortable with quickly making calculations because you’ll have a limited amount of time to complete the test.

CSPA Writing

With the ACER CSPA Writing assessment, you will be assessed on how well you can write. Typically, you will be asked to write short reports, letters, and reflective passages based on the brief provided in the test.

In most cases, the brief in this test will be related to the industry or the job that you’re applying for. Employers will be able to use this assessment to get a comprehensive picture of your writing skills.

ACER Adult Online Writing Assessment (OWA)

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The OWA might be part of ACER’s CSPA assessments. However, it might need to be completed separately.

In the OWA, you will be given two tasks to evaluate your writing skills, especially how persuasively you can write and your writing style in a report.

For the persuasive writing questions, you will need to present your point of view on a particular situation logically and clearly. You will need to form a coherent and evidence-based argument. You will need to present facts that support your opinion.

In the questions related to writing reports, you will be presented with some information in the form of articles, emails, datasets and/or pictures. You’ll interpret the information presented and create a well-structured summary report based on this information.

There will be writing prompts in this test that will outline the subject for each question. These prompts are meant to be related to many industries, jobs, and people. In some cases, a company might request a prompt directly related to their industry and the job you’re applying for.

ACER Vocational Selection Test (VST)

Employers use the ACER’s Vocational Selection Test (VST) to assess how skilled and the potential of any possible new employees before hiring them. The VST consists of five tests: abstract reasoning, interpersonal understanding, mechanical reasoning, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.

In the ACER Vocational Selection Test, you will only have to complete three of these tests. The employer will choose these three tests.

VST Verbal Reasoning

With the ACER verbal reasoning test, the employer is looking to assess how well you can interpret and understand written passages. In this multiple-choice test, the employer will present a number of passages and questions related to these passages.

Just like a typical verbal reasoning test, the ACER VST verbal reasoning test will present you with a statement, and you’ll be asked to decide if the statement is true or false. You will also be given the option to state “cannot say” based on the information you’ve been given.

The verbal reasoning test will also consist of word-list questions. In this section, you will need to choose a word that does not fit in with the rest of the words. These questions are meant to assess how quickly you find the connection between word meanings.

VST Quantitative Reasoning test

The VST Quantitative Reasoning test is a numerical assessment that employers will use to evaluate how well you can process and manipulate information. The VST Quantitative Reasoning test is different because the questions are written as word problems.

To answer these questions, you’ll need to find the relevant information and make the necessary calculations to solve the problems presented in the questions. These questions are also multiple-choice questions.

Along with understanding information and making quick calculations, you will need to be able to deal with percentages, fractions, averages, general arithmetic, basic algebra, and ratios.

VST Abstract Reasoning

In this abstract reasoning assessment, the employer is looking to evaluate your problem-solving and logical thinking skills. In this test, you’ll be given several questions that involve symbols and shapes.

You’ll need to interpret the patterns shown in the questions to find the relationship between these symbols and shapes. Using your interpretation, you’ll need to find the missing element from the different options.

VST Mechanical Reasoning

The employer will assess how well you understand fundamental mechanical principles in applied contexts in the mechanical reasoning test. In this test, you will need to make speed, force, or pressure calculations.

With the mechanical reasoning test, you may also be asked to show what’s the next step in an operational processor or to choose the proper tool for a specific job.

The ACER VST mechanical reasoning test will differ from other mechanical reasoning tests in that this test only evaluates your understanding of mechanical concepts. However, you should have a broad knowledge of mechanical concepts to avoid being unawares by more complicated questions.

The questions in the mechanical reasoning test will include elements such as gears, springs, levers, pulleys, weights, shafts, electrical circuits, and clamps. You will only have 20 minutes to answer all 42 of these questions. So you’ll need to work quickly.

VST Interpersonal Understanding

The VST interpersonal understanding assessment is closely related to a personality test. Just like a typical personality test, the interpersonal understanding test will assist the employer in getting an insight into your personality, motivation and behaviour. Companies are trying to gauge how well you’ll fit in with their core values.

In the VST interpersonal understanding test, you’ll be given plenty of statements. You’ll need to decide how you agree or disagree with the statement. The company will use your answers to create a personality profile for you.

How to Prepare for the ACER Test

With the ACER tests, there are plenty of ways to prepare. You can use practice tests to prepare for the ACER tests and focus on time management.

Prepare using practice tests

Working with practice test versions of the ACER test is the best way to get used to how the test is formatted and structured and the content included in the test. ACER’s psychometric tests are slightly different compared to typical psychometric tests, so it will help if you use practice tests to get familiar with ACER’s style.

When you’re done answering the questions in the practice test, you should go over your answers carefully. You will see the answers you got wrong and what you got right. Then you’ll be able to work on your weaknesses.

Work on your timing

All the ACER tests are timed. This means that you will only have a certain amount of time to complete a test. You’ll need to read and answer the questions quickly and correctly to show that you can work properly under pressure.

Before your actual exam, you should try to determine how much time you’ll have to complete the test and how many questions are in the test. Then you can work out how much time you’ll have to answer each question.

When you’re working with practice tests to prepare for an ACER test, you should time yourself and work against the clock. It’s important to remember that you’ll need to answer all the questions in the test to have a chance of moving on to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Get creative

Practice does make perfect when preparing for the ACER tests. But when you’re preparing for the test, you should also get creative. You should make time to do some fun and creative activities such as word games and puzzles.

You should also make time to read and summarise news articles, whether they’re from a newspaper or found online. You can also read your favourite book and spend time analysing a passage or two. Number games such as Sudoku are other activities recommended activity you can use to prepare for the test.

Ensure that your equipment is ready

The ACER tests are done online. This means that you will need to ensure that the device you’re using to complete the test is ready.

The next thing that you’ll need to check is that you have a stable and secure internet connection. A stable internet connection is especially important because the test is timed, and delays in loading the questions will take up time unnecessarily.

Remain calm

In the ACER tests, just like any other test, you will come across questions that will be trickier than others. Remembering that you shouldn’t panic when you get stuck on these questions is important.

You won’t have a lot of time to complete these questions so you shouldn’t spend a lot of time on a single question. It’s recommended that you should pick your best guess in these multiple-choice questions and move on.

FAQ About the Acer Test

Are ACER tests difficult?

ACER tests are meant to challenge you because they are meant to give employers a clear picture of your strengths and weaknesses. So it’s important to remember that preparing for these tests will go a long way in improving your score.

How long is an ACER test?

The length of the ACER tests will be different for different tests. You should make a note of how long you will have to answer each question when you start the test.

How are ACER tests scored?

After completing an ACER test, you’ll be presented with a raw score (number of questions you’ve answered correctly) and a scale score.

The scale score is important as it shows how well you scored compared to other individuals who completed the same test. If you get a high scale score, you will know that you’ve done well on the test.

Which Financial Employers use ACER tests?

The Financial Advisor Exam (FASEA) is one of the two biggest users of the ACER tests. In particular, the CSPA test is used by financial employers to assess a new hire’s competency potential and skills.

The CSPA test is also useful for tracking a person’s career development. Employers can also use this test to compare applicants’ skills to their current employees’ skills.

The ACER VST tests are also used in a company’s recruitment process. They are especially used when a company is looking to hire trainees, apprentices and graduates.

Final Thoughts

ACER is one of the world’s leading educational research centres. These tests are not just aimed at the educational sector. Many employers use the ACER CSPA tests and the VST tests to assess candidates during the recruitment process.

Both of these tests will evaluate how well you can interpret information and how well you can work under pressure. The VST test, in particular, is sometimes used by employers to compare your skills to their current employees’ skills.

But just like any other test, preparation is key. With JobTestPrep, you’ll find plenty of resources to help you prepare for the ACER tests.

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