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How to Prepare for the Arup Assessments? – Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on February 3, 2022

Is working at the design company Arup is on your wishlist? If so, then welcome to the club!

But we are not talking about your regular Friday night club here.

No, we are talking about designers, planners, engineers, architects, consultants, and all the others who make up the skilled group of Arup applicants who will be competing with you for that dream graduate, internship, or apprenticeship job.

If you are applying for a job at Arup, you are guaranteed intense competition from your fellow applicants and a rigorous recruitment process from a leading global company.

And those two things call for intense practice and preparation on your part to win that coveted job.

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What is the Arup recruitment process?

arup logo

Every September, Arup recruits 250 graduates for roles in their 16 UK locations. But to gain one of those positions, you must begin by submitting an online application form.

Following on from this, expect to be asked to do a Situational Judgement Test (SJT). After this, applicants will be shortlisted by a hiring manager. So, essentially, you are engaging with the recruitment process when you first make your application.

An invitation to attend an assessment centre is your signal that so far you have satisfied the recruiters but also as a caveat that there are still some more tests to complete.

To ace this demanding process, it is essential to begin preparing even before you submit your application for a position.

How do I prepare for the Arup assessments?

Your best option when preparing for pre-employment tests is to engage the services of a job test preparation company.

For this, we recommend using the services of Job Test Prep, leaders in the field of preparing job applicants for pre-employment assessments.

With their experience, you can rely on getting accurate information on the format of the assessments as well as test preparation materials.

Your test preparation materials come in a test prep pack with:

  • Sample tests modelled on the real tests
  • A means of checking your scores as you work through the tests
  • Detailed explanations of questions and answers
  • Study guides
  • Material to help you prepare for your interview and exercises at the assessment centre

Using Job Test Prep’s materials, you are guaranteed to become familiar with the assessments before you do the real tests.

To get an idea of the type of material they can supply you with, try your hand with this free sample Revelian Cognitive Ability Test (Note that Arup generally uses Revelian tests).

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What is the format of the Arup assessments?

You are being assessed from the moment you submit your application form. Arup warns you to apply for only one position and to fill the form thoughtfully.

After submitting your application, you will be asked to do an online SJT. This is one of Arup’s ways of working through a long list of applicants and selecting the people who are best suited to work with them. To progress further in the recruitment process, it is essential to do well in this assessment.

An SJT is designed to assess how you might behave in a specific workplace situation and is essentially a personality test. (Note that personality is judged from your behaviour).

The Arup SJT is the company’s way of assessing your critical thinking and decision-making skills. It will also illustrate your ability to make judgement calls.

In the test, you will be presented with a number of work-based scenarios and will have to decide what course of action you would follow.

To get a better idea of how an SJT can reveal your typical workplace personality, try your hand with some free SJTs here.

Remember, it is your workplace personality, not your downtime personality, that is being judged. When doing the SJT, think as you would think at work.

Arup Interview

You can expect to be called for an interview if you complete the SJT to the recruiter’s satisfaction. The interview is Arup’s way of shortlisting candidates.

Your interview is usually conducted over the telephone and is an initial screening interview to get an idea of your background and qualifications for the role you are applying for. Your competencies will be assessed in later interviews.

You can consider the initial interview as another gateway you have to pass through on your way to the assessment centre and your first opportunity to communicate directly with the recruiter.

For this interview, be ready to highlight previous work experiences where you have worked on a team and used the skills required by Arup.

Arup Assessment Centre

Your invitation to the assessment or discovery centre is a signal that you have satisfied the recruiters up to this point. So allow yourself a moment of celebration before you knuckle down to preparing for the assessment centre exercises.

Arup advises that assessment centre activities may vary depending on the role you have applied for.

However, you can expect some or all of the following:

  • Individual exercises
  • Written exercises
  • Technical exercises
  • Group exercises
  • A competency-based interview

The assessment centre day allows the company to get a better insight into your professionalism and your suitability for a role at Arup.

You may be asked to complete tests evaluating your:

Analytical skills

Try a free sample analytical reasoning test here.

Numerical Reasoning

Try your hand at the following numerical reasoning questions:

Question 1: Easy

Billy has been driving for 4 hours. If Billy has driven 140 km, what has Billy’s average driving speed been?
________ km/h

Question 2: Hard

What is the missing number that should take the place of the question mark?

10 | 19 | 33 | 52 | ? | 105

Now try a timed Revelian numerical reasoning test.

Verbal reasoning

To brush up on your verbal reasoning skills, get started with this free sample test.

Comprehension Skills

A comprehension skills test assesses your ability to read written material and select the relevant information to answer questions.

Regular practice on sample tests will help you to hone your skills in selecting relevant answers to questions. It will help you avoid falling into the trap of answering based on any information that is not included in the material given to you.

A good tip here is to work by process of elimination. Learn to scan the material quickly, discarding any answers to a question that are not relevant. Then zone in on the relevant answers selecting the one you think is best.

Decision Making Skills

Your decision-making abilities can be revealed in an SJT. Test your ability with a free sample SJT here.

Personality testing

This may also be a feature of your assessment day testing. You should be aware that throughout the day, assessors are deciding if you have the personal qualities Arup like to see in their employees.

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What does Arup look for in future employees?

As a new innovative company, Arup in their policy statements, stress the emphasis they put on:

  • Diversity and Inclusion: They like their employees to respect diversity and to show respect to their fellow employees.
  • Ethical Conduct: The company treat people with honesty and fairness and like their employees to aspire to the same standards.
  • Health and Wellbeing: Arup emphasises the health and wellbeing of people in the projects they work on.
  • Environmental Concerns: Arup is committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and seek to respond to environmental concerns in the projects they work on.

For a prospective employee, it is important to be aware of the company’s policies in these areas. The statement on their website that they “Will recruit talented people from diverse backgrounds who share our aims” is an indication that you need to show your understanding of these aims and the value you place on them throughout your day at the assessment centre.

Format of Arup Assessment Centre Exercises

The exercises and tests you are required to do will depend on the role you are seeking but use your test prep pack to ensure you are ready for them.

Group Exercise

Here you will work in a small group seeking to find a solution to a workplace problem. The group will be working under time pressure and be observed by Arup employees as they carry out their discussions.

The group exercise is one of the most challenging aspects of the assessment centre for many applicants.

Your teamwork skills are being evaluated by the assessors. Your communication skills and ability to work in the manner suggested in the company’s policy statement, will also be evaluated. This will give you a lot to bear in mind as you work on the task the group has been assigned.

It is important that you showcase your ability to deal with a work-related scenario, but you need to take care when doing this.

Be careful:

  • To not be either too dominant or too passive in your interactions with the group. You need to strike a happy balance.
  • Express your ideas clearly and logically
  • Remember the value the company places on being respectful to fellow workers.
  • Show your listening skills as well as your speaking skills.

Written Exercise

Here you will be responding to a problem in a case study that you will not have seen before the assessment.

You will be working in a limited time period and will both have to gather information from the piece you are given to read as well as formulate your responses to questions.

The test assesses your ability to deal with written information, make judgement calls and your written communication skills.

To complete the task within the time allowed, prior practice with sample tests is essential.

To get started, try a short verbal reasoning test here.

Role-Play Exercise

Negotiation, analytical and teamwork skills are assessed in this exercise. You and a fellow applicant will be given a brief and 20 minutes to analyse the information it contains. Then you will both need to agree on your response to the information you have received.

The second part of the exercise will see you engaging with an interviewer who plays the part of a client while you represent Arup in negotiations with the client.

A brush up on how Arup deals with clients will help you deal with the role play. As will the detailed guidance on role-play exercises in your test prep pack.

Final Interview

Your final interview will be conducted by a senior member of Arup.

In the interview, you can expect both competency-based and technical questions. Careful preparation is again essential for this stage of the process.

Gather as much information as you can about the company. Discover, for example, who their main competitors are, if they have any new projects in the pipeline and visit their website to refresh your knowledge of their policies.

Expect open-ended questions that give the interviewer a better chance to discover more about you. Use these questions to your advantage and have relevant past work experiences to illustrate your answers.

You can be asked about your reasons for applying for a particular role at the company. You can also be asked about the skills you can bring to the company or about your view of Arup’s core skills.

Show you have done your homework by having a question or two of your own to ask when invited to do so.

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Preparing for the Arup Assessments

Take an organised approach to your preparation by:

  • Working to a timetable
  • Designating a specific place where you can carry out all your preparation
  • Following proven study techniques by working in short bursts of no more than 50 minutes each and taking short, regular breaks

Using your sample tests:

  • Sample tests should be the background of every preparation session.
  • Monitor your progress from test to test.
  • Keep an eye out for mistakes that are tripping you up.
  • Eliminate mistakes when you first spot them, otherwise, they will follow you into the real tests.

Approach the real tests:

  • Clear-headed and well-rested
  • Knowing that there are no surprises awaiting you
  • Confident you have done the work and deserve this

Are you preparing to apply for a role at Arup? If so, you will find all the resources you need to ace the recruitment process here.

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Written by Elizabeth O Mahony

With 25+ years’ experience as a teacher and state examinations corrector, Elizabeth now writes for the education and careers industry. Her experience preparing students for examinations and running an academy for supplementary education give her invaluable insights into what it takes for job seekers and graduates to succeed in assessments.

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