What Are Gen 2 Aptitude Tests and Apprenticeships?
Do you want to work in the Engineering, Manufacturing, or Business sectors? Then an apprenticeship or short course with Gen 2 may be just what you are looking for.
Gen 2 is the leading supplier of apprenticeships in the UK. Getting on one of their apprenticeships means that not only will you be training for gainful employment, but you will also be paid while training. You are also quite likely to be awarded a job at the end of your apprenticeship.
If this sounds like a jobseeker’s dream, then perhaps it is time you begin preparing for the recruitment process. You will have to ace the pre-employment assessments to get on one of those apprenticeships.
Preparing for those assessments is your first step to being considered for a place in your chosen programme.
Table of Contents
What Will I Be Assessed On?
Your assessments will depend on the programme you have applied for. For example, if you applied for:
- A General Engineering Apprenticeship You will be tested on Technical Numerical Reasoning, Mechanical Reasoning, your English proficiency, Verbal Reasoning and your Visual Thinking skills. Your ability to work with numbers and carry out calculations will also be tested.
- Technical Specialist Apprenticeship. The tests for this programme are the same as the tests for the general engineering apprenticeship.
Mechanical and technical reasoning tests demand a basic knowledge of the material, but the tests are more concerned with how you apply your logical skills when doing the questions.
- A Business Administration Apprenticeship For this apprenticeship, you can expect tests on your English proficiency, visual thinking abilities, as well as your ability to follow instructions, spatial reasoning and deductive logical reasoning skills.
Format of the Gen 2 Tests
As you can see from the above, the tests are largely concerned with your reasoning abilities with different types of reasoning required for different types of jobs.
For example, the person hoping to pursue a career in business administration will need to prove they have good deductive logical reasoning as well as spatial reasoning skills and, of course, good control of the English language.
The deductive reasoning test can be quite challenging when you first encounter it and will require a lot of preparation. To get a headstart on your preparation, try your hand at the following free sample deductive reasoning test.
The verbal reasoning test may not be as challenging but still needs to be prepared for. For a free sample verbal reasoning test, go here. In the spatial reasoning section, you will get questions along the following lines.
Q When put together properly, the top three pieces will form which of the bottom shapes? Note that a side marked x has to touch another side marked x. In the same way, sides marked y have to touch one another.
General Engineering and Technical Specialist Apprenticeships
Tests that are common to the general engineering and technical specialist apprenticeships are:
- Numerical Reasoning
This test will require you to do calculations based on numbers given to you in graphs or tables. Or you may be asked to work on number series and word problems. Depending on the test, you will be required to use basic or advanced mathematical skills.
You will be doing this test under time pressure which can impact your accuracy, so solid preparation is essential. To get started on your preparation, try your hand at the following free sample numerical reasoning test.
- Mechanical Reasoning
You will have to use any previous information you may have studied as well as your sense of logic, to answer the questions in this section.
Test your ability with the following free sample mechanical reasoning questions.
- Verbal Reasoning
Can you analyse and interpret written information? In this test, you will be presented with short written passages followed by a statement. You will be asked if the statement is True/False/Cannot Say (based on the material in the passage).
This assessment can be called a basic comprehension test but has its own pitfalls. Avoid the trap many applicants fall into of using extraneous information to answer. Use only what is in the passage.
Practice will hone your answering skills, and you may pick up quick means of answering, such as reading the questions before you read the passage. Working like that will enable you to pick out answers more easily. However, that is a skill that comes with practice.
Try your skills with the above verbal reasoning test.
- Spatial Reasoning.
Can you work with 2D and 3D images? Can you visualise changes in these shapes and identify patterns? This is the material you will be asked to work on in a spatial reasoning test. Try your hand with the following sample question.
- When put together properly, the top three puzzle pieces will create one of the following shapes (A-E).
Note that a side marked X has to touch X and a side marked Y has to touch Y.
Choose the correct answer.
Your English proficiency will be assessed for all programmes.
As you have noticed from the free tests given above, the test material is not incredibly difficult.
However, when you have to do these tests under strict time constraints, you will need to be able to work quickly and accurately. When conscious of the limited time allowed for a test, we tend to become flustered and make mistakes that can impact our scores.
Practice is the only way to deal with that problem. Use the resources available to you for that practice.
How Do I Prepare for the Gen 2 Assessments?
To perform successfully in the assessments, it is advisable to use the services of a pre-employment test preparation company. For this, we recommend using Job Test Prep. Relying on them, you will have access to their thirty years of experience in helping job applicants succeed in pre-employment testing.
They will provide you with a test prep pack geared to the specific tests you will have to do for Gen 2 assessments containing:
- All the information you need about the assessments
- Sample test papers modelled on the real tests
- A scoring system where you can check your results for every sample paper you do
- Detailed information on questions and answers
- Helpful study guides
Are the Gen 2 Assessments Hard?
Naturally, given all the benefits that come from doing one of the Gen 2 apprenticeships, the assessments are hard but with some work doable.
The people awarding the apprenticeships select the best applicants for the programmes. The tests assess if you have got what it takes to perform well on the programme and on the job awarded at its conclusion.
You can expect to be assessed on the skills you need to do the apprenticeship you are applying for.
Given the popularity of the programme, you will also be up against a lot of competition from other aspiring apprentices, and you will have to outshine a great many of them to get a place on your chosen programme.
The assessments are timed, and the style of questioning may be different to any you have encountered before, factors that mean you have to be ready for a lot of preparation.
Doing Your Preparation
The secret to good preparation is to be well organised. Try taking the following steps:
- Begin your preparation as soon as you possibly can. Last-minute scrambles to get everything done will seriously affect your performance in the real tests.
- Work to a timetable. Never spend longer than 50 minutes working on something. Then take a 10-minute break before returning to work for another 50 minutes.
- Ensure the day before the tests are left free for final reviews and to get a rest before doing the real tests
- Preparing for tests is stressful. Make sure to get adequate rest, nutrition and fresh air. Your brain will reward you by working more efficiently.
Use Your Sample Papers
Your sample papers are the backbone of your preparation. Working on them in every preparation session will ensure:
- You are working on relevant material
- You are becoming familiar with the style of questioning
- You learn to manage the time restrictions of the tests
- You can monitor your progress by checking your scores
- You quickly identify areas that you are having difficulty with and can deal with them immediately
And most importantly, when the real tests arrive, you have the confidence of knowing there will be no unpleasant surprises waiting for you.
Doing the Assessments
You need to be well rested and clear-headed when the real tests come around. Avoid the temptation to put in an all-night study marathon before the assessments. That would seriously sabotage all the work you have put into your preparation.
You may be nervous. In fact, most people are when doing tests that could have a big impact on their lives. Have some stress-busting techniques, such as deep breathing, to fall back on if you need them.
Approach the assessments with the confidence that comes with knowing you have done the work. Go in there and give it your best shot! If you are applying for a Gen 2 apprenticeship, go here for the resources you need to ace the assessments.
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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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.