Pymetrics Test: Guide and Tips
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Pymetrics is a New York-based testing company that creates what are known as ‘gamified’ assessments.
Since 2013, it has been blending the latest in cognitive science with AI to create a series of games that use algorithms to measure certain soft skills, cognitive abilities and behavioral traits.
The tests are usually used for talent acquisition, as a pre-employment assessment that is usually administered early in the recruitment process, but they can also be used to assess employees for development opportunities and potential for promotion.
Recruiters use Pymetrics to assess candidates because the tests are equitable and flexible – they are completely unbiased, meaning that the soft skills measured are not related to anything like socioeconomic status, gender, race or education level.
They are also completely tailored to fit the position that is being advertised, assessing candidates only on their potential and their fit to the role rather than being a pigeonholing exercise.
The gamified tests are presented as a series of mini-games that are similar to the activities you might play when you are using a brain-training app on your smartphone. They last just a few minutes each, with all 12 games completed in about 25 minutes.
Your performance in each game is under constant assessment by the AI algorithms, collecting thousands of data points around more than 90 traits.
Not only is your success (or failure) under assessment, but your reaction and thinking time, when you make a move or hesitate, as well as your problem-solving methodology is all being assessed.
As you are playing the games, you will not necessarily be aware of what is being assessed, but behind the scenes the algorithm is seamlessly collecting data in an ethical and unbiased way – to produce a detailed report for the recruitment team about your suitability for the role.
The nine areas are:
- Risk tolerance
- Emotional intelligence
The games themselves might not be obvious about which traits are being assessed, but some might be.
For example, the Balloon Game, which is one of the most well-known of the Pymetrics battery, is looking at risk tolerance but the algorithm will also be assessing you on other facets of the main traits listed.
When you apply for a role, the profile of the ideal candidate will have been decided by the employer and the recruitment team, and your performance in the Pymetrics assessments will be compared to that profile to see if you are a good fit.
There are currently 12 games used in the Pymetrics battery, and businesses might use various combinations of the test to find the right candidates for the role they are advertising.
Tests: Trust, risk tolerance.
In this mini-game, you are working with an AI partner. You are given $10, and you have to decide on a sum of money to give to your partner.
Whatever you choose to give them, it will be tripled before they receive it.
You will then receive a sum of money from the partner.
After this transaction is completed, you are asked to rate how fair you think it was.
This is not a game about keeping the larger sum, but about balancing trust and risk.
This is a simple exercise where you are asked to press a key repeatedly, as many times as you can in the given time. You will have a countdown to get started, and this evaluates your coordination and motor function as well.
Tests: Risk tolerance, decision-making, learning.
In this game, you need to pump up a balloon. Each pump earns $0.05, and you can bank what you earn from the pumping whenever you want. The balloon can burst at any time, and you will lose all the money you had earned in that round if it happens.
The balloons have a pattern to when they explode, based on their color, so if you can work out the pattern you will be able to work more accurately and collect more money.
Working with an AI partner in this game, you are both given $5, and one of you will randomly get an extra $5. You have to decide whether to give some to your partner or keep it all. You will be asked to rate how fair you consider this transaction to be.
In the second round, only you get the extra $5. You can choose to keep it, share it with your AI partner or take all their money as well. You’ll be asked to rate the fairness of this transaction too.
Again, this is not about having the most money at the end, but more about balancing altruism with self-interest.
In this game, a series of numbers will flash up on the screen, and you will have to type out the sequence in order. This is an adaptive game, which means if you get them right, the sequence will get longer, but if you struggle the sequence will become shorter.
Tests: Effort, decision-making, motivation.
In this mini-game, you will be asked to complete an easy task with a low reward, or to complete a harder task with a higher reward. In each round, you will be provided with the probability of success for each task as a percentage, and you must decide which task to choose.
For this game, you will be asked to complete an action, usually some form of keypress, when you are given a specific trigger.
This usually is a shape of a specific color, shown on the screen in a series with similar shapes of different colors, or different shapes of the same color.
You are only meant to press the key when you see the right-colored shape, for example, a blue triangle.
Tests: Risk tolerance, learning, decision-making.
There are four decks of cards, and you need to draw cards in turn. Some cards will earn money, while other cards will lose you money – and the patterns are not based on probability.
Instead, some decks offer high risk and high reward, while others would be considered ‘safer’ by offering low risk and low reward.
This is another flashing game where you will need to be able to demonstrate great attention.
You will be presented with different groupings of arrows pointing in different directions, and you will need to select the direction of a particular arrow in the group, depending on the color.
For example, if the arrows are blue, you will need to give the direction of the middle arrow, while if the arrows are red, you would need to describe the direction of the side arrow.
Tests: Learning, motivation.
At the beginning of this game, you are shown two pictures that are almost exactly the same, but one detail will have slightly different dimensions.
This part of the picture will be longer or shorter than the other. You will be shown one or other of these two pictures, and you will have to decide if it is the shorter one or the longer one, over and over again.
Tests: Decision-making, learning.
This game will have a familiar feel for those who play casual games on their smartphone. You need to move some blocks between three towers to make the same pattern as shown in the example and complete it in the least moves.
The way this game is assessed is not just about the moves you make, but about the time you spend thinking about what to do, using logic and judgement before making a move.
Tests: Emotional intelligence.
This is a game about identifying the facial expressions of people on your screen. Some of the people will just be images, while others might have some scene-setting with a written description.
You need to choose which emotion the person is displaying based on their facial expression.
Unlike many other pre-employment assessments that you might face, the Pymetrics games are not marked numerically.
You will not get a mark out of 100, a percentile score or any other indication of whether you have passed or failed – because it is not that sort of assessment.
Instead, the marking of the Pymetrics assessment will rely entirely on what the employer that you have applied to is looking for.
To find this ‘ideal profile’ the recruitment team will have the top performers who are already in the role play the games and use their results to set a benchmark that your results will be compared against.
This benchmark will be different between different companies, and different between roles and even between different levels of seniority – which makes it difficult to predict what would be a ‘good’ score.
When you have completed the games that you have been set, a detailed report is sent to you and the recruitment team, describing the results of the AI algorithm data gathering.
The report that is created is known as the trait report, and it provides detailed feedback about your performance across the key trait areas being measured.
The report defines each characteristic or trait, and then explains how your test results and performance relates, comparing them to the ideal profile benchmark.
When you receive this data, you will also be able to see where your strengths lie, and any areas that you might need to improve on.
One of the most impressive things about taking a Pymetrics assessment is that your results will stay in its database – which means that if your traits are not a close enough match for you to get the role you have applied for, you could be matched to another role that tests using Pymetrics and might be more suited to your traits.
Pymetrics tests might be quite different to the multiple-choice style questions that you might be expecting when you are taking a pre-employment assessment, but that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for them in a similar way.
Before you start revising and practicing, you want to be sure that you know what your prospective employer is likely to be looking for.
You can get an idea of that from the role itself – a salesperson might be expected to be more confident and outgoing, perhaps more of a risk taker, while someone who works in finance should be more risk averse and be able to focus.
You can also find out more information about the traits that the employer might be looking for on its careers site, and the job description itself is a mine of information.
Although there are few realistic practice tests available for Pymetrics, gamified assessments are all quite similar and the more you can practice these tests, the more confident you will feel.
When you know what to look for in each game, you will feel more confident in playing – and can perform at your best.
Practice tests at JobTestPrep are a good bet for realism, and with the added benefit of detailed revision resources and other helpful tips and tricks you’ll feel much more prepared.
During the Pymetrics assessment, you will be completing a number of games in a short space of time, with each one only lasting a short amount of time – so speed is of the essence.
You want to make sure that throughout your practice you are working to the greatest efficiency.
Speed is important – but so is accuracy, so be sure to take the necessary time to really understand what is being asked of you in each mini-game.
You cannot expect to perform at your best without the right fuel, and that means that sleep, food and hydration should be at the top of your preparation list before you take the tests.
Your brain needs adequate rest, so a good night’s sleep is essential for optimal performance. Eat a balanced and healthy meal to help and ensure that you are drinking plenty before (and if necessary, during) the games.
While the information on each game above gives a good overview of what to expect, it is worth the extra time to read any instructions carefully as the games may differ slightly or you might have to answer the questions in a different way.
It is also worth mentioning that you won’t be able to pause any of the mini-games once you have started them, although you can take a break between games should you need to.
It is a good idea to ensure you are somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed when you start playing so that you don’t get pushed out of the flow of what you are doing.
If you are invited to complete the Pymetrics test as part of a job application process, it will not cost you anything. You cannot take the test unless you are invited by one of the companies that use the Pymetrics platform for hiring.
There is no easily quantifiable figure that describes the percentage of candidates who pass the Pymetrics test.
It is not really regarded as a pass/fail type of assessment; instead, candidates are judged against an ‘ideal candidate’ profile to assess their fit for the role.
One of the most unique things about the Pymetrics suite is that your results are stored on the Pymetrics database, which means that if there is a role for another company that your trait profile suits more, then you might end up getting employed there instead.
The only requirements needed for the Pymetrics test is an invite to complete from a recruitment team.
You will need to access the online platform, but the system is compatible with most operating systems online as well as smartphones, so it couldn’t be easier to get started.
If your trait report matches what the recruitment team are looking for in the role you have applied for, then you will be taken forward to the next stage in the process.
If your trait profile is not a good match, then your details will be stored online, and you could be approached for a role at another company where you are a better fit.
Here you will be able to access more in-depth analysis of each game, ideas for revision and even realistic practice tests.
If you have previously taken a Pymetrics test, you will be unable to complete another for at least 330 days.
If invited outside of this time limit, you have the option to resubmit your original results or play again to try and improve.
After you have completed the games required in your Pymetrics test, you and the recruitment team will receive a detailed feedback report known as a trait profile.
This will contain your results, which the recruitment team will compare against the norm to see if you would be a fit for the role.
The recruitment team will let you know what the timeframe for an update will be.
If your trait profile matches what the team are looking for, then you will be invited to the next stage of the recruitment process.
If you are not a good fit, then your application will be terminated – but there is a chance that another partner of Pymetrics might have a role that is more suited to your trait profile, and you could get a job there instead.
Although the Pymetrics suite is a bit more interesting than the basic multiple-choice aptitude tests or the self-reporting personality assessments, it is still a pre-employment test that is designed to be challenging, so it shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Every move you make (or don’t make) when playing the fun little mini-games is feeding data into the ethical AI algorithm, helping it to create a trait report that goes into detail about your behaviors, personality and aptitude to compare them to what the company is looking for.
For the greatest success in the Pymetrics gamified assessments, you need to know what traits are important for the role you have applied for, and bear these in mind when you are taking the test.
Preparation and practice will help you feel more confident before you start, and really focusing on the games while you are playing will help you achieve the best possible results.