What are the ACER aptitude tests?
Providing reporting tools and services to schools, universities, training organizations and employers, ACER (otherwise known as The Australian Council for Education Research) helps employers to recruit new talent.
The ACER aptitude tests are a set of assessments designed to evaluate the academic achievement and progress of students in Australia. They measure what students have learned in their educational journey and enable teachers, parents, and school administrators, to make decisions about how best to support each student’s learning.
Legal firms looking to hire the brightest minds work with ACER to ensure they have a comprehensive overview of their applicants’ skills and values.
How are the ACER aptitude tests formatted?
If you are applying for a job or university program that requires the ACER aptitude tests, understanding how the tests are formatted can help you pass with a high score.
ACER provides the following tests:
ACER Vocational Selection Test
Five tests exist within the ACER VST, but generally, candidates only have to take three of the following five tests (depending on the job role you’re applying for):
1. ACER Verbal Reasoning
This consists of two types of verbal reasoning questions. The first is where you will be given passages of texts that you’ll have to answer questions on. The second will present you with a flow chart detailing a task and again, you will be asked to answer questions on it.
2. The Core Vocational Selection Test
This includes three tests: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning and abstract reasoning.
3. ACER Quantitative Reasoning / Numerical Reasoning
This test examines your numerical and mathematical skills.
4. ACER Abstract Reasoning
This abstract reasoning test will require you to work through diagrams to identify the relationship between each diagram, before choosing the missing one.
5. Optional components
This includes two tests. Mechanical reasoning, which tests your understanding of mechanical systems, and the relationship between the moving parts in a mechanism. And interpersonal understanding, which is essentially a personality questionnaire.
ACER Core Skills Profile for Adults Aptitude Test
The ACER CSPA aptitude test is most commonly used in Australia, and consists of four components. Cleverly, the test adapts to your capability level based on how you have answered the previous questions. The four components include:
1. CSPA Numeracy
The CSPA numeracy test looks at how well you can solve simple mathematical challenges in measurement, geometry, statistics, probability and algebra.
The questions are of moderate to high difficulty and require a solid understanding of core mathematical concepts.
2. CSPA Reading
Similar to verbal reasoning, the ACER CSPA reading test requires you to read and understand passages of text in order to answer questions. The test includes multiple-choice questions that assess various aspects of reading comprehension, such as understanding the main idea, making inferences, and the strength of your vocabulary.
You will need to work on your reading strategies to comprehend the passages and answer the questions. Strategies such as skimming, scanning, and summarizing can help you quickly identify important information and make connections between ideas.
3. CSPA Writing
The CSPA writing test will require you to write a letter, report or short passage based on a specific brief.
Assessors are looking for candidates that are able to organize and structure their writing efficiently. This includes developing a clear thesis statement, using supporting evidence and examples, and organizing your ideas in a logical and coherent manner.
4. The Snapshot Reading & Numeracy Indicator (SRNI)
The SRNI is an assessment tool designed to provide a quick snapshot of a candidate's reading and numeracy skills. It is divided into two sections, one for reading and one for numeracy. You will need to answer 15 questions in each section. Most candidates complete the SRNI in approximately 15-20 minutes.
The reading section assesses your ability to read and understand written text. You will need to answer questions related to comprehension, vocabulary, and understanding of language conventions.
The numeracy section evaluates your ability to work with numbers and perform basic mathematical calculations. The questions related to algebra, data interpretation, and measurements.
ACER Mechanical Reasoning Test
The ACER mechanical reasoning test is typically used as part of the selection process for technical and mechanical job roles, apprenticeships, and entry into vocational training programs.
This test is designed to assess an individual's ability to understand and apply mechanical principles and concepts. It consists of 42 questions that cover topics such as:
- Simple machines: levers, pulleys, gears, and inclined planes.
- Force and motion: velocity, acceleration, friction, and momentum.
- Energy and power: work, power, energy, and efficiency.
- Properties of materials: tensile strength, elasticity, hardness, and brittleness.
- Fluid mechanics: the behavior of liquids and gases, such as pressure, buoyancy, and flow.
- Electrical circuits: circuits, resistors, capacitors, and electrical power.
The ACER mechanical reasoning test is a challenging assessment that requires the individual to think logically and use problem-solving skills. It is important to prepare for the test by reviewing basic mechanical principles, practicing sample questions, and getting familiar with the types of problems that may be encountered in the test.
ACER Test of Employment Entry Mathematics
The ACER Test of Employment Entry Mathematics (TEEM) is designed to assess a candidate's mathematical skills and problem-solving abilities in a workplace context. The TEEM covers a range of mathematical concepts and topics:
- Arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division of whole numbers, decimals, and fractions.
- Algebra: linear equations, inequalities, and quadratic equations.
- Geometry: angles, triangles, and circles
- Trigonometry: trigonometric ratios, sine, cosine, and tangent.
- Data analysis: averages, percentages, and graphs.
The questions evaluate your ability to apply mathematical concepts to real-world situations encountered in technical or trade-related fields.
Candidates can prepare for the test by reviewing mathematical concepts covered in the test, practicing sample questions, and reviewing test-taking strategies.
Online Writing Assessment for Adults
The Online Writing Assessment for Adults (OWA) is a writing assessment tool designed to evaluate the writing skills of adults, including those seeking higher education or professional development opportunities.
The OWA is used to determine your ability to write a report, as well as an argumentative piece. It evaluates:
- Quality of ideas
- Language choice
- Sentence structure
- Punctuation (of and within sentences)
- Purpose and audience
OWA Argument Task
The argument requires you to write an argumentative essay in response to a given prompt. The prompt presents an issue and asks you to take a position and provide supporting evidence for your argument.
You will be asked to analyze the prompt, develop a clear thesis statement, and provide evidence to support your argument. You must also demonstrate the ability to organize your thoughts logically, use proper grammar and syntax, and effectively convey your ideas to the reader.
The argument assesses your ability to critically analyze a given issue, construct a well-reasoned argument, and communicate your ideas effectively in writing.
OWA Report Task
The second task requires you to write a report in response to a given prompt. The prompt presents a scenario or situation and asks you to analyze the situation and provide a report detailing your findings.
You will be required to identify relevant information, analyze data, draw conclusions, and present your findings in a clear and concise manner. You must also demonstrate the ability to organize information logically, use appropriate headings and subheadings, and follow proper formatting and citation guidelines.
The report prompt assesses your ability to analyze data, draw conclusions, and communicate your findings effectively in writing.
Which law firms use ACER aptitude tests?
The ACER tests are primarily used by schools and educational institutions for admissions, scholarships, and other academic purposes. However, some law firms may also use these tests as part of their recruitment process to assess candidates' cognitive abilities and aptitudes.
These tests may vary depending on the firm and the position being hired for. Some law firms that are known to use similar aptitude tests in their recruitment process include Clifford Chance, Baker McKenzie, and White & Case.
What abilities are the ACER aptitude tests measuring?
Some of the key abilities measured by ACER aptitude tests are:
Verbal reasoning: understanding, analyzing and drawing meaning from written language.
Numerical reasoning: working with numbers and understanding numerical concepts, including arithmetic, algebra, and statistics.
Abstract reasoning: recognizing patterns, thinking logically, and solving problems in abstract contexts.
Cognitive abilities: memory, attention, perception, and spatial reasoning.
Literacy and language skills: reading and comprehending written texts, as well as using language effectively in written and oral communication.
Top 5 Tips to Prepare for your ACER Aptitude Test
1. Take ACER practice tests
One of the best ways to prepare for ACER aptitude tests is to practice as much as possible. You can find practice tests online. Practice will help you become familiar with the types of questions and the timing of the test.
2. Improve your math skills
ACER aptitude tests often include numerical reasoning questions that test your ability to work with numbers, interpret data, and solve problems. Make sure you brush up on your math skills, including basic arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.
3. Enhance your vocabulary
ACER aptitude tests may include verbal reasoning questions that test your vocabulary and language skills. You can improve your vocabulary by reading books, newspapers, and articles, and using online vocabulary tools.
4. Work on your time management skills
ACER aptitude tests are timed, so it's important to develop good time management skills. Practice taking practice tests under timed conditions to get used to the pace of the test.
5. Keep calm and focused
On test day, make sure you are well-rested and focused. Take breaks if you need to, and don't panic if you don't know the answer to a question. Stay calm and focused, and try your best.