What are SOVA Tests?
SOVA is a talent assessment company, providing psychometric tests via a digital platform. SOVA’s background in organisational psychology means the tests are carefully designed to highlight the best talent in the recruitment pool.
SOVA offers separate as well as blended assessments, so the candidate or employee journey can be curated to suit the needs of the organisation and the demands of the job role. Assessments offered include verbal, numerical and logical reasoning (also known as ability tests), situational judgement and personality tests. They also provide a video interview platform, to further integrate and streamline the stages of the recruitment process.
The tests may be used as part of a company’s early-stage recruitment process (i.e. after application submission) or as part of an online assessment day, alongside additional group exercises, a presentation or interview. They may also be taken by existing employees to assess individuals for promotion or new internal career opportunities.
The use of SOVA’s standardised testing enables fair, equitable recruitment, helping employers to make more informed, data-driven hiring decisions. This protects against any unintended bias and ensures the top talent is selected for the right organisational roles.
Ability assessments is the umbrella term used for SOVA’s numerical, verbal and logical reasoning tests. These tests assess a candidate or employee’s ability to interpret and analyse information quickly and accurately and come to the correct conclusion. They involve data presented in the form of graphs, written paragraphs and diagrams.
The SOVA numerical reasoning assessment tests an individual’s ability to work with numerical data. Information is likely to be presented in tables, graphs and charts and will relate to realistic scenarios. If the test has been tailored to the recruiting organisation, data relevant to the company’s work streams may be encountered.
Questions can involve basic arithmetic, percentages, fractions, ratios, averages, sequences and algebra.
The test is multiple choice, with four answer options to choose from. Both pace and accuracy are important, as the final score is calculated taking the number of correct answers and the time taken to answer each question into consideration.
The verbal reasoning assessment seeks to measure a candidate’s ability to process and interpret verbal and written information. Questions, based on the text or recording provided, will ask whether a given statement is ‘true’, ‘false’, or if you ‘cannot say’ based upon the limited information.
Candidates need to be able to extract the salient information and make accurate deductions. Reading the statement and question carefully is important, so no detail is missed.
Again, the final score takes into consideration both the number of questions answered correctly and the pace at which they were submitted. This means the test requires the ability to read and absorb information under time pressure.
The SOVA logical reasoning assessment tests critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Candidates are required to answer multiple choice questions involving diagrams, patterns and sequences.
This involves a logical approach – systematically breaking down the components, identifying relationships and deducing the rules governing the pictorial – in order to reach the correct answer.
No prior knowledge is needed, as the test aims to assess your approach and cognitive agility. Candidates are assessed on both their accuracy and pace, as each contributes to the final score.
The test may include aspects of diagrammatic, abstract, critical, deductive and inductive reasoning.
Situational Judgement Test (SJT)
SOVA’s Situational Judgement Test (SJT) presents candidates with hypothetical workplace scenarios using a mixture of imagery, animation and video. They are required to respond to each, indicating which course of action would be the most and least effective in the given situation. There will be three or four responses to evaluate.
It is important to answer based upon only the information presented in the scene – leave any assumptions or prior knowledge aside.
The test aims to assess the ability to respond quickly, proportionately and effectively to common situations that will be experienced in role. A high score in an SJT proves to an employer that you are capable, responsible and aligned with their company culture and ways of working.
The situational judgement test can also be designed to identify whether a candidate’s behaviour is likely to fit with specific organisational values.
The SOVA personality questionnaire is designed to provide insight into a prospective employee’s character, personality traits and behaviour. It seeks to understand aspects such as your motivators, working style, relationship formation and values.
Candidates are presented with a series of statements grouped into thematic sets of four. Each statement must be rated on a five-point scale from ‘most like me’ to ‘least like me’. Within the sets of four, you will only be able to select each point on the scale once.
There are no correct or incorrect answers in this assessment, but there will be responses that align better with your chosen company’s ways of working. Responses should be selected honestly, to give an accurate reflection of your behavioural preferences.
If none of the options fully capture your personality, select ‘most like me’ for the statement that is closest to how you feel.
SOVA Video Interview
SOVA’s video interview helps to create a more streamlined recruitment process, providing interview assessment on the same platform as psychometric testing. The video interview presents candidates with a series of both written and pre-recorded questions. Responses need to be individually recorded and submitted.
Candidates have 1 minute to review each question and formulate their answer, before the 3 minute recording time begins.
There is a practice question at the beginning of the interview, so you can familiarise yourself with the process and fix any technical issues with your webcam, microphone or internet connection.
Treat the interview like an in-person interview - look directly into the camera and speak clearly and confidently, as if you were having a conversation.
To avoid distraction, sit the video interview in a quiet room, free from distractions. A neutral background and smart clothing will help to convey professionalism.
Which Financial Employers Use SOVA Tests?
Many financial and professional services companies trust SOVA’s psychometric assessments to assist their hiring process. Companies which use SOVA assessments during recruitment include KPMG, Santander, Bain & Company, RSA and Royal Bank of Scotland.
The tests are used for recruiting new talent as well as assessing current employees for internal progression and promotion opportunities.
Top Tips to Prepare and Pass Your SOVA Assessment Test
1. Familiarise yourself with SOVA questions – practising with tests similar to SOVA’s in structure, format and content will help you to become acquainted with the style of test you will face. This will help to improve your confidence, as well as work pace.
2. Build a steady working pace – Whilst there are no set time limits for completion, SOVA tests are scored based upon the number of questions answered correctly and the time taken to answer them. This means that speed is just as important as in tests set by other publishers you may have encountered. Time your practise attempts so you can keep a track of your pace per question, which should be around 30 - 45 seconds (for reasoning assessments).
3. Read the questions carefully – As time is of the essence in SOVA assessments, it may be tempting to rush through the questions. It is, however, important to take your time to absorb the content of each question, so your answer reflects its demands. Avoid losing unnecessary points by assuming what the question is asking of you, as each question is different.
4. Prepare your equipment – To complete your SOVA assessment(s) you will need a quiet environment free from distraction, a desktop computer, laptop or tablet and a stable internet connection. The tests are taken on a Zoom-based platform, so you will need to have the application downloaded. You may also require a pencil, scrap paper and a calculator. Conduct test runs of your set up to reduce the chance of any technical issues when sitting your test(s).
How long are SOVA tests?
SOVA tests vary in length according to assessment type and have no set duration. Pace does, however, contribute to your overall score. An average of 45 seconds is suggested per question for the numerical and logical reasoning assessments. The pace of the verbal reasoning should be a little faster, at around 30 seconds per question. There is a total time allocation of 4 minutes for each video interview question.
How are SOVA tests scored?
SOVA tests are scored by considering the number of questions answered correctly and the pace at which they were answered. Scores are released as raw, as well as percentile scores, which allow for comparison across the candidate cohort. Scores may also be compared to a benchmark set by previous intakes.
Are SOVA tests difficult?
SOVA tests assess your cognitive ability and mental agility across several different disciplines. They can be demanding as they require fast and accurate working. To be successful in the tests a high score is needed, which increases the pressure on candidates to excel. With practise, however, you can feel confident in applying your problem-solving, critical thinking and interpretation skills.
What do I need to complete my SOVA assessment?
To sit a SOVA assessment, you will need access to a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile and a quiet, distraction free environment. A stable internet connection will help to prevent any technical issues disrupting your attempt. You may also wish to have a pencil, paper and calculator for the numerical reasoning assessment. Having a glass of water handy – particularly for the video interview – is recommended.