It includes basic numerical ability, problem solving and reasoning skills. It is a basic skill that you will be tested for in almost all kinds of competitive examinations and preliminary tests. Questions range from basic numerical ability and arithmetic, to percentage analysis, graph and table reading, categorization and analysis.
You would need to brush up on all your high-school mathematics. Most of us would be able to tackle these questions, given time. But in most of these tests, time is of essence and in short supply. So you need to really work on your speed. They want to test how fast you can arrive at the correct answer. The only way one can get better at this is through practice. As they say, practice makes a man perfect!
This would include Syllogism or descriptive word puzzles, where a set of statements are made with several conclusions following them and you will be asked to identify the only correct conclusion that can be made. Finding the pattern in a series, identifying a pair with the same analogy as the given pair, de-constructing the code used to encode a set of English words, making the correct deductions based on a small passage and many more such questions will be part of the logical reasoning section.
This section tests your logical thinking ability. Given the time, most people will be able to answer correctly. But as these tests are used as an elimination or selection process, time will be in short supply. Practice is the only way to come out tops and progress to the next stage of the selection process.
This section is open to various permutations and combinations. It can include grammar, synonyms, antonyms, homophones, correction of sentences, fill in the blanks with the correct words, reading comprehension, précis writing, e-mail writing, essay/short passage writing and many more.
The only way you can do well in this section is to keep building your vocabulary over time. It will not happen by rote learning of a few meanings of words. Start with reading an English newspaper daily. Slowly move to small novels. Also start watching English programs on television. And start speaking in English. It will help you at the personal interview stage. The earlier you start focusing on your English skills, the better. There are a whole lot of resources available online that help you improve your spoken English. You can also take one-on-one English classes at LearnSocial.
Test of general knowledge/current affairs
For this again rote learning of facts will not help. Reading an English newspaper daily will help you in multiple ways. It will improve your general knowledge and help you get a better understanding of current affairs across the globe. It will help present you as an informed person. It is not a necessary part of the preliminary test always. But it is important that you are aware of what is happening around the world. It will be handy to take part meaningfully in group discussions that are current affair based. And some times during the interview, you may be asked to respond or give your opinion on a current affairs topic, as an icebreaker. If you are in the know of all the details of the issue or event, you will be able to give an appropriate and informed response instead of just mumbling. This will improve your chances of being noticed and selected for the next round of the selection process.
This is the usual skill set that a person is tested for. But based on the requirements of the organization and the job that you have applied for, there may be a few other skills or competencies that you may be tested for. Prepare yourselves based on the particular requirements of the job. Research the web to know more about the tests, specific requirements, sample tests, practice tests of various organizations. The web is a treasure trove of information and resources.
Do not wait till you receive your qualifying examination certificate in hand to start your preparation. You will be best prepared and your efforts most effective and successful when you start your preparations well in advance. Don’t look at the preparation as just a goal to be reached. Cherish the journey of preparation, as all the skills that you acquire will stick with you over the years and will enrich your personality.