Aptitude or Capacity tests are often extra difficult for people with dyslexia. In particular, tests involving language (like analogies and verbal reasoning) can be difficult, but reading instructions for other tests can also be a problem.
There are various ways in which assessment agencies deal with this. Some give you extra reading and preparation time if you say in advance that you are dyslexic. Others assume that you will not get extra time ‘in real life’ and will make no exceptions during the assessment. It would be better if all agencies applied the same guidelines. NIP (the Netherlands Institute of Psychologists) for example, launched a study into this in 2009 with the aim of drawing up a guideline. However, this directive has not yet been adopted.
So in the meantime: how should you prepare for assessment tests as a job seeker with dyslexia?
- Practice some tests. Although your dyslexia will not diminish, it will help you if the design and structure of the tests are clear to you in advance. You will also be less tense, and there are indications that stress can make dyslexia worse.
- Notify the company beforehand. If you expect that your dyslexia will negatively influence the test results, then report it to the assessment agency, even though not all agencies will be able to do something with it. Please state a few days in advance that you are dyslexic, or else immediately at the start of the assessment day during the introductory talk. This way the psychologist can possibly take it into account.
- Take along evidence, preferably an official dyslexia statement. In this way you prevent the assessment agency from interpreting your dyslexia as a ‘weak excuse’ for disappointing test results. Unfortunately, dyslexia is often abused for this (just like dyscalculia, by the way).
- Make sure you are well prepared for questions about your dyslexia. How do you deal with it in practice? Has it ever led to errors? What do you do to prevent letters from going to customers with spelling errors in them?
Are you yourself dyslexic and do you have any more tips? We would love to hear from you. Send us an email (via contact) and we will add it to the blog.