Why Do We Fail in a Psychometric Test?

psychometric test

By the time you finish reading the Blog, you will have a very good idea about the need for a Psychometric Test in Merchant Navy . You will also understand very well, why we fail in a Psychometric Test and are there are any tips and tricks to clear Psychometric Tests? Lastly, you will also go through a set of questions being asked in the Psychometric Test by different Shipping Companies and a pdf file of 50 questions to download and practice. Enjoy reading.

Q.) What is a Psychometric Test?

A psychometric test is made up of two words: “psycho” + “metric”.

Where “psycho” means MIND and “metric” means MEASUREMENT.

Therefore, the psychometric test is a test that measures one’s mind.

As per the records available, ancient China was the first civilization to take a psychometric test while recruiting men in their Army. Why? Because the Army is the most important Institution of any Country and the Chinese realized very early that it is the mental toughness of a person that makes him a warrior, not overgrown muscles.

So much is the importance of evaluating one’s mind in the Armed Forces that today in the Indian Defense Forces one complete day of the Service Selection Board (SSB) is dedicated to Psychometric tests.

Today, the importance of psychometric tests is not just limited to the Indian Defense Forces. Psychometric tests have successfully been incorporated today as a part of recruitment in various Multinational Companies, the Aviation industry, and even in other fields like teaching, where recently in 2017, CBSE called all its teaching staff for a psychometric test as well.

Q.) Why should I, as an individual, be interested in knowing about Psychometric Tests?

Everyone is unique and has some strengths and some weaknesses (in psychological terms commonly called “areas of opportunity” instead of “weakness”). We also know that each profession requires a different set of abilities to succeed. Just to further explain my point with an example, Shri. Amitabh Bachchan failed to join the Indian Army but made a glorious career in acting.

There are countless others who have been rejected for a particular profession because he/she lacked the qualities particularly required to excel in that field but on the contrary they did exceptionally well in a job that matched their strengths.

So, in short, a Psychometric test is a boon for both employers and employees, let us understand that below in detail.

Let us first start with the employers 

A recent study revealed that around 58% of HR managers have caught a lie on a resume. One can easily fake a resume and in an interview as well, which is why organizations have chosen the wrong people for the job and regretted later. So, companies started shortlisting candidates based on IQ and psychometric tests, ultimately, saving the company’s time, manpower and expense.

To make it simpler to understand, today in the Merchant Navy, first, you must clear an online test that assesses your technical knowledge, reasoning skills, and IQ. Then you go for a Psychometric test and if you pass both then only you will be able to appear for an interview. That’s how it becomes easy for a limited number of senior Captains and Chief Engineers to Interview a selected few candidates and choose the best ones.

Now, coming to how the Psychometric test is so effective for employees as well!

Most of us don’t even know what we want from our life. Take for example me, Chief Engineer Praneet Mehta, who at the age of 32 realized that I love interacting with students in the form of seminars in Schools and Colleges. What if I knew my skillset years back or someone would have mentored me in FINDING MY TRUE NORTH, I feel I could have developed better skill sets but what I chose for myself was, follow what others are doing, called HERD MENTALITY. Such Psychometric Tests help us in finding our true north as well. Jokes apart, even though I have been rejected in SSB three times, that experience made me more realistic about my own psychology and how I can improve it each day, every day.

Q.) Do you know why the Psychometric test was included in the Merchant Navy?

When you are flying a Plane or you are fighting a war, you need to make decisions in split seconds. Most importantly, at your decisions rest lives of people. In Shipping, with advancement in technology, you have RADARS installed in ships and other equipment which tell you miles before where the Ship is and still accidents happen. On analyzing it was found that most of the accidents were because of HUMAN ERROR and if the human mind is involved then Psychometric Test is involved.

A million-dollar Ship carrying million-dollar cargo sailing through the Ocean but what if there’s one person onboard who is busy in his own World, does not communicate with the crew, have a negative attitude towards seniors, is lazy and so on, nobody wants to risk neither their lives nor the Ship and Cargo worth millions of dollars

Q.) What qualities are assessed in the Psychometric test of Merchant Navy aspirants?

  1. Sociability– The ability to interact with people and establish effective communication in the workplace is one of the keys to a healthy work environment but it can also be highly disruptive if one is very social and lacks concentration on work. So, in the Merchant Navy we require someone who is NOT extremely social and we also do not want someone who is asocial, so on a scale of 0 to 10 in sociability, between 6 to 8 is something that we aim for.
  2. Decision-making– You can’t be an asset to the company if you are not good at making effective decisions in a particular situation that needs action. There are going to be times on Ship when you will need to think immediately and act without any supervision. So, on a scale of 0 to 10, we aim for anything above 6.
  3. Risk taking– We do not want someone who is a high-risk taker on ship because he would risk his life along with others but we also do not want someone who is least risk taking because then at a place like Ship he would be afraid of performing daily tasks even. So ideally, we aim for 5 to 6 on a scale of 0 to 10.
  4. Ability to organize and Plan– This ability defines how you organize things and plan work in your daily life. The more organized and planned you are the better it is, anything above 7 on a scale of 0 to 10 is desirable.
  5. Reactiveness– How you react to a particular situation is termed as reactiveness. There are going to be times when you will face difficult situations on Ship. During such circumstances if you remain calm and composed that means your reactiveness is LOW but if you start shouting at others that means your reactiveness is HIGH. So, low reactiveness is something that we desire and on a scale of 0 to 10, anything less than 4 is desirable.
  6. Analytical Problem– It is an ability to analyze a problem and come out with an out of box solution. On a scale of 0 to 10, anything above 6 is desirable.
  7. Initiative -When it comes to leading a team, good leaders always take initiative and involve other team members. As a Junior Officer or Cadet, this is one quality that your seniors look for, in your abilities. Taking Initiative to learn and work is highly desirable for all the ranks. On a scale of 0 to 10, anything above 6 is desirable.
  8. Teamwork– This is the most important quality required to work in any organization in the World. One should know how to work in a team because it’s not a person who takes a company to greater heights, it’s the team that takes the company to greater heights. On a scale of 0 to 10, anything above 6 is desirable.

In all, there are around 16 qualities that are assessed for a Merchant Navy Officer, out of those 16 qualities 8 have been discussed above.

Q.) Why do people FAIL in a Psychometric Test?

Oh, I’m sorry firstly, you didn’t fail the psychometric test. It’s just that your abilities do not match with the job profile you are applying for and you got rejected because your competitors stood a better chance than you. This is not a normal exam where you can cheat, fake, or lie. This is based on your personality and how you look upon things or situations.

But there are some common mistakes that students make while attempting this test and hence get rejected even though they had all the qualities needed to be a Merchant Navy Officer:

Just to make it clear, you get rejected for two reasons, one has already been explained above, that is, if your qualities do not match with the qualities required for the Merchant Navy profession, and the other is when it becomes difficult for the Psychologist to assess your complete personality.

 Below are few common reasons for rejection even though you were fit for selection:

1-Not understanding the language – Many times a student does not understand the meaning of a sentence and answers are based on his assumption. A psychologist does not know you personally and assesses you on the basis of your answers and a misunderstood answer at your end can surely mislead a psychologist into thinking that you are unfit for the job. So, the best way is that if you do not understand a sentence, take the help of an invigilator in understanding the sentence and then answer but don’t answer any question on an assumption.

2- Avoid answers such as CAN’T SAY or UNCERTAIN– In most of the questions asked in a psychometric test, there is going to be an option that will have your Neutral reaction like Can’t Say, Uncertain, Don’t Know, Neither accurate nor inaccurate. We request students to avoid using such neutral answers. There have been instances in the past where students have been rejected in psychometric tests because they had a lot of answers marked CAN’T SAY or DON’T KNOW. In such a case it becomes extremely difficult for the Psychologist to assess your personality and come to any conclusion about your abilities leading to rejection.

To avoid such a situation please try and be sure about your answers with either a YES, NO, AGREE, DISAGREE whichever suits you best but avoid Neutral reactions. Say, for example, a question comes, do you like your mother more than your father? We know that most people will answer CAN’T SAY but in a psychometric test, please avoid that and answer with a YES or NO.

At the end of this blog, we have shared a few examples of questions asked by various Shipping Companies, which will give you a better insight.

3- Attempt test when your mind is at peace– A psychometric test is a very dynamic test, your answers will never be the same in case you attempt the same test on two different days. So, basically, your answers keep changing for the same situation and why does that happen? Because on two different days your mind can be in two different states. On one day you can be extremely happy and confident which will reflect in your answers. Another day you got scolded by your parents and your bad mood and lack of confidence will reflect in the test as well. Nobody wants to get rejected in a psychometric test because of situational factors so always give the test when you are at peace, putting it simply, if you are going through some mental stress avoid giving the test at that time, if you are very tired after a long journey, avoid giving the test then as well.

Q.) Are there any TIPS, TRICKS, and HACKS to pass the psychometric test?

Sorry, you cannot fake a psychometric test, the only thing that you can do is:

  1. Work on your communication skills so that you do not get rejected because you could not understand a question properly and answered on assumption.
  2. Always give the test with a peaceful mind and never let situational factors get you rejected.
  3. Avoid giving Neutral Answers such as Can’t say or Uncertain as much as possible.
  4. Start working on your mindset:
  5. Develop an attitude of ‘not giving up’’
  6. Start taking initiative by bringing yourself out of your comfort zone
  7. Improve your reasoning and analytical ability,
  8. Play team sports to develop leadership and team building skills

Remember “when your mindset changes, your result changes”.

Q) What kind of questions are asked in the Psychometric Test of different Shipping Companies?

Each Shipping Company has its own way of conducting Psychometric tests with its own pattern of questions. Below, I am sharing a few questions about the psychometric tests for some specific companies/ Colleges:

IMS GOA (Select only one option and around 180 questions to be attempted in 1 hour)

Q.) Do you like to go out with friends?

  • Agree                
  • Sometimes        
  • Disagree

ANGLO EASTERN (Select one option and around 240 questions to attempt in 60 mins to 90 mins)

Q.) I believe more in:

  • Being properly serious in everyday life
  • Can’t say
  • The saying “laugh and be merry” most of the time


Q.) I find life to be meaningless and worthless

  • Does not apply to me at all
  • Applies to me to some degree, or some of the times
  • Applies to me to a considerable degree, or a good part of time.
  • Applies to me very much, or most of the time.

TORM (No time limit)

Q.) What do you feel about yourself?

  • There are going to be a lot of adjectives as options like I am a good team worker, I have good leadership skills, I am an extrovert and so on. One needs to select the options that suit them the most.

BW SHIPPING (No time limit)

Q.) My friends always take advice from me:

  • Strongly Disagree
  • Disagree
  • Uncertain
  • Agree
  • Strongly Agree

CHEVRON (No time limit) (In this you have to select the two closest options that describe you.)

Q.) My friends think of me as:

  • Approachable
  • Sensible
  • Introvert

GREAT EASTERN (60 questions in 30 minutes)

Q.) I’m the kind of person who sees the big picture, focusing less on the small details

  • Agree
  • Can’t say
  • Disagree

Some other examples:

Q.) I blame myself when things don’t go in the planned way

  • Very inaccurate
  • Somewhat inaccurate
  • Neither inaccurate nor accurate
  • Somewhat accurate
  • Very accurate

Hope this Blog covers all the questions that come to your mind regarding a Psychometric test, pls do share your other concerns in the Comment section, would love to reply to your comments.

A special thanks to Pinky Roy Ma’am without her guidance this blog would not have been a possibility at all. Ms. Pinky Roy is a Masters in Applied Psychology. She is working as a consultant Psychologist at Anglo Eastern Maritime Academy and has also worked extensively with DG Shipping on a few research papers as well. Thank you Ma’am for being so supportive always.

While preparing this blog we shared this blog with many students to get their feedback before publishing. So, as per their reviews, we have attached a link from which you can download 50 Psychometric questions for Merchant Navy pdf for your reference. 

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

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Ayush Ranjan

Thank you to everyone who got the idea to cover this topic. There were many things which I knew before reading the blog but still I found this blog useful. It is because I found the mistake I did in IMS, Goa Entrance Exam; Avoid Neutral Answers. I choose neutral answers for the questions that were not understood by me. I believe other aspiring minds will also find it useful. This comment(compliment) is an acknowledgement to Sir Praneet Mehta & his team for doing such a wonderful job. Keep aspiring me. I believe in you Sir.


Excellent article for those preparing for entrance to any professional and critical field like uniformed services.

Umesh Motgi

Thank you for the blog,very much informative,really loved to read


Thanks praneet sir for this blog .I just now read and completed the blog its really helpful for me in future, and one of my senior got failed in psychometric exam he told this exam is really important. I didn’t mind it and I totally ignored about that exam. After your blog . I completely understand what is psychometric exam. How it’s helpful in merchant navy field right you said it’s all about our mindset . And ,So I got an idea about the psychometric exams now. Thank you for this blog




You absolutely nailed it Sir


Very well said sir Thank you sir for this article. This is what every aspirants wants to know, many are afraid of this psychometric test. What it is? Points to keep in mind while giving the test? And because they don’t know about it they failed the psychometric test but sir thanks to you and your team, you covered all the queries, really helpful sir
Thank you so much 🙏🙏🙏

Mayur Savale

Very very informative blog about psychometric tests. Even google cannot tells us this much brief and in simpler language as u explained this praneet sir. Very well explained sir.

atul verma

Thank you so much sir for putting this much effort .it means alot


Hey sir psychometric clear nahi hua keasa karu

Ali Mohammad

Thanks 🙏 May god bless you

Shantanu Nautiyal

It would be great if you share the answer of the questions mention in last. Btw such a great blog. Looking forward for more.

Bhadra D Nair

Can we give the answers as strongly agree or strongly disagree?

Bhadra D Nair


srinu babu


Bhadra D Nair

Can people who had undergone scoliosis surgery be deck cadets


Informative and effective blog.


thanks praneet sir, this blog really helps me

Manoj H D

Actually I don’t had any idea regarding this psychometric test… And above mentioned points are very informative and made me very clear about it. thanks for your valuable time, guiding us in a very informative way