What are Web Aptitude Tests (Web適性検査) and SPI? Prepare for a Key Step and Ace Job-Hunting in Japan

August 25, 2021 3 min read

What is SPI and what are the other types of Web Aptitude Tests? We provide you the information regarding the tests, tips and advice, and finally the resources to begin preparing for SPI and the Web Aptitude Tests!

What is SPI?

SPI stands for ‘Synthetic Personality Inventory’, a test that evaluates the applicants’ personalities and basic competencies that cannot be measured through interviews. It is used in many companies’ recruitment process to test the qualities needed as a competitive employee (that is, personality and skills). There are many types of aptitude tests, but the SPI has the largest number of registered companies and test takers. 

SPI is unique because you cannot check your test scores, but once you take it, you can submit the same test scores to other companies for up to 1 year. You can guess your test scores accurately by applying to companies with a high cut-off score. If you pass, you know you got a high point. Then, you can submit the test result to other companies, and save yourself time by retaking the test every time.

In SPI, there are three subjects. It is a multiple-choice exam and is conducted in Japanese. There is a time limit for every question, so speed is very important.

How to take SPI

There are four main ways to take the SPI, but the most common methods are “test centers” and “web testing”.

Other types of Web Aptitude Test

Web Aptitude Tests are held on the web or online and there are different type of tests. In short, they have different contents or are held at different sites. When applying to companies, you need to research which type of web test is required by them. Different industries and job positions require different web tests.

C-GAB (玉手箱 - Tamatebako): you have a very short amount of time to answer each question. The same type of questions are repeated.
TG-WEB: a little more advanced than other web tests. There are chart and graph comprehension problems.
GAB: taken in a test center assigned by the company. The number of questions is not shared beforehand, but there are time limits for each section; 25 minutes for language, 35 minutes for non-language(calculation), 30 minutes for personality test.
CAB: used mostly in the recruitment process for engineers.

How to study for SPI

First, let us share 5 points to know as you start preparing for web tests!

1. Start by understanding your current level.
Take a mock exam and understand your strengths and weaknesses. It is effective to start studying for the sections you struggle the most with.

2. Time yourself as you practice.
The most important point in the web tests is speed. Most questions can be answered if you have enough time but in the test, time limit can make it difficult. When you practice, don’t forget to time yourself and practice to became faster.

3. Start early.
Familiarize yourself with the structure and questions early on (preferably during your second year of university). After you start writing your ES and resumes, there will be no time to study for web tests!

4. Research which web test is required by your dream companies.
You do not have to study for all types of web tests. Instead, look up what kind of web tests are required by the companies you are applying for and focus studying for those tests.

5. Take the actual test multiple times.
In addition to practicing at home, take the real exam. You can look up other companies that use the same web test as your dream company and take theirs instead. It will be a great practice and will help you in the actual recruitment process.

Study materials for Web Tests

• Hideki Tsuda「これが本当のSPI3だ!」
The most popular choice for shukatsu students. They have the most commonly asked questions by the year. It is perfect for beginners because it has detailed explanations.

• SPI Note no Kai「CAB・GAB完全突破法!」
The questions are grouped together depending on the level of difficulty. It is perfect to start from the easiest level and work your way up to the harder levels.

An app to practice for the SPI. They have sample questions that you can take on your commute or small breaks during the day!

JPort Student Support Team
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