Types and formats of aptitude tests

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Aptitude tests are administered to successful job applicants as part of pre-employment psychometric assessments to determine if they are intelligently fit for a given job. Most of the world’s top employers use aptitude tests as part of their recruitment process especially for high ranking job positions. When you know you are likely to be subjected to an aptitude test, then you can prepare for one well before you face it. This article describes what aptitude tests are and the types and formats of these tests. Having an aptitude for something means you have a talent or a flair for it. It means you have the ability to perform a given task at a certain level. The task may be mental or physical. Perhaps you may have a mental aptitude for mental arithmetic or a physical aptitude for accurately shooting a football. Generally, aptitudes are not related in any way and are therefore completely independent from one another. This goes without saying that being highly skilled in one area does not guarantee an automatic high aptitude for another. Therefore someone who is extremely good at arithmetic is not necessarily good at football. We can therefore conclude that aptitude is actually a natural talent for the performance of a given mental or physical task. To a certain extent, aptitude cannot be gained through knowledge or training of any kind. The concept of aptitudes closely related to the concept of intellectual Quotient (IQ) although these are two completely different concepts. The intelligence quotient views intelligence as a measurable characteristic consisting of combined results of various independent aptitudes while aptitude tests on the other hand aim at assessing the capability or aptitude of any given person in a systematic, structured and objective way. Aptitude tests use standardized methods and the score for each candidate is compared with those of a given reference group or control. Since there are many different skills, there many aptitude tests as well. Most of them can be found online but only particular types are popular with recruitment agencies. Verbal reasoning test is one example of an aptitude test used by employers during the recruitment process. This type of test gives an indication of one’s ability to analyze and understand written information. This is important as employers want to know how well you can communicate. On the other hand numerical reasoning tests evaluate ones elementary arithmetic skills. These skills are an integral part of almost every assessment. Numerical tests provide employers with an indication of candidate’s ability to work with numbers. These tests are done by use of a series of numbers and simple mental arithmetic tests. They may also include graphs and tables which must to be interpreted. A numerical reasoning test assesses your ability to analyze your mental capacity with regard to numbers and figures. Another type of aptitude test is the abstract reasoning test. This test measures candidate’s ability to discover patterns in abstract data and make the right choice by extrapolating these logical patterns. This test is considered to be the best gauge of one’s ability to solve problems in new situations without prior experience or acquired knowledge. It is also known as fluid intelligence and uses both deductive and inductive reasoning. Logical reasoning test as the name suggests gives an employee an idea of how the candidate is able to make a logical conclusion when presented with a problem. Often the Logical Reasoning test is a form of Abstract reasoning test – as it also consists of sequences or groups of diagrams, shapes, patterns, etc.  Most of the time, the problems presented in this test are often illogical or contradictory. The candidate is not required to solve them based upon their knowledge but to rely entirely on what is in front of them. As a rule, spatial reasoning tests are given if the candidate is required to have a good spatial awareness. It is would be relevant to candidates who are required to think in three dimension such as engineers, architects, designers and pilots. Aptitude tests are usually part of psychometric tests.  Psychometric tests can be defined as the “science of the soul” and are an intricate part of the job application process. Leading companies use psychometric tests in the recruitment process. Psychometric tests consist of two parts. The first one is aptitude tests. As discussed above aptitude tests are used to measure one’s ability to perform a given task at a particular level. The second part of psychometric tests is the personality questionnaires which are used to measure candidates personal attitude towards their environment, personal characteristics and assets. This gives the employer an insight into how well the candidate will work with other people, stress management skills and your intellectual ability to cope with intellectual requirements of the task. Psychometric tests give a complete idea of the kind of a person you are and a set of characteristics you possess. It therefore goes beyond determining whether you have a talent in a given area. Many candidates are afraid of these tests but there is really no need. You should bear in mind that no test is perfect and the client does not rely solely on the test result. Employers will use them together with other selection methods such as experience, study results and application letters.

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