What Is An Aptitude Test?

Aptitude means: inclination, tendency, natural ability, or capacity for learning
 
Aptitude Tests explore a person's inclination, tendency, or capacity to succeed in a specific situation.  They are usually made up of a series of multiple-choice questions.

Categories of Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests can be broken down into two primary categories; organizational and educational.

● Organizational Aptitude Tests

These tests are developed by an organization or outsourced from a standardized testing facility. They are often used during the initial interviewing process to obtain a detailed examination of the applicant's skill sets and how well they match the job requirements.

● Educational Aptitude Tests

An educational aptitude test is most beneficial for students to measure how talented they are at certain subjects in school. These tests can show how well students are mastering areas of learning such as mathematics and language. It can also indicate whether they are developing at an appropriate pace and if they require special education assistance.

Aptitude tests can also help students determine which areas they are most developed in, where they have natural ability, and, therefore, which possible careers might be the best option for them.

Types of Aptitude Tests

There is an endless number of aptitude tests that can assess either a person's general knowledge or knowledge of a specific subject or industry. Some of the most common types of aptitude tests are:
 
● Situational Judgment Tests
Situational judgment tests are also used to look at a person's aptitude for handling specific situations. They can indicate whether a potential employee can deal with specific stressful situations, determine their level of emotional intelligence, or if they have aversions to situations.
One example:  What is your feeling about working with blood and medical needles?

● Verbal reasoning

Usually made up of multiple-choice questions, these types of tests look at your understanding and comprehension skills. By reading a short passage of text, you are required to analyze and interpret what you have read and answer questions on the information it contains.

● Numerical reasoning

A numerical reasoning aptitude test looks at how skilled you are at analyzing and dealing with numbers. They may deal with currency conversion, ratios, percentages, and financial data interpretation.

● Diagrammatic reasoning

These tests look at how well you can deal with shapes, patterns, and figures. They require you to look at sequences and visual images and answer questions about what you see.

● Error checking

Also known as data checking tests, these tests look at how well you can identify errors. You must be able to assess the correctness of the information given to you and accurately point out all of the errors, usually within a specified time limit.

● Spatial awareness

A spatial awareness test looks at how well you can deal with both two and three-dimensional images. You are asked questions regarding these images.

● Cognitive ability

A cognitive ability test is one of the best ways to measure a person's overall general intelligence. These tests cover a broad range of different topics and will show which areas a person's strengths are.

● E-tray exercises

Also known as in-tray assessment, these tests use simulated exercises to measure how well you can sort through and prioritize multiple different tasks.

Example Style of Aptitude Tests

Most are multiple-choice questions and answers designed to uncover your knowledge on a specific task or skill.  There is only one correct answer for each question. Unlike career tests that are testing a person's personality that have no wrong answer, aptitude tests have incorrect answers allowing an answer to be scored either correct or incorrect.
 
Let's look at an example question from an aptitude test for a scientist, physicist, or mathematician
 
1. If a subatomic particle was orbiting another particle @ approximately 27.4 miles/second, this speed is how many miles per hour?
 3,780
 33,040
 98,640
 100,340

Advantages of Aptitude Tests

There are numerous advantages to using aptitude tests to measure a person’s competency level.
● They are easy to administer. Most tests can be taken online, and the results can be generated immediately.
● They are cost-effective. Outsourced aptitude tests are inexpensive and can save a company a significant amount of time and money by helping to select the right candidate for a position.
● They reduce turnover. Since the right candidate is chosen the first time, turnover rates within an organization remain low.
● They are standardized. Test results are reliable and valid and have been widely studied by professionals for years to determine their accuracy.
● They help determine strengths and weaknesses. This allows an organization to choose whether a person is suitable for the job and enables an individual to know which potential careers will be the right fit for them.

Disadvantages of Aptitude Test

While aptitude tests can be very beneficial, they do come with some disadvantages.
● Many people have test anxiety. This means that they become anxious when taking a test, and therefore their answers may not be an accurate representation of themselves.
● They may not be completely accurate. How a person answers the questions on an aptitude test shows only a small part of their overall knowledge. They aren’t able to give a complete picture of that individual.

Aptitude Tests in the Workplace

If you are a hiring manager looking for a candidate with extensive knowledge about a specific industry or job, an aptitude test can make your search much easier. Aptitude tests are designed to test an applicant's knowledge or education level regarding a specific career skill.
 
Employers may choose to create their own aptitude test with questions specific to their organization's needs, or they may select a standardized, outsourced test. An aptitude test may ask specific questions regarding the computer programs, tools, and equipment and detailed knowledge required to be successful within a particular role.
 
Some of the best career tests aim to uncover a person's strongest personality traits for an occupation with no wrong answer.  Some aptitude test questions can have a single correct answer. These tests can be highly accurate in gauging how much a person knows about a specific job or industry based on the number of responses scored correctly.
 
Learn more about the science and psychology behind CareerFitter's test.