Introduction to Aptitude Tests
Aptitude tests are part of pre-employment psychometric assessments to determine if you are intelligently fit for a job. Almost 75% of the world’s top employers use psychometric tests as part of their recruitment process for high ranking jobs. Knowing that you are likely going to face one of these during a job interview – Then you can better prepare for one as well.
Having an aptitude for something means you have a talent or flair for it, i.e. you have the ability to perform a particular kind of task at a certain level. This may be a mental or a physical task. You may have a mental aptitude for mental arithmetic, perhaps, and a physical aptitude for accurately throwing darts. In general, aptitudes are in no way related, and are therefore fully independent from one another. This means that being highly skilled in one task does not automatically lead to being highly skilled in another kind of task. Therefore, someone who is good at arithmetic is not automatically good at darts.
So an aptitude is a natural talent for the performance of a particular mental or physical task, which, to a certain extent, cannot be gained through knowledge, understanding or training. The concept of aptitude is closely linked to the concept of intelligence quotient (IQ), although they are in fact two completely different things. The intelligence quotient sees intelligence as a measurable characteristic that consists of the combined results of the various independent aptitudes.
Aptitude Test Examples
Aptitude Tests Online
Aptitude tests were developed to assess the capability or aptitude of a particular person in a structured, systematic and objective way. They consist of standardised methods, and the scores are compared with those of a control or reference group. There are many different kinds of aptitude tests, since there are many different skills, but only particular types are popular with recruitment and selection agencies:
- Verbal Reasoning – This type of test gives an indication of your ability to analyse and understand written information, as it is important for employers to know how well you can communicate. Analogy tests are often used for this.
- Numerical Reasoning – The evaluation of your elementary arithmetic skills are an integral part of nearly every assessment or psychometric test. This provides employers with an indication of your ability to work with numbers. As a rule, this is done through series of numbers and simple mental arithmetic tests. There are also tests that include tables and graphs that must be interpreted, and tests that assess your ability analyse trends, costs and your general accuracy with regard to numbers and figures.
- Abstract Reasoning – Measures your ability to discover patterns in abstract data and to extrapolate these logical patterns in order to make the right choice. Abstract reasoning is considered the best gauge of one’s ability to solve problems in new situations, independent of experience or acquired knowledge. This type of intelligence is also known as fluid intelligence, and includes deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning.
- Logical Reasoning – As the name indicates, this test gives an idea of your ability to come to a logical conclusion when presented with a problem. These problems are often illogical or contradictory and you are not expected to solve them based upon your knowledge but to rely solely on what is actually in front of you. For this type, tests with syllogisms are often used.
- Spatial Reasoning – As a rule, this kind of test is only given if you are required to have good spatial awareness – architects, pilots, designers, etc. – and you are required to think in three dimensions. During these tests your ability to manipulate two dimensional objects into three dimensional objects is assessed.
As Part of Psychometric Tests
Aptitude tests are rarely stand-alone and are usually part of so-called psychometric tests. Psychometrics is a combination of the words ‘psycho’ and ‘metric’ and can be described as the science that ‘measures the soul’. For many leading companies, psychometric tests are an intricate part of the job application or assessment process. They roughly consist of two parts:
- Aptitude tests – Measure your ability to perform a particular type of task at a particular level.
- Personality questionaires – Measure your way of doing things, especially with regard to your personal attitude towards your environment and your personal characteristics and assets (soft skills). It gives your potential employer an insight into how well you work with other people, how well you manage stress, and whether you are able to cope with the intellectual requirements of the task.
Psychometric tests provide an complete, objective idea of what kind of person you are and what characteristics you possess. It is therefore more than just determining whether you have a talent for arithmetic or problem analysis. Many people are afraid of such tests, but there really is no need. No test is perfect and the test results will not be the only thing the client has at his disposal. Employers will use them in addition to other selection methods such as application letters, experience, references, study results, etc.
Is it useful to practice for an assessment or psychometric test?