Types of Aptitude Tests

There are many individuals who, at some point in their lives, feel that they are caught in the wrong job, or perhaps have chosen a career that isn’t giving them personal satisfaction. Some complain about the lack of creative satisfaction, whereas others feel that there may be a higher calling in life to be pursued. Choosing an inappropriate field of study without much thought and a wrong career can lead to immense frustration; plus, it can lead to depression resulting due to the professional and personal dissatisfaction. Most of the time, such instances occur because people do not invest enough time in evaluating their own skills and recognizing the opportunities that suit them. So basically, people fail to realize their aptitude or true potential for a particular field of study or work.

And, this is where aptitude tests step in. These tests are broadly defined as exams that help to measure a person’s ability to acquire specific set of skills. Depending on these skills, there exist various kinds of exams. There are many instances where the tests are used, be it the admission procedure for graduate and postgraduate studies or simply a job opportunity. The tests help assess a person’s candidature and prove as a benchmark for evaluating other profiles.

Vocabulary and Grammar Tests

When a person completes certain years of education, there exists a standard level of vocabulary that is expected out of him/her. These tests help to figure out a person’s vocabulary level through various grammar and language exercises like synonym-antonym exercises, reading comprehension, and even essay writing. Vocabulary and grammar tests are often employed while selecting candidates for higher studies as well as jobs that require a certain level of mastery of a particular language. There are language proficiency tests as well that evaluate an individual’s skills in a specific language; the common example of which is the test of English as a Foreign Language (ESL) that examines a candidate’s proficiency in four sections―reading, writing, listening, speaking.

Mathematical Tests

As the name suggests, these are basic mathematical tests conducted to understand an individual’s abilities to understand the concept. These tests generally involve several types of mathematical problems including algebra, geometry, statistics, and accounting. Word problems and graphical representation problems are also common in these tests. While these tests might be used to assess candidates aiming for their graduate and postgraduate studies, the level of difficulty required differs from one field to another. People in the field of commerce, finance, engineering, or statistics require a considerably high level of efficiency at mathematical tests, which are specially designed for them. On the other hand, individuals aiming for other fields like life sciences or arts are subjected to a rather basic mathematical test that encompasses simpler rules and fundamentals of mathematics only.

Analytical Ability and Overall Reasoning Tests

Analytical tests or tests for evaluating a candidate’s overall reasoning abilities are a sound way to analyze their logical thinking process. These tests generally involve basic logic exercises. This test can also include reading comprehension to test the grasping ability of the candidates. Candidates can be given certain hypothetical situations and their responses are evaluated for logical thinking, reasoning, and innovating new ideas. These tests generally include subjective questions; the responses for which differ widely from person to person, and are based on personal opinions and experiences. Analytical writing can also be a part of these tests wherein the candidates are supposed to expound over a certain subject or a theme.

Subject-specific Tests

Often people decide to major in a highly specific area of interest. It is at times like these that the subject-specific tests come into the picture. These tests are designed according to the needs and requirements of the subject or field in question. The tests can be designed for a variety of subjects―arts, life sciences, home sciences, engineering, medical science, commerce, statistics. For example, a software engineer might be tested in various skills like programming, or debugging and basics of networking or operating system fundamentals. On the other hand, a mechanical engineer will be tested for his knowledge of basic mechanical engineering concepts like thermodynamics, system controls, manufacturing, and design.

Career Test

Career tests are generally taken before the students’ decide the field that they will major in. It is designed to evaluate the students overall intelligence quotient (IQ), emotional quotient (EQ), logic, reasoning, sense of aesthetics and designing, as well as their analytical abilities and language proficiency. These tests help students find a field that suits their skills and abilities, which helps them to pick the right courses and finally end up with a career that gives them complete satisfaction.

These were some of the most common and popular aptitude tests carried out by different organizations and educational institutes. However, there can be many more specific educational tests taken, such as Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), the American College Testing Exam (ACT) and the Differential Aptitude Test (DAT), at different educational institutes. On the other hand, there are other occupational tests, such as Personality and Preference Inventory (PAPI), Rust Alpha, Situational Judgment Test, GTIOS Psychometric Test, PSL and Watson Glaser Critical Thinking test, that are quite popular.

Choosing a Career Test

To choose a right career path is very important to achieve the goals that one has set in his life. A good career not only gives us financial stability, but also the joy of working in the right field. The career tests or career assessment tests help a person understand his qualities or personality attributes and thereby assist in him in the process of career development. Such type of assessment helps in choosing the right career path.

Importance of a Career Test
The test that is chosen to decide a career path should be scientific and should assess a person accurately. The results or options provided by the career test should enable in choosing the right career with ease. The bottom line is that the test should make our decision about a career easier for us. Career opportunities should also be kept in mind while taking such tests.

How to Choose a Career Test?
Here are a few guidelines or tips that one should follow in order to take the right career choosing tests.

– One should choose a high quality career interest test to get accurate results. Such a test would help a person understand himself in a better way, suggest a variety of career options and provide exhaustive information about every career choice.
– Taking a valid test is considered to be of utmost importance in making a serious career decision. The term valid here, means that the test should have some scientific base or evidence. Such tests help in choosing the right career options.
– Some of the online tests are endorsed or recommended by experts. It is not necessary however, that a person with a Ph.D. would recommend the right career test. Many schools, professional organizations and even government organizations recommend tests for choosing the right career. These recommendations could be well intentioned however, but may not be reliable. Thus, as mentioned above, one should look for tests with scientific evidence.
– One should check whether a particular website provides validity tests for a career assessment test.
– The assistance of a professional counselor could be taken in choosing the right career test. The ‘National Career Development Association’ (NCDA) helps in choosing the right counselor and tests. The organization also helps in interpreting the results of the tests, thereby enabling a person to choose a career path that is suitable for him.

The different career tests used to assess a person’s aptitude could differ on the basis of the different parameters they apply. A person can make use of the following parameters while choosing a right career test.

Measured Attributes: The attributes of the personality being measured could differ with different tests. Some tests measure the skill sets possessed by an individual while others focus on the interests.

Methodology: The methodology used by different career tests could be different. Some tests assess the quantitative attributes of a person while others rely on testing the qualitative ones. The quantitative tests focus on a person’s potential and job satisfaction. The qualitative tests help a person understand his preferences and goals. This helps in making an informed career decision in the process of career planning.

The above information helps in choosing a career test that would assess the personality attributes with accuracy. Thus, one should be careful and choose an assessment test only if it fulfills the above mentioned conditions.