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.