Aptitude testing is a means of examining an individual for their ability to learn in some particular area or a way of predicting future performance in an intended activity. One of the most common ways that aptitude testing is used is in career counseling. Aptitude testing is used as a way of recognizing and tapping into the strength of an individual in order to open the doors to more professional opportunities.
Most aptitude testing asks questions about hobbies, talent and the particular functions and activities that individuals would enjoy doing, even though they may not have had the opportunity to try it. The answers on these tests help the professional tester to determine the skills and interests that may match up with other individuals who are also in the same career.
Most aptitude testing also uses a series of questions in order to determine how an individual interacts with other people. Remember that when taking these tests there is no right answer and no wrong answer. However, your first answer and your first instinct is usually the right one that describes your particular set of circumstances. If you are not honest on the aptitude test you are taking, the results will not be functional as you try to figure out your own natural preferences and strengths. And aptitude tests will not guarantee a perfect match with the perfect career but it is a tool that individuals can use to narrow their choices or open up different avenues that they may not have otherwise thought to explore. (1)
Another reason to take an aptitude test and learn about your strengths and abilities is to be able to showcase them to your best advantage. For instance, if you have an intense desire to become a police officer it would be in your best interest to play into the strengths and aptitudes that make this particular career choice the best one for you.
Simply put, aptitudes are natural talents or special abilities to do certain types of things. Some individuals have aptitudes for manual dexterity, musical ability, spatial visualization or memorization of numbers. By going through a battery of specific tests your particular aptitudes are measured and you are best able to determine your field of study in school, a career or professional choice or even the likelihood that you are compatible in a specific relationship.
Some professional industries use aptitude testing on all of their employees. For instance, individuals who are interested in becoming involved with certain aspects of the military, homeland security or the space program will be placed through a battery of tests in order to determine the likelihood of success. Other large corporate agencies are also using this method in order to evaluate an employee’s likelihood for leadership and ability to perform under pressure. Most large corporations are combining this information with that they have gleaned through working with the individual and other psychological testing in order to make their determinations.
Any aptitude than an individual possesses has little to do with the knowledge that they have gleaned through their education, the culture in which they grew up in or any interest they may have. It actually has more to do with heredity than it does to do with environment. For instance, whether an individual is right-handed or left-handed may be considered in aptitude. Every career choice for occupation requires specific aptitudes from the individuals who work in them. The people who are most likely to be successful and enjoy the work they do are those individuals whose aptitudes match the occupation they have chosen.
For instance, if you choose to become an engineer but the aptitudes you possess are not used in engineering, your work may feel unrewarding and will be more difficult for unpleasant than it is for others. Many aptitude tests will evaluate verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning, perceptual ability, spatial ability, technical ability, analytical ability and acuity. The one weakness that aptitude tests possess is that they only show you what you are capable of doing in the immediate time period. These tests have no way of knowing how well you will perform once you discover the career paths that is right for you.
Research data has shown that individuals who are administered aptitude tests have a better indicator of their future scholastic achievements and have a way of comparing their performance with that of other individuals in the same situation. Most of these tests provide a profile of strengths and weaknesses and can assess the differences between individuals. Interestingly, they are able to uncover hidden talents that some individuals may not even know they have and are valuable tools for working with individuals who are physically or emotionally handicapped.
(1) Education.com: Aptitude Testing