What Are Aptitude Tests?

As companies strive for better hiring practices, aptitude tests have become increasingly popular. In addition to the traditional interview process, many employers now require applicants to take aptitude tests as part of the assessment process. But what exactly are aptitude tests, and why are they becoming so popular? 

We will cover the following topics to help you better understand aptitude tests: 

  • What are aptitude tests?
  • Why are aptitude tests important?
  • Types of aptitude tests
  • How to choose the best aptitude test for you

By the end of this article, you will have a good understanding of what aptitude tests are and how to use them to your advantage. 

aptitude test

What Are Aptitude Tests? 

Aptitude tests are special tests designed to measure an individual's abilities and potential for future success. These tests are often used to assess what an individual is capable of doing and what they might be able to learn or do given the right instructions or education. 

Aptitude tests are commonly used by employers as a way to screen job applicants and determine which candidates are best suited for the job. However, they can also be used for other purposes, such as helping individuals choose the right career path by matching their abilities with the right occupation, helping students choose the right course of study, or helping determine which military recruits are most likely to succeed in training. 

Generally, aptitude tests measure a variety of skills and abilities, including language comprehension, numerical ability, and logical reasoning. 

IQ Test Vs. Aptitude Test 

While aptitude and IQ tests measure an individual's abilities, they are not the same thing. 

First, IQ tests assess a person's general intelligence, while aptitude tests evaluate an individual's intelligence in specific areas such as mathematical skills, verbal ability, and mental fitness. 

Second, IQ tests cover a wide range of questions, including mathematical problems, pattern recognition, and questions that test memory and spatial perception. On the other hand, aptitude tests focus on a specific skill set required for the job or task at hand. 

Third, intelligence quotient (IQ) tests are mostly used for research and educational purposes, while aptitude tests are primarily used for pre-employment screening. 

Lastly, an individual's IQ is determined based on the deviation between their test score and the average test score of people their age. On the other hand, an aptitude test is not concerned with how an individual's score compares to the average of other people. Rather, it is only concerned with whether or not the individual has the ability to do what is being tested. 

IQ test

Why Are Aptitude Tests Important? 

Aptitude tests are commonplace among employers, job-seekers, and even students, and for a good reason! Here are some of the benefits of using aptitude tests: 

Helps In The Hiring Process 

Aptitude tests help employers identify which job applicants have the skills and abilities required for the job. This saves employers time and money by ensuring that only the most qualified candidates are hired.

Helps Individuals Choose The Right Career Path

Aptitude tests help identify an individual's strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used to determine which career paths may be a good fit and which ones to avoid.

Helps Identify Potential Learning Disabilities

Aptitude tests can also help identify learning disabilities or other issues that could interfere with success n school or on the job. By knowing about these potential problems early, interventions can be put in place to help the individual overcome them. 

Can Be Used For Employee Development

Aptitude tests can also be used to identify which employees would benefit from additional training in certain areas. By providing employees with the training they need to improve their skills, employers can improve employee productivity and retention.

Provides A Baseline For Comparison

Aptitude tests help measure an individual's progress over time. Taking an aptitude test at different points in life gives you a sense of how your abilities have changed over time. This can be helpful in making decisions about changing careers or pursuing further education. 

uses for aptitude tests

Types Of Aptitude Tests 

There are many different types of aptitude tests, each designed to measure a specific skill set. Here are some of the most commonly used aptitude tests: 

Numerical Reasoning Tests 

A numerical reasoning test is a psychometric assessment that measures an individual's ability to understand and solve numerical problems. The questions on this test usually involve interpreting data presented in tables, graphs, number sequences, and mathematical equations. 

Individuals are required to analyze the graphs, tables, number sequences, etc., and apply their logic to form an answer in response to the tested question. Numerical tests are commonly used to test individuals applying for roles that require them to work with numbers, such as accountants, engineers, and analysts. 

Verbal Reasoning Tests 

A verbal reasoning test measures an individual's ability to understand, analyze, and draw logical conclusions from written information. Verbal reasoning tests cover the following topics: 

  • Reading Comprehension - The test is usually a written passage followed by a statement. Individuals are then required to analyze the information in the passage and decide whether the statement is true, false, or cannot be determined based on the information given. 
  • Grammar And Spelling - These tests assess an individual's knowledge of grammar and ability to spell words correctly. They include questions such as correcting grammatical errors in a sentence and filling in the blank with the correct word. 
  • Vocabulary - This type of question measures an individual's knowledge of words and their definitions. Vocabulary questions can come in the form of multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, or true or false-questions. 

Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests 

A diagrammatic reasoning test measures an individual's ability to understand complex information and relationships presented in the form of diagrams and symbols. These tests are commonly used to measure an individual's ability to learn new things quickly. They are often used in the selection process for roles that require individuals to work with abstract ideas or concepts. 

Diagrammatic reasoning tests come in the form of multiple-choice questions. Each question has a diagram with three or four parts that are related to each other in some way. Individuals are required to analyze the diagram and choose the answer that best completes the relationship. 

Spatial Ability Tests 

A spatial ability test measures an individual's ability to manipulate shapes in two or three dimensions. These tests are commonly used to assess an individual's ability to visualize objects from different perspectives and to understand how those objects relate to each other. Examples of spatial ability questions include: 

Identifying The Odd Shape Out 

In this question, individuals are shown a group of shapes and must identify the shape that does not belong. 

Mental Rotation 

In these questions, individuals are shown a two-dimensional shape and must mentally rotate it to identify how it would look if it were turned in a different direction. 

Paper Folding 

In this question, individuals are shown a two-dimensional shape that has been folded in some way. They must then identify how the shape would look if it were unfolded. 

Usually, spatial ability tests are offered as multiple-choice tests. However, some tests may require individuals to draw their own shapes or manipulate objects to answer the questions. 

Mechanical Reasoning Tests 

A mechanical reasoning test measures an individual's ability to understand and apply the principles of mechanics. They are often used in the selection process for roles that require individuals to work with machinery or other physical objects. 

Mechanical reasoning tests come in the form of multiple-choice questions, where concepts of gears, levels, tools, and more are tested. For example, an individual may be presented with diagrams of three levers and asked to identify the most efficient lever. 

Clerical Aptitude Tests 

Clerical aptitude tests measure how fast and accurately an individual can perform basic tasks while maintaining concentration and attention to detail. They are mostly used when selecting candidates for clerical and administrative roles. 

Clerical aptitude tests come in the form of multiple-choice questions, and scores are awarded based on the number of errors made and the time taken to complete the test. 

types of psychometric tests

When Might You Take An Aptitude Test? 

As noted earlier, aptitude tests are taken by different people and for different reasons. Here are some general circumstances in which you might take an aptitude test: 

When Changing Careers

If you're thinking about changing careers, an aptitude test can help you identify which fields you might be a good fit for. Also, if you're unhappy with your current job or are feeling unfulfilled, an aptitude test can guide you on what else you might like to do. 

When Starting Out In College

Some colleges use aptitude test scores and other factors like your high school grades to decide which classes you should take. For example, if you score high on a mechanical reasoning aptitude test, you might be placed in classes that focus on engineering or other hands-on subjects. 

Also, if you're starting college and you’re undecided on a major, an aptitude test can help you narrow down your options. 

When Starting A New Job

Aptitude tests are commonly given as part of the hiring process for many jobs, especially ones that require a specific skill set. For example, if you're applying for a job that involves working with numbers, you might be asked to take a math aptitude test.

taking an aptitude test

Why Do Employers Use Them? 

Employers often use aptitude tests to help streamline their hiring process. By using aptitude tests to identify which applicants are more likely to be successful in the position, employers can save time and money by not interviewing or testing candidates who are less likely to be successful. 

In addition, employers leverage aptitude tests to acquire "high-quality" hires. Aptitude tests can help identify which job applicants have the skills and abilities required for the job. In other words, aptitude tests can help employers predict an applicant's future job performance. 

Also, employers often use aptitude tests to identify candidates for training and development programs. By identifying which applicants have the potential to learn new skills, employers can invest in training and development programs that will help these individuals reach their full potential. 

What Should You Expect When Taking An Aptitude Test? 

As mentioned earlier, most aptitude tests come in the form of multiple-choice tests. These tests are done online, and the questions are strictly timed. Depending on the position you are applying for, the test can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. However, these tests are generally classified into two main types: power tests and speed tests. 

Power tests – These tests assess your ability to reason through questions and solve problems. The questions are typically more difficult and are arranged in increasing order of difficulty. These tests have no time limit.

Speed tests – As the name suggests, these tests are designed to test your speed and accuracy in answering questions. The questions are generally easier and have the same difficulty level, but each section has a time limit. 

How Will It Be Scored?

Your performance on an aptitude test will be scored based on the number of errors made and the time taken to complete the test. If you take a power test, your score will be based on the number of questions you answered correctly. 

If you take a speed test, your score will be based on the number of questions you answered correctly within the given time limit. 

Your scores will then be displayed as "raw" or "comparative" scores. 

Raw score: This summarizes the questions you answered correctly, displayed as a percentage ratio. 

Comparative score: This is your score compared to the scores of other test-takers. It is usually displayed as a percentile ranking. 

Can I Prepare For An Aptitude Test? 

The simple answer is yes; you can prepare for an aptitude test. However, it is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to preparing for these tests. 

The best way to prepare is to familiarize yourself with the types of questions that are likely to be asked. You can do this by taking practice tests or by studying sample questions. 

In addition, it is important to ensure that you are well-rested and have a positive attitude when taking the test. 

How To Choose The Best Aptitude Test For You 

Now that you know what to expect when taking an aptitude test, it's time to choose the right one for you. Here are some factors to consider: 

The Type Of Position You Are Applying For 

As mentioned earlier, aptitude tests are designed to assess your skills and abilities in specific areas. Therefore, it is important to choose an aptitude test that is relevant to the position you are applying for. 

Your Experience Level 

Your level of experience will also play a role in choosing the right aptitude test. If you are a recent graduate or have very little work experience, you may want to choose a test that is geared toward entry-level applicants. On the other hand, if you have several years of experience under your belt, you may want to choose a test that is designed for experienced professionals. 

Your Budget 

There is a wide range of aptitude tests available, from free online tests to expensive tests administered by professional organizations. Paid tests usually offer a more comprehensive assessment of your skills and abilities. However, free tests can still be useful in giving you an idea of your strengths and weaknesses. 

If you are on a tight budget, then a free online test may be your best option. However, if you can afford to spend a little more and get a more in-depth assessment, then a paid test may be the better choice. 

Aptitude Tests Examples 

Aptitude tests are used in various settings such as schools, workplaces, and other organizations. Here are some popular examples of aptitude tests: 

Armed Forces Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) 

The ASVAB is a multiple-choice aptitude test used by the U.S. military to help determine whether an applicant is qualified to join the United States Armed Forces.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) 

The GMAT is a computer-adaptive aptitude test used by business schools to assess applicants' math, verbal, and analytical skills. GMAT helps business schools identify candidates who have the potential to succeed in their programs. 

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) 

The SAT is a standardized test used by colleges and universities to assess applicants' readiness for college-level coursework. 

General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB) 

The GATB is a set of aptitude tests used by the U.S. Employment Service (USES) to screen job applicants for positions requiring specific skills. 

aptitude test type

Key Takeaways

Aptitude tests are used by different organizations for different purposes. However, these tests all have one thing in common: they are designed to assess your skills and abilities in specific areas. 

If you are a student, an employer, or a job-seeker, it is important to choose the right aptitude test for your needs. With so many different tests available, one is sure to be a good fit for you! 

If you have any questions about aptitude tests or need help finding the right talent for your organization, Opusuna can help. We are experts in talent acquisition, and our team can help you find the perfect candidate for your open position. 

Contact us today to learn more!