Career Aptitude Tests

Assessing particular abilities

Career aptitude tests are designed to assess your underlying ability in particular areas. They are not trying to test what you have learned at school or on the job, so don’t worry, the results may well be different from formal qualifications you may (or may not!) have.

These career tests are intended to get at the underlying natural ability you have in certain areas. And because they are focused on specific areas, they are not general measures of your overall intelligence.

What kinds of career aptitude tests are there?

They typically look at things like numeracy, verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, clerical abilities and many more. These are areas where you might want to get a formal psychometric assessment of your ability before deciding on a career area.

You will also find that employers may want to use similar tests when you are applying for jobs. This is because they have defined particular aptitudes that are relevant to their work.

Numerical aptitude tests

As you would expect, these tests look at your ability with numbers. They can include a range of questions from simple sums for you to do at speed or where you have to check that answers already given are correct. More advanced tests will give you tables or graphs of data and then ask you questions based on this data.

Verbal aptitude tests

These tests asses you ability with words. This can be very important in careers where effective communication, in writing and face to face, is important.

At the basic level, you are likely to find questions that can be as simple as spelling, word meanings or filling in blanks in sentences. The more advanced tests may give you a paragraph of quite complex text or instructions to read and you then answer questions which test your understanding of what you have read.

Abstract reasoning tests

These career aptitude tests are designed to get at your underlying ability to reason logically. They are often based on the use of shapes or symbols and your task is to work out the logical next step in a sequence, following a pattern that has been established for you.

What they are assessing is how easily you can spot relationships and patterns and apply this understanding to other situations. This can be valuable in work situations where you have to do complex problem solving and analysis.

Clerical aptitude tests

These tests usually include a range of data checking questions to be done at speed, so may include some numerical and verbal questions.

In addition, there may be lists of data (eg addresses or employee details) where you have to check for errors. This ability to pay attention to detail is essential in some clerical roles.

How can they help?

As you can see, career aptitude tests can be quite varied both in content and level. You may come across them more often as part of a job selection procedure than as part of a career change packages.

Can they help you when you are thinking of changing careers?

Yes, I think that, together with other things, career aptitude tests can be a useful tool in the career change process as they help you to understand where your strengths lie.

Why not give them a try?

If you are interested in trying some practice tests, click here

About the author

Amy Thomas

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