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Aptitude Tests & Career Planning

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 4 minutes read

By: Kaustov Kashyap, HR & Career Consultant
Aptitude, an overview:
The meaning of aptitude is an inherent or acquired ability. Those natural abilities and skills that make it easier for people to do or learn certain things. To be explicit, people are born with potentials that are reflected because of their early growth and experience. Development of aptitude has nothing to do with one’s interest, knowledge, education or background. One can continue to acquire knowledge and skills all through their life; however, aptitude is concretized by the age of 14 and doesn’t change further. The general connotations that are frequently used for talented people include “great dancer”, “natural guitarist”, etc. What these actually mean is that these people have acquired these labels naturally, indicating their innate aptitude for such jobs.
The best part about aptitude is that a person may not have a diverse blend of aptitude, but every person certainly has at least one aptitude mix which helps in succeeding in a particular job. Although we’ve learnt that aptitude cannot be altered, we may have changing interests from time to time. In this scenario, when interest and aptitude do not match, one should opt for the thing that matches your aptitude and which would eventually help you to achieve success more quickly and easily. But in cases where we lack the required aptitude to excel in our choice of careers, we can hone our skills to achieve success. In either of cases, you have to know your intrinsic strength.
What are Aptitude Tests?
Aptitude tests primarily assess your knowledge and intelligence. Their purpose is to analyze your judgment, perceptions and reasoning. But they are not interest tests. You might be extremely interested in becoming a trained dancer but lack the required talent to pursue it successfully as a profession. Also, as interests evolve over time with life experiences, they are not a great tool for making long term career plans. Aptitude tests are not even behaviour inventories; they are not questions about yourself which you can get answers to. Such records rely on your frame of mind or your image of yourself at the time you reply to the questions. Also, such pointers allow you to respond the way you think you should respond, whereas aptitude tests need you to engage in a definite action.
Why should you take Aptitude Tests?
These online aptitude tests help you recognize your inherent strengths and talents, and accordingly guide you to a career path or course that best suits you. And the prospect of you being content and successful in the career becomes high if you have an inborn aptitude for it. Not only this, aptitude tests also give you the clarity and confidence to choose steps to further your career and education, post which you can chart your career trajectory. Also, once you pursue a career that you enjoy, your stress levels automatically go down, thereby helping you lead a more satisfied life.
Use of aptitude tests by recruiters:
Aptitude tests are also being increasingly used by recruiters as a measuring tool for selecting candidates besides group discussions, interviews, and so on. Based on this theory, a lot of organizations today are using them in their recruitment practice. The tests are specifically designed to measure the ability or knowledge for a specific kind of job. These skills are typically identified when a job opening is announced and the tests are then engineered to discover the best fit candidates. There are various kinds of aptitude tests like:
· Verbal
· Numerical
· Spatial ability
· Sensory
· Mechanical ability
· Clerical
· Diagrammatic dexterity
Increasingly, people are choosing to define themselves by their line of work. No wonder that career contentment has become an important forecaster of overall happiness. If you are spending close to 50-plus hours a week at a job, chances are you’ll have no energy and drive for anything else. On the contrary, people who absolutely love their jobs find themselves brimming with energy and newer ideas. But too often, people make career choices based on past experiences, which over time can make it ever more difficult to notice and build upon your other skills and strengths. Aptitude Tests can therefore give you a clear understanding of your professional choices and help you choose majors, classes and internships that are better aligned to your innate skills. And if you are well established in your career, the tests may help you decide whether it’s time to start afresh or make certain changes to your existing work life.

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