What is an Aptitude Test?
Most commonly, the very first part of the assessment centre consists of aptitude tests. Aptitude tests are administered on the computer and are meant to assess abilities in different cognitive areas. Learn more about the aptitude test definition.
Aptitude DefinitionThe definition of aptitude is an innate, learned or acquired ability. It is part of the psychometric tests at the assessment centre (the other part being personality tests, personal abilities, attitude and more). Aptitude tests are mainly made to assess intelligence and knowledge. Aptitude tests most commonly consist of numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning, abstract reasoning, speed, accuracy abilities, and more.
Purpose of Aptitude TestsThe purpose of the aptitude test is to test your work related perceptions, judgement and reasoning. In other words, your day to day activities on the job. In an aptitude test there is one correct answer, however the key to the test is how quickly you are able to arrive at the correct answer. As such, aptitude tests are carried out under timed conditions. Often the time constraints are such that the test has been designed so that only 1 - 5% of the population will be able to solve all the questions in the time provided.
According to psychologists, intelligence is based on concepts known as fluid and crystallised intelligence. Fluid intelligence is determined by the ability to think, reason and solve problems. Often this is more commonly known as the ability to "think on your feet". This element of intelligence is not normally linked to independent past experiences or education. It also determines how quickly you are able to pick up new skills and learn new information. This is supported by Jaeggi et al. (1), who state that fluid intelligence is a complex human ability. It allows us to adapt our thinking to a new cognitive problem or situation, as such, fluid intelligence is critical for a wide variety of cognitive tasks, many of which are used in the employment environment. It is also considered to be one of the most important factors in learning.
In contrast, crystallised intelligence is the ability to use prior experiences and education and apply it to the new scenario. This type of intelligence is based upon facts and as such, crystallised intelligence improves with age.
Different employers will put different emphasis on testing these two parameters depending on the nature of the role or position. Your results achieved will be compared with others in the group (called a control) and a judgement will be taken on whether you progress.
Aptitude Tests - General InformationThere are a number of important facts about the aptitude test one should be aware of:
- Approximately only 15% of all applicants pass the aptitude test successfully.
- Your aptitude test results are usually kept or frozen for a period of time, most commonly a period of 2 years, during which you will not be able to repeat the aptitude tests.
- The results of the psychometric tests in general and the aptitude tests in particular make up approximately 40-50% of your final score in the assessment centre.
The threshold for passing an aptitude test changes from one employer to the next. Some organisations will place a minimum threshold (e.g. 75%) in order to pass the aptitude testing part. Yet others decide that regardless of the score only the top few candidates will move on to the next stage of the assessment centre.
The aptitude test will consist of various parts. These parts include an Abstract Reasoning Test, Verbal Reasoning Test, Numerical Reasoning Test, Spatial Reasoning Test and Mechanical Reasoning Test. The last two types of test are less frequent, however they may be used to determine crystalline intelligence.
(1) Improving fluid intelligence with training on working memory.
Susanne M. Jaeggi, Martin Buschkuehl, John Jonides, and Walter J. Perrig.
Edited by Edward E. Smith, Columbia University, New York, NY, and approved March 18, 2008 (received for review February 7, 2008).
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
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