The Forgotten Career Skill – Aptitude Tests

By Brenda on December 20th, 2011


Many people out there looking for jobs focus on crafting the perfect resume and researching various organizations they hope to work for. These activities are certainly important, and should be pursued to increase your chances of finding gainful employment. However, one of the most forgotten about aspects of job searching is the aptitude test.

A recent poll showed that nearly 85% of Fortune 500 companies are using aptitude tests to screen employees for positions. That means you’re very likely going to face one of these tests in order to get a job. Education and the military use aptitude tests all the time. For example, the SAT, GRE, GMAT, and ASVAB are all aptitude tests used by these two industries.

It’s easy to forget about how important aptitude tests are in finding employment because you can easily get wrapped up in writing your resume, cover letter, and company research. It’s important to prepare as best you can because these tests are often the first screening tool used to weed out potential candidates. So what are aptitude tests, and how are they used in employment? Let’s take a look.

Aptitude tests in their purest form do not measure intelligence. They measure an individuals propensity for success in a given career field, activity, or setting. There are several different types of aptitude including:


  • Verbal
  • Numerical
  • Sensory
  • Spatial
  • Mechanical
  • Logic
  • Reasoning
  • Sensory

Aptitude tests are mostly a combination of knowledge and aptitude. That means they can be studied for in advance to maximize results. Aptitude tests in their purest form, which only measure aptitude, cannot be studied for in advance.

In order to study for an aptitude test it’s best to brush up on math, critical reasoning, and writing. There are several aptitude test taking guides out there to assist with developing these skills. Employers want to hire workers who can solve problems, use critical thinking and analysis, and who can write effectively.

If you don’t know where your strongest aptitude areas lie, then it’s a good idea to take an aptitude test to see what your strengths and weaknesses are. Once you find out what your strengths and weaknesses are you should pursue a major or career that caters to those strengths. You can develop your weaknesses, but spend the majority of your time developing your strong aptitude areas.




Category: Careers and Employment