Aptitude tests range from the most simplistic self-reporting, in which you assess the strengths of your own skills among a broad range of options, to the most complex, in which you’ll be put through rigorous mechanical, mathematical and verbal assessments. But do even the most complicated aptitude tests really have the power to tell you what you’re good at? Just how much faith should you put in your aptitude test results?
When I Grow Up…
Firefighter. Ballet dancer. Ninja warrior. Little kids have a ton of interesting answers when you ask them what they’d like to be when they grow up. But at some point, everyone has to figure out a real answer to this question. Some people never really find one, and end up performing some sort of job they don’t really like for most of their lives. Is there an aptitude test that can steer you in the right direction?
Whatever you do, don’t search for such a test online. You could easily get bogged down in the countless personality quizzes and tests that fill up the Internet. This content is some of the more sharable and popular online fluff you’ll find, and much of it is designed for entertainment rather than information.
Not all career aptitude tests are meant just for fun, however. Some of these tests are incredibly serious, and truly designed to help job seekers use their skills and their strengths to find a satisfying career. Not all career aptitude tests are only trying to determine skills and strengths, however.
What Aptitude Tests Do
Aptitude tests don’t just let you know if you’re strong in math skills or mechanical skills, they can also tell you a bit more about yourself and how you like to work. This information can be incredibly valuable to you as far as job seeking goes. Do you like to work outdoors? Do you perform better when working alone, or in a group? Do you require a lot of supervision, or would you rather be allowed to do your own thing at your own pace?
Certain aptitude tests can help you answer some of these questions. The Myers-Briggs test, for example, tells job seekers a lot about their personality in the workplace. If you feel unhappy with a job it may not be an issue with your skill set. It might be an indication that you’re in the wrong job environment. A test like the Myers-Briggs could help you figure out exactly what you need in a job, and not just what type of job you may be good at performing.
Not all tests are accurate, and not all people are good test takers. Even a career aptitude test can get it wrong. Pay attention to the results you get, but don’t necessarily put all of your faith in them.
The most famous aptitude test of all is the SATs. The acronym SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test, and its design was based upon the IQ test. IQ stands for intelligence quotient. However, the SATs today have changed from this original design. No longer does the test measure ability or aptitude.
Using Aptitude Tests When job searching, some aptitude tests can help you find out more about yourself. They might even lead you to your ideal working environment or down the right career path. But no test is ever 100 percent accurate for 100 percent of the people, so don’t hang all of your job decisions upon the results.