What is a Career Aptitude Test?

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Career aptitude tests are becoming increasingly more common in recent years. They have many benefits and can aid us drastically in our search for the perfect career.

What is a career aptitude test?

A career aptitude test is an assessment that helps you to identify your strengths, current skill set and possible careers that best match to these strengths and skills. As aptitude means “the ability to do something well”, a career aptitude test should not just identify interests but also professional positions in which the test-taker would likely excel.

While career aptitude tests match the test-taker to a specific list of careers, there are also general (i.e. not career-specific) aptitude tests as well that can be quite useful tools for self-discovery and future planning.

What do career aptitude tests evaluate?

Aptitude tests are becoming increasingly popular and there are many that you can take online or in person… for free or for a fee. Aptitude tests can measure a wide range of of things, and the quality of the tests varies depending on who made it. However, in general, career aptitude tests will cover some, or all, of the following:

  • Numerical reasoning. This test will measure your ability to deal with numbers and may include questions about percentages, graphs, currency or arithmetic.
  • Verbal reasoning. This will measure how well you can understand and interpret information. Often, you may have to read a paragraph and answer questions about it.
  • Non-verbal reasoning. Typically, this is used to assess your problem solving skills and understanding. Instead of written information, you are asked questions about a series of images.
  • Personality tests. Personality tests can tell us a lot about ourselves and potential career options. There is a huge variety of personality tests available which can tell us what kind of work environment and team we may thrive in.
  • Situational judgement. This will measure how you approach different scenarios that might take place at work. Often, you are given questions about workplace issues, and how you may resolve them.
  • Interests. Our interests will greatly influence our career choice. When taking certain career aptitude test, they will ask us about your general and workplace interests.
  • Practical skills. Some careers require practical skills. Career aptitude tests can mimic this by asking questions about your skill set.

All of the above things are important to measure, as different careers require different strengths. For instance, if you suck at maths, then you may struggle in careers such as an engineer or an accountant. But, your verbal reasoning may be amazing and therefore you may thrive in a career in law, teaching or marketing.

To find out what career aptitude tests we think are the best, check our related post: Which career aptitude test should I take?

Benefits of Career Aptitude Tests

The most obvious benefit of a career aptitude test is that it can help you in knowing what to do with your career. By answering questions designed to measure your specific skills, talents and interests, you can narrow down a HUMONGOUS number of careers to find some better suited to you.

Similarly, aptitude tests can also be incredibly valuable if you are at a career ‘crossroad’. Perhaps you’ve been in the same career for your whole working life, and you fancy trying something different. But, you’re not sure what path to take! A career aptitude test can help you decide which road to go down.

Finally, career aptitude tests are beneficial because they follow natural logic. If you have a passion, interest or talent for a particular area, then you are more likely to be more successful in that area. People who love their work and are passionate about it care more and thus, work harder.

Limitations of Career Aptitude Tests

With a lot of things, there is a lot of rubbish available for free on the internet. Unfortunately, career aptitude testing does not escape this either. A lot of the tests you find won’t be backed by any evidence or logical reasoning, so watch out for these!

Career aptitude tests, when used incorrectly, may also limit us in our career search. You may decide to follow the results to the word and may therefore not explore other possibilities. This is why it is always important to remember that often these tests are promoted as suggestions, not final solutions. And that, ultimately, the final decision is down to you.

What is the Difference Between a “Career Aptitude Test” and a “Job Aptitude Test”?

This is a similar question to asking ‘whats the difference between a job and a career?’. Well, a job is a certain role or position. Whereas a career is a series of connected employment opportunities that offer you skills, experience, and development and networking opportunities.

Job aptitude tests will explore how good you are at that specific role. For example, instead of looking at a general career in marketing, you would explore how well suited you are to being a marketing data analyst. These tests are often used by employers in the recruitment process. They are used to assess how good of a fit the person they are interviewing is for the specific role. Lots of these tests are developed by researchers and psychologists for that specific organization.

Conclusion and Next Steps

So, there you have it: a concise summary to answer the question: what is a career aptitude test? Overall a career aptitude test is a great tool for helping us narrow down a huge list of potential careers and find ones that are compatible with our interests, skills values and personality.

There are a wide variety of career aptitude tests available, measuring things such as numerical reasoning, verbal reasoning or career interests. To aid you in your career search, we recommend exploring these tests and gaining a deeper understanding of your workplace strengths, skills and interests.

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