If you are just starting out on your career path or have recently decided to change careers, you may want to take a career aptitude test. These types of tests can help you identify your strengths and current skill sets. They also suggest different careers paths that will allow you to utilize your natural gifts and abilities.
How a Career Aptitude Test Works
The philosophy behind most aptitude tests is that you will do well in a job that utilizes your past training, natural gifts and interests. The actual definition of aptitude is "the ability to do something well." These types of tests are typically comprised of a wide variety of questions that inquire about your present skill sets, as well as your current knowledge base. For example, if you don't have much work experience but you recently earned a college degree, your answers will probably reflect an interest in a career of your field of study.
Typical Measurement Areas
Most aptitude tests feature questions in several measurement areas. The purpose is to discover which measurement areas you are skilled in, as well as which areas you are not so proficient in. Some of the most common measurement areas include numerical and verbal reasoning, which will typically indicate if you are a word or number person. Other measurement areas may include your ability to think analytically, technically, perceptually or spatially.
Pros of Aptitude Tests
The major benefit of a career aptitude test when it comes to career planning is that it follows natural logic. The overall premise is that if you have a passion for or a natural talent in a particular subject area, you can be successful in that career path or industry. This is because some people will work harder and go above and beyond normal expectations when they truly enjoy their work. These types of tests can also be beneficial if you're at a crossroad in your career, and you're not sure about what options you have. The test results will typically give you at least three career path examples to explore further.
Cons of Aptitude Tests
The main disadvantage of aptitude tests is that they often lack the ability to predict how well you can learn new things. For example, if you are passionate about medicine and love helping others, but you don't have natural talents in math or science, the test results may not indicate that you should follow a career in this area. However, if you truly worked hard at learning and developing those skills sets, you might be able to have a very successful career as a doctor or nurse. On the opposite side, the test results may indicate that you are a natural salesperson because you have a gift for speaking and enjoy working with others. However, if you don't have an aggressive, hunter-type personality, then you may not be successful at this career. Some people are able to overcome the disadvantages of aptitude tests by combining them with personality-based tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type assessment.
Finding a Career Aptitude Tests
If you want a more thorough insight into your career aptitude, consider buying a career aptitude book that includes tests and results interpretations. Some of the most popular ones available include Career Match: Connecting Who You Are With What You'll Love to Do by Shoya Zichy and Ann Bidou and Now What?: The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore.