Thursday, September 2, 2010

An Aptitude Test May Be Part of the Hiring Process

A poor hiring decision can be a costly mistake for employers, so for many, it makes practical business sense to use aptitude tests as part of their pre-employment screening process. Aptitude tests measure ability and skill in a particular area and are often based on questions with multiple-choice answers. Some aptitude tests are timed; they assess how many questions you can answer correctly in a set timeframe. Others are power tests that focus less on time and more on your ability to answer complex questions accurately. The most common aptitude tests focus on verbal reasoning and logic or on math and/or numbers.

Before you concern yourself about a specific test, read here to learn more about the purpose of various aptitude tests:

  • Verbal reasoning and logic: Assesses spelling and grammar skills and your ability to interpret text. Basically used by employers to determine how well you communicate and whether you can follow detailed instructions.
  • Math and/or numbers: Evaluates your ability to comprehend basic arithmetic, number sequences, and simple mathematics.
  • Abstract reasoning: Looks at your ability to identify the basic logic of a pattern and reach a solution. This test can help employers evaluate your ability to learn new things quickly.
  • Spatial ability: Evaluates your ability to manipulate shapes in two dimensions or visualize three-dimensional objects that are presented as two dimensional.
  • Mechanical reasoning: Assesses your knowledge and understanding of physical and mechanical principals—used most often in technical and engineering occupations.
  • Data checking: Measures how quickly and accurately you can detect errors. Data checking is most often used in screening for clerical or data-input jobs.
  • Fault diagnosis: Used when placing job candidates in electrical and mechanical jobs, this test measures your knowledge of fault systems and your ability to repair faults that occur in electronic and mechanical equipment.

Typically, employers will provide job candidates with about one week of advance notice if they’re requiring candidates to take an aptitude test. Nowadays, many tests can easily be facilitated online. If you’re scheduled to take an aptitude test, it’s ok to ask the prospective employer what type of aptitude test you’ll be taking. And be sure to allow yourself enough time to check out the numerous websites that present sample aptitude questions and answers.

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