What are aptitude tests and how do they work

Many companies, organisations, the civil service, and armed forces use aptitude testing as part of their candidate selection and recruitment processes.

The reason is that aptitude testing works and it’s one of the most widely proven and effective ways to identify the right candidates, increasing hiring success rates.

What are aptitude tests?

It should be noted that aptitude testing isn’t limited to assessing prospective candidates for vacancies. It’s also an effective technique for assessing existing employees, identifying their strengths and weaknesses, as well as determine their suitability for other roles within an organisation. It’s also an effective technique to identify skills gaps within existing teams, providing the insight needed to plan training programmes and identify recruitment requirements.

Aptitude tests are used to assess a person’s problem-solving and both numerical and analytical skills. They provide a toolkit for managers and HR professionals to assess a candidate’s suitability for a specific role based on their skills and capabilities. They provide valuable insight into a person’s intelligence, skills, capabilities, attitudes, and how they respond to various situations.

What are the different types of aptitude tests?

Human intelligence is extremely complex and very difficult to measure. There are two primary categories of human intelligence: fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence. This theory was developed by Raymond Cattell in 1963. Fluid intelligence refers to the ability to reason and think flexibly while crystallised intelligence is about the ability to use accumulated knowledge.

Different types of aptitude tests have been developed to evaluate various attributes. Abstract reasoning, spatial reasoning, and visual reasoning tests are focused on fluid intelligence, assessing a person’s ability to analyse a given situation and devise a proposed solution. Both logical and critical reasoning tests, language and comprehension tests, along with decision-making and judgement assessments provide insight into cognitive abilities and a person’s ability to use their accumulated knowledge effectively.

Abstract reasoning tests, for example, assess a person’s ability to make logical connections between available information. People who are good at abstract reasoning tend to be good problem solvers.

And logical or critical reasoning tests assess a person’s ability to derive conclusions based on available information. Critical thinking assessment determines their ability to come up with creative solutions to identified problems.

Different types of aptitude assessments are used based on the roles involved and what people are being tested for.

How Aptitude Tests Work

Aptitude assessments work by revealing the strengths and weaknesses of those assessed. They provide recruiters and HR professionals with a consistent methodology that enables side-by-side comparisons since everyone takes the same tests.

Aptitude test questions are purposely designed to be challenging in order to evaluate a wide variety of relevant skills and attributes that aren’t all directly related to the workplace. The combination of interviews and aptitude assessments provides detailed candidate insights that’ll help in the candidate selection process.

Aptitude tests enable recruiters to make informed decisions based on concrete evidence provided by test scores that remove any potential bias from the assessment process. Aptitude assessments can also reveal candidate potential, which might be beneficially nurtured and developed for the benefit of both the candidate and their employer.