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Do you need to take up an aptitude test before you choose your career?

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aptitude test

Securing a job or finding a profession based on your interests and skills is the dream of every student.

Scrolling the internet for various job surveys in India, it was revealed that 48% of people consider their present profession to be ‘just a job’, and 65% of professionals admitted that they ‘hate their job. Now the question is do you need to take up an aptitude test for career choices. Well, that’s an individual choice! If you are someone who holds opportunities higher than choices, then go for it. If you are someone who wants to control their choices, the information provided here will be of great help. 

 

The ones belonging to the latter lot might have a query in their heads, how to choose a career based on aptitude test results. Let’s get into the details. 

 

First things first, what is an Aptitude Test?

 

An aptitude test is an assessment that helps determine a person’s prospect and potential to accomplish a task well, based both on their knowledge and interest. 

 

“Genius consists of equal parts of natural aptitude and hard work” – said Andre Maurois, French author. Knowing your aptitude signifies one knows their abilities, relevance to a specific stream of study and a job, and the career one is best suited for. 

 

There is a test for almost everyone, right from working professionals to school students., and are divided into categories:

 

  • Organizational tests: Many times, after a job application, a candidate is required to undertake such a test, to ease out the selection process and hence save time. These tests are standardized and allow organizations to compute and compare aptitude tests of all the applicants.

 

  • Educational tests: This can be taken right from the start of elementary school to high school, to understand a student’s intellect. An educational aptitude test can also discover remarkably bright students and determine their placement in special education programs.

 

Aptitude Tests in School

 

Students can opt for a variety of aptitude tests during their school life as they think about what they might like to study in college or choose as a career. High school students take aptitude tests designed to assist and determine their stream of study in college.

 

Aptitude tests shouldn’t be confused with achievement tests that determine a person’s knowledge and skill level at a given time; they are instead centred around defining a person’s capability for performing a certain task. For example, if a student’s aptitude test suggests great potential with numbers, the results might suggest a career as an accountant, banker, etc.

 

  • For elementary school

For elementary school students, aptitude tests are frequently used to measure students’ fittingness for special programs, such as special education programs.

 

  • For middle school students

Middle school students take aptitude tests to be eligible for special ed programs, much like elementary school children do. In addition, middle schoolers may also appear for such tests for career options and counselling.

 

  • For high school students

High school students may take aptitude tests to figure out career interests and thinkable career routes for post-secondary education.

 

The downside of aptitude tests 

We need to understand that these are mere tests, decisive tests and not conclusive ones. To conclude a person’s abilities based on these tests would be a little unfair. 

 

These tests further, do not offer a complete understanding of a student’s potential, interests, state of mind and individual goals. They only provide an evaluation of existing skills, which can be improved and learnt over time. The most important point here is, these tests should be more of a self-evaluating assessment a student chooses to invest and opt for, giving them an idea of their weaknesses and strengths. The tests aren’t and should be a deciding factor to their abilities. 

 

One main shortcoming of an aptitude test is its negligence of vocational subjects. These tests are mostly intended to monitor interest and performance on academic subjects and hence the vocational and creative subjects like dance, music, art, aren’t taken into account. Students exceptional in these fields would either find the test impractical or might be made to believe that they are much capable in other subjects. For example, if student A appears for an aptitude test, and they perform well in science, now that student is made to believe that science is the way forward for them when in reality, the student might be extraordinary in a creative subject. 

 

Key Takeaways

While the outcomes of an aptitude test may suggest a career option that’s perfectly well-matched for someone, the noteworthy thing to remember here is, it’s just a suggestive evaluation. In the end, it is an individual choice to do what they think is perfect for them, and an aptitude test is just a factor helping one decide and point in the direction of one’s interests. 


Also published on Medium.

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