Do you absolutely love your job? Squeal with delight every time your alarm clock rings? If not, maybe an aptitude test can help. When a task comes easily, it can build confidence, enhance self esteem and be a whole heck of a lot more fun. According to the Johnson O'Connor Institute, aptitudes are natural abilities that remain stable throughout your life, so identifying your aptitudes could be one of your most important career moves.
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Aptitudes are not linked to knowledge, culture, interests or education. They are hard-wired into your DNA. Do you have perfect pitch? Are you able to figure out the toughest puzzles in seconds? Knowing this is interesting, sure. But it is also crucial to your success. Job satisfaction doesn't depend on how many aptitudes you have, but on the combination of aptitudes. Leveraging your strengths -- knowing and showing your natural abilities -- can speed you to a fulfilling career.
There are many avenues for getting tested. To hire the most qualified applicant, some companies fold aptitude testing into their recruiting process. For students, aptitude tests may be available through the guidance office. Even the military offers the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or ASVAB, to put the right soldiers into the right boots.This test is available to everyone and can be taken without enlisting. If you want even more in-depth information, you can seek individual testing, either online or in a bricks-and-mortar facility.
Testing the Whole Person
Many tests, such as the ASVAB, examine both aptitudes and skills. The College Board, provider of the oft-dreaded Scholastic Aptitude Test, or SAT, also gives combined tests. These tests recognize that, in a job or at school, you will use your full arsenal. For example, you may be great in math because you have a strong math aptitude, and also because the aptitude has inspired you to learn more math and gain more experience in the field.
Online or Onsite?
Since tests are abundant online, and many are free, so this may be a great place to start. You may even want to compare results from a number of different sites. For personal one-on-one exploration, an onsite facility can offer more hands-on testing. Such facilities often employ trained Ph.D.s to sustain and augment their research. They may also provide opportunities for 3-D testing, such as with blocks or audio-visual equipment, overseen by trained test administrators.
- Journal of Management: An Empirical Note on the Interaction of Personality and Aptitude in Personnel Selection
- Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation: Assessment Program
- Johnson O'Connor Research Foundation: Aptitude Testing for Adults
- Practical Assessment, Research & Advancement: Measuring Aptitude
- CBS DFW: Aptitude Testing Can Match Your Abilities to a Career
- The CollegeBoard: About Us
- The Wall Street Journal: a) Doctor b) Builder c) Cop d) HELP! (A Review of Four Career Tests)
- Oprah: Test Your Career Strengths (Johnson O'Connor Aptitude Tests)
- Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
- Princeton Review: Five-Minute Career Quiz
- University of Missouri: Career Interest Game
- Job Hunters Bible
Business Writer Editor Olivia Wakeman has more than 20 years of business writing and business editing experience. As founder of www.writero.com, she has worked with Fortune 500 corporations and other organizations, including Xerox, McGraw-Hill, Hoffmann-La Roche and the U.S. Army. Wakeman holds a Master's degree in international business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management.