Aptitude Test

What is an 'Aptitude Test'

An aptitude test is an exam used to determine an individual's propensity to succeed in a given activity. Aptitude tests assume that individuals have inherent strengths and weaknesses, and are naturally inclined toward success or failure in certain areas based on their innate characteristics. An aptitude test does not test knowledge; it is not a test for which one can study.

BREAKING DOWN 'Aptitude Test'

Individuals might take an aptitude test to determine the kinds of careers that are a good match for their skills and interests. Similarly, high school students might take an aptitude test when thinking about what would be an appropriate college major or whether college is the best choice for them.

Educational Aptitude Tests

Some schools administer aptitude tests to students beginning in elementary school. Along with intelligence tests and achievement tests that measure student mastery of academic content, aptitude tests may be used to determine placement in gifted and talented programs or other specific educational tracks. For example, the Modern Language Aptitude Test measures a student's potential for successfully mastering foreign languages. Aptitude tests can also help determine if a student needs special education services.

For older students, Differential Aptitude Tests assess a range of aptitudes from spatial relations to language usage. The results can help administrators make curricular recommendations. Counselors might use high scores in a test in mechanical reasoning, for example, to guide a student toward courses that prepare them for engineering or designing studies in college. Students who score well in tests measuring speed and accuracy might be directed toward coursework in computer science or other fields requiring attention to detail.

Career Assessment Tests

Some companies use aptitude tests to help them make hiring decisions. These tests, which are called career assessment tests, help human resources personnel learn more about a prospective employee's strengths and weaknesses. Career assessment tests may also be used within a company for making decisions about promotions.

Situational judgment tests are a specific kind of career aptitude test that can help predict how an employee might respond to specific situations in the workplace. They are also used to assess an employee's communication style and his ability to work within a team. Some situational judgment tests focus specifically on customer service careers. These tests analyze personality traits that are predictive of successful interaction with the public, such as empathy, diplomacy and patience. Situational judgment tests may also be used to predict future competency in sales-related careers.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Graduate Management Admission Test ...

    A standardized test intended to measure a test taker's aptitude ...
  2. Junior Accountant

    An entry-level position in an accounting department. A college ...
  3. Graduate Record Examination - GRE

    A standardized exam used to measure one's aptitude for abstract ...
  4. Stress Testing

    A simulation technique used on asset and liability portfolios ...
  5. Student Debt

    Money owed on a loan taken out to pay for educational expenses. ...
  6. Endogenous Growth

    The notion that policies, internal processes and investment capital, ...
Related Articles
  1. Your Practice

    How Advisors Can Hire Successfully and Smartly

    The hiring process can be fraught with ups and downs for financial advisor firms. Here are some tools they can use to help find the right candidate.
  2. Personal Finance

    College Students are Failing Financial Literacy

    Financial trends among college students are a cause for concern, prompting a renewed emphasis on financial literacy.
  3. Budgeting

    2 Ways To Finish Undergraduate And MBA Programs Faster

    Testing out of courses and challenging course credit decisions can allow you to save money and time at college.
  4. Investing

    Four Critical Financial Decisions Facing College Students

    The financial decisions students make in college can affect academic achievement, well-being and post-graduate success.
  5. Savings

    A Beginner's Guide to Getting Student Loans

    Follow these 5 steps and you'll be well on your way to knowing which loans to go after – and which college really offers you the best deal.
  6. Options & Futures

    Find Your Niche In The Financial Industry

    In this article, we'll give you the tools you need to discover the financial career that fits you the best.
  7. Personal Finance

    Does It Make Sense to Go to College in Europe?

    If you're deciding whether to get a degree abroad, first do your research and talk to alumni who have completed the same program.
  8. Credit & Loans

    10 Ways Student Debt Can Destroy Your Life

    If you're getting a student loan, think critically about how you will manage your loan. Student debt could have a profound negative impact on your life.
  9. Options & Futures

    Reduce Tuition With A Work-Incentive Program

    Find out how to gain valuable work experience and cut the cost of your education.
  10. Credit & Loans

    Four Ways to Improve Education In America

    U.S. students place 27th in math and 20th in science out of 34 countries. The United States must reform its education system or harm future economic productivity and global trade competitiveness.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What licenses and certifications do you need for a career in portfolio management?

    See what it normally takes to begin a career in investment portfolio management, including education, experience, licenses ... Read Answer >>
  2. Is it legal to invest my student loan money?

    Take a risk investing student loans and encounter a legal and moral gray area as well as possible financial challenges along ... Read Answer >>
  3. Do financial advisors get drug tested?

    Learn how financial advisor regulatory bodies do not require drug testing but many individual firms that hire advisors do ... Read Answer >>
  4. Why are private student loans generally more expensive than federal loans?

    Make the right decision between a federal student loan and a private student loan when looking for financial aid for your ... Read Answer >>
  5. My scores on the Series 63 average a passing grade, but the testing center said I ...

    Learn more about the Series 63 exam. Discover how the exam is graded, what factors might cause an unexpected result and who ... Read Answer >>
  6. What are the most common sources of funds given in a financial aid award letter?

    Read this article to learn about the four most common sources of funding given in a financial aid award letter sent to a ... Read Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Labor Market

    The labor market refers to the supply and demand for labor, in which employees provide the supply and employers the demand. ...
  2. Demand Curve

    The demand curve is a graphical representation of the relationship between the price of a good or service and the quantity ...
  3. Goldilocks Economy

    An economy that is not so hot that it causes inflation, and not so cold that it causes a recession. This term is used to ...
  4. White Squire

    Very similar to a "white knight", but instead of purchasing a majority interest, the squire purchases a lesser interest in ...
  5. MACD Technical Indicator

    Moving Average Convergence Divergence (or MACD) is a trend-following momentum indicator that shows the relationship between ...
  6. Over-The-Counter - OTC

    Over-The-Counter (or OTC) is a security traded in some context other than on a formal exchange such as the NYSE, TSX, AMEX, ...
Trading Center