Career aptitude tests are standardized exams that are designed to help an individual determine the best career path to take. This is usually taken at a point when you're about to submit college applications, and you need help in finding out which degree, program or course to sign up for. Or, you can take a career aptitude test when you're applying for work with a company, and the hiring manager tries to determine if you are a good fit for the position you are applying for.
- No right or wrong answers. There are no right or wrong answers on a career aptitude test, per se. This is because most career aptitude tests are designed to determine your best career choices, and not necessarily how good you are in one subject area just for the sake of it. So the test is not graded in a way that a normal school exam would be graded. The results in different areas of interest are compared, to give an idea of where you would best fall under.
- Fields of interest. Career aptitude tests usually present you with several questions that will help determine your personality type. These might be used by hiring managers to determine the applicability of your personality to certain kinds of work. For instance, extroverted types of people will usually be better at careers where you need to speak in public, or network with people.
- Skills and abilities. Another aspect of career aptitude tests is the measurement of your skills and abilities in different areas. These are helpful in matching you with careers that might require specific skills. For instance, engineering fields require good math and technical abilities. A career in painting, sculpting and other visual arts would require good spatial and perceptual ability, as well as a good vision.
For these skills, you would usually be asked to answer tests in a multiple choice type questionnaire. Some of the questions might be a little technical, and would require accurate answers, especially the mathematics-related questions. Some questionnaires, though, would present you different ways of approaching a given problem. All of the answers are correct, but each of these correspond to a personality type.
These may include the following:
- Verbal reasoning skills
- Numerical reasoning
- Perceptual ability
- Spatial ability
- Technical ability
- Analytical ability
- Honesty. Some career aptitude tests would focus on an individual's psychological makeup, and in these cases, the tests will not entail right or wrong answers. Rather, the person is presented with different choices and situations, and it is his preference that is being determined. With these types of questions, it's best that you be honest, and that you answer with the first thing that comes to mind. This helps the tester more accurately evaluate what kind of personality you have, so he can match you with the career paths that are appropriate to you.
Career aptitude tests may or may not result in what you think is the best suited career for you. These would highlight preferences and current strengths. And while these do not guarantee the perfect match every time, these would be useful as a guide in helping you narrow down your choices.