Taking a test for mental aptitude is not the same as taking an examination for knowledge and skill. The mental acuity exam looks for cognitive strengths and weaknesses at certain age levels using a comparative scale to evaluate the results from other individuals in the same age group. In a category of five-year-olds, the results will group the test takers into advanced or intermediate performances on their ability to perform at their age level.
A mental aptitude exam will not interpret how much you know, but rather will concentrate on your ability to learn. A qualified exam may deduce a person's capacity for clear and acute thought and determine the subject's capacity for logic and reasoning.
A sample test section may be comprised of seemingly random shapes placed in a configuration to match the appropriate angle to the next shape in succession. The test taker may be asked to pick out two shapes that are the most closely matched or that may be considered related with a right angle.
In addition to getting the right answer, the mental aptitude test is calibrated by time. Faster correct answers play a heavier role with scoring than answers which must be mulled and changed repeatedly. The goal of the exam is to find the level of intelligence through speed and accuracy, thus measuring the subject's potential to learn.
There are a few techniques to enhance the test taking experience and possibly improve the score. But remember that scoring poorly on a mental aptitude test does not mean that you are not intelligent; rather, it implies only that you did not test well on that day. Anxiety can lead to poor performance, as it may affect your ability to concentrate and even your breathing. Without proper oxygen intake the brain is denied its full potential, so remember to stay calm, inhale and exhale at regular intervals and maintain a positive attitude. The test is not out to get you, so relax and be confident in your answers and go with your gut instinct.
On the day of the exam, be sure you have had plenty of sleep the night before and are following a well-balanced diet with proper nutrition. Consuming large amounts of sugar can cause a connection disruption in the brain, creating nervousness and irritability. Try to abstain from refined sugars and starches such as pasta that will turn to sugar in the blood. Also, an increased diet in fruit and lecithin-rich foods such as walnuts and spinach will boost your natural brain power and increase your confidence level on exam day.