Aptitude tests have one purpose: to measure one or more aspects of a candidate’s cognitive ability (or, in simpler terms, their intelligence). They tend to ask questions or present problems where the answer is either right or wrong – what we’d call maximum performance. This paints a picture of what people can do – not necessarily how they do it.
What are the different types of aptitude test?
Numerical reasoning: these measure how well candidates process numerical data. These usually involve chart interpretation, numerical sequences, percentages or ratios, and currency conversion.
Logical reasoning: Also known as critical or inductive reasoning, these tests measure candidates’ problem-solving ability, as well as looking at how well they make connections and spot rules or patterns in numbers, text, or graphics.
Spatial reasoning: Spatial reasoning tests capture how well an individual can see, distinguish and manipulate shapes in their mind. Sometimes, these tests also test other specific areas like route-planning, or map-reading. You’d most commonly find these tests in STEM fields.
Abstract reasoning: Similar to logical reasoning, these test your candidates’ ability to pick out patterns. But here, as opposed to logical reasoning, there’s no focus on language or mathematics. Instead, candidates are expected to predict the next element in a sequence of shapes or patterns.
Error checking: This one’s pretty easy. Error checking tests assess how well a candidate spots mistakes. This might be incorrect data, an error of logic, or even a single typo in a text passage.
Technical tests: These vary depending on the field – though, again, they’re most common in STEM. Technical tests often draw on other aptitude elements, like spatial, numerical and logical reasoning, before applying them to common problems in a specific field.
How do employers use aptitude tests in the recruitment process?
As you’ll know, certain jobs require specific skills and abilities. So aptitude tests, used early on in the process, can help employers screen out candidates who aren’t quite suitable for the needs of the role. This makes it easier to find those with the right skills and ability to perform and fulfill their potential.
Aptitude tests only paint part of the picture, though. Why not see more in people, by measuring their unique behaviour and natural strengths? Learn a bit more about personality assessments here, or click here to chat with us about how our psychometric assessment can help you.
How long do aptitude tests take for candidates to complete?
This depends on which test you choose. But what is consistent is that your candidates will always have a set time to complete them – whether that’s 30 minutes, an hour, and so on. They’ll need to answer as many questions as they can in this window of time.
It’s rare to see an aptitude test take more than an hour to complete. It can already be a pretty stressful experience for candidates, and making the experience over-long will only amplify that feeling.
Aptitude tests are one way to see what people can do. But what about what they will do? Read up next on behavioural assessments, and learn all about how they measure your candidates’ natural behaviour in action.