Do you have the aptitude?
Once a person gets an opportunity to work in his favourite area, it is likely that he will excel. Aptitude does not represent a person's present abilities but his/her potential to perform.
Your aptitude is more than a bubble.
PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS can be broadly classified into aptitude tests and personality questionnaires. Many employers for the selection of candidates use these tests.
The validity and reliability of psychometric tests of this kind have been established. But the tests should be administered professionally if the right results are to be achieved.
Aptitude does not represent a person's present abilities but his potential to perform.
There are several web sites that help in the assessment of aptitude such as www.humanmetrics.com and www.cipd.co.uk.
It is unfortunate that many parents are driven by their own fancy in choosing the academic programme to be pursued by their children. Perhaps they want to realise their unfulfilled dreams through their progeny. Or, they arbitrarily decide that a particular course of study will offer bright prospects for the child.
Little emphasis is given to the inherent aptitude of the child. Let the elders ask a question introspectively - "Would I have been much happier, had I been in some other profession?"
Individuals vary in their aptitude. Some may like sedentary work, some may enjoy meeting people, some may love painting, and some others may have a tremendous spirit of adventure. Once a person gets an opportunity to work in his favourite area, it is likely that he/she will excel.
Aptitude test may be termed an extension of what SWOT is in management jargon - a scientific assessment of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
We may say that it is an "examination that attempts to determine and measure those characteristics of a person that are regarded as indices of his capability to acquire, through future training, some specific set of responses (intellectual, motor, and so on). The tests assume that people differ in their special abilities and that these differences are related in a predictable manner to their later achievements."
A wide variety of questions will be put to the candidate. Straight questions such as "Do you have an aptitude for troubleshooting electronic circuits?" will not be posed.
The candidate does not have to `prepare' for the tests, unlike for conventional examinations, except perhaps he/she may quickly revise his school arithmetic for facing questions on numerical skill. Elementary knowledge of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, percentages and ratios may be checked.
In most areas, there is no right or wrong answer. The answers will just indicate what you are like. Still, it will boost your confidence in facing the test, if you undergo a couple of mock tests.
Aptitude tests have to be conducted under optimum conditions and their results analysed by trained experts if the findings have to be trusted.
There may be hundreds of questions in a test. Written tests can be given simultaneously to a number of candidates, or online. But an oral test or interview is administered to one person at a time.
Further, there will be practical tests such as asking the candidate to select as many matching pairs as possible from a large number of nuts and bolts of different sizes put in a random fashion in a tray in a fixed duration of time. This may assess one aspect of his/her psychomotor skills.
A typical general aptitude test for an architect may cover:
Visualising three-dimensional objects from two-dimensional drawings
Visualising different sides of a three-dimensional object
Identifying commonly used materials and objects based on their textural qualities
Imaginative comprehension and expression
Ability to sketch a given object proportionately and rendering the same in visually appealing manner
Visualising and drawing the effects of light on the object and shadows cast on the surroundings
Sense of perspective drawing
Combining and composing given three-dimensional elements to form a building or structural form
Creating interesting two dimensional composition using given shapes or forms
Creating visual harmony using colours in given composition
Understanding of scale and sense of proportion
Drawing from memory pencil sketches on themes from day to day experiences
Tests for jobs
Aptitude tests may aim to assess your numerical, verbal, logical reasoning, drawing, instrument handling, spatial, visualisation, data interpretation or supervisory skills with particular reference to the job at hand.
They often measure certain specific abilities and not general knowledge. Test material containing verbal, numerical, and diagrammatic questions are common. Multiple choice type objective questions are popular.
It may not be possible to complete all the questions in the given time, since the examiners will try to get your quickest response. Therefore it is essential that you do not waste your time before any question.
It is important that you furnish as many right answers as possible, so as to prove your right aptitude for the job. However, in your mad rush, do not fail to comprehend the questions correctly.
The questions have to be answered in a specific time. Your answers will be assessed often in comparison with the `normal' answers, which are the answers that are likely to be given by the best professionals in the line.
The test may be used at different stages, as in initial screening with a cut-off mark, or at a later stage of the selection process. This test by itself may not decide one's selection, but it will have a significant part in the selection exercise that comprises a variety of tests.
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