Technical Aptitude Test: Meaning, Importance & Preparation Strategy
Before you are hired, there are several ways for the company to estimate your work performance. Aptitude tests are one of the most widely used methods to evaluate a candidate’s proficiency within a specific niche.
You will need to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of your expertise and attention to detail. Several aspects like numerical reasoning, terminology, and presentation skills will be tested. Follow this comprehensive guide to prepare for your upcoming aptitude test.
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What is an aptitude test?
An aptitude test is a pre-employment test that is used to determine if a candidate’s work performance will likely be satisfactory or not. It serves as an indicator for your potential employer on who to hire.
It is a direct measurement of your hard skills. By using an online aptitude test, companies save resources and can shorten the hiring process. The use of aptitude tests has grown in popularity. It is user-friendly, fast, and accurate. The error caused by human bias can be avoided and ensure a fair chance for all candidates.
In the aptitude test, you are expected to show that you possess the relevant knowledge required for the position. For example, if you are applying for an accountant role, you will be asked to take tests on your accounting knowledge, laws and regulations, and sensitivity to numbers. If you are applying for a customer service role, you will be tested on your communication skills, computer knowledge, and data entry speed.
You must pass the aptitude test to be selected for further interviews. A fail of an aptitude test means you do not have the hard skills needed for the job.
Is an aptitude test difficult?
An aptitude test should not be difficult in the sense that you should already possess the knowledge needed for the role. A competent candidate will find an aptitude test like another task at work. You should have acquired the skills from your previous work experience or at school.
However, you will likely encounter a small percentage of difficult questions. These questions may not be directed at your ability, but rather your creativity and problem-solving skills. It is not expected of you to actually solve those questions but to show the method you will choose to work around it.
How long is an aptitude test?
The duration of an aptitude test highly depends on the nature of your job and the company. Big companies usually have a series of aptitude tests to filter out as many inadequate candidates as possible before moving the rest to the next round. This is because they have too many applicants and it is more cost-effective to let aptitude tests take up a bigger proportion in the employment process.
The more senior the role, the longer the aptitude test will be as well. The standards for junior roles are understandably lower and hence, their aptitude tests will be shorter as well.
Although the duration of an aptitude test can vary significantly, the majority of them fall between 45 minutes to 3 hours. In some cases, you may be asked to do another aptitude test after your result is generated.
What is on an aptitude test?
To prepare for an aptitude test, you need to first familiarize yourself with the content of an aptitude test. That way, you will not be caught off guard by the various formats. While an aptitude test aims to assess the proficiency of your hard skills, the testing formats can be entirely different. Below is a list of the most common aspects included in an aptitude test and how you can tackle them.
A test on your basic knowledge within your niche will be in written form. If you are a bus driver, you will be asked about the traffic rules and safety regulations in your region. Basic knowledge can also include emergency response, assistance to passengers, and how to keep the bus ride orderly.
Every basic knowledge test is based on the role you are applying to. Hence, there is a wide range of possibilities. Ask yourself what are your job duties and what are the most essential skills associated with the job?
It aims to test your sensitivity to numbers. Most commonly used for office roles, the testing on numerical reasoning can be done with charts and statistics. You will be asked to create a spreadsheet with the numbers and instructions to eventually draw a conclusion.
It tests your ability to connect things and follow orders. You will be given pieces of incomplete information. Then, you have to complete the task with the information at hand and infer the missing information.
Logical reasoning is essential for almost every role. Sometimes, you get a task from your superiors without further instructions. A competent worker has to figure out the best way to accomplish the task.
Artists, designers, and content creators will likely take this test. You will be asked to rank several illustrations or create some graphics. It evaluates your sense of space as well as your innovative power.
Even if you are speaking in your first language, you can still be asked to do a language test. In a professional setting, being able to speak a language is not enough. You are expected to speak professionally and communicate smoothly with clients and your team.
In the language test, you will be tested on your email writing, listening, speaking, and comprehensive skills. Avoid slangy and unorganized sentences. Construct your speech so every sentence has a meaning.
How to prepare for and pass an aptitude test?
- Take practice tests
Taking a practice aptitude test allows you to fully grasp what is coming at you and how to tackle each problem. It gives you an idea of how to target question words and how to write the perfect answer.
You can take your technical test on Job Test Prep. Its tests cover fields like verbal communication, mechanical comprehension, numerical reasoning skills, visual designs, and more. There are a dozen of tests for each skill so you can freely choose the level and length you want. Each test is made for a specific job type that will enrich your skills and benefit your job hunt.
With its money-back guarantee, you are protected. No matter how many books and theories you read and absorb, practicing the test will undoubtedly be the most useful method to pass the technical aptitude test.
- Revise your basic knowledge
Whether you are fresh out of college or have been in the industry for a while, it is practical to refresh your memory from time to time. Since a technical aptitude test covers angles that you may have fallen out of practice, study the basic knowledge before taking the test.
- Study your weakest field more
The more uncomfortable you are with a topic, the more studying you should do. There are always areas of a job that you do not enjoy. But it comes with the job so you have to excel in them.
A technical aptitude test is an all-rounded assessment. Unfortunately, the fail of one section could end your candidacy immediately. As exhausting as it is to study something you may not be passionate about, you have to do it to not have a failed section.
- Highlight the question word
Do not hesitate to circle or highlight important keywords. There are trick questions in the tests to throw you off. Something as simple as highlighting the question words goes a long way.
It helps you identify the expected answers. Locating similar sentence phrases and structures in the answers can be useful in finding the right answer.
- Count the time
Aptitude tests are timed. Calculate the time you have for each question and set a maximum limit for yourself so you do not go over the allocated time. Make sure you have time to go over all questions at least once. Even if you do not have time to finish all of them, you can still finish the ones you are confident about to secure a higher score.
Write down any professional jargon you may encounter: It is easy to let jargon slip your mind if you do not use them frequently. Look up technical jargon in your industry beforehand in case they appear in the test.
You can search online while you take the test but it will hinder your speed and performance drastically. Therefore, it is advised that you study the jargon prior to the test.
Only write technical jargon you are familiar with in open-end questions. Never write down a term you are unsure about. It is better to stick with simple words than use the wrong jargon.
Technical aptitude tests are the gate before you are through to the next interview stage. Oftentimes, it is the last stop before you meet with the HR manager in person. Ace your technical aptitude test by taking the practice test on Job Test Prep today.
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Sarah is an accomplished educator, researcher and author in the field of testing and assessment. She has worked with various educational institutions and organisations to develop innovative evaluation methods and enhance student learning. Sarah has published numerous articles and books on assessment and learning. Her passion for promoting equity and fairness in the education system fuels her commitment to sharing insights and best practices with educators and policymakers around the world.