Why Do Employers Give Aptitude Tests?

Written by patrice lesco
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Why Do Employers Give Aptitude Tests?
Hiring qualified candidates (business image by peter Hires Images from Fotolia.com)

More than 5,000 different aptitude tests exist for pre-employment screening, according to the Psychometric Success website. Aptitude tests are intended to measure your ability to do something, such as complete a special skill or accomplish a task in a certain amount of time. Many employers believe that giving aptitude tests to prospective employees helps them determine who the best candidates are for a particular job. Therefore, you should be aware of how some aptitude tests are evaluated by employers.


Most aptitude tests provide a series of questions that pertain to skill or knowledge in relation to a specific type of job. Furthermore, a traditional aptitude test will have a time-completion requirement, so employers can determine if you are capable of finishing a task quickly and/or accurately. The aptitude test usually will have more questions when it focuses on the concept of speed in performance and fewer questions when it concentrates on skill. Speed tests usually have an estimated 30 questions, according to the Psychometric Success website. Additionally, speed tests are designed for workers, while skill tests are generally designed for supervisors, leaders or managers . Aptitude testing can be completed at a work site or over the Internet. Many employers now are using Internet aptitude testing to reduce hiring costs.

Verbal, Numeric and Spatial Ability

Verbal ability focused aptitude testing is required by employers who want to determine how a prospective employee communicates. The test may include questions that concentrate on sentence structure, proper grammar or the ability to follow instructions. Numeric aptitude tests are designed for prospective employees who may undertake tasks related to numeric problem solving or number sequences. Spatial aptitude tests are rarely used; however, they assist employers in determining if job candidates can work effectively with shapes.

Abstract Reasoning and Mechanical Reasoning

Most aptitude testing will include some questions that pertain to abstract reasoning. This is because employers want to know if you can use critical thinking skills and logic to resolve a problem. Abstract reasoning answers allow employers to measure fluid intelligence, as well as the ability of a person to develop knowledge as they function in a job. Mechanical reasoning, on the other hand, focuses on physical and mechanical skills. Mechanical reasoning aptitude testing often is used by employers that hire police officers, firefighters and engineers.

Fault Diagnosis

Employers who hire individuals for jobs in electronic and mechanical fields may use a fault diagnosis aptitude test in pre-screening. The fault diagnosis aptitude test measures the person's knowledge about fault systems and the ability of the individual to repair faults that occur in electronic or mechanical equipment.

Data Checking and Work Sampling

Many employers require clerical workers to check data for accuracy. Due to this job task you may be asked to complete a datachecking aptitude test prior to being hired. The aptitude test will usually require you to find errors in data. Work-sampling aptitude tests also require that you perform a skill during the test, but there may be more than one skill that is measured. Consequently, you may take an aptitude test that involves performing small tasks or samples of work that you might complete if hired by the employer. Employers then will use the worksampling aptitude test to determine which candidate accomplished the sampling of work most effectively.

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