An aptitude test is a test that measures certain aptitudes of an applicant. In recent years, the difference between, aptitude test, cognitive test, assessment, and the psychometric test has been diluted. In fact, almost always the same is meant: a test to assess the reasoning capabilities of a candidate. Based on the result, the candidate is found suitable for a certain position within a company.
Aptitude tests come in many shapes and sizes. An aptitude test is developed by a test publisher, not the employer. In most tests, three aptitudes are measured: numerical reasoning, abstract reasoning, and verbal reasoning. Most tests do this with three or four components. Some tests use up to eight components to measure all aptitudes.
Some test publisher only have one or two tests. In this case you get the same test regardless of your background: graduate or post graduate. The difference is that your score is compared to people with the same background. So graduate with other graduate candidates and post graduate with other post graduate candidates. Other test publishers have more tests. Then you will receive a different test depending on your background or the position you are applying for.
Practicing for an aptitude test in four easy steps:
Check the invitation that you received from your future employer or education. Here you can see which test publishers test is used.
Does your invitation not state which publisher is taking the test? Then look in our company overview which publisher belongs to which employer.
Check which aptitude tests are used by the test publisher taking your test. You can check our test publisher pages to see which aptitude tests are used.
Purchase our complete practice package and start preparing for your tests. Our package is not just suited for all tests. It has specific practice materials to match test publishers styles.
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Each test publisher develops its own aptitude test(s). Although there is overlap between the different publishers, there is also a lot of difference. For example, some publishers want to offer a culture-free test.
The culture, background, and education of a candidate do not matter in a culture-free test. Other publishers do use tests where certain candidates have a head start. Examples of subjects that are not culture-free are analogies and analyzing texts. You are in fact verbally stronger in your native language than in a second or third language. So then the language in which the test is taken has a positive or negative effect. Also the use of certain figures that may or may not occur in some parts of the world. For example, think of certain vehicles or animals that you may or may not encounter in your youth.
In addition to a difference in, for example, background, there is also a difference in aptitude tests themselves. For example, many test publishers test abstract reasoning. However, there are a huge number of variants of abstract reasoning, think of:
- Figure series: complete the correct figure in a series.
- Matrices: complete the correct figure in a three by three matrix.
- Spatial reasoning: indicate how a three-dimensional figure will look two-dimensionally.
- Exclusion: indicate which figure is not included.
- Components: indicate how individual figures can be put together.
- Mirrors: indicate which figures are mirrored.
Each test publisher chooses a combination of the possibilities to develop, in their eyes, the best aptitudes test. So it is very important that you know which test you will receive from which publisher. Then you are best prepared for the test.
Different types of aptitude tests
The questions are divided into three categories: abstract or logical reasoning, numerical reasoning and verbal reasoning. Each category tests a certain form of reasoning.
- Abstract or logical tests logical reasoning. The purest form of testing. Your background plays the smallest role here.
- Numeric tests the numerical reasoning ability. The training of a candidate is important in this area. If you have had more math, this becomes easier.
- Verbal tests verbal reasoning. If you read more or have to take the test in your native language, you often have an advantage. That is why this is not culture-free.
The agency has a database of questions per aptitude test. Questions are then automatically selected from this test battery and asked to the candidate. Depending on the specific test you will receive these questions divided per part or interchangeably. Because agencies have an unknown number of questions, an almost infinite number of unique aptitude tests is possible.
This way the level of the tests remains the same, but each candidate receives different questions. This also prevents candidates from learning questions by heart using screenshots or friends. For this reason it is therefore also important to understand which concepts a test publisher tests. Then you can, for example, practice number series that include addition and subtraction instead of number series that contain powers.
Properties of aptitude tests
In principle, each test is unique, but there is only a limited number of variables to construct the tests. The difference is often in:
- Number of questions on the test.
- Time distribution on the test.
- Distribution of questions on the test.
- Subjects of the test.
- Standard group of the test.
By changing these variables test publisher can easily develop an almost unlimited amount of unique tests. Each variable also comes with its own strategies. For instance, if you have a set time per question it is best to take your time for each question. If you have a set time for the entire quiz it might be best to skip difficult questions and answer them later. These strategies are covered in our extensive lessons and practice materials.
Number of questions of the aptitude test:
There are two options when it comes to the number of questions. Most tests consist of a predetermined number of questions. The intention is then to ask all or as many questions as possible. Other tests consist of a time limit with an unlimited number of questions.
Time distribution of the aptitude test:
A test can have a time per question, a time per part or a time for the entire test. It is good to know which variant is relevant so that you can prepare well.
Distribution of questions from the aptitude test:
The questions can be divided in two ways: per part or mixed. If you have the questions per part, you can often take a break in between. If you have all the questions in one test, you have to do everything in one go.
Subjects of the aptitude test:
The biggest difference between tests is the amount and type of subjects you get. In some cases this also varies depending on your level (graduate). Most tests test three or four parts. Some test six or eight.
The aptitude test standard group:
Your score is compared to the correct norm group. So graduate level candidates are compared with a graduate level norm groupand so on. This creates a fair picture of every candidate.