Vocational aptitude test generally comprises of an instrument to evaluate the personality characteristics, interests and abilities of the candidates applying for a specific profile. It also compares the applicant’s response to those successful in their respective professions and occupations, with notation points of dissimilarity and similarity.
The truth is vocational test is found to be valuable to both the prospective employer and employees as well for any given occupation. For the employee, the results offered by the test do provide proper guidance to choose a specific career profile to follow. For the employer, this test does help to make the screening process easier and to hire the most suitable employee for the vacant profile. Vocational aptitude test helps to measure wide range of skill areas besides scholastic aptitude test. Differential Aptitude Test, for example, is among the most used vocational tests to measure numerical, verbal, mechanical and abstract reasoning power, combined with clerical accuracy and speed, language use and spatial relations.
These tests tend to have 3 primary orientations. The determining factor for vocational satisfaction and success is based upon interaction of the candidate with the work environment. Most of the tests conducted by organizations and institutions searching for candidates for various specific profiles are of this type. The central focus is considered to be congruence between the personality type (artistic, investigative, realistic, enterprising, conventional and social) of the individual and his/her vocational environment. According to researches conducted, congruent person-environment interactions, tend to leads to vocational and personal fulfilment and stability.
Tests that are based upon person perspective tend to emphasize the individual, instead of the work environment, since the crucial variable is found to help with vocational success. Hence, the theories attached with such orientation do focus upon personal characteristics that link the individual to different vocational groups. There is also a self-concept theory that considers vocational choice to be a means to self-express. The personality theory focuses on those individuals employed in the different scientific fields and with regards to their relative interest in things and people. Finally, environment perspective is known to view performance and vocational choice as primarily an important function of situational or environmental factors.
Vocational aptitude tests – An Introduction
Ability and aptitude tests have been designed to evaluate individual thinking or logical reasoning performance. The exam has in it multiple choice questions and come with specific timeframe, by which it needs to be completed and submitted. The typical test is likely to have 30 questions that are to be completed within 30 minutes. The test results are compared to the control group to ensure that the judgments can be effectively and correctly made about individual abilities.
The candidates are asked to answer questions either online or on paper. The benefits of conducting online exams do offer immediate result. Moreover, the tests can be taken either at the candidate’s home or at the premises of the employment agency or the potential employer. Thus, online testing is found to be quite suitable for initial screening purpose, since it is found to be a cost effective method.
Furthermore, ability and aptitude tests could be classified as power tests or speed tests. Questions in speed tests are generally straightforward. Also, the test concerns with the number of question that can be correctly answered within the allotted timeframe. Besides this, speed tests are commonly used to select candidates at clerical and administrative level. But power test presents smaller number of complex questions. Such tests are used at managerial or professional level.
At least 5000 ability and aptitude tests are present in the market. Few of them tend to contain just a single question type, for instance, numeric reasoning ability, verbal ability, etc. The others are designed with different question types.
Things to consider
The very first thing that the prospective employer or the recruitment agency should do is to determine the type of position that is to be filled up and also know the business in which the organization deals with. This will help to select the most appropriate type of vocational assessment exam that is suitable for the post and the organization and will ensure that the candidates are able to deliver the desired results.
Know the Question types
The following are the classified question types that can be given in the exam:
- Numeric ability: This type includes number sequences, simple mathematics and basic arithmetic. For management grade tests, the candidates are presented with graphs and charts which are to be interpreted correctly. Since employers prefer getting some indication of individual ability to make use of numbers, such questions are given in the general aptitude tests.
- Verbal ability: It includes ability to understand the analogies, grammar, and spelling and to follow detailed written instructions. As employers are eager to understand how well the candidate can communicate, it appears in the general aptitude tests.
- Spatial ability: It measures individual abilities to visualize 3D or 2D shapes. Unless there are required excellent spatial skills specifically in the job, they are not given in the test.
- Abstract reasoning: It helps to measure the candidate’s capabilities to identify underlying logic of any pattern as well as to determine the most appropriate solution. Since this ability is considered to be a wonderful fluid intelligence indicator and of the person to learn newer things, they appear in the test.
- Fault diagnosis: Such tests are conducted to choose technical personnel, whose job is to identify and repair faults that take place in the mechanical and electronic systems. Since all types of modern equipment are dependent upon electronic control systems and more complex, the ability to have proper approach to problems in a logical manner and to identify the fault cause is of great importance.
- Data checking: It helps to measure how accurately and quickly errors and mistakes are detected in data. This test is used for selecting candidates for data input and clerical jobs.
Overall, the perfectly selected exam tool will prove to be more than beneficial for the organization and also help the candidate to perform well in his/her assigned tasks.