What is a Career Aptitude Test?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 10 July 2019
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A career aptitude test is a test given to students or those interested in entering the work force to help determine what career may be best for them. These tests are often written to help evaluate how a person thinks and to best understand what areas of interest a person may want to pursue. Such tests are not necessarily perfect, and it is possible that someone may find careers recommended for him or her that are not ideal. A career aptitude test can come in a number of different forms, though it usually tests a person’s knowledge or areas of interest.

Sometimes called an employment test or career assessment, there are many ways in which a career aptitude test can be prepared. They will typically consist of a number of questions phrased as multiple choice or true/false questions. These are often used so that the results of the test can be determined through computer analysis of answers, rather than lengthy scoring by people of short answer or essay style questions. The questions on a career aptitude test are usually aimed at evaluating the types of skills a person may have, such as mathematical prowess or verbal communication, as well as the interests and natural leanings of a person.


One common form of career aptitude test presents the person taking the test with a number of tasks involved in different subject areas and career fields. The person then expresses different levels of interest, often including “strongly disinterested,” “disinterested,” “interested,” and “strongly interested” for each question. Other questions may regard the skills a person has to determine a career that utilizes a combination of those skills and interests.

Since a career aptitude test often analyzes the types of skills or strengths and weaknesses a person may have, the results of such tests may not always align with what a person wants to do. Someone could be very strong at critical thinking and analysis, which may indicate he or she has an aptitude for becoming a scientist. If that person has no particular interest in science, however, then the results of such a test would not necessarily indicate what career he or she should pursue, only a career at which he or she may naturally excel. This is why a career aptitude test should not typically be used as an absolute guide to a career, but as an indicator of what careers a person may find fulfilling.



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Post 2

I was in JROTC in high school and too the ASVAB test, which is a military aptitude test. I did very well in the organizational section, and not very well in the engineering part. They showed a diagram of a machine and asked us to label the part that didn't belong. Wild guess, anyone? Well, my husband also took it when he was in high school, and he had no problems with that section. He could figure it out and they said he might have a career as an engineer ahead of him. He's a writer. So there you go. I will say the ASVAB is probably a little better at predicting and identifying aptitude than most of these tests are.

Post 1

Unless career aptitude tests have changed in the past 20 years or so, they may not be too accurate. I remember taking them when I was a senior in high school, and I could not get a career recommendation! I scored very high on the test -- apparently high enough in every category that the test algorithm couldn't narrow down a profession for me. So I work in the media. Funny, huh?

I never have put much stock in those tests, simply because I think the test makers' biases tend to show up in the way questions are worded and what kinds of questions are included. So I don't have much interest in these tests, except for fun and curiosity.

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