What is an aptitude test?

Some employers might ask you to complete an aptitude test as part of the job application process. But what will this involve, and is it something to worry about?

Woman sits at desk taking an aptitude test


Whether it’s clearly stated in a job advertisement or crops up as you move through your application, an aptitude test is a fairly common requirement when you go for a job.

Why are aptitude tests used?

The purpose of these kinds of tests  is to help employers decide which job candidates most closely match their requirements. The type of test will depend on the job role and what the company is looking for.

When will I need to do an aptitude test?

You’ll often be asked to do the test during the final stages of the recruitment process, to help the employer decide on the best candidate.

Certain tests, however, can take place earlier on, to help shortlist candidates. These will tend to be simpler, shorter versions to check on specific skills.

How does an aptitude test work?

Generally you will either be asked to complete the test online from home, or on the day of an interview at the company premises. They are usually multiple choice and there may be a time limit.

What types of aptitude tests are there?

There are tests to assess all kinds of skills and abilities. Many employers design their own custom test which examines competencies specific to the role.

Common types of aptitude test

  • Cognitive Aptitude Test – a bit like an IQ test, assessing verbal, numerical, spatial and reasoning skills.
  • Numerical Aptitude Test – looking at mathematical competency. Common in finance and commercial recruitment.
  • Verbal Aptitude Test – exploring your language skills. This might apply to many different roles where you are expected to express yourself clearly.
  • Abstract Reasoning Test – testing your ability to analyse information, identify patterns and solve problems.
  • Spatial Ability Test – This is about how you visualise 2D and 3D objects, which is important in engineering, architecture and various other fields.
  • Critical Thinking Test – often used in legal settings. It’s frequently based on the Watson Glaser aptitude test.
  • Typing / Microsoft Suite Tests – to confirm you have the required skill levels in touch typing or Office apps for the role.
  • Copywriting Tests – if your role will involve writing content or copy, you may be set a writing task.
  • Error Checking Tests – some roles include a lot of proof reading or data checking, so an aptitude test will help assess whether you will suit the role.
  • Situational Judgement – exploring various hypothetical situations and how you would behave or react, to see if you align with a company’s values.

How can I practice before the test?

A little practice is always a good idea. There’s something of a ‘knack’ to these tests and it’s good to refresh your memory. You will find practice aptitude tests on various websites, and there is a particularly broad selection here.

Should I worry about an aptitude test?

An aptitude test shouldn’t be anything to worry about. It’s designed to check you can do the job you’ve applied for. If you’ve held the same position in another organisation, you will be fine – you’ll have the necessary skills.

If not, the test will help you understand if the job is right for you or not. If it doesn’t go well, chances are you won’t enjoy the job anyway.

So in a sense the test can work for both you and the employer – you can choose to decline the role and find one that suits you better.

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your Franchise Selection

Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

Your Franchise Selection

This franchise opportunity has been added to your franchise selection



Click the button below to register your interest with all the franchises in your selection

Request FREE Information Now

You may be interested in these similar franchises