Scoring and Ranking Results

Aptitude and ability tests are designed to assess your verbal, numerical, and logical reasoning performance. They consist of multiple-choice questions that are strictly timed and administered under exam conditions. They tend to be fairly short and a typical test might allow 30 minutes for 30 or so questions.

There are literally hundreds of proprietary aptitude and ability tests on the market, but the most common ones can be classified as follows:

Verbal Ability Tests - Include spelling and grammar, and the ability to understand analogies and follow detailed written instructions.

Numeric Ability Tests - Include basic arithmetic, number sequences, and simple mathematics. In more complex numerical critical reasoning questions, blocks of information are provided that require interpretation.

Abstract Reasoning Tests - Measure your ability to identify the underlying logic of a pattern and then determine the solution. They are deliberately designed so that the visual problem-solving strategy will work better than any other approach.

Spatial Ability Tests - Measure your ability to manipulate shapes in two dimensions or to visualize three-dimensional objects presented as two-dimensional pictures.

You may be asked to answer the questions either on paper or online. The advantage of online testing is that once the test is completed, an analysis of the results can be calculated straightaway. This means that the organization can continue with the selection process with the results 'in hand' rather than keep you waiting or send you home and call you back in at a later date. Another advantage is that you can take the test at a recruitment agency or even in your own home. Online testing is particularly suitable for initial screening as it is very cost-effective.

Whichever type of test you are given, the questions are almost always presented in multiple-choice format and have definite correct and incorrect answers. As you proceed through the test, the questions may become more difficult and you will usually find that there are more questions than you can comfortably complete in the time allowed. Very few people manage to finish these tests and the object is simply to give as many correct answers as you can.

Scoring Management Ability Tests

There are three approaches organizations can adopt when making recruitment and employment decisions. They are:

1) Rank Ordering of Test Results
By simply accepting the highest-ranking scores the organization could take on candidates over-qualified for the position in times of high unemployment. Or in the opposite environment take on someone who is poorly qualified for the role even thought they got one of the highest scores of their group. Results from this approach must not be used in isolation if the organization wants to achieve a positive outcome.

2) Cut-off Scores
Organizations can go some way to protecting themselves by setting a minimum score for a role. Candidates who score below this will be rejected and those that greatly exceed it can be assessed to see if they are too high powered for the role.

3) Candidate Profiling
Using candidate profiling enables a profile of the 'ideal' person as well as a minimum test score to be used together in selecting candidates. Job specifications are usually used to produce the role profile map. Individuals' competencies will need to meet or surpass this profile to continue in the recruitment process.

Ideally, your score should then be compared with the results of a control group that has taken the tests in the past. This control group could consist of other graduates, current job-holders, or a sample of the population as a whole. Your reasoning skills can then be assessed in relation to this control group and judgments made about your ability. This does happen sometimes. Often however, your score is simply compared to the other candidates. After all, the control group is not applying for the job.

You may also be interested in:
Management Aptitude Tests | Verbal Ability and Reasoning Tests | Numerical Ability and Reasoning Tests | Abstract Reasoning Tests | Spatial Ability Tests | Scoring and Ranking Results.


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