How to Succeed in Aptitude Tests?
What is Aptitude Skill?
How to improve aptitude test scores ? Aptitude is defined in Warren’s Dictionary as “a condition or set of characteristics regarded as symptomatic of an individual’s ability to acquire with training some (usually specified) knowledge, skill or set of responses, such as ability to speak a language, to produce music etc.”
From the definition it becomes clear that —
- Aptitudes can either be acquired or be in born.
- Aptitudes are indicative of future potentialities.
- Aptitude implies fitness or suitability for the activities in question.
Aptitude and Measurement
Freeman (1962) has defined aptitude test as one designed to measure a person’s potential ability in an activity of a specialized kind and within a restricted range.
Achievement refers to what a person has acquired or achieved after training or specific instruction has been imparted. Hence achievement tests are primarily designed to measure the effect of specific program of instruction or training (Anastasi 1968).
What is on the aptitude test?
What is on the aptitude test?
The concept of aptitude carries with in certain assumptions. These assumptions permeate both research and practice in aptitude testing. The assumptions are :-
- An individual’s potentialities are not equally strong, i.e. one can learn to do certain things more easily and better than other things and can develop greater interest and satisfaction in some kinds of activities than in others.
- Individuals differ one from other in their potentialities.
- Many of those differences are relatively stable, i.e. they tend to persist. Any changes which subsequently take place in an individual’s potentialities occur within limits imposed by his present constitution.
Types of Aptitude Tests
Aptitude tests can be conveniently grouped into two categories :-
Multiple Aptitude Test (MAT)
Special Aptitude Test (SAT)
Multiple Aptitude Tests are those which intend to measure several aptitudes, each by an independent sub test. Hence multiple aptitude tests are not tests but rather batteries of tests.
Special Aptitude Tests are those which intend to measure only one aptitude.
They developed before multiple aptitude tests. Special aptitude tests developed at the time when primary emphasis in testing was placed on the general intelligence test and it was thought that for describing the individual measurement of intelligence it must be supplemented by the measurement of special aptitude like mechanical, numerical etc. But later researches, particularly the factor analytic researches conducted by Thurston and Guilford revealed that intelligence itself consists of several independent special aptitudes and since then the emphasis has shifted from special aptitude tests to multiple aptitude tests. Not only this several special aptitude tests are now easily included in multiple aptitude batteries.
It must here be also mentioned that out of all the special aptitude tests, the test for mechanical aptitude was the earliest developed.
Types of Multiple Aptitude Tests :-
Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT)
It is one of the most common multiple aptitude tests, first published in 1947. The battery has undergone several revisions and standardization and presently it is available in its fifth edition.
The battery has been developed by Bennett, Seashore and Wes man and comprises of seven sub tests :-
- Verbal Reasoning
- Numerical Ability
- Abstract Reasoning
- Mechanical Reasoning
- Electrical and Speech Accuracy
- Space Relations
- Spelling and Language Usage
- Spelling Test
- Sentence and Examinee required to distinguish faulty from correct grammar.
The battery is mainly meant for educational and vocational counselling of students grades 8 through 12. The whole battery has two equivalent forms S & T, and it roughly takes three hours to administer it.
Scores on each sub test are converted into the percentile ranks for their proper interpretation. In addition to 8 sub scores, a 9th sub score is provided by adding the scores on the Verbal Reasoning Test (VR) and Numerical Ability Test (NA) and subsequently the score s transformed into the percentile rank. The VR and NA score becomes the index of general scholastic aptitude which is interpreted as one index of mental ability. The DAT has also been adopted by Indian Psychologists to suit local requirements.
Special Aptitude Tests
Although now days’ multiple aptitude batteries are given preference but sometimes special aptitude tests are also considered. This is mainly because –
- Special Aptitude Tests provide more flexibility in choice of the appropriate and relevant tests than multiple aptitude batteries.
- There are certain aptitudes, which are seldom included and well covered by multiple aptitude batteries, for example, Artistic Talents, Musical Talents, Creative Talents, Vision Hearing etc.
Seashore Measures of Musical Talents
(A Special Aptitude Test – It means ‘S’ Factor)
This test of musical aptitude was developed by Seashore, Lewis and Sackville (1939). It consists of six sub tests namely –
- The Pitch Test
- The Loudness Test
- The Rhythm Test
- The Time Test
- The Timbre Test
- Tonal Memory Test
The test is meant for students from grade 4 to adults. Each item of Seashore test consists of two tones and the examinee is to make judgement regarding the given characteristics of the tones, for example, in the pitch test examinee indicates whether 0, not the second tone is higher than the first tone and gradually each pair in the pitch test is made difficult by narrowing the difference between the 1st and the 2nd tone.
This test has been criticised on grounds of not yielding meaningful results for a child below 10 years and that it only measures certain types of sensory discrimination which are essential but not sufficient for musical potential (Nun ally 1976).
General Limitations of Aptitude Tests –
- Most tests of aptitude don’t measure all factors important for predicting success and do not consider the relationship between factors or the pattern of factors.
- The weight attached to different factors may differ with each investigator.
- Many aptitude tests don’t have sufficient by high validity.
- There is problem of definition.