An ability test is a test to check an individual’s ability to perform a certain kind of job. It usually tests the individual for certain skills or whether he is capable of acquiring those skills in the course of the job or through training.
Ability tests are also called aptitude tests and are generally standardized. These tests can be used to test variety of skills – mental aptitude, problem solving, knowledge of a particular subject, reasoning ability, general intelligence and so on.
These are conducted by the Human Resource function of a company to find the suitability of a candidate for a given job role. These can be quantitative, psychological, verbal or may take.
Aptitude and ability tests are standardised ways of assessing how well people typically perform in varying work tasks or react in different situations. They have the advantage of measuring potential rather than simply academic performance, and are often used to make predictions about how people will perform in a work setting. Candidates’ results are scored by comparing their performance with the results of others who have done the same assessments.
- Verbal: Identifies the potential ability to use ideas and concepts expressed in words. It does not directly measure knowledge of English. Vocabulary is weighted less than the insight into verbal relationships.
- Numerical: Measures the mental capacity for interpreting experience, ideas and concepts quantitatively. The tests are weighted towards an insight into numerical relationships and away from a facility for arithmetic.
- Perceptual: Measures the mental function which experiences the world in terms of direct observations and representations, such as charts, pictures, diagrams and so on.
Benefits: Inexpensive and quick method of gaining reliable and objective information on candidates’ abilities. Well established, BPS registered measures of core abilities. Useful as preliminary screening tests. The Compound Series test is used in all forms of general selection, as a general measure of intellectual power. It is used in many different contexts including the selection of administrative personnel or as a pre-selection tool for some schools. The tests are suitable for those of all levels of ability and have been successfully used with groups ranging from graduate level to those with no formal qualifications.