Aptitude tests

By Dr. Edwin van Thiel

Updated on June 26, 2020

Aptitude tests are popularly used in the pre-employment selection processes as an additional evaluation tool of candidate abilities. Whether it is numerical, verbal, or non-verbal reasoning tests, aptitude tests have completely taken over the recruitment world in the past decade.

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Global corporate giants these days have pre-assessment aptitude tests waiting for their candidates in the preliminary steps of the online application process. Although still gaining ground in the US, any person who is about to engage in a career at a global-scale employer is likely to encounter these tests.

Aptitude test practice

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While IQ tests are designed to be administered in a way that does not require the examinee to go through any prior preparation procedures, aptitude tests are usually allowed to be practiced beforehand.

While in an IQ test, the examinee is expected to encounter these questions for the first time in his life and still be able to answer them by using his innate intellectual abilities, aptitude test creators use IQ test-based elements, but also incorporate education-related abilities.

Popular types of aptitude tests


  1. Numeracy – basic number operations - arithmetic
  2. Numerical reasoning – critical analysis of numerical data which relies on basic principles such as ratios, percentages, interests etc. Data can appear I the form of charts and tables or in word-related problems.


  1. Reading comprehension- basic understanding of written language.
  2. Verbal reasoning – critical reasoning and analysis of assumptions, premises and statements, usually based on academic-level texts.

Non-verbal tests

  1. Diagrammatic reasoning
  2. Memory
  3. Inductive and abstract reasoning

Accuracy, speed, and attention tests

These tests are popularly seen in the selection process of entry-level, technical, and clerical jobs. These are short tests that are built of sets of data that must be organized and compared to determine correct placements of objects and words/numbers. Mechanical and electrical comprehension Intended mainly for technical jobs, industry and military positions, these tests cover basic principles of mechanics and electricity.

Spatial tests

These spatial reasoning tests evaluate spatial awareness in 3-dimensional and 2-dimensional spaces.

Performance improves through aptitude test practice

At first glance, aptitude tests are intimidating and challenging. Among the reasons that make these tests perceived as such are the short time frames given for their completion, and the wittiness and non-ordinary concepts they introduce. However, the good news are that extensive practice and the use of efficient tips and thumb rules can greatly improve performance levels and actually turn these tests into good brain challenges rather than just cold selection tests.

>> Practice aptitude tests right now for free with explantions of the right answers.