Spatial aptitude tests measure your cognitive and perceptual abilities with space and shapes. Your scores are compared with results of other candidates, vying for the same spatiality focused job. Your imagination, visualization and critical reasoning play important role to determine your spatial skills. The spatial ability tests are designed around geometry, physics, chemistry and mechanical problems, depending upon the nature of your applied job.
What is Spatial Ability?
"My elements of thought are not words but 'certain signs and more or less reproduce-able images'."
Your spatial ability is your skill to analyze, visualize, comprehend and express these imaginative signs and shapes. It helps you to identify forms from the patterns and vice versa. It assists you to solve critical problems in the complex real world. But more importantly, a developed spatial ability helps you to get contract letter for your dream specific job.
The spatial ability starts growing from your childhood. Generally, male sex type activities; cricket, football, basket ball and computer games are considered stimuli behind strong development of spatial skills. However, the gender different is depleting with the passage of time.
Spatial aptitude tests have been getting consistent attention of the psychologists for last couple of decades. The ideas of Dr. Howard Gardner have opened new window for the aptitude testing industry. He theorized against general belief that intelligence is not a single measurable entity. He said that spatial ability is one of the eight cognitive skills which may be collectively called intelligence.
Then Thurstone described three types of spatial ability.
i- Your ability to visualize rotation and flipping over of the shapes and diagrams.
ii- Your ability to reorient objects from different angles. And…
iii- Finding relations between different spatial objects.
Certain careers are categorized with better spatial ability. Such works essentially require you to utilize your visualization, conceptions and imaginations in daily routine work. A few of such careers include:
All natural sciences require a certain degree of spatial capability to build theories and pass them through experiments. You are required to visualize complex structure of atoms and movement of its particles. You have to draw inference from the complex structure of cells to solve medical problems. You are required to express your imaginations either upon paper or in models.
Math Related Jobs
When you score better in spatial tests, you are likely to score in numerical aptitude tests. Though it is not always necessary that you use your numerical skills to solve spatial problems but in most of the cases it happens so. In fact same kind of thought stream works behind the both abilities. Thus spatial ability is equally important for careers in math, physics, accounting, auditing, economics etc.
The spatial development is considered very important when you are looking for an engineering career.
Understandably, you need to build designs in your mind before you can put those on paper even. If you are looking for a career of mechanical engineer, it becomes even more important.
Architects, like engineers have to use their spatial skills to build their models. Then they have to visualize a lot before they are satisfied with structure and design of their work.
Computer Related Careers
The computer technology is highly spatial in nature. It is not surprising that computers have been playing an important role in developing your spatial skills. When you are looking for a career in hardware or software industry, you need a certain degree of spatial capability. However, when you are looking for an online career, you simply need to know and love your subject. There is at least one company which guarantees your online success without any technical or spatial capabilities.
The concept of spatial ability is still growing. The new developments have given birth to certain sub-factors which spatial aptitude tests take into account.
Manipulation of Shapes
The spatial aptitude tests are all about manipulation of shapes. Your reasoning with shapes is tested in a number of ways:
• Most of the spatial aptitude tests contain two, three or multi dimensional shapes. You are required to reason with the given dimensions to reach to the right conclusion. Such tests are also called spatial reasoning tests.
• Spatial ability tests offer different sizes of shapes. You may identify forms from the patterns or vice versa, depending upon the sizes. The shapes may change their patterns with the change of sizes.
• Some problems may contain different planes with different shapes. The diagrams are rotated in the planes to see how much sharp your memory is. You may be offered 2-D or 3-D shapes to know their direction of rotation in the planes. Such tests are also called spatial memory tests.
• You may be required to visualize disintegration of a shape in parts and reassemble them at another place. You have to find out topographical relation between different shapes.
• You may be required to see objects from a different angle. You need to become part of the problems and reorient your position with other objects. Such tests are called spatial orientation tests.
The spatial aptitude tests also measure your capability to measure length, width and volume of an object. You are required to measure diagrams as per given units of measurement.
Depiction of Imagery
Some spatial aptitude tests require you to depict your imagination in shapes and models for top level engineering, mechanical and science careers. You may also be required to describe shapes and models with your reasoning to reach a logical conclusion.
It is another sub factor of the spatial aptitude tests. Your perceptions of directions and positions are tested. You may be required to use an actual compass or directional model to read a map.
It is true that you start developing spatial ability early in your childhood. However, the experiments have proved that more exposure to spatial experience and training result in sharp rise of the scoring in spatial aptitude tests.
When you start your testing session, always be relaxed. If all things stand equal, it is your current state of mind that can create a real difference. You may find some questions difficult to answer on first sight. Skip them for the moment. When you will come back, your brain would make the answer easier to be identified.
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