When you first heard that you have to take a battery of psychological exams, you probably thought: where can I get a sample aptitude test? After all, for the most part, we can anticipate what types of tests we are going to get.
Not so with aptitude tests!
And nothing is more intimidating than not knowing what to expect. How can you review and prepare if you have no idea what questions will come up?
The good news is: it’s easy to get your hands on a sample aptitude test. Unlike achievement tests, which asks you about facts you have learned, aptitude tests tend to be more process-oriented, which means there’s nothing wrong in producing replicas. In fact, it would be to your advantage if you practice before you take the very test which would matter. Being familiar with the form of questions that they ask, the general test-taking situation, and the content of the exam will ensure that you’d later get a score reflective of your true potential.
If you’re not psychology or education-oriented, it’s easy to understand why you haven’t come across the term before. An aptitude test is an assessment tool which measures your inclination, natural ability, and suitability to perform a particular task. Aptitude tests often measure personality traits, but it can also test existing skills, learning, attitudes, values and experience. Aptitude is different from intelligence, as it’s a more generalized trait and can cover different domains like mechanics, drawing, music, and languages. You can expect a different aptitude test for the various potentials a person can possess.
The most reliable route to go is a psychometrician. A psychometrician is a professional whose expertise is psychological testing. Guidance counselors often double as psychometricians, so it wouldn’t hurt to re-connect with your high school or college and ask if they can lend you a practice form of an aptitude test. And don’t worry if it’s in severe shape to ask the guidance office when you’ve already graduated years before! Many schools and college look after their alumni and assist them in job placement. If you phrase your request correctly, perhaps through a request letter, then there’s no reason for your guidance office to deny you.
Note though: the guidance office is a useful resource of only General Aptitude Tests. If the sample aptitude test that you are looking for is more specialized, e.g., a “learning a second language” aptitude test, or a “mechanical engineering aptitude test” you are better off inquiring with either professional organizations or the HR Department of a company in the field you’re hoping to enter. You might have to incentivize them to lending you a copy though unless you have connections, so try to be creative. If it’s a lucrative job that’s on the line then there’s no reason not to pull out all the stops, right?
Another option is review centers. Look in your neighborhood if a service provider is specializing in review for the SATs or college entrance examinations. More likely they would have sample tests handy for the use of their student. But given that they are businesses specializing in preparing applicants to take an assessment, expect that you would be charged for your copy. But if their sample aptitude test is of high quality then the cost may just be worth it.
And if all these avenues fail, try researching on the internet. If you’re looking for quality copies then don’t just rely on a quick search engine query. Instead, ask your local library if they have a password for professional psychological organizations. These networks are more likely to provide you a sample aptitude test that is close to the standardized copy. Or at least, it can give you links to the email addresses of creators of aptitude tests. More often than not, these authors would respond positively if you explain carefully that you plan to use the test for personal use and not for profit. You may also look at the website of known producers of sample aptitude test to see if they have a downloadable copy available for public use.
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