Aptitude Test

Your Personal Assessment

An aptitude test is a useful tool to discover your abilities and what you're good at.

Follow the practical steps on this page and you'll walk away with  a clear idea of your abilities and strengths. Knowing these can influence self confidence and your thoughts about career direction.

When you know what you're good at it's so much easier to make clearly focused life decisions. You can be confident that you're using your abilities in the correct career.

What is an aptitude?

Very broadly an aptitude is the ability to perform an activity or occupation because of your skill, training or some other qualification. These abilities could come from special skills you've learned or they could come from life experience or natural talent.

In fact the words Ability, Aptitude, Skill, and Competence all describe very similar characteristics.

Skills generally enable and support your ability to do something. I like to think of abilities as things that you can do well compared to other people of the same age.

Ready? Let's start!

Think about your abilities. What are you able to do well compared to people your own age?

Are you more scientific or artistic? Do you convince people easily or do you prefer to organize events?

Go back and read through the roles you wrote down in the basic life skills analysis. These might guide you in your thinking.

This aptitude test presents 17 different abilities to help you on your journey to finding the right career. These are expanded from the Self Directed Search (SDS) career assessment test developed by John Holland.

Rate yourself between 1 and 3 for each of the abilities listed below. Remember to rate yourself as you think you are compared with people of your own age. Try to give an accurate estimate of the way you see yourself.

3 = High
2 = Average
1 = Low


1. MECHANICAL ABILITY: Understanding basic mechanical laws and how mechanical things work, fixing basic mechanical problems.
3 2 1

2. SCIENTIFIC ABILITY: Understanding laws of science; understand science, health, or technology issues.
3 2 1

3. ARTISTIC ABILITY: Drawing, painting, acting, dancing, creating something new.
3 2 1

4. MUSICAL ABILITY: Playing a musical instrument, play in a band, group or orchestra, arrange or compose music.
3 2 1

5. TEACHING ABILITY: Ability to teach others, teaching adults or children.
3 2 1

6. SALES ABILITY: Influencing people to buy something, or to do something
3 2 1

7. CLERICAL ABILITY: Ability to accurately file and find information, to record information.
3 2 1

8. WRITING ABILITY: Writing to express new ideas or feelings, can write a speech, can write stories or poetry.
3 2 1

9. READING ABILITY: Reading to understand and apply facts.
3 2 1

10. LANGUAGE ABILITY: Using language correctly, understanding correct grammar.
3 2 1

11. SPATIAL PERCEPTION: Looking at a drawing and "seeing" the object as it would look from different points of view.
3 2 1

12. UNDERSTANDING OTHERS: A social ability - talking to people; getting along with people; making an impression.
3 2 1

13. HELPING OTHERS: Caring for or teaching people; helping people with problems or decisions.
3 2 1

14. LEADERSHIP and/or MANAGEMENT: Leading/managing people so that they work toward a common goal.
3 2 1

15. ORGANIZING: Managing tasks and details; working systematically.
3 2 1

16. MANUAL ABILITY: Ability to make or repair things using your hands, operate power tools.
3 2 1

17. MATH ABILITY: Understanding mathematical and number concepts; applying math concepts to resolve problems
3 2 1

Your aptitude test results

Take some time to create a new list of the abilities you've rated 'average' and 'high'.

The abilities you've rated '2' and '3' are those that you believe you perform well in and take you one step closer to your goal of finding the right career.

The abilities you've rated '1' can be put on a separate list and considered 'areas for development' (areas for development are always useful to know before you go into an interview!).

When you've finished the aptitude test choose the next assessment (discovering your values) from the list below.

  1. Basic Life Skills
  2. The Abilities and Aptitude test (this page)
  3. Discover your Values
  4. Personality profiles

I'm off to prepare your next assessment. See you there!

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