Standardized Tests to Check your Aptitude
In this era of cut-throat competition, assessment of one’s abilities and aptitude has become an essential step towards planning and working strategically towards a desired future, both professionally and otherwise. A lot of standardized aptitude and personality tests are available to aid you in your curious and honest pursuit of self-discovery. A lot of people today are cynical about the utility of such tests. But the fact of the matter is that these tools are fairly useful in ascertaining one’s strengths and weaknesses objectively. For those who are interested in gauging their aptitude, it is advisable to not rely on the outcome of one test, but rather take a combination of them to ensure a more accurate picture. Below are a few such tests that I would recommend, some of them are familiar to most people, others not so much.
- Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI):
The academic reviews of this test are kind of mixed; some even call it ‘pseudo science’. But this test is an excellent starting point in self evaluation. It is a self administered, self reported test, there is no ‘success’ or failure, just an indication of the kind of personality you are. I would recommend it highly from personal experience , however it is not an all encompassing final verdict for anything.
- Mensa IQ Test:
IQ is a very relevant indicator of your intelligence and overall ability. However, it is not a measure of all aspects of your intelligence, just one particular kind of intelligence, yet a critical one. The Mensa IQ test has been around for a long time and it will give some guidance for the career choices you should make. Do not get discouraged if you do not end up in the top 1 percentile. Statistically, chances are you will end up in the average part of the graph like the majority of mankind, so take this test as just a tiny component in self-evaluation. One small drawback is that MENSA does not administer online testing. It does only old-fashioned paper-and-pencil tests. If you are interested in taking this test, contact the MENSA organization for more details about test slots and centres. You need to be at least 16 years of age to take this test.
- The Princeton Review:
The Princeton Review offers a very quick and effective evaluation of your interests and abilities. I would highly recommend it for those who have just cleared senior school and are about to attempt entrance tests, SATs, etc.
Make an appointment with a guidance counselor:
Most American universities have career counselors available for the general public, usually by appointment. In India, we do not have such provisions in most places, although you can always take the help of experienced and successful professionals in various fields. ICPF ( a youth organization) has many such successful and experienced professionals working as volunteer counselors in almost every conceivable field. If you would like a consultation, you can contact the iOpener.india team any time you want.
Develop skills early on:
Grab every opportunity when you are very young to understand each industry, however mundane you might consider it to be. If your uncle has a shop, spend some time there, trying to understand the nuances of a small business; if someone you know works in a factory or owns one, take an appointment for a factory visit; try to intern at a dental clinic or a hospital or any other place you have access to. Never write off any industry or think of any industry as below your dignity. You can never know which skill will come to your rescue in moments of crisis.
These are some generic nuggets of advice that I can offer whilst you embark on this journey of self-discovery. In the next segment, I will discuss in detail various specific career options and some miscellaneous categories too that could fit your capabilities.