Ability tests measure an individual’s special abilities and skills.
They are designed to measure how good people are certain skills: for example how well a person works with words or numbers, how good a person is at checking and filing, how competent they are with financial or technical information, how well a person handles spatial or abstract information, etc. If you are applying to be an airline pilot, it would be appropriate to test your spatial awareness and problem solving abilities. Or if you are applying to work in the financial sector, a test of your numerical ability is appropriate.
A wide variety of ability tests are available and some of those most commonly used are shown below:
Logical reasoning: intended to establish your ability to solve problems by thinking critically and logically on the basis of the information provided and to solve problems rationally as they arise.
Numerical reasoning: intended to determine your ability to handle numbers and figures accurately. You may be required to answer questions based no data presented in graphs, statistical, tables, spreadsheets, diagrams of sales and production figures, balance sheets etc.
Verbal reasoning: intended to examine your ability to comprehend written information and to understand and analyse the logica of written arguments. You might be required to read reports, memos, letters, sections of official documents etc.
Spatial reasoning: intended to test your ability to visualise objects, plans or drawings when looked at from different directions, angles or perspectives. You might be required to ‘read’ a plan or technical drawing or imagine how an object will look once it is finished.
Error checking: intended to examine your ability to check the accuracy of information presented in a variety of forms, such as invoices, tables, accounts, reports, technical information, data etc.
Data interpretation: intended to examine your ability to accurately and objectively interpret facts and figures presented in the form of statistical tables and diagrams.
Fault finding: intended to examine your ability to follow the logic of circuits and find faults in technical systems such as electrical, heating or car systems.