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AptitudeThe Importance of Aptitude

ap·ti·tude –ˈaptəˌt(y)o͞od

noun

1. a natural ability to do something.

2. suitability or fitness.

The “Aptitude” of an individual is their inherent or natural ability to perform well in a certain task or field of study or work. There are numerous tests available to allow for the aptitudes of the individual to be narrowed down to certain fields wherein they have a substantially increased opportunity for success. While there are some shortcomings to the tests, they are exceptionally effective for the most part. The entire purpose of these Aptitude Batteries or Aptitude Tests is not only to provide the school, the business or other institutional organization with a better selection of applicants who can be successful, but to increase the success of the individual in fields wherein they share both a personal interest and a natural gift within that field, allowing them to be more successful on the individual level.

 

Aptitude Batteries, Exams or Tests are not tests in the traditional sense of the word. They are established in different sections to determine wherein people have certain skills that pertain to fields of study or work. These Aptitude tests serve a multitude of purposes. In some sections, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers. Many of these problems include determining the ability of the individual to think outside of their comfort zones regarding matters they would not normally know about. (An online search for “Weird Interview Questions” will reveal many examples of these types of questions) These questions are usually designed to judge the means by which an individual has the capacity to solve problems, even when they know nothing about the material that is the subject of the said problem. Other sections include math, reading comprehension and others, designed to narrow down more specific skill sets of the individuals.

There are some shortcomings to these Aptitude Exams, not the least of which is the ability to translate them into foreign languages. The more exact the Aptitude Batteries are, the more nuanced the verbiage that they use will be. Words that have very subtle differences will often be used to express a very specific idea or concept, and translating into any language that is even slightly less exact in its translation will suffer some in the results. Thus, the Russian, Finnish and German languages are among the most beneficial for these tests, but not always really practical. The Latin languages are also very well suited towards generating very exact results. English is generally sufficient, though the more demanding of these tests do tend to be a bit longer in English due to this very fact. Still, translating them into the more limited languages and dialects such as those used among the tribes of Indigenous peoples around the world do leave something to be desired. Even in the most limited of dialects, a viable starting point can be established to determine the relevant skills of the individual, after that, their personal interests will play a larger role in selecting what fields to pursue.

Once a general area of skills has been identified, the individual can be given options from within that field and begin studying and/or working, not only in areas where they have an interest, but wherein they have an exceptional potential for being successful ... if not very successful. For the student, these test results can be used to offer a selection of courses or fields of study for their major and/or minor fields of study. As the alternative methods of education are introduced and students have the opportunity to continue their studies in more “real-world” environments, this means of testing will be even more beneficial to those students who are not so scholastically driven and may have skills more well suited towards technical and vocational areas of study. While it is important that all of the testing be conducted, it is even more essential for the students that these tests be continued over the course of time.

If any young child is asked what they want to be when they grow up, they are likely to answer in regards to something in an area someone especially important to them has pursued. As time goes on, their interests, and occasionally their skills will change. It is imperative, especially during the years of growth and development, that enough options are given to the students to keep them interested, but also ... and perhaps more importantly, to feed and nourish their dreams and to keep the flame of hope kindled inside of them. As they grow older and their skills become more developed, they may see other areas within the same fields that pique their interest even further. It may be that other areas within the same field now have their attention. This is not to say that they should be allowed to bounce around anywhere at random, but rather that a sufficient introduction to and understanding of their desired fields of study be given to them to allow them to maintain interest as they learn and expand their natural skills with more learned skills.

This constant need to adjust is substantially more limited with adults, but still beneficial to a certain degree. Adults are generally more capable and more willing to establish themselves in a single field, though there are certainly occasions when they can and sometimes do wish to make a change. In these particular instances, it is still beneficial to do the testing and then to offer the individual a choice based upon their skills and their fields of interest. Not only does this greatly benefit the individual, but it also provides substantially more efficient and capable workers for the corporation and/or organization. Increased production tends to lead to increased profits which tends to lead to increased benefits including better chances of promotion for the employees.

The same holds true for military and police service as well. These types of programs are very common in police forces and military forces around the world for a reason. People who are better at their jobs tend to be happier and more willing to work harder and capable of working more efficiently. People who are more efficient at their jobs tend to provide a better service to their employer ... the military and/or police in this case, thus making the locale and even the entire nation a much safer place. The benefits of these types of programs should never be underestimated and about the only question that remains after that, is just what would it take to begin implementing such programs here in the Philippines?

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