03 Jan 2015

Q&A Corner

Q.1) What are skills? What differentiates skills from subject knowledge?

Your scholastic and college qualifications only define the general nature of jobs you are educated for and not necessarily the specific jobs you may be proficient in. Apart from such scholastic knowledge, you may have to identify the specific job-required skills and other general soft skills which you may have to possess for doing that job. In fact, skill itself is defined as the ability to perform a given task with ease and precision. Hence you may have to work on the job-specific skills and master them to get the required proficiency to do the job. The skill sets may include

(i) at the basic level, abilities concerning certain motor and manual activities central to the job;

(ii) at another level, abilities concerning Communication, Language, History, Economics, Mathematics etc; and

(iii) yet at another level abilities concerning specific skill sets like English Literature, Integral Calculus, PhP, Adobe Photoshop and such others which are more specific and pertinent to the job itself.

Q.2) I am doing +2 now, and I am really confused as to when I should take an aptitude test?

While you are in +2, it is the right time for you to know what you are good at and what natural abilities (also known as aptitudes) – you possess, which enable you to do certain jobs/activities way better than many others, and for which you do not possess the desired aptitudes. Hence my suggestion to you is that you take an aptitude test to check on your predominant abilities and also compare them to the aptitudes desired for pursuing, say Fashion Design as a career choice. Apart from aptitudes you may have to self-check with tests of your personality and motivation profiles. These three combined will also suggest what careers if pursued, you have a better likelihood of succeeding. This will also dispel many of your confusions in choosing a career of your best choice.

Q.3) Are career aptitude tests really helpful?

Yes, aptitude tests are helpful and essential too for deciding on education and career choices. It is best taken at the school level itself to enable you decide on post – school alternatives.

Aptitude tests measure the natural abilities and talents of the test taker and suggest, after analysis of these test results, which jobs match your innate traits and strengths and for which courses and careers you have an aptitude for.

Q.4) What are the specific benefits of Aptitude Tests?

Aptitude Tests help in answering the important questions everyone of us is bound to face in choosing from alternative study choices as well as career options.

  • Study and career choices are made easier and more objective; not just based on instincts and improper quack advice;
  • Aptitude tests taken along with structured personality and motivation tests can suggest even the specific occupations one can choose to suit the skill sets and interests.
  • These tests indicate to an hierarchy of career options starting at the top from the most satisfying and interesting options to the least.
  • While options given are not restrictive and compulsive to accept, they broadly serve as guides and goal posts within certain ambits. There may be lot many sub options available.
  • On the whole, they enable the test-taker to zero in on the best fit available for his/her course of study and careers/occupations to choose from.

Q.5) How do I answer ‘tell us about yourself’ question in a job test in alignment with career objectives?

Best way to describe yourself is to answer these three questions about the three of the most defining aspects of yourself:

(1) Your Aptitudes & Abilities

(2) Your Personality

(3) Your Motivations

  1. Our Aptitudes and Abilities tell something of what we are naturally good at learning, thinking, implementing and managing.
  2. Our personality is a wholesome combination of our approach, thinking style, behavior patterns, attitudes, emotions, imaginations and others.
  3. Our Motivations are a sum total of our interests, needs and drivers which define the positions that we take in decision making as well as our inner stances of what we like to or don’t like to do. If you know well what your Aptitudes, Personality and Motivations are, you can aptly describe yourself in toto too.
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