Cognitive Aptitude Test

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Human resource is one of the most important department in an organization as it entails certain emotive approaches in its running (Ekwoaba, Ikeije & Ufoma, 2015).  Almost all the decisions in the human resource specialty create ethical issues as they interrelate with people on matters encompassing recruitment and selection. Today, a number of regulations and guidelines are associated with human resource assortment and organization. Human resource selection encompasses sorting and arranging of applicant requests on the basis of the job applicants analysis, examination and interview result in accordance to the established criteria. The aim of selection is making sure that the right person or group is selected for the position using good, fair and equal assessment approaches (Ekwoaba et al., 2015).  

            Above and beyond the interview, there are a number of other aspects that can predict the success of the candidate on the job. In human resource management, any test criteria used to determine if the candidates are fit for the job should be communicated to every person being interviewed. Example of such tests is a cognitive ability test and an aptitude test. There are many tests that can determine various properties of human conduct for employees. With time, the application of pre-employment examinations before the selection is increasing at a rapid rate. It is because they are able to clarify the characteristics and abilities of the contenders clearly. The examination trails are applied in the big and public organizations. The benefit of these assessment plans in the selection activities is that they are able to ensure the capable and suitable candidate are selected from the many applicants.

            In assessment, a well-designed and employed pre-employment examination should be applied. A properly designed assortments criteria examination has aspects such as standardization, validity, norms, objectivity, and reliability (Van Iddekinge, Lanivich, Roth, & Junco, 2016).  However, it may be puzzling to comprehend without training or broad experience in handling assessments for the selection of candidates. There are companies who desire to bring in assessments to determine various aspects of the selection criteria such as the potential to learn. In spite of this, they are confronted with the challenge of clarifying the importance of the assessments within the company. In the pre-employment assessment criteria, the bodily and mental capabilities, knowledge competencies, personal features and other attributes of performance can be well tested (Van Iddekinge et al., 2016).

            The concept of assessing the learning potential during selection has received significant consideration in scholarly literature. The reason is that excellent learning ability is considered a basis for competitive gain (Gamage, 2014).The firms that incorporate tactics that are reliable in assessing learning ability during the selection of employees are believed to achieve better performance (Greiner, 2015).  However, there are few studies that examine the relationship between the learning ability of stuff and the firm’s performance financially (Gamage, 2014). The potential and motivation to acquire more skills is quality employers say is most essential for an employee who seeks to get ahead in their career. According to a study done by Gamage (2014), 30% of executives tell that the willingness to keep learning is a needed trait for individuals to be selected and to succeed. The potential to learn new skills helps staff to adapt with ease to adjustments in the firm, in addition, such people are more enthusiastic to accept increased responsibilities (Renwick, Redman & Maguire, 2013).

Cognitive aptitude test.

            Diverse aspects of employability are determined through different assessments such as cognitive aptitude tests which is applied to gauge the potential of the applicant to learn and complete a job (Aladwan, Bhanugopan & D'Netto, 2015). An aptitude test gauges an individual's ability to learn new talents and competencies. In assessing the learning potential of a candidate, aptitude tests can determine measures like mechanical aptitude in addition to clerical aptitude. Examples of these tests include the person's quickness of typing and the ability of the candidate to use a specific computer application. In assessing an individual's ability to learn unique questions as asked, whereby, the questions must be related to the requirements of the job being interviewed for (Aladwan et al., 2015). In some jobs, an aptitude test is needed before an application can be put into consideration example being a police officer in New York City.

            The talents associated with jobs are verbal, spatial, numerical, reasoning and perceptual speed. (Lievens & Sackett, 2012). In addition to learning new skills, cognitive aptitude pre-employment tests are used to determine a candidate's problem-solving abilities, understanding, and application of information and critical thinking. Individuals who score highly in the aptitude tests are most probable to be fast learners and better performers than individuals who score low. The cognitive aptitude test consists of 50 items and not many candidates are able to complete all the 50 items in the 15 minutes time threshold allocated.

            In the test, every person is accorded a raw mark and percentile rating, whereby, the marks show the number of questions out of the 50 the candidate was able to score correctly. On the other hand, the percentile rating is a relative accomplishment metric that points to how the person scored compared to other people who have engaged in the test (Johnsen, 2017). For instance, if an individual scored a percentile ranking of 45, it means that the individual performed better than 45% of the people who took the test (Renwick, Redman & Maguire, 2013). Research indicated that cognitive aptitude is among the most precise determinants of success in the job. There are also studies that show the results of this test have a significant relationship with the performance of an employee for the jobs that require better capabilities in fields such as problem-solving, verbal and mathematical calculations, learning and critical thinking (Johnsen, 2017).

            The cognitive aptitude test was developed using a sample of 985 people and the sample was made of working adults of age 18 years and above. The candidates were assessed for employee selection reasons, whereby, the sample represented a mixture of people from more than fifty firms whose positions were technical services jobs, sales representatives, managerial positions and customer service personnel. Since the test was developed, it has been used more than 500000 times (Lambe, Kay & Bristow, 2018). The test is standardized and is appropriate to analysing the potential learning abilities for selection. However, in as much as the test is widely used in employment selection, it has been criticised as demonstrate differential prediction and adverse discrimination against the minority groups example the African Americans in the United States. There is the need for further research to create more employment assessment tools which will aid in the efficient selection of employees.


Aladwan, K., Bhanugopan, R., & D'Netto, B. (2015). The effects of human resource management practices on employees’ organisational commitment. International journal of organizational Analysis, 23(3), 472-492.

Ekwoaba, J. O., Ikeije, U. U., & Ufoma, N. (2015). The Impact of Recruitment and Selection Criteria on Organizational Performance.

Gamage, A. S. (2014). Recruitment and selection practices in manufacturing SMEs in Japan: An analysis of the link with business performance. Ruhuna Journal of Management and Finance, 1(1), 37-52.

Greiner, B. (2015). Subject pool recruitment procedures: organizing experiments with ORSEE. Journal of the Economic Science Association, 1(1), 114-125.

Lambe, P., Kay, E., & Bristow, D. (2018). Exploring uses of the Clinical Aptitude Test‐situational judgment test in a dental student selection process. European Journal of Dental Education, 22(1), 23-29.

Lievens, F., & Sackett, P. R. (2012). The validity of interpersonal skills assessment via situational judgment tests for predicting academic success and job performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(2), 460.

Renwick, D. W., Redman, T., & Maguire, S. (2013). Green human resource management: A review and research agenda. International Journal of Management Reviews, 15(1), 1-14.

Van Iddekinge, C. H., Lanivich, S. E., Roth, P. L., & Junco, E. (2016). Social media for selection? Validity and adverse impact potential of a Facebook-based assessment. Journal of Management, 42(7), 1811-1835.

November 24, 2023

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