Introduction to General Ability Tests

General ability tests evaluate individuals' innate, learned, or acquired abilities for specific tasks. Learn how these tests are prepared, their advantages for both employers and employees, and how TestInvite ensures reliable and valid results.

Created by TestInvite / May, 2024

General aptitude tests used in the recruitment processes basically allow you to evaluate the innate, learned, or acquired abilities of individuals regarding performing specific tasks. Basic abilities such as learning speed, adaptation, and reasoning skills are regularly measured and tangible data about the abilities and weaknesses of the individual is obtained. General aptitude tests, also known as intelligence or screening tests, come in very useful for the human resources department to evaluate the candidate during the recruitment process. In addition to this, these data are used in the cases of changing positions or getting a promotion.

What Do General Ability Tests Measure?

General ability tests basically measure a person’s adaptation, learning, and abstract thinking skills. Verbal and mathematical reasoning, problem-solving, table or graph reading, abstract and schematic reasoning, attention and perception, reasoning, memory power, mechanical skills, and pace are the main topics of the general aptitude tests within the scope of assessment. Human Resources make use of general aptitude tests in compliance with the requirements of the position, by taking the subheadings such as analytical skills tests or attention span tests into consideration.

How are General Ability Tests Prepared?

Preparing the exam questions for general aptitude tests require psychologists who are acknowledged experts in this field. Thus, instead of creating all the questions and the tests from scratch, using ready-made tests is perhaps the most reasonable option. Each step requiring specialization in itself, such as the preparation period of questions, their analysis, their elimination, the selection of the questions prepared, and the evaluation of the results, must be carried out. Even the implementation of the exam, the order of questions, and the correlation of the questions with each other, radically affect the reliability of the test. Continuing the article, we have explained how the general ability tests required for the required process are prepared.

1.Determining the Measurement Criteria

Psychology experts start this process by determining what should be measured with the test, first. For instance, basic factors such as which skills you need to measure and what kind of experience is required, are determined. Determining the competencies, skills, behaviors, and strengths of the role regarding the job analysis and employee evaluations is the best way to implement the first step.

2. Preparation/ Selection of Scaled Test Questions

The information obtained in the first step reveals the desired profile. Questions that will be used so as to evaluate these scales are selected at the second stage. If you do not have available questions that meet the criteria you want, new questions must be written. With the selection of questions and the determination of their order, the outline of the exam is revealed with its main lines. The preliminary information and instructions of the prepared question that is required to test the desired feature are prepared by this means.

3. Checking and Refining Questions

Whether the draft exam obtained in the first two steps meet the desired quality or not should be tested on individuals whose test profile is known. The biggest advantage of professional tests like KAYT is that they have incredible data sets to use at this stage. Creating a data set is one of the biggest costs. Not to mention, the job analysis used during the creation of the profile will be useful here. If the analysis results and test results match, it means the test is working well. With slight additions and eliminations, precise adjustments to the test are made. After these evaluations, your test is ready to use.

4. Performing General Ability Tests

The application of the test is generally done online, and therefore it is inevitable to take security measures. In addition to the technical methods such as restricting access for the candidates, there are measures that can be taken for the test to self validate. Options such as having repetitive and similar questions in the tests, repeating the exam, posing different questions with parallel forms ensure a safe and valid result. A well-designed general ability test should yield approximately the same results when taken again. As Test Invite, we increase the reliability of the exam with repeating tests, parallel form reliability, and internal consistency security coefficients in addition to the surveillance done by cameras, scanners, and full screen locking features.

5. Assessment of the General Ability Tests

In order to make the results of the exam meaningful, the obtained data are categorized and the questions in the common exams are divided into groups. This way, it can be seen whether the person taking the test gives consistent answers or not. As a result of these groups, the results are tabularized and the distribution and mean of them are found. The results that are obtained can be expressed as points or percentages. With the sum total of the results that are obtained for each subheading, we get the main score. The reference points in these scoring systems are usually the past studies and test data. As you can see, each step of general ability tests requires committed expertise, effort, time, and cost. In addition to that, creating data sets that you will use as reference from scratch brings a completely different job and cost with it. KAYT (Comprehensive Analytical Skills Test), which is our professional and approved general ability test, can both get rid of all these costs and give you a reliable and valid result.

What are the Advantages of General Ability Tests?

When in fact general ability tests provide the employer with a tangible and consistent assessment opportunity, it also allows employees to measure their own capabilities and particularly to update their career goals following this. A method in which human abilities and capacities can be explained quantitatively and categorized in a consistent manner yields efficient results for both parties. This is a win-win situation for all parties.

Advantages for Employers:

It is very difficult for human resources to make decisions based on resumes or academic achievements because as soon as a selection is made, non-selected candidates cause opportunity costs for the company. In this sense, general ability tests scan in accordance with mental abilities and make an objective scan as economical as possible. Standardized scales allow the employer to evaluate a large number of candidates in a very short time. Being able to see the candidate’s ability to perform certain tasks under certain conditions before hiring and being able to observe how they act under pressure is one of the most essential advantages. Besides, it is very useful for human resources to make a choice in cases of intra-company movement and giving a promotion. Each position requires certain skills in itself more than others. In general terms, the only thing that needs to be done to decide between two successful candidates is to look at these specific headlines. This helps make intra-company movements both fairer and more efficient.

Advantages for Employees:

When the competition in business life is increasing day by day, taking an inconvenient step for your career will set you back. For this reason, general talent exams help you make the right career decisions. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will guide you on what to focus on. Moreover, you will have the chance to prove your skills that you cannot show with your resume during the recruitment process. Are you in the right place regarding your sector and department? Will you focus to cover your weaknesses or will you use this time to stand out with your good sides? The general aptitude test will be a reference point for you in many areas ranging from career change to demanding a raise or promotion.

What are the Shortcomings of General Ability Tests?

Although the general aptitude test helps in many areas, it cannot measure professional qualifications such as punctuality, motivation, time management, organizational and social skills. Personality tests are needed to measure such criteria. Studies carried out at many prestigious universities such as Vanderbilt and Princeton Universities have shown that cultural differences between individuals directly affect the test result. For this reason, general ability exam results alone are not sufficient to be determinative in the recruitment process. It should be considered with other evaluation criteria, and the decision should be made with a holistic viewpoint. As Test Invite, we perform the reliable Comprehensive Analytical Abilities Test (KAYT), which includes the cultural diversity theme in the calculations at the evaluation stage in order to avoid this problem. In addition to the general ability test, we offer a holistic assessment in the recruitment process with reliable options such as the SONAR personality inventory test, language proficiency tests, and programming tests.

In summary, the preparation, implementation, and evaluation of general ability tests are tasks that require expertise individually, however, the general ability tests, which are performed properly and reliably, give the employers the opportunity to choose the best candidates, and the employees have the chance to shape their career according to their abilities and skills. In this regard, companies trying to prepare their own tests can lead to serious economic costs and the chance of getting a reliable and valid result from these tests can be very low. Instead, utilizing the professional, licensed, and internationally recognized KAYT test with Test Invite will provide a more reliable result and save you a ton of effort and cost. You can review the solutions section for detailed information about both the general ability test and our other tests.

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