This article continues our discussion on how aptitude tests can help you find a new career. Our last post evaluated the cost of aptitude tests. This post describes the features aptitude tests give you to switch careers. Assuming a career test is the best tool to ward off existential career dread may seem like a stretch. However, my colleagues and I use them every day during career counseling. This can be incredibly helpful when professionals try to transition from one career to another.
What is an aptitude test?
Aptitude tests are tests that measure your abilities or natural talents. These assessments distinguish themselves by what they measure. In our “What is an Aptitude Test?” article, we described career aptitudes this way:
Simply put an aptitude test measures career aptitudes. Career aptitudes comprise the natural abilities a person naturally possesses. In other words, aptitudes are inborn. We have them from birth. And while they develop as our brains mature, there’s very little we can do to change them.
They don’t measure your IQ or personality tests like the MBTI or the Enneagram. You won’t need to polish your math skills to take an aptitude test. They don’t measure skills or activities we grow better at over time. However, aptitude assessments can help you determine which skills will be easier to learn and master. By that same logic, they also give you insight into which skills are more challenging to master.
For example, imagine you take an aptitude test and learn you have a high number memory. This means that memorizing numbers will become more manageable for you. Computer programmers often have a high number memory, as do accountants and financial analysts. However, let’s say you want to be an accountant, but your number memory is low. This doesn’t mean you should necessarily give up on your accounting career. Instead, by knowing that your number memory is low, you can take steps to manage that disadvantage. I know an accountant with a low number memory who uses a special cheatsheet. This cheat sheet lets them quickly reference the numbers they need for their work.
What is the best aptitude test for switching careers?
This article explores how the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) can be used for career transitions. While the Johnson O’Connor Assessment and AIMS test are excellent aptitude assessments, the HAB has several unique features that make it an ideal choice for making a career switch. Let’s systematically go through the reasons why.
If you have a job, you’re limited on time. If you don’t have a job, you’re limited on money. The HAB gives professionals of both camps flexible options to take the assessment. Let’s delve into how the HAB is the most flexible and accessible choice for aptitude testing.
The Highlands Ability Battery offers flexibility in scheduling
Because the HAB offers online testing, professionals don’t have to travel to take the test. Eliminating travel time is a game changer. The Johnson O’Connor Assessment requires you to travel to one of their 14 test locations. The AIMS test requires you to travel to their only location in Dallas, Texas. For most professionals living in the US, and to say nothing about those living outside the US, these locations aren’t accessible options. If you have a full-time job or are a busy student, most people can’t sacrifice an entire weekend to travel hundreds of miles to those locations.
So, you may be wondering, “Where can I take an aptitude test?” You can take the HAB right in the comfort of your home if you have a desktop computer or a laptop. The HAB meets people in both camps. It’s affordable and accessible. Regarding accessibility, anyone can take the HAB right now, no matter where they live. The test takes three hours to complete, and you don’t even have to take the test all at once.
The aptitude test is divided into 19 work samples, the longest of which is only 11 minutes long. Divining the test into these short segments makes life easier for those with busy schedules. However, it’s also helpful for those with learning differences, such as students or professionals with ADHD or dyslexia. The Johnson O’Connor takes roughly 7-8 hours to complete. That’s a TON of time that most people don’t have. Meanwhile, the AIMS test takes even longer!
So, the HAB takes the cake when it comes to accessibility. With the ability to eliminate all travel time and split the test into smaller segments, the HAB is the best aptitude for those with busy schedules.
How much does the Highlands Ability Battery Cost?
Not to lawyer around the question, but it depends on which HAB consultant you use. Typically, you’ll pay between USD 450 and 600 for the HAB. This will include administering the test and a complete debriefing with a HAB consultant. As I write this article, I am currently charging $500 for an aptitude test in my practice. If that seems pricey, look at the graph below to determine which aptitude test fits your price.
As you can see, the HAB remains the most affordable option. The Johnson O’Connor Test costs $850, while the AIMS costs $925. The number increases if you factor in travel costs.
Why do some people use the Johnson O’Connor or the AIMS aptitude tests?
Simply put, people use the Johnson O`Connor or the AIMS test because they’re great tests. Both institutions offer a high-caliber product with decades of research to validate their results. Both organizations also have a rich history of providing the public and other aptitude specialists like myself access to their research with laudable transparency. Regardless of how excellent their services are, most professionals can’t afford them. And most don’t have the time to devote to traveling to their remote locations.
What do I get when I take a Career Aptitude Test?
When a person sits for a Career Aptitude Test, they should expect three things. First, a detailed presentation with a certified aptitude testing consultant to review and understand their aptitudes. Second, online access to their test results in the form of aptitude career reports. Finally, knowledge on how to use those aptitude test reports to chart their course to a career.
Aptitude Testing Debrief
After a person takes a Career Aptitude test, I have them schedule a 1.5-2-hour debrief. In this conversation, I walk them through each of their 19 aptitudes. This covers their project management aptitudes, problem-solving abilities, spatial reasoning, and learning abilities. If you’d like examples of these reports, click on the images below:
Highlands Ability Battery Career Reports
When you look at these reports, you’re probably reminded there are funner things on the internet. However, there are also far less helpful online things to help you find a career. What differentiates the HAB career report is its integration with O*NET. O*NET is the Department of Labor’s database for occupations and jobs. Please understand that it’s a gross understatement when I tell you that O*NET is the largest database of career data in the US. Their data is robust. Through technology beyond my ability to explain, we can cross reference the data of your aptitudes with O*NET’s data.
This data integration provides a succinct career report (see below).
Additionally, when you click on those occupations, you can find the wage data and education requirements for each occupation (see below).
Again, I understand that this information is dry. However, we’re talking about career searching, not a pizza party. Looking for a new job is hardly as enjoyable as watching a classic SNL sketch. The HAB won’t make your career search more fun… but it will make it easier. And that’s the key. Do you want data-driven results to move your career search toward an equitable end? Or so, do you want to slug through baseless job searches inspired by desperation over a data-driven assessment of your aptitudes?
Pardon the pathos, but you get what I mean. It pays to do your due diligence early so you won’t have to fix a broken plan you shouldn’t have executed in the first place.
You deserve a meaningful career. If you persist, you might find it. You can, and your chances improve when you start your career transition with a correct understanding of your natural talents. Our next post will explore creating a career plan using your aptitude reports. If you’d like to learn more about how your aptitudes can empower you toward a successful career, click the link below to schedule a call with me.
 Locations Archive, Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, accessed at https://www.jocrf.org/locations/ on 13 Nobember 2023
 AIMS test, accessed at https://www.aimstesting.org/ on 15 November 2023.
 Johnson O’Connor Research Institute, accessed at https://www.jocrf.org/about-aptitudes/our-book-choosing-intelligently/?gclid=CjwKCAiA9dGqBhAqEiwAmRpTC6J7HakhFmAmSYYr6G41ucPhaAf-l_JOUkD2t5E22MHLcnvmkxds5xoCu50QAvD_BwE on 15 November 2023.
 A Practical Guide To Using Your Aptitudes, accessed at https://www.jocrf.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/JOCRF-Choosing-Intelligently.pdf on 15 November 2023.
 News & Resources — AIMS, accessed at https://www.aimstesting.org/news-resources on 15 November 2023.
 AIMS, accessed at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57fbabb61b631be17ec6bfc2/t/57fc5489e4fcb5f48d6dc0e7/1476154507367/College+Recommendations.pdf on 15 November 2023.