how much does it cost?Aptitude testing might give students the insights they need to plan their futures. Assessments for thoughtful students, delivered by a trained college consultant, further increases their chances for success. However, that begs the question: “Which aptitude test should a high school student take?” Furthermore, once a student decides, and parents give their blessing to take it, another question springs to mind: “How much does an aptitude test cost?”

This is what we will discuss today. Each of the three primary tests range in cost and value. In this article, we’ll explore the three primary options available and also the You Science Aptitude Test. We won’t delve into the nuances of each assessment. Instead, we’ll talk about the bottom line, the cost of each evaluation and what each one provides in exchange for that cost.

For your convenience, a table of contents for this article is included:

Table of Contents

  1. How much does the Johnson O’Connor Aptitude Test Cost? (jump to section)
  2. Is the Johnson O’Connor test worth the money? (jump to section)
  3. How much does the AIMS aptitude test cost? (jump to section)
  4. Is the AIMS test worth the cost? (jump to section)
  5. How much does the Highlands Ability Battery cost? (jump to section)
  6. Is the Highlands Ability Battery worth the cost? (jump to section)
  7. What aptitude test gives you the most for your money? (jump to section)

How much does the Johnson O’Connor Aptitude Test Cost?

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Many in the market for an aptitude assessment take the Johnson O’Connor Test. After all, the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation has been in the aptitude testing industry the longest. With over one hundred years of aptitude research, they give a quality assessment.

To take the Johnson O’Connor aptitude test, you’ll pay $850.[1] To schedule an appointment at any of their locations fourteen locations,[2] you’ll need to pay a $100.00 deposit and then the remaining $750 when you arrive to take the test. That $850 fee should be consistent in all of their offices and pays for the following services:

  • 6 Hours of Aptitude Testing
  • A Single 60-90 Minute Consultation to review your results
  • Written and Digital Reports

Remember, however, that taking the Johnson O’Connor test requires traveling. Students can’t take their assessment unless they travel to one of their aptitude testing research centers. The travel cost adds to the already high assessment price. Because of that price, the Johnson O’Connor test is the runner-up for the most expensive options next to the AIMS aptitude test.

Is the Johnson O’Connor Test Worth the Money?

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is it worth it?It depends. The Johnson O’Connor test is worth the expense, depending on how you plan to use it. If parents want the test to spit out a ticket that says doctor or lawyer, or a student must major in engineering or medicine, you’d be better off saving money. The assessment tells students what they can do with their aptitudes, not what they must do.

If parents want to give students a memorable coming-of-age aptitude testing experience, yes. The Johnson O’Connor Test is worth the money. Students will travel there, pass through their six-hour testing experience, and discuss their aptitudes with an aptitude test technician.

However, for some families, this is not worth the cost. Many families simply want data and guidance for their children’s college education, not an experience. If so, parents and high school students should seek a private aptitude testing specialist.

How much does the AIMS Aptitude Test Cost?

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The AIMS test is the most expensive aptitude test. Expect to pay a total of $925. Like the Johnson O’Connor test, the fee includes the same suite of services.

  • 8 Hours of Aptitude Testing (divided into two four-hour sessions)
  • 3-4 hour debrief to review your aptitudes
  • Copy of the AIMS Aptitude Handbook[3] with your results

Regarding when a student receives a copy of their aptitude results, the AIMS website says this:

Each examinee receives a copy of his scores, a report explaining the major recommendations, and a booklet that defines AIMS terminology. Also provided is a USB storage device that contains hundreds of pages of background materials and, when possible, a recording of the conference.[4]

To take the AIMS aptitude test, you’ll make two payments. First, you’ll need to make a $200 deposit. You do that via the AIMS website. Two days before you sit for the assessment, you’ll need to pay the remaining $725.[5]

So, that begs the question: “Is the AIMS Test worth the cost?”

Is the AIMS Test Worth the Cost?

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is it worth itThis depends on the student who needs an aptitude test. Students who want an extensive experience might take the AIMS test. Not only is the AIMS test the most expensive, but it’s also the longest. Sometimes the entire process can take up to twelve hours over two or three days. Most students I know will be exhausted by that point. It might be best to wait a week or two before sitting for their consultation debrief. However, 90% of the students who take the AIMS travel to the AIMS testing center in Dallas.[6] Thus, making another trip to the AIMS testing center in Dallas (their only location) takes no small amount of travel time for most families.

Again, those who attend their testing receive a thorough aptitude testing experience. I’ll put it this way, as an aptitude specialist, if I were to have to choose between the Johnson O’Connor test or the AIMS test, I’d choose the AIMS test. AIMS is a longer and slightly more thorough testing experience than the Johnson O’Connor test. However, I’m an aptitude consultant. I nerd out on this stuff. Most students don’t. They just want the information they need to understand their aptitudes and how this impacts their college major decision.

One thing AIMS has going for it is its college planning resources. AIMS offers aptitude charts that recommend college lists,[7] college selection case studies,[8] guides on testing after college,[9] and even resources on conducting college visits.[10] And yet, all these resources are available for free on their website. So, for the resourceful student (or parent), nothing’s stopping you from taking a more accessible aptitude test and then using AIMS’ free resources on its website.[11]

How much does the Highlands Ability Battery Cost?

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The Highlands Ability Battery cost between $450-500. This is the aptitude test I use with my students. There are a few reasons why. Because it can be administered remotely, the Highlands Ability Battery remains one of the most accessible advanced aptitude tests. Such accessibility makes it easier for the families I work with. Coupled with the price, the Highlands Ability Battery is the most affordable of the fully advanced aptitude testing services available. We’ve written much on Aptitude Testing (particularly the Highlands Ability Battery) and how it prepares students for college. But with such a reduced price compared to the Johnson O’Connor and AIMs tests, some wonder if it’s inferior. Or better yet, some might ask, “Is the Highlands Ability Battery worth the cost?”

Is the Highlands Ability Battery Worth the Cost?

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The short answer is a resounding “yes.” But, to the questioning reader, I freely admit to my bias in this service. After all, this is the product I sell in my business at a profit. Of course, I would endorse it. However, there’s a reason beyond profit I chose to certify in the Highlands Ability Battery instead of referring my clients to the Johnson O’Connor or AIMS aptitude tests. In fact, there are two reasons.

The Highlands Ability Battery gives students two primary advantages: access to a Highlands College Consultant and its interactive career reports. While the practicality of these solutions might not be self-explanatory, they make all the difference. The first advantage, however, is the most critical and perennial of benefits: access to Highlands Consultant.

Access to a Highlands College Consultant

What’s advantageous about having a Highlands Consultant? A parent might reasonably question why these consultants would be superior to a Johnson O’Connor Aptitude Testing Technician. The short of it is this. Aptitude testing centers focus on one part of college readiness: aptitude measurement.

Highlands consultants, as aptitude specialists, of course, provide guidance on aptitudes. Yet, they understand something vital: aptitudes aren’t the only variable in the college planning equation. Consider the illustration below:

Illustration showing Highlands whole person model

This image is the Highlands Whole Person Model,[12] emphasizing Whole Person. The model illustrates that a student’s career trajectory is based on multiple factors. If a person possesses an aptitude for something, that doesn’t mean they should pursue a career in any application of that aptitude. Interests matter as well. They fuel us, giving us the energy to explore and learn things that fascinate us. Without that vital element, you’re looking at a career of miserable consternation. Likewise, a college advisor would be remiss not to consider a student’s values. Ideally, students should explore careers, companies, and entrepreneurial ventures that harmonize with their beliefs.

Highlands consultants are all trained to advise students within these parameters. They don’t simply advise students solely on their aptitudes. After all, there’s more to a student than their talent. To say nothing of the immensity of personality that many teenagers possess. If someone advises your student through their college planning, you want them to be the whole person of your student, not just their aptitudes.

Highlands Consultants give a better aptitude service to their students than an aptitude center. I’m not slinging mud at the Johnson O’Connor or AIMS institute. They do what they do incredibly well. But their specialty is measuring aptitude, not using aptitudes to guide the constellation of factors that make up the collective individual.

If you only want a student’s aptitude measured, visit an aptitude research center. If you want to use aptitudes measured to be considered in the broader context of our student’s college planning, seek a Highlands consultant.

Interactive Career Reports

As I mentioned, most families seek us out to help students plan for college. Aptitudes play a vital role in that planning. Thus, the aptitude testing we provide comes with reports that give valuable data to students to help them plan their careers. The Highlands Ability Battery offers students and parents data-driven career recommendations that align with their aptitudes. Thus, the jobs suggested aren’t based on the mercurial results of a pop personality test or superficial survey. These occupations spring from the advanced technology used to measure a student’s aptitudes (see below).

career list

Moreover, the Highlands Ability Battery doesn’t just give career suggestions. The reports give you vital metrics on those occupations.[13] It’s not helpful for a report to tell you “become a teacher or an engineer” without giving you relevant data on those careers: by appropriate data, I mean the education requirements and average salaries of those jobs. The Highlands Ability Battery does just that (see below).

Highland Ability Battery Report

While the Johnson O’Connor and AIMS recommend careers, their reports don’t contain the interactive information the Highlands Ability Battery conveys.

Which Aptitude Test Gives You the Most for Your Money?

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Technically, the AIMS test measures more aptitudes than the HAB or JOC. However, pound for pound, the HAB provides more aid in college and career planning. Again, all three aptitude tests mentioned in this article remain great, trustworthy aptitude testing services. Each uses powerful technology that reliably measures aptitudes. Our verdict is this: Take the HAB if you want to use aptitudes to plan for college.[14][15] Take the Johnson O’Connor and AIMS tests if you want to understand your aptitudes better.

Did you find what you read helpful? If so, consider joining our newsletter for more aptitude testing insight, college planning guides, and test prep tips. If you’d like to measure your or your student’s aptitude, then click below to schedule an appointment.

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Happy Testing!


[1] Scheduling & Cost., Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Accessed 8 March 2023.

[2] Locations Archive., Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Accessed 8 March 2023.

[3] The Aptitude Handbook.,, Aptitude Inventory Measurement Service (AIMS), Accessed 12 March 2023.

[4] About — AIMS., AIMS, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[5] FAQ — AIMS., AIMS, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[6] Ibid.

[7] College Recommendation PDF.,, Aptitude Inventory Measurement Service, 3 April 2020, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[8] College Selection PDF.,, Aptitude Inventory Management Service, 3 April 2020, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[9] Bergfeld, Alicia. Aptitude Testing After College.,, Aptitude Inventory Management Service, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[10] Poe, Mindy V. Making the Most of Your College Visit.,, Aptitude Inventory Measurement Service, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[11] News & Resources — AIMS., AIMS, Accessed 12 March 2023.

[12] The Highlands Whole Person Model | The Highlands Company., Highlands Ability Battery, Accessed 13 March 2023.

[13] Stiles, Dori. How the Highlands Ability Battery Differs from Other Assessments., Highlands Ability Battery, 15 March 2021, Accessed 13 March 2023.

[14] Tietjen, Amy, and Susan Steel. The Stony Brook School Integrates Natural Abilities Testing into Curriculum., Highlands Ability Battery, 24 July 2019, Accessed 13 March 2023.

[15] Gray, Marc. How to Use Aptitude Testing In Your College Counseling Business., CounselMore, 23 February 2023, Accessed 13 March 2023.


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