easy way or hard way signAptitude tests are designed to help you discover your unique abilities and potential career paths.[1] However, they’re often a monster to take. Some of them require a 9-hour investment of time. Others even require you to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to an aptitude assessment center to take the test. So, that begs the question, which assessment is the easiest for most families to take? The duration of each test varies depending on the complexity and the number of sections involved. Additionally, travel time also impacts the ease of access to the assessment. This article will explore the duration and accessibility of four popular aptitude tests: Johnson O’Connor, AIMS, Highlands Ability Battery, and YouScience.

Table of Contents

  1. How Long Does an Aptitude Test Take to Complete? (jump to section)
  2. Where can I take an Aptitude Test? (jump to section)
  3. Which Aptitude Test is the Easiest to Take? (jump to section)
  4. Conclusion (jump to section)

How Long Does an Aptitude Test Take to Complete?

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Aptitude tests sometimes take an age to complete. Depending on your assessment, you could spend 1.5 to 10 hours taking the test and interpreting your test results. We’ll explore each credible career aptitude assessment and see which makes the most sense for you or your student.

How Long Does the Johnson O’Connor Test Take to Finish?

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The Johnson O’Connor Aptitude Test[1] is a comprehensive assessment that takes approximately six hours to complete. It is divided into three parts, the first two taking about 3.5 hours and the final one taking between 1 to 1.5 hours.[2] The first two parts measure your cognitive abilities, and the second assesses your sensory and motor skills. After completing the test, you’ll have a one-on-one consultation with a trained professional to help you interpret your results and explore suitable career options. For your convenience, we’ve put a summary of the duration of the test below:


  1. Johnson O’Connor Test Session #1: 3.5 Hours (Testing)
  2. Johnson O’Connor Test Session #2: 3.5 Hours (Testing)
  3. Johnson O’Connor Test Session #3: 1-1.5 Hours (Test Debrief)

The Johnson O’Connor is the second-longest aptitude assessment available. For most families, the testing time is not ideal. Since the test takes around 6-8 hours to complete, you’re looking at your entire Saturday or a full weekday during the summer (plus another day to get the debrief). In addition, the buy-in for kids is challenging, as aptitude testing, while important, isn’t always fun for teenagers. However, the Johnson O’Connor Research Institute is a respected brand and the oldest aptitude-testing research center in the world. They’ve been at this game since 1922[3] (over 100 years). Thus, to many, it’s worth investing the time and money required to sit for their aptitude test.

How Long Does the AIMS Aptitude Test Take To Complete?

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The AIMS test likes to take its time. It’s the longest aptitude test of the four. The entire AIMS testing experience requires a total of ten hours. An additional follow-up discussion is typically three to four hours after the test. AIMS’ aptitude services are conducted over three separate sessions.

Check the bullet points below for a quick summary of the test’s duration.


  1. AIMS Testing Session #1: 4-5 Hours
  2. AIMS Testing Session #2: 4-5 Hours
  3. AIMS Testing Analysis Discussion: 3-4 Hours
    1. (Should be Scheduled 1 Month in advance)

As we’ve mentioned before,[4] the AIMS aptitude test measures the most aptitudes of the four. They also have supplemental resources dedicated to helping students with college planning.[5] However, it’s potentially a 14-hour commitment. This is a vast amount of time for most families, not to mention a busy student balancing sports, classes, a social life, and extracurriculars. While I haven’t taken the AIMS aptitude test, I imagine it’s an extensive experience.

How Long Is the Highlands Ability Battery?

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The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is an in-depth aptitude test that takes around three hours to complete. It measures 19 distinct aptitudes. Heralded as “the Golden Standard of Aptitude Assessment,”[6] it measures spatial, reasoning, problem-solving, musical, and learning aptitudes. After finishing the test, you’ll receive detailed reports highlighting your strengths and areas for growth and an integrated career report. One of the big selling points of this assessment is its integrated career reports which streamline the career planning process.

Like the Johnson O’Connor and AIMS test, you’ll have a debrief after you sit for the test. Again, you’ll consult with a certified Highlands consultant who will provide personalized guidance based on your results. The debrief takes between 1.5 – 2 hours. It will take 4.5 hours to complete the career assessment and the debrief.

This makes the HAB the second shortest of the four aptitude tests (second to YouScience). It’s also worth noting that it’s the shortest of the thorough aptitude tests. Another perk of the HAB is that kids can break the assessment into multiple sittings. This is a huge game changer for most families. In my experience as a college counselor, most students don’t have time to sink 4-6 hours straight into an aptitude test without severely mutilating their schedules.

How Long Does the YouScience Aptitude Test Take?

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YouScience takes about 90 minutes to complete. This means it’s the shortest of the four assessments. However, before we move forward, please understand that while YouScience is an advanced aptitude test, it’s also the least thorough.

Limitations of YouScience

In a straightforward comparison among aptitude tests, YouScience evaluates the fewest abilities. While the AIMS test assesses the most aptitudes, some might be irrelevant to certain students, such as artistic preference. In addition, YouScience needs to measure primary spatial reasoning or auditory talents, both crucial to understanding a student’s career aptitudes. For instance, high spatial aptitudes in engineering, medicine, architecture, technology, and computer science indicate natural alignment with those professions. Yet, YouScience only measures one of the two spatial aptitudes, leaving its assessment incomplete.

Although seemingly less relevant, auditory aptitudes significantly influence a student’s career. Sound impacts communication, relationships, and learning, with auditory aptitudes influencing foreign language learning, information retention, and behavior in various professional scenarios. Sadly, YouScience doesn’t measure any of the auditory aptitudes.

YouScience doesn’t require students to get debriefed on their test results. I’ve been an aptitude specialist for years. Giving a high school student (or a middle-school student) with no aptitude training access to an aptitude report makes little sense.

So, technically, YouScience is the shortest aptitude test. However, what you gain in saved time, you lose in quality.

Aptitude test comparison chart

Where can I take an Aptitude Test?

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When considering where to take an aptitude assessment, you have two options. You can travel to a testing research center or take a facility where the test is remotely administered. In the subsequent section of this article, we’ll explore the locations for taking the four popular aptitude tests: The Johnson O’Connor Test, the AIMS career assessment, the Highlands Ability Battery, and the YouScience test.

Two of these tests can be taken remotely via a personal computer. Naturally, this provides convenience and flexibility for those who prefer to take the test from their home. These tests are the Highlands Ability Battery and YouScience. On the other hand, the Johnson O’Connor and the AIMS must be taken at an official aptitude testing research center. They do this because they are, first and foremost, research centers. Thus, testing in their center allows them to preserve the integrity of the data they collect on each student who sits for their assessment. As you continue reading, we will delve into more details about each test and their respective locations, helping you make an informed decision.

Take An Aptitude Test Remotely

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With advancements in technology, many aptitude tests are now available online, allowing you to take them remotely from the comfort of your home. Remote testing options provide flexibility and convenience, making discovering your unique abilities and potential career paths easier. These online options also save you travel time and expenses while offering the added benefit of scheduling the test at your convenience. As a result, you can focus better on the assessment without the stress of reaching a physical testing location.

Take the Highlands Ability Battery Remotely

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The Highlands Ability Battery offers a remote testing option, allowing you to complete the test online. After finishing the assessment, you’ll receive a personalized report and have the opportunity to consult with a certified Highlands consultant who can provide guidance based on your results. This remote option allows you to take the test at your own pace, creating a more relaxed atmosphere. Moreover, you can review your results in the privacy of your home, allowing for more in-depth reflection.

Take the YouScience Test Remotely

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YouScience offers a convenient online testing option. After completing the 90-minute assessment, you’ll receive a personalized profile and career recommendations to help you make informed decisions about your future. Remember, though, about the limitations of YouScience[7][8], which we covered earlier. Just because the test is more convenient and short doesn’t mean it isn’t abbreviated or loses quality.

Travel to An Aptitude Testing Center

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While many aptitude tests offer online options, some require visiting a testing center. Testing centers are designed to provide a controlled environment that ensures accurate results. In addition, the staff at these centers are trained professionals who can help you with any questions or concerns, making the testing experience more comfortable and supportive.

Where can I take the Johnson O’Connor Test?

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The Johnson O’Connor career assessment is available at testing centers across the United States. Visit their website to find a location near you and schedule your test. These testing centers provide a quiet, distraction-free environment, allowing you to focus entirely on the assessment. Additionally, you’ll have access to expert guidance to help you interpret your results and explore suitable career options.

To take the Johnson O’Connor, you must visit one of its fourteen research centers. Below is a list of all the locations where the test is offered:

  1. California: Los Angeles
  2. California: San Francisco
  3. Colorado: Denver
  4. Florida: Boca Raton
  5. Georgia: Atlanta
  6. Illinois: Chicago
  7. Massachusetts: Boston
  8. North Carolina: Mint Hill
  9. New York: New York
  10. Texas: Austin
  11. Texas: Dallas
  12. Texas: Houston
  13. Washington: Seattle
  14. Washington D.C.

Johnson O'Connor Testing Locations

Where can I take the AIMS Test?

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You can only take the AIMS Aptitude Test at their testing center in Dallas, Texas. Although plausible, it’s likely that you don’t reside near an AIMS testing center. Presently, AIMS operates a single location situated in Dallas, Texas. Consequently, you are required to arrange an appointment and journey to their designated testing facility to partake in an AIMS aptitude examination.

Which Aptitude Test is the Easiest to Take?

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When considering the ease of taking an aptitude test, there are two factors one must consider. Those factors are time spent and distance traveled. While “easiest” is subjective and may vary for each individual, we can compare the four assessments we’ve discussed to help you make an informed decision. Balancing your personal preferences and priorities will play a significant role in determining which test is most suitable for you.

Ease of Taking the Johnson O’Connor Test

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The Johnson O’Connor Test requires a significant time. It’s a commitment of six hours and must be taken at a testing center. While it provides comprehensive results and personalized guidance, the length, and in-person requirement may be less convenient for some individuals.

Rating ease of Johnson Oconnor

However, the in-depth nature of the test and the support provided at the testing centers make it an excellent choice for those seeking thorough insights. Yet, this article is about the ease and accessibility of the assessment, not its thoroughness. For that reason, the Johnson O’Connor is rated poorly based on accessibility.

Ease of Taking the AIMS Aptitude Test

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There’s no way to sugarcoat this one. The AIMS is the least convenient ability assessment. They only have one location, and they offer the longest aptitude assessment. The AIMS Aptitude Test takes two 3.5-hour sessions to complete. While shorter than the Johnson O’Connor Test, it still requires visiting a dedicated center, which isn’t ideal for most families. For $925.00, it’s also the most expensive test.[9]

Rating ease of AIMS aptitude test

Nonetheless, the AIMS test offers a comprehensive assessment of your aptitudes. It provides personalized guidance. This guidance makes it an attractive option for those traveling to a testing center. But, with the limitations we’ve mentioned, it gets a low ease and accessibility review.

Ease of Taking the Highlands Ability Battery

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There’s a reason why I use this aptitude test in my aptitude testing practice. It offers the most value for the quickest time. The Highlands Ability Battery takes around three hours to complete and provides a remote testing option, making it more convenient for those who prefer to take the test from home.

Ease of taking Highlands Ability Battery

This flexibility, combined with the detailed report and personalized guidance from a certified consultant, makes it the best option for students and parents. This is especially true for families seeking convenience and thorough insights into their abilities. It would probably win the most accessible contest if it were shorter and slightly less expensive. But this aptitude test, pound for pound, gives you the most bang for your buck.

Ease of Taking the YouScience Aptitude Test

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The YouScience Aptitude Test is the shortest of the four, taking only 90 minutes to complete. It also offers the convenience of remote testing, allowing you to take the test in a comfortable environment. Its engaging exercises and personalized career recommendations make it an easy and accessible option for many individuals. The test’s shorter duration and online format make it an excellent choice for those who want a quick and efficient way to gain insights into their aptitudes and potential career paths.

Chart showing ease of taking youscience

Technically YouScience wins. However, if allowed to either take the Highlands Ability Battery over YouScience, I’d recommend the Highlands Ability Battery. YouScience isn’t a “bad aptitude test.” It’s just an incomplete test at worst or an abbreviated assessment at best. If YouScience were taken out of the equation, I would say the Highlands Ability Battery wins.


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By our assessment, YouScience wins, technically, with HAB coming in second place. Yet, the easiest and quickest aptitude test depends on what works best for your family. However, factors such as the duration, format, and accessibility of the test play a crucial role in determining the most suitable for you. Ultimately, weighing the benefits of each test and choosing the one that aligns best with your goals and circumstances is essential. You can gain valuable insights into your abilities by selecting the proper assessment. Subsequently, you can make informed decisions about your or your child’s future.


[1] How an Aptitude Test Prepares Students for College, Gray, Marc. Accessed at /aptitude-test-prepares-arkansas-students-for-college/ on 25 April 2023.

[2] Our Testing – Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. Accessed at https://www.jocrf.org/testing/ on 25 April 2023.

[3] History – Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation, Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation. Accessed at https://www.jocrf.org/about/history/ on 25 April 2023.

[4] Ibid

[5] Aptitude Inventory Measurement Service, AIMS. Accessed at https://www.aimstesting.org/news-resources on 25 April 2023.

[6] How the Highlands Ability Battery Differs from Other Assessments, Highlands Ability Battery. Accessed at https://www.highlandsco.com/the-highlands-ability-battery-a-unique-approach-to-personal-and-professional-development/ on 25 April 2023.

[7] What’s the YouScience Aptitude Test?, Gray, Marcus. Accessed at link embedded in article on 25 April 2023.

[8] How to Use Aptitude Testing In Your College Counseling Business, Gray, Marcus. Accessed at https://www.counselmore.com/how-to-use-aptitude-testing-in-your-college-counseling-business on 25 April 2023.

[9] How Much Should An Aptitude Test Cost? | Is It Worth It?, Gray, Marcus. Accessed at /how-much-should-an-aptitude-test-cost/ on 25 April 2023.


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