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Talent Assessment | 6 Min Read

Six types of aptitude tests essential during recruitment


The hiring process demands time and effort. However, the race to fill positions fast and eliminate work disruption encourages organizations to hire quickly, often leading to unsuitable hires.

According to research by CareerBuilder, the average cost of one bad hire is nearly US$15,000.

One reason behind mis-hires is reliance on traditional hiring practices. The conventional methods use a candidate’s CV to measure their suitability for the open position. Hiring managers also rely on their intuition and information gleaned from an interview to validate the final selection.

One way to mitigate this challenge is by using different types of aptitude tests.


What are aptitude tests?

An aptitude test is a widely accepted medium for employers to evaluate candidates’ intelligence and abilities during hiring. It has different formats depending on the skill being assessed. These tests are designed to gauge how candidates react to a specific situation besides their ability to perform tasks or solve problems.

Additionally, using aptitude tests help:

  1. Assess candidates objectively by focusing on core competencies. Organizations define competencies as a group of skills. Thus, aptitude tests can be used to evaluate candidates according to the different competency frameworks defined by organizations.
  2. As a cost-effective screening tool, these tests expedite recruitment and enable talent acquisition managers to shortlist suitable candidates. Different types of aptitude tests help maintain objectivity, accuracy, and speed throughout the hiring process.


What are the different skills assessed in an aptitude test?



1. Abstract Reasoning Test


Abstract Reasoning Test assesses candidates’ ability to think laterally and from unique perspectives. It also considers the ability to make logical connections from the available sets of information.

A high level of abstract reasoning is related to creativity and helps solve novel problems. Therefore, learning new skills is easy for people with strong abstract reasoning abilities as they can process ambiguous information effectively.

On-the-job application of abstract reasoning:

  • Employees with sound abstract reasoning solve problems quicker and with less effort.
  • Sound abstract reasoning skills help use the available data and integrate its insights to help make decisions.
  • It aids in extracting meaningful ideas and information from the bulk of available data.


2. Spatial Reasoning Test


Spatial Reasoning Test evaluates candidates’ ability to understand and visualize two-dimensional and three-dimensional patterns and shapes.

On-the-job application of spatial reasoning:

  • It helps innovate and implement new ideas with a visual perspective.
  • Spatial reasoning aids in finding creative solutions to problems


3. Verbal Ability Test


Verbal Ability Test evaluates an individual’s command of language and is one of the critical aspects of ensuring good communication. Recruiters can assess candidates’ job readiness and evaluate their working skills using language and comprehension.

On-the-job application of verbal ability:

  • It helps maintain excellent communication with colleagues, clients, and management.
  • Interacting with people and managing relationships with co-workers becomes easier.
  • It helps in understanding the client’s specific need


4. Logical Reasoning Test


Logical Reasoning Test evaluates candidates on their logical inference. It is candidates’ ability to draw sensible conclusions based on given information and statements. Logical thinking is critical in daily life and various business scenarios. Likewise, critical thinking is a creative way to approach a problem involving validations using comprehensive judgment and assumptions.

On-the-job application of logical and critical reasoning:

  • It helps gain meaningful information from unstructured data.
  • It enables problem analysis based on facts and information to find a solution.


5. Visual Reasoning Test


Visual reasoning skills are candidates’ ability to create a mental image of an object to find a conclusion. It is also an effective tool for making technological designs. Hence, Visual Reasoning Test helps evaluate candidates’ non-verbal abilities.

On-the-job application of visual reasoning:

  • People with strong visual reasoning skills take a strategic approach to solving problems.
  • Learning new concepts and skills becomes easier.
  • Visual perspectives substantially impact the product designing process and implementation of design-related solutions.


6. Decision-Making Test


Decision-making is assessing various aspects of a problem and deciding on a solution using skills and acquired knowledge. Decision-Making Test have situational questions that seek sound judgment from the candidate.

On-the-job application of decision-making skills:

  • It helps make the most out of the available resources and information.
  • Decision-making helps address organizational challenges to achieve goals.
  • It is an essential leadership quality.
  • It helps find innovative solutions to existing problems.
  • Good decision-making is directly related to an organization’s overall productivity.


Why use an aptitude test for hiring?

When using a CV for screening, any candidate may be projected as ideal for a job position based on the information present. However, aptitude tests help gauge candidates objectively, allowing accurate, data-backed evaluation.

Pre-employment aptitude tests help organizations find top talent by measuring the following:

Soft skills:

Aptitude tests help evaluate soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership, communication, and the ability to perform under pressure.

Natural abilities:

Aptitude tests help assess candidates' inherent strengths, like logical reasoning, problem-solving skills, and attention to detail. These intrinsic qualities are hard to measure with other conventional hiring techniques.

Candidate potential:

Aptitude tests give organizations valuable insights into applicants' potential. This helps the organization predict a candidate's future work-based performance.

Personality traits:

Aptitude tests evaluate the work values, ethics, and personal motivation of candidates with ease.


How Mercer | Mettl can help

Organizations can easily assess targeted work competencies using different types of aptitude tests, depending on the job’s requirements. However, three core competencies are essential, irrespective of the industry:

Information processing:

This is the ability to use available information using numerical and analytical reasoning.

Solution generation:

This refers to finding creative solutions to existing problems using abstract reasoning.


This refers to solving problems using rational and logical thinking. It also involves the ability to think of 'out-of-the-box' solutions.

To help organizations measure the abovementioned competencies, Mercer | Mettl offers reliable and scientifically validated tests designed by leading industry experts. Some of the tests provided by Mercer | Mettl are:

Mercer | Mettl has an existing question bank of more than one million+ questions covering 3000 skills. Organizations also have the power to customize their question banks.

Furthermore, the Mercer | Mettl proctoring tool ensures that the integrity of the assessments is maintained. Organizations can opt for ID-based authentication along with AI-based and human proctoring for anti-cheating controls.

Once aptitude tests are administered, the reports generated are specific to each candidate. These reports are benchmarked to organizational standards and offer a clear picture of how well the candidate will perform if hired.



Using different types of aptitude tests is a proven way to measure candidates’ abilities and potential to improve those abilities with appropriate training. Since people differ in skills and abilities, an aptitude test is a method to understand and gauge their talent. It helps recruiters gain predictive insights into the candidates for various job roles.



What is an example of an aptitude test?

What are the important sections of an aptitude test?

Which aptitude test is the best?

How do you test aptitude?

Originally published August 18 2020, Updated July 13 2023


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About This Topic

Aptitude tests, also known as cognitive tests, are assessments to measure the cognitive acumen of a person. Aptitude tests measure skills such as abstract reasoning, visual reasoning, logical reasoning, problem-solving, decision-making, numerical ability, verbal ability, etc.

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