How is ‘aptitude’ different from ‘interest’ and ‘intelligence’? How is aptitude measured?
Aptitude refers to an individual’s potential for acquiring some specific skills. Aptitude tests are used to predict what an individual will be able to do if given proper environment and training.
Interest is an individual’s preference for engaging in one or more specific activities relative to others.
Intelligence is the global capacity to understand the world, think rationally and use available resources effectively when faced with challenges.
Aptitude is different from interest as one may have an intense interest in football but not enough aptitude to succeed in a career as a footballer. Interest is the preference for a particular activity while aptitude is the potential to perform that activity.
Also, Intelligence is associated with a broad range of mental abilities whereas aptitude reflects specialized abilities and personal strengths & weaknesses. Two individuals that achieve the same IQ score may have widely different aptitude test profiles.
Aptitude tests are available in two forms: independent (specialised) aptitude tests and multiple (generalised) aptitude tests.
Clerical Aptitude, Mechanical Aptitude, Numerical Aptitude, and Typing Aptitude are independent aptitude tests. Multiple Aptitude Tests exist in the form of test batteries, which measure aptitude in several separate but homogeneous areas.
Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT), the General Aptitude Tests Battery (GATB) and the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB) are well-known aptitude test batteries. Among these, DAT is most commonly used in educational settings.