As we end the week, the whatsapp groups of the ICT Teachers Association of Uganda where abuzz with requests for lists of shortlisted candidates for aptitude tests. These tests are to be sat at different centers on the 12th and 13th of February 2019. The Education Service Commission of Uganda has put up the shortlist on their website and can be downloaded here. Whereas many of us are excited that we were shortlisted, do we know what it takes to pass an aptitude test?
Aptitude tests are designed to determine one’s ability in a particular skill or field of knowledge. Many will off course confuse them with IQ tests but ideally, aptitude tests will be used to see how you apply the knowledge you gained in a particular subject. Personally, I use aptitude tests to check your interest in the area of work you are applying for. It is general knowledge that some teachers were simply given the subjects not because they were interested but because they had no other option.
When I applied for job as Computer Lab Technician at Nsambya, I wasn’t lucky enough to know in advance that Mr. Mpoza Joseph Mary, the headteacher would take me through an aptitude test. I was given the job and years later, he told me how I had a good aptitude to IT – that being the reason why he chose me over more experienced and learned candidates. To date even after leaving St. Peter’s, I am his choice of reference when it comes to matters regarding IT.
What should you do to pass this test?
Practicing aptitude tests: Doing this daily will help you test your answering abilities, recognize your strengths and weaknesses and then improve upon them. You ought to have done this even before the lists were released.
Choose a comfortable environment: As you practice for this and other aptitude tests avoid sitting where you will be disturbed. It’s imperative to give the practice session your full attention both when practicing.
Read extra carefully: Avoid rushing through instructions and coming to quick conclusions. Any instruction given in the test has a purpose and should be read carefully. Just in case of doubt, you may ask the assessors, if allowed.
Avoid guessing: Some tests have negative marking for every wrong answer you give. You should therefore know your strengths and answer the questions whose answers you certainly know.
Don’t be intimidated by a question: Sometimes, you come across a problematic question. The biggest mistake you can do is spend a lot of time trying to figure it out at the expense of simpler questions. Sometimes it is a trick by the assessors to put such questions at the beginning to test your decision making skills. If you get stuck, don’t let the clock run down, move on, you might find the next question easier and you’ll pick up more marks by moving on.
Acquaint yourself with working on paper: It is easier to do your calculations on a piece of paper. Make sure you have enough paper to do all your calculations and little space will have your work crammed up and confuse you even more.
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