Thrustone1, distinguished mental abilities from the general trait of intelligence and created more specialized intelligence tests based on reasoning, word fluency, verbal comprehension, numbers, memory and space. The Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale utilizes a multiple measurement of factors such as comprehension, vocabulary, performance, picture management, and object assembly.
An IQ (Intelligent Quotient) test usually measures several factors of intelligence, such as logical reasoning, analytical skills and general knowledge. It also measures a person's ability to classify things, identify relationships and derive analogies. It does not take into consideration social or emotional intelligence.
Aptitude tests measure an individual's ability to learn a given job, when given adequate training. They do not test the knowledge or proficiency possessed by the individual; instead they test his ability to learn, or gain the required proficiency. Mechanical, clerical, linguistic, musical and academic abilities are some of the examples of job-related aptitudes. Motor capacities such as finger dexterity, hand dexterity, and hand-eye coordination, which can also be termed aptitudes, are tested using psychomotor tests. They are different from clerical aptitude tests which test spelling ability, comprehension, data processing etc.
Achievement tests are also termed proficiency or knowledge tests. These tests measure the job-related proficiency and knowledge of the applicants. Organizations use these tests to identify and select experienced applicants. These tests can be classified as 'job-knowledge' tests and 'work sample' tests.
In a job knowledge test, the knowledge of the applicant in his area of experience is tested. In the work sample test, the ability of the candidate to perform the job he is experienced in is tested. Basically, the second one is a kind of an experiential test, in which the candidate might be asked to perform a few job-related tasks.
Situational tests are generally used in middle and senior level management selection, to test the applicant's likely responses to real-life business situations. The candidates are exposed to simulated business situations and their responses are recorded and evaluated. Situational tests include 'group discussions', 'in basket exercises' and 'simulated business games.'
In a group discussion, the group members are usually left to interact on their own, without any leader or moderator being specified. The initiative, leadership qualities, negotiating skills, communication skills, and decision-making skills of the candidates can be assessed by observing the group discussion. Many organizations use 'group discussion' as a selection tool as it can be completed quickly and the evaluation done on the spot. The objectivity of the exercise is also clear to all the candidates in the group. The other advantage of group discussion is that