Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need a test to help me find out my natural abilities?
Some people think they know their abilities. However, we get mixed up with our skills and abilities. There are some things we are naturally good at, and other areas where we have developed a high level of skill. E.g. I’ve got quite a good reputation for proof reading, but my natural ability is very low. It’s something I’ve learnt to do. It certainly wouldn’t be a good fit if this was the main focus of my work.
Don’t forget, what we know of our talents is based only on what we have done before. You could have talents that you don’t even know about. Our school days only cover a few of the abilities you will find out if you take this assessment
Why is measuring my abilities/aptitudes so important?
Most sources of job unhappiness stem from natural abilities not being used, or people being forced to perform tasks for which you do not have the natural abilities.
If you choose a new career without a knowledge of your innate abilities, you have a relatively high probability of winding up in a career that you find boring, frustrating, or unfulfilling.
What if I’m hopeless at tests?
Don’t worry, this is not like an exam, you can’t pass or fail this test and there is no need for any revision. Your results will show if you have a high or low ability in something and it is just as important to know what you are low in as what you are high in. These tests are different from anything you will have done before.
There is a scale called classification which is non logical problem solving – an ability to quickly spot the big picture. I score very low in this, but the benefit of this is that it means I have a lot of patience in working with people and in going at a pace to suit others rather than me. A real strength in the work that I do.
What is the earliest age someone can take the Highlands assessment?
Since abilities do not stabilise until age 14, we usually recommend waiting until after the 15th birthday.
Tell me more about the assessment
The Highlands Ability Battery comprises 19 separate validated objective tests. It is not like any aptitude testing you may have done at school. The HAB isolates natural abilities and analyses combinations of aptitudes in addition to individual aptitudes. It is an objective measure of the individual’s relative ability to perform defined hands on tasks. You take the assessment in the privacy of your own home. You can read more details here.
How accurate is it?
The Highlands Ability Battery is based on 80 years research, beginning with Johnson O’Connor. It is psychometrically valid and reliable. The information and suggestions that it makes are highly accurate. The minimum reliability standard for the 19 tests that make up the Highland Ability Battery is r = .80. It has been described as the equivalent of getting a CAT Scan for a painful injury instead of a traditional X-ray. As an associate fellow of the British Psychological Society, I would not use any test that could not measure what it sets out to measure.
How do you measure abilities?
Each ability is measured by you performing a particular task, which requires a certain innate ability. Given enough time you probably could do all the work samples.
We obtain results by putting you under time pressure which eliminates the possibility of substituting another ability or extra time to accomplish the task.
Whilst we measure abilities individually, we then look at them in combination. One combination of aptitudes makes the accomplished salesperson, another combination describes a person who enjoys network administration, and another combination explains why a person enjoys one part of management but not the rest.
What will I get from taking the Highlands Ability Battery?
- Understanding of where I am naturally talented
- Know how I solve problems and make decisions most effectively
- Understand in black and white why I would be happy in some fields and not happy in others
- Be able to choose the best option from a group of study/ career/ job/ business choices
- Knowledge on how to study most effectively
- Know what other jobs within my organisation I would be better and more fulfilled with
- How to use my true strengths more effectively and more consistently
How good is it?
In October, 2002, 32 graduate students at Colorado State University were asked to compare a number of assessments which they had completed as part of their course. The group was asked to rate 4 different well-known assessments in terms of effectiveness in measuring their abilities and talents, as well as in guiding them in future career decisions. The assessments were the Highlands Ability Battery, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, the Strong Interest and Skills Confidence Inventory, and True Colors.
|Percentage of Students that ranked it #1 in measuring abilities and talents||Percentage of Students that ranked it #1 in effectiveness in guiding them in career decisions|
I want to get started, what happens next?
The steps in the process are outlined here.
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