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Aptitude Testing

  1. Paul M. Muchinsky

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0077

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Muchinsky, P. M. 2010. Aptitude Testing. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Aptitude testing has been difficult to understand because this topic has been plagued by definitional ambiguity. This is complicated further because there have been two general types of assessment: achievement testing and ability testing. The distinction between achievement tests and aptitude tests historically has been demarcated by their intended use. Aptitude tests are typically used to predict future performance, such as the likelihood of success in training or on the job. Achievement tests are typically used as summative assessments of the candidate's knowledge after formal learning through education or training. However, the intended use of a test is a highly imprecise criterion to make differentiations among types of tests, as any test score could be used for prospective or retrospective purposes.


  • mechanical aptitude testing;
  • ability tests;
  • achievement tests;
  • gender and test