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Career Planning Test: Making The Grade

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A career planning test serves a variety of purposes. It can improve your self-awareness. It can help you determine if you are mature and ready enough to begin your own career management. A career planning test can help you identify your abilities and areas of aptitude and clarify your values. All of this can help you and an employment counselor match you to occupations for which you are best suited. A career planning test is not a form of magic. It cannot point you toward the “perfect” job, and it does not reveal the “real” you. It is a directional aid.

A career planning test is also known as a standardized assessment instrument or inventory, and there are several types. Some are done with pencil and paper, while others are done on a computer. These tests are usually given by professional people such as career counselors. Most students do a battery of these tests. Students at the elementary school level are not given these tests, because their interests and values are not set.

One career planning test deals with values inventories. It focuses on work values and lifestyle values. It helps students identify what types of jobs they might want to explore. There are no right or wrong answers on this test. The test measures your responses in such areas as creativity, independence, achievement, security, altruism, variety, economic rewards, intellectual stimulation, physical activity, risk, and social relationships.

Another career planning test explores interest inventories. This basically has to do with activities that you like or dislike. Would you, for example, rather fix the engine of a car or write a long letter? Sometimes the accuracy of this type of test can be limited if students have had little or no experience with some of the activities listed in the test.

The next type of career planning test is the achievement and aptitude test. These tests measure not only the skills you already have, but also your potential to acquire new skills. These tests are used by educational institutions, by employers, by licensing agencies and by the military, among others. Students often have to take courses to prepare for them. You might, for example, be required to take an English Proficiency Test before you can enter a post-secondary educational institution.

Personality assessments help career counselors to examine a person’s preferences and relate them to occupations. Again, there are no right or wrong answers on these tests. The questions are often in True or False format, or they might ask something like, “Would you rather sit on the beach and read a book, or ride on a roller-coaster?”

Career maturity testing indicates a person’s ability to undertake career management. There are versions of this career planning test for both young people and adults. They help you to focus on strengths and weaknesses so you can increase your understanding of career management and development.


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