Excuse Me, Your Aptitude Is Showing.

In my last post, I stressed the importance of education. Not for degree purposes, but instead for the mere fact that obtaining knowledge is so inspiring and so incredible. I realized after I wrote that post that a lot of people don’t even know what they want to be when they “grow up.” What’s the point of an education if you don’t know what you want to study? Because, let’s face it, classes are one hundred percent more interesting when you are passionate about what you are learning (and when you have a good professor). I have never met a SINGLE person that has been thrilled about college GE. I mean, we’ve been taking math, history, science, and English since the first grade, WHY do we need 60 more units of it?!

And so, I breach the topic of Aptitude Testing.

A few years ago, I was in what you’d call a rut. School was the bane of my existence, but I knew I didn’t want to work in a restaurant for the rest of my life. My life was at a standstill. I was skipping class because I hated it so much. I was taking semester after semester of intro classes – maybe one of them would be my calling? No-go. Finally, my dad suggested the Johnson O’Connor test.

When he first said the word “test” to me, I almost laughed at him. A test? And not only a test, but a test that doesn’t involve school? HA HA. It really was laughable. But then he broke it down for me. Johnson O’Connor is an APTITUDE test. It’s a test of what you, as an individual, are naturally good at. It tests the strengths and weaknesses that you’re born with. Things that you cannot change, even if you try. It’s not pass/fail, and it doesn’t grade you. After he mentioned these tiny details to me, I was on board.

There are eleven testing centers spread throughout the country (they are all located in major cities). The closest one to me was San Francisco, and so my mom and I made an overnight trip out of it.

I was a little bit nervous going into this test. I had NO idea what to expect. What if I couldn’t complete a test they gave me? What if I was terrible at something? In my opinion, it is human nature to be afraid of failing, and I am no different. I was scared that I was going to fail every single test miserably, and that they would label me as indecipherable. I arrived at the test early on a Saturday morning, and they began the process.

It is NOTHING like a classroom test. There was no one else testing with me. I don’t even remember all of the tests that they gave me, there were so many little ones. I DO remember a test where I sat in a small classroom and they showed a picture of a house on a projector. They showed the photo for a short time, and then they shut it off and gave me a small window of time to draw what I remembered. Another test they administered was similar to children’s Legos or building blocks. They gave me a set of wooden blocks and asked me to fit them all together to make a cube. Believe it or not, some of the tests were actually FUN. Of course, those are the ones that were simplest and fastest for me.

After completing all of the tests, the proctor gathered my scores from each one and broke each category down for me. She informed me which aptitudes each test was linked to, and how strong or weak I was at each one. In the end, my scores displayed an affinity for design, architecture, and math (which, DUH, I could have told her that. BUT, you never know what else you might be good at that you haven’t even tried yet). The best part about the whole post-test discussion, is that the proctor goes over all kinds of career options, if you choose to go in the direction of your natural aptitudes. There were SO MANY opportunities that I’ve never even heard of.

After all was said and done, taking the Johnson O’Connor aptitude test was a HUGE relief and a huge weight off my shoulders. I finally felt like I had a little bit of direction. I already had a good idea of what I was good at, but now I knew that I SHOULD study something design or architecture related – and now I had a bunch of career options besides just the basic ones that the entire general population knows about.

And so, for those of you who may be feeling as lost as I was, I HIGHLY suggest taking this test. There are probably other companies that offer aptitude tests, but the one I took is very informative and helpful. It IS a little bit expensive, so definitely look into it and find out the pricing first. But if you can afford it DEFINITELY DO IT. You will not regret it.

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