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Why the World Would End Without Aptitude Tests

It might sound like hyperbole, but I’m dead serious: without aptitude tests, the world as we know it would end. Rarely do we stop and think about it, but the social order human beings have brought about over the past few thousand years is built on one thing - competence. Buildings don’t fall down because of competent engineers, the supermarkets are full of produce because of competent farmers, and because toothpaste manufacturers know what they’re doing, your teeth don’t fall out. Much.

The trouble is, finding people who know what they’re doing in any one particular field is fiendishly difficult. There are so many people, after all, and only so much time to sort through them.

Aptitude tests, the likes of which all job seekers should be practicing like mad, are the key to this problem. Why, you ask? Let’s take this argument back a few notches, and start from first principles.

Things fall apart.
It’s been almost 100 years since W. B. Yeats penned the infamous lines: “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.” Whether he knew it or not (let’s be honest, he probably did), Yeats was in fact absolutely correct in his observations - according to the second law of thermodynamics, the total entropy of a system always increases over time.

In other words, systems - be they physical, biological, or social - tend towards disorder and chaos if left unmanaged. Have you ever seen what happens if you elect not to clean your room for a couple of days? What about a couple of years? It wouldn’t take you long to find out that things very much do fall apart.

But we can do something about it.
Thankfully, human beings have the remarkable capacity to interrupt this process of continual decay - it’s called work. When you roll up your sleeves and take the rubbish out, you’re working to avoid the chaos that would emerge if you postponed this task any longer. When you fill out your tax return, you’re working to keep at bay the vast logistical nightmare that would emerge if you didn’t. All of us, binmen and businessmen alike, are engaged in the constant struggle to keep chaos at bay and restore order to the world.

You have a role to play in this struggle.
It sounds like a cliche, but there really is nobody else in the world like you. Unless you’re an identical twin, nobody else shares your DNA - and even then, no one has the unique set of experiences that have shaped you into who you are. It stands to reason, then, that you could make a difference to the world, however small, that nobody else could.

You already know this, in small ways: if you’re pursuing a career in engineering, for instance, you’re doing so because you know that you possess some qualities that make you well-suited to a career in that field and not, say, in publishing. You have a unique set of skills and experiences to offer to employers.

The trouble is, so does everybody else.
Employers have it tough. Faced with the undesirable task of sorting through dozens or even hundreds of applications, it’s no wonder that large companies often hire entire recruitment departments to deal with the problem. Identifying the perfect employee is not like finding a needle in a haystack - it’s like finding a needle in a stack of needles.

Aptitude tests help alleviate that problem.
By screening every applicant with an identical test that quantifiably measures their skillset, employers can quickly whittle down their shortlist to a core group of applicants well-suited to the role in question. Of course, the final decision usually requires further steps like interviews and trial periods - but an aptitude test helps employers leapfrog the competition when it comes to filling their ranks with the right people.

And, as discussed earlier, a competent workforce keeps the chaos at bay. So there you have it - aptitude tests really do help stop the world from ending. By streamlining the process by which skilled workers find the jobs that fit them, aptitude tests buttress the workforce and ensure that this great big world keeps spinning around; it’s probably time you familiarise yourself with them.


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