Career Tests for High School Students and How to Use Them

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Jun 26, 2015 By Univariety

In an era of ever increasing complexity, professional career counselling becomes ever more essential. And, even as counsellors require more and more expertise, it has become that much more essential that students be proactive. Career tests for students are one of the best ways for a student to be proactive in the delicate process of selecting a career that fits them, and promises growth and fulfilment.

Career Tests or Career Assessment Tools are generally questionnaires designed to help you systematically understand your own personality and narrow down your choices to a few that suit your interests and temperament best. These career assessment tools are generally in the form of questionnaires, upon answering which you get a report as well as a selection of careers that match your profile. These are meant to be used as a guide. For instance, a test in which you profess to have an interest in creative as well as analytical pursuits and social awareness, a high attention to detail, and a desire for an average or above growth rate (along with, of course, a whole bunch of other qualifiers), this might be the selection of careers you get:

  • Law Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Political Scientists
  • Industrial-Organizational Psychologists
  • Statisticians
  • Astronomers
  • Environmental Economists
  • Economics Teachers, Postsecondary
  • Mathematicians
  • Lawyers
  • Economists

This is only an approximation of the field you should be aiming for, and the list of possible careers in it. You should ideally then research the options given to you, and pare the list down to The One Job. Career tests come predominantly in three shapes – those that asses personality, interest or aptitude. However, despite how they are defined, the best and the most reliable career tests are a combination of the three. Let us take a look at how each type works:

Personality Career Tests - Personality Career Tests are those that use a whole bunch of questions to map out what personality type you are among 16. These questions are related to figuring out your interests, likes, dislikes, values, motivations, weaknesses, and other personality traits. The most popular and famous of these is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator that gives out a “type code” and a several-page report at the end of the assessment process.

Aptitude Tests - There aptitude tests come in all shapes and sizes – there are those that can measure your facility with languages, reasoning, mathematics and a lot more, but none of these can be used as a tool to assess what career is right for you. At the most, you can use them to pinpoint the knowledge gaps that need to be filled before you can reach your goal.

Interest-Based Career Tests - The most precociously successful people are those that found a career soul-mate to their interests early on, and held on for dear life. That makes sense. After all, you do your best work when you’re having fun with it. Interest tests generally measure your personal interests, and put them in the following 6 types of work:

  • Realistic – vigorous and physical work, outdoorsy careers
  • Investigative – scientific and technological work, careers that involve research and analytical skills
  • Artistic – creative work that involves inspiration and ingenuity, careers in fields such as fine arts, performance arts, design, the media etc.
  • Social – work with high social involvement and teamwork, careers in networking, instruction roles, not for profit, etc.
  • Enterprising – work involving visionary and leadership roles, opinion leaders, politics, managerial roles, etc.
  • Conventional – Cookie cutter roles and careers that require organisational skills and are target oriented

Most career counsellors use the first and the third type along with counselling services to give students a full report of possible career choices. A student wanting to DIY their career selection process will not find it very difficult to stumble upon a suitable free career test online.

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