What is quantitative aptitude?
For me and many others out there, simply put it is nothing short of a major headache and it is a major filtering tool and examination pattern included in many high profile exams such as CAT, GMAT etc and it’s quite effective at judging the mathematical and critical analysis prowess of the candidate as it stems from core part of mathematics.
Every glowing career path nowadays cannot be successfully undertaken without having the ability of critical analysis and basic sense of numbers and Quantitative Aptitude allows the interviewer or examiner to get a good look at a candidate’s preparation and above mentioned skills to be declared fit for job and/or admission.
Basic and common level quantitative aptitude involves grass root concepts such as addition, subtraction, simple interest while high level jobs or exams ask for some more concepts such as Algebra, Time and Distance and Geometry. Learning and perfecting quantitative aptitude takes time and practice but isn’t an impossible task and there are a lot of quantitative aptitude tricksavailable to speed up the process!
What is the difference between quantitative aptitude and numerical ability?
Quantitative aptitude includes operations related to logic and expressions whereas numerical ability relates to numbers. A particular problem can be solved by both quantitative aptitude and numerical ability which depends on the skill set of the solver.
Let us suppose a simple problem where it is given to compute (M^2-N^2)/(M-N).and it is given M=1 and N=2.
there are two possible ways to work this out…
1.If we put the respective values of M and N we get (1^2-2^2)/(1-2) which yields 3 as the answer. This approach is from numerical ability view point
2.Or we may solve it as
=M+N ..substituting the values of M and N we get 3.This approach comprises of Quantitative aptitude first and then numerical ability
Numerical ability can also be under the set of quantitative aptitude. The reason is for quantitative aptitude we require both logical thinking and numerical aptitude.
Problems on numbers,profit and loss, work, interest, mensuration falls under numerical ability
Problems on progressions, calculus, probability, logarithm, falls under quantitative aptitude where numerical ability is required to some extent
What is the difference between reasoning and aptitude?
Reasoning is a subset of Aptitude which again thrives on the level of perfection in reasoning.Aptitude is better explained as Knack of understanding the basic principles that govern anything or any domain. An aptitude test may or may not be a test of reasoning depending on the domain the candidate is supposed to use his/her skills.But to pass an aptitude test ,one should have a sound reasoning base.
Reasoning is that quality of a mind by virtue of which it takes decisions after thinking about a thing or a situation or a process after proper validation or after thinking through all possibilities. The mind tries to make a perfect decision, a perfect decision,which cannot be countered by logic.
Reasoning forms the foundation for critical thinking, and the ability to think in the most perfect way or perfection in reasoning is one’s intellect. Now, when we talk about a particular domain or work area, a typical candidate will have a level of understanding depending on his ability to reason with the statements/basic principles which govern that, and this is nothing but aptitute.
Aptitude can be broadly divided into Reasoning skills,Quantitative skills, interpretation skills,Logic skills and communication skills.
and critical thinking as stated by Francis Bacon,”is a desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to meditate, slowness to assert, readiness to consider, carefulness to dispose and set in order; and hatred for every kind of imposture.
An aptitude is a component of a competence to do a certain kind of work at a certain level. Outstanding aptitude can be considered “talent”. An aptitude may be physical or mental. Aptitude is inborn potential to do certain kinds of work whether developed or undeveloped. Ability is developed knowledge, understanding, learned or acquired abilities (skills) or attitude. The innate nature of aptitude is in contrast to skills and achievement, which represent knowledge or ability that is gained through learning.
According to Gladwell (2008) and Colvin (2008) often it is difficult to set apart an outstanding performance merely because of talent or simply because of hard training. Talented people as a rule show high results immediately in few kinds of activity, but often only in single direction or genre.
Intelligence and Aptitude
Aptitude and intelligence quotient are related, and in some ways differing views of human mental ability. Unlike the original idea of IQ, aptitude often refers to one of the many different characteristics which can be independent of each other, such as aptitude for military flight, air traffic control, or computer programming. This approach measures a variety of separate skills, similar to the theory of multiple intelligences and Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory and many other modern theories of intelligence. In general, aptitude tests are more likely to be designed and used for career and employment decisions, and intelligence tests are more likely to be used for educational and research purposes. However, there is a great deal of overlap between them, and they often measure the same kinds of abilities. For example, aptitude tests such as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measure enough aptitudes that they could also serve as a measure of general intelligence.
A single construct such as mental ability is measured with multiple tests. Often, a person’s group of test scores will be highly correlated with each other, which makes a single measure useful in many cases. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor’s General Learning Ability is determined by combining Verbal, Numerical and Spatial aptitude scores. However, many individuals have skills that are a lot higher or lower than their overall mental ability level. Aptitude subtests are used intra-individually to determine which tasks that individual is more skilled at performing. This information can be useful for determining which job roles are the best fits for employees or applicants. Often, before more rigorous aptitude tests are used, individuals are screened for a basic level of aptitude through a previously-completed process, such as SAT scores, GRE scores, degrees, or other certifications.
Aptitude tests can typically be grouped according to the type of cognitive ability they measure:
- Fluid intelligence: the ability to think and reason abstractly, effectively solve problems and think strategically. It’s more commonly known as ‘street smarts’ or the ability to ‘quickly think on your feet’. An example of what employers can learn from your fluid intelligence is your suitability for the role for which you are applying
- Crystallised intelligence: the ability to learn from past experiences and to apply this learning to work-related situations. Work situations that require crystallised intelligence include producing and analysing written reports, comprehending work instructions, using numbers as a tool to make effective decisions, etc.
Weightage in Different Examinations
Mostly the number of questions in quantitative Aptitude falls in the following range in the below-given table of bank & insurance exams:
(PO, Clerk, SO, RRB Scale I/Asst.)
And also useful in the exams like MAT, SNAP, GMAT, XAT, FMS Entrance, TANCET, FMS, Different state government exams, UPSC exams and many more.