The Highlands Ability Battery is an Aptitude Test

The Highlands Ability Battery is a way to measure your aptitudes. If you’re wondering why it’s called an “ability” battery rather than an “aptitude” battery, it’s because an ability is a realized aptitude. In this sense, aptitudes can act as predictors of future abilities that develop out of that aptitude. As The Highlands Ability Battery overview states, “Knowing your abilities can help you steer toward tasks and roles that use your best talents, and steer away from tasks that would be naturally difficult for you to do.”

The The Highlands Ability Battery groups aptitudes into the following four categories. Each category contains several aptitudes in which you may test strongly, weakly, or moderately.

  1. Personal style: “This section shows your results in three scales which interpret the frame of reference from which you approach your work: the Generalist/Specialist scale, the Introvert/Extrovert scale, and Time Frame scale.” You might think of these in as similar to the Meyers-Briggs, in which your personality affects the way you structure problems, make decisions, and generate energy.
  2. Driving abilities: “The Driving Abilities are very powerful and influence almost every part of our work lives. This is true whatever an individual’s results. Each one of these abilities asserts itself in our lives. It is absolutely critical to take them into account when considering what role you should play at work.” The use of driving abilities is linked to career happiness.
  3. Specialized abilities: “The Specialized Abilities help or enhance our work and lives. While most of them do not assert themselves as strongly as the Driving Abilities, it is important to pay attention to the patterns which form when these abilities combine with one another as well as with the Driving Abilities.”
  4. Vocabulary: “Vocabulary is a personal tool developed by each individual over time, rather than a natural ability, but the range of your vocabulary will affect how effectively you can use some of your innate abilities.”

These four groupings are different than some other aptitude test publishers. There are pros and cons to different kinds of aptitude tests, but The Career Profiler most highly recommends The Highlands Ability Battery. Another important thing to keep in mind while choosing career tests is that no single test can tell you everything you need to know in order to choose the best job for you. As Johnson O’Connor, a major aptitude test publisher says, “Remember that any educational or career decision you make should take into account not only your abilities, but also other important life factors ­ such as your interests, personality, goals, values, family of origin and experience, and your stage of career development. Abilities alone should not determine what career and life decisions you make. Abilities should be considered a basic and important piece of the whole picture.”

This has been a brief overview of the components of The Highlands Ability Battery. If you have more questions, check out more blogs about aptitudes and Aptitude Tests. If you are not convinced about the power of knowing your aptitudes, learn more about why aptitudes make you happy!

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What is an Aptitude Test?

Before we talk about an aptitude test, let’s explore what an aptitude is….

What is an aptitude?

An aptitude is a natural ability that someone is born with. You can think of it as the potential to develop a skill. Usually, these aptitudes cannot be learned or taught; there is simply something about your genetic wiring that makes these tasks simple for you.

An aptitude is something you're born with

An aptitude can determine even the smallest thing like if you can pack a car tightly

Most aptitude tests stick to a vocabulary of aptitudes that have specific definitions. Although publishers may differ in their vocabulary, oftentimes the aptitude behind the term is the same. For example, the aptitude that allows a person to be able to organize objects in a three dimensional space (we all know someone who can pack up a car like Tetris) might be called “spatial reasoning” or “spatial relations visualization,” depending on the test. The important thing to remember is that even though these are different terms, they’re getting at the same thing. Both tests are looking for the ability to visualize objects in three-dimensional space. In terms of this being an aptitude and not just a skill, those who have the natural ability of packing a car perfectly can do so not because they have practiced it, but because there is something about their genetic wiring that allows them to understand how things fit together in space. They have had this aptitude for their entire life and once they started packing cars or arranging blocks or toys in a box, they quickly and easily excelled at it. The ability to do something like this is a realized aptitude. While the aptitude itself may be somewhat dormant or unaccessed, it is still testable.

The most important thing about aptitudes in terms of career is that using your aptitudes makes you happier. That’s one reason why it’s so important to take a test!

What is an aptitude test?

It’s a way for people to find out what aptitudes they have. The test can be administered in-person or online. The former consists of a string of timed tasks, administered by a proctor, such as the Johnson O’Connor. An in-person test tends to be quite pricey, and are done in two sessions: the testing session, where you complete the various tasks, and an interpretation session, where the analysis of your aptitudes is summarized for you and you can discuss with your proctor what kinds of careers would utilize your aptitudes.

Online tests include the Highlands Ability Battery or the CAPS. An online aptitude test is a fraction of the cost of an in-person, proctored test. Know that different tests have different scopes than one another. Some tests are built specifically for a certain profession, so they will only test for applicable aptitudes. Johnson O’connor tests for 22 different aptitudes, Highlands for 19, and CAPS tests for eight (two of which are not tested in the former two). The discrepancy may seem large, but if you know you will not be a surgeon or a watchmaker, you probably do not need to take the fine motor aptitude test offered in-person through Johnson O’Connor. Be aware of what aptitudes you want tested and find a test that correlates with what you would like to know. The Highlands covers a significant number of aptitudes and has the most career-related information. Find out why The Highlands Ability Battery is the aptitude test that The Career Profiler most strongly recommends.

Find your aptitudes with an aptitude test

This question tests for the classification aptitude

Since the 1910’s, thousands of people across many fields have been tested for aptitudes when they apply to certain jobs, especially factory jobs and the military. More recently, industries and coaches use this information to find correlations between careers and aptitudes. A career aptitude test is a test used primarily for finding what careers align with one’s aptitudes. When a statistically high number of successful people in a career all demonstrate similar aptitudes, we can conclude that that aptitude plays a role in their success. Thus, if you have the same aptitudes as these successful professionals, chances are that you would be successful in that field as well (some aptitudes even indicate happiness). However, it’s important to remember that aptitudes are not the only variable to look at when choosing a career. It’s a good idea to take a good career aptitude test along with a few other kinds of career tests to get the most complete picture of your career situation.

The Next Step: Why do I need my results interpreted?

It is important to get your results interpreted because it may be difficult to understand all the terms and their implications on your own. A career coach or test proctor can do this for you – in fact, analysis is often included in an in-person test like the Johnson O’Connor. We highly recommend The Career Profiler, who can advise you on your aptitude test results. With 20 years of experience in the profiling and coaching world, she can help you understand and apply the results of your test. She brings a unique perspective on career coaching because she is also a profiler who understands what kinds of aptitudes, abilities, and personalities make someone fit for a job. Don’t understand your scores? She can break it down into simple language for you. Don’t know what career path to pursue? She can help you make a wise choice based on industry statistics, your personality and abilities, and your personal life. Don’t know how to take the next step? Get some help in working out a career plan for you! Contact The Career Profiler to find out how you can use aptitudes to make you happy in your career. You can also find out why The Highlands Ability Battery is The Career Profiler’s number one aptitude test choice.

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How the BullsEye Career Program Works

Bull's Eye Career

BullsEye Career

The BullsEye CareerTM Program is simply a package of 3 tests and 5 consultations that identify your “best fit” career and in only a month. That’s how long it takes to complete the tests and consultations which reveal hidden information in the results.  This unique package of career test  is selected from only the top career materials publishers.  Consultations are critical because they  interpret  and synthesize and apply the results to your specific situation.  Only  career experts are permitted, therefore, to conduct them.

This ‘best fit’ career program assesses three facets about you:

  1. your interests – what you like
  2. your abilities – what you are good at  and what’s driving in you for expression (new discovery); and
  3. your personality – what meets your style needs and utilizes your style strengths.

If you took any one of these career assessments (personality, abilities or interests) you would get a list of careers matching only one aspect of you related to career discovery. A career interest test would match your interests to occupations you’d like.  A career  ability test would match your capabilities or self-described skills with jobs you are capable of performing well. A career personality test would match careers with your personal style. But, each test would miss those careers or  occupations that are produced by the other tests.  No two tests even produce anything close to identical list of careers.

When you take all three of these career tests, and only then, will you obtain the bulls eye career effect.  Sure, you get a more complete list of careers matching who you are.  That’s what taking more tests will always give you.  But only these specific career tests will help you find the single most exacting career match.  How?  Because,  only a few careers will be  identical on all three of these special assessments.  These identical careers are the ones that fit you in all ways (likes, capabilities and personality).

In other words, all three tests produce a list of careers matching an aspect of you.  Among these three lists will be a small number of  careers are the same.  Those that are the same on all three lists therefore  “intersect” with each other.  Those that “intersect” most exactly  form what I call “the bulls eye” on your career target board. Finding these careers – the ones that fit most exactly in the three most critical aspects of a career search (abilities, interests and personality)  is what only the BullsEye CareerTM Program can do.

Let’s look at this diagram to better understand how the BullsEye CareerTM program works:

Career in Crosshairs

BullsEye Career Image

Each line in this diagram represents a the  list of matching careers for you as generated by a single career assessment – interest test,  personality test or ability test.  When you complete one assessment, it creates a “line of careers” that suits you.

Let’s use an example to explain this further:  An interest test might produce these careers: elementary school teacher, sales manager, non-profit director and bank manager (represented by one line) while an ability  test would produce this career line-up: R&D manger, corporate director and non-profit (representing another line). A personality test might generate a list that includes hair stylist, recreation manager, non-profit director, and production line worker (represented by the third line).

Notice that only one of the careers on each list are the same in this example.  Non-profit director appears on all three lists.  The lines representing the career  lists “intersect”  each other at that one career., namely at non-profit director. Finding the careers  at the “intersection point” of all three career list lines is where you find the absolute “best fit” careers.

Notice that each career list line is on the career target board.  All of them will be suitable in some way for you.  But most of them do not satisfy all of the criteria for a career in which you will be succeed, excel and be happy.   Only those  careers from each test that intersects with careers from the other career tests can do that.

Notice also that each line bisects the target from a different angle.  This suggests that each test produces a career list that is different and distinct perspective from the other two.  Indeed that is the case with the three selected career tests chosen for the BullsEye CareerTM program.

It has selected only the top career tests from using the following test measurement approaches (perspectives): One test uses objective task modules to measure abilities which includes reasoning, learning, driving, intelligences, relational and specialized aptitudes. The second test uses a  subjective scale ranging from very high to very low to measure interests in occupations, school subjects and task.  Finally the third test applies a subjective dyad choice (a or b) assessment to measure personal style or personality.

Notice also that the lines on the diagram do not run parallel to each other.  They, in fact  intersect in the green colored zone in the middle. This middle zone is known as the Bulls Eye.  This diagram suggests that tests used in the BullsEye CareerTM Program produce career list lines that not completely distinct from each other.  This is most important feature about the program.  Some careers on each list will in fact intersect with each other.  Those not familiar with the nuances of job titles will find even fewer that intersect than an experienced career expert.  This is an additional reason for providing  career consultations.

Notice that the lines intersect in the middle. When you find the same career or occupation appearing on all three of the assessments, you have “career intersection”.  Careers that “intersect” or appear on all three tests are depicted by the green zone or “the bull’s eye”.   When 3 test produce the same or almost identical careers in their list of career matches,  it most strongly indicates that this narrow selection of careers are clearly the ‘ best fit’ for you.  As you can see, this approach takes the ‘guess work’ and the ‘trial and error’ of  out of career decisions.

The BullsEye CareerTM Program does indeed take most of the guesswork out of career decisions.  And, with it there is no need for trial and error.  You can get it “right” the first time.  You can know the right small set of careers for you with this program . . . and know it with certainty.

If, however,  you are satisfied to simply “hit” the career target board (anywhere in the white area) and are willing to apply some  trial and error to your career decision, you need only take one career assessment test.   To hit the yellow or blue zones on the career target board thereby taking most of the guesswork out of finding a career, it is recommended that you take at least 2 career tests.  But . . .  if you truly want to hit the bull’s eye on the career board and eliminate both guess work or ‘trial and error’ from choosing a career, take the BullsEye CareerTM Program.

BullsEye CareerTM Program has been called many things over the years: OPTiM’s Best Fit Career or OPTiM’s Complete Best Fit Career.  There is also a student version of this program as well: OPTIM’s Career and College Success Tests + College Career Services or OPTIM’s Complete BEST FIT CAREER Package for STUDENTs. Pick any one of these career programs to find your BullsEye CareerTM.  And, know what to be with certainty.


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Are You An Executive Or An Expert?


The Generalist and Specialist distinction (also known as the Executive / Expert distinction), the first attribute your Highlands Ability Battery Report deals with, is a label that can be understood as a measure for director or contributor or even as an executive or expert thinking. And, it is just one of 19 aptitudes measured by this career tests! Want to find out more about what this one ability can tell you about your traits, behaviors, and work characteristics? Read on…

Scoring as a Generalist (Executive) and Specialist (Expert)

As I mentioned in a previous post, nobody is completely a generalist or completely a specialist. Everyone falls somewhere along a continuous scale, with a little bit of each aspect in them.

However, the Highlands Ability Battery is a career aptitude test that is exceptionally good at pinpointing where you stand on that scale, and your personal aptitudes for being a generalist or a specialist. It shows the way you naturally operate, which is especially helpful when it comes to finding a job you love and the ideal work environment in which you’ll thrive.

Distinguishing Trait of Generalists and Specialists

A generalist (aka executive or delegator) loves to know a little bit about a lot of things.

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A mile wide, inch deep (Generalist/Executive) approach

They take the “mile wide, inch deep” approach when it comes to knowledge about things. This is useful for being a director, delegator or executive manager.




In contrast, a specialist (aka expert or contributor) loves

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Inch wide, mile deep (Specialist/Expert) approach

to know a lot about a very specific, small number of things. They take the “inch wide, mile deep” approach. This ability is critical for corporate contributors or industry experts.




Work Characteristics of Generalist Specialist Abilities

There are lots of other aspects wrapped up where you stand on the generalist/specialist aptitude test scale, too.

For example, it helps understand how you respond to criticism, how you look at the world, how you pursue goals, how you explore subjects, how you best contribute at work, and how you advance in your career. It helps you to see what your ideal work environment is, and in what kind of situations you will find yourself doing your best work.

Look at the Generalist Specialist Chart for key work characteristics of the Executive versus the Expert or how you behave as a Contributor or Delegator.

generalist, specialist, executive, expert, traits, aptitudes, am i a generalist or specialist, am i an expert or executive, contributor, delegator, The Highlands Ability Battery (THAB),

Aptitude Test for Generalist and Specialist Ability

Wow, that’s a lot of information packed into just one ability. Indeed, and that’s what sets the Highlands Ability Battery apart from all other career assessments and aptitude tests.

generalist, specialist, executive, expert, traits, aptitudes, am i a generalist or specialist, am i an expert or executive, contributor, delegator, The Highlands Ability Battery (THAB),

The Highlands Ability Battery will put into words the things you have always suspected and experienced.

Your Highlands Ability Battery report will deliver you a personalized summary and description tailored to your unique results. It helps to put into words the things you have always suspected and experienced, but maybe never fully realized or examined.

And, it provides so much more you never really knew about yourself. Chances are, you didn’t know that generalists tended toward executive and delegating roles and specialist sought to be contributors and experts in their field, or about the short list of work characteristics associated with this one aptitude.

This ability test is extremely useful for finding a career in which you will thrive. Where you stand on the generalist/specialist scale has a lot of implications, which, if understood and fully grasped, will provide insightful and valuable knowledge and direction towards finding a job you love, adjusting your current position to take advantage of your assets, and ultimately succeeding in your career.

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Succeeding Using The Performance Effectiveness Principle

Succeeding Using the “Performance Effectiveness Principle”  

80 20 rule, 80/20, be more effective, career, career test, effectiveness, find the right career, highlands ability battery, performance, performance effectiveness, performance effectiveness principle, succeed, handwriting, stress, performance under stress

Boost your performance using this secret principle!

Want to know a secret?

There is a simple method or rule of thumb out there that can massively increase your productivity and happiness both in your life and in your workplace.

The Secret to Performance Effectiveness

I’m going to tell you how to be more effective in the things you choose to do – letting you experience more success, rather than wasting time and needlessly struggling.

Nope, the answer isn’t “eat more kale,” or “exercise for 2 hours a day,” or “get plenty of sleep,” or “take this miracle pill”.

Healthy eating and exercise and sleep are all great things to do, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about.

I’m here to talk about something called the “Performance Effectiveness Principle”.

Understanding this concept will make you more effective in what you choose to do, and help you concentrate your efforts toward areas that will get you more and better results.

The Performance Effectiveness Secret Revealed

The performance effectiveness principle deals with your abilities and weaknesses.

The basic idea is this: when it comes to your strengths and abilities, you are able to put forth less effort, while getting greater and more plentiful results. Conversely, when it comes to your weaknesses, you can put forth great effort, and still produce a lower quality product and poorer results.

Performance Effectiveness and the 80/20 Rule

Some refer to this principle as the “80/20 Rule”.

When you have a natural ability or aptitude, you are able to put forth a only 20% concentrated effort and yet still get a product or service that reaches the 80th percentile in quality.

When dealing with areas in which you are not naturally gifted or able, you need to put forth a minimum of 80% of your full possible effort, but still only get to a 20% level of quality in the outcome, despite your trying efforts.

These weaknesses are skills that you have learned, but that is not really associated with any of your natural abilities. You can expend much higher physical and mental effort, yet not get anywhere close to the results that you feel your effort merits.

The 80/20 Rule Revealed in Handwriting

How can you best understand the impact of the 80/20 Performance Principle Rule on your work?

Well, think of it this way:

Working in an area or in a position that utilizes your natural abilities and aptitudes is like writing your name. You are able to simply pick up the metaphorical pencil and fluidly write out your name on the paper.

But when you work in a position which does not use skills that come naturally to you, it’s like picking up that same pencil and writing your name, only this time you’re forced to use your left hand.

Try it!

Stop reading this post, grab a pencil and some scrap paper.

This blog will still be here when you’re done – we won’t go anywhere.

Okay, did you do it?

Hard, huh?

And look at what you wrote – it’s pretty easy to see which hand you used for each version of your name, right?

You hardly even think about it when you write your name with your dominant hand, it comes so naturally. You expend almost no effort, and yet it looks exactly as you want it to. It has character written all over it… It’s like your unique stamp of personality.

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It is clear how much less effective I am at writing my name with my left hand…

Then, when you switch hands, you spend ten times as long trying to get the letters shaped and written in a legible manner and have to concentrate with everything you have just to get it on the paper. And then it looks like a preschooler, or a hundred-year-old person wrote your name for you.

Does that help to illustrate the 80/20 Rule, and the performance effectiveness principle? I think it is a very powerful representation of how true this concept is.

Stress and the Performance Principle

The results are even more dramatic, more clear cut were you to write your name under stressful circumstances. I use stopwatch to incur stress. When using your weak hand, the writing quality deteriorates, even though you didn’t think it can get worse. And, most people can’t even finish their signature.

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I use a stopwatch to add the element of stress to show my clients just how much stress affects the performance effectiveness principle

The exact opposite is true when using your strong hand. Signatures are typically finished well before “time is up”, and displays an added flair of character (better quality).

The same can be said when you work from your weaknesses or strengths under stress.   When working in something that demands your weak abilities while under stress, you need 3 – 4 X the amount of time and effort to pull off a product that still can’t match that of someone using their strengths.

How The Performance Effectiveness Principle Rule applies to You

It is clear, then, how important it is to be very familiar with your personal strengths and weaknesses. If you have only a vague idea of your natural abilities and aptitudes, how can you expect to be effective in the work you choose to do?

The Highlands Ability Battery is the perfect answer. It is an ability test that will pinpoint your abilities and weaknesses with extreme accuracy. It is the best career test of its kind. It will clearly expose your personal strengths and weaknesses, and equip you to dramatically increase your effectiveness.

A clear knowledge of your strengths and weaknesses will allow you to take full advantage of the 80/20 Rule so that you can get maximum quality and quantity outcomes of whatever work it is you are doing, while expending the least amount of unnatural effort.

Think about how much happier you will be when you don’t have to work so hard just to get mediocre results at best! The performance effectiveness principle unlocks nearly unlimited potential for anyone who wants to boost his or her results, morale, and efficiency. It is the number one way to be more effective, bottom line.

Spend time doing what you’re good at, and you will get good results.

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