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Test your child's aptitude!

Dr Nirmala Rao, Malini Shah | June 21, 2005

Yesterday, Dr Nirmala Rao and Malini Shah suggested the importance of gauging your child's aptitude. Today, Get Ahead suggests seven parameters to test your child's aptitude.

Your child's aptitude is a combination of factors that make him/ her excel at his/ her profession.

i. Intelligence

This term refers to the global activity, ie the overall ability of your child to think and act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with the environment.

Thus, intelligence is not something one has or does not have. It comprises many separate abilities.

ii. Intellectual activity

This parameter is understood to take many different forms, like:

  • Linguistic
  • Visuo-spatial
  • Mathematical
  • Interpersonal
  • Intra-personal
  • Musical
  • Physical

iii. Aptitude

These are the specific abilities of a person that are inherent, and differ from person to person.

Examples: Mechanical aptitude, verbal aptitude, spatial aptitude, numerical aptitude, clerical speed and accuracy.

iv. Personality

This is defined by our nature, temperament/ character, how we tend to behave, our psychological needs, etc.

Some of us are extroverts or introverts, hardworking or easygoing, get frustrated easily or have more tolerance.

The connection between your personality and success in your career is that certain jobs/ professions need a certain type of personality.

For example, a marketing executive needs to be an extrovert, outgoing, active and comfortable in interacting with people; a scientist needs to be more of a thinker, one who likes to introspect and analyse; a doctor needs to be analytical as well as people-oriented; an interior designer or a copy writer, creative, and so on.

There are six basic personality types as follows:

1. Realistic: You enjoy physical activities alone or as part of a team.

You don't mind doing outdoor work which could even be manual. For instance, you could be a horticulturist.

2. Enterprising: You like to take charge and manage.

For instance, you could be an entrepreneur or be in the management field.

3. Artistic: You like experimenting with ideas and do not like structure.

You are emotional, flexible and adaptable. For instance, you could be an artist or a counsellor.

4. Investigative: You like going into details and have a planned approach towards things.

For instance, you could be a scientist or a doctor.

5. Social: You like interaction with people and are warm and outgoing.

For instance, you could be in marketing or public relations.

6. Conventional: You like structured working and a fixed routine.

For instance, you could be a banker or a chartered accountant.

v. Scholastic ability

To become a doctor or a scientist or even a civil servant, you need a high level of scholastic ability, which may not be necessary to become an athlete.

vi. Interest

Likes or dislikes help us direct our choice of career.

For example, a child may like music or painting. Interests help us know whether we can do well in certain fields or not.

vii. Emotional quotient

The ability to understand emotions and developing the ability to deal with emotional reactivity and work effectively in a team with other people.

Vocational guidance checklist

Your child's career denotes a life-long development. It is about realising his/ her potential, not just earning a livelihood.

1. Guidance at the Class X plus level helps assess the field of interest and make effective choices with respect to further education. Eg: Science, Arts, Commerce, Fine Arts, etc.

2. Many professions have the criteria of entrance tests, which require a specific age limit, physical requirements (if you are joining the army, engineering, hotel management, etc), as well as proficiency.

If your child is aware of it beforehand, it helps save wasting effort at the last moment.

3. Keeping alternatives open is also very important, especially in the same specified area. This way, students do not go through any difficulties or closed option in terms of education. 

4. Guidance at the Class XII level helps choose the right career and narrow down career as well as college options. 

5. Study course and content details of the educational stream must be discussed, so they get an indepth idea of the course they are about to take up. 

6. Study abroad options and various courses available must also be explored.

DON'T MISS

Do you have a question for Dr Nirmala Rao? Write to Get Ahead!

Dr Nirmala S Rao has been a practising psychiatrist for 18 years and manages her clinic, Aavishkar, along with a team of counsellors and psychotherapists, in Mumbai. Aavishkar conducts programmes on vocational guidance and self-development for children.

Malini Shah is a youth counsellor and conducts aptitude tests for students regularly.



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