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Do Aptitude and Interest Tests Help with College Admissions and Choosing Majors?


Over the years I’ve gotten a lot of requests from families interested in taking some type of interest or career aptitude tests. Students feel pressured to choose a college major during the application process. Parents want to make sure they are investing in academic work that will eventually lead to a degree.

While I agree with the reasons, in my own practice, I found the process wasn’t working. Tests are limited by the input from each client. Students answer based on what they wish to be true rather than on the basis of actual experiences.

There definitely is a place for aptitude and interest testing for high school students, but parents and teens need to understand the process and its limitations.

In this episode of “The College Prep Podcast”, I walk listeners through whether it makes sense for students to take aptitude and interest tests to figure out what they want to study in college, and whether this helps with the college admissions process.

Specifically I discuss:

  • What aptitude and interest inventories are
  • The two different ways to take these inventories — through a profession, and on your own via an internet search
  • The benefits of having high school students take these kinds of inventories, including insights, ideas, possible areas for exploration, and a source of open conversations between parent and student
  • The drawbacks of these inventories, including the potential low quality of the data, things that these tests don’t consider, like personality or job skill match, is not a quick fix or exact answer
  • Why Megan didn’t have her daughter take these kinds of tests during her college admissions process
  • Additional suggestions for parents

Listen to the full episode here: (click here to play)

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