What is the LAT?
The LAT is a series of online tests (5 to 12 minutes each) that reveals your natural aptitudes and the way you most comfortably approach work, school, and relationships. Combining these aptitudes with your personal interests, the LAT compiles a list of careers, and majors associated with that career.
Included in career details are:
* a day in the life at the job
* number of openings nationally and per state
* average, starting, and upper level salaries
* required licensing or certification
* industries that include the career
What are Aptitudes?
Each of us is made up of a combination of innate qualities or aptitudes. Think of it as our hard-wired potential. When we are using our aptitudes, we are most happy and satisfied. We feel that we are "in the zone" rather than engaged in a uphill, frustrating battle trying to do something that doesn't come naturally.
Knowing your aptitude profile lets you apply your natural strengths to the way you approach life, including the types of courses you take in college, the type of work you choose for a career, and even your understanding of friends, family, and associates. It lets you invest your energy and passion where they can flourish most profoundly.
The LAT consists of 16 different aptitudes and results of "high", "medium", or "low" in each. But don't be afraid! Scoring "high" in an aptitude is NOT better than scoring "low."
Why "High" doesn’t mean "Better"
We live in a culture obsessed with tests and ranks, grades and scores. (I know- I own an test prep business!) So it’s no surprise we have developed very sensitive ears for the terms "low", "medium", and "high". We often unconsciously translate those terms to mean "bad", "better", and "best". After all, isn’t a "high" ranking college better than a "low" ranking college? Aren’t "high" grades are better than "low" grades? But this interpretation isn’t accurate or appropriate when it comes to aptitudes.
When we describe your LAT results, we mean something completely different, and it has nothing to do with rankings or with acing the aptitude test. Aptitudes are simply your natural strengths. Not what you’ve accomplished or what you’ve learned in class. They describe your potential to learn and apply certain kinds of skills quickly and easily, and your tendency to approach projects one way or another.
For example, one of the aptitudes is called Idea Generation. If you score "high", you are a "Brainstormer" (meaning you naturally produce a lot of ideas in a short period of time). If you score "low", you are "Concentrated and Focused" (meaning you are naturally focused on thinking through one idea at a time).
Having a propensity for idea generation doesn’t make you smarter or more talented. It does mean, however, that you’ll likely get more satisfaction from studies, work, and activities that make heavy use of that idea-generating knack.
On the other hand, scoring as Concentrated and Focused might make you the perfect fit for work that rewards a more focused approach, and where the constant impulse to spin out new ideas would just get in the way.
The terms "high," "medium," and "low" in relation to aptitudes mean very little by themselves. It’s only when you consider an aptitude in action- in a particular kind of project or activity- that you can begin to see how being "high" or "low" might make a difference in how naturally – and how happily – you’ll fit that work. LAT is a tool for self-knowledge, not for ranking. It doesn’t tell you if you’re "bad," "better," or "best". Just which type of work will satisfy you most deeply.
If I work really hard, can I improve an Aptitude?
Yes. You can, but you may not want to. You can work really hard to "overcome" a low aptitude, but it won’t come easily, and you may be left feeling exhausted, as if you are climbing uphill. Focusing your energy on careers that are a natural fit for you will provide an inherent ease and satisfaction in your life. Why not make excelling a little easier?
Are Aptitudes the same as skills?
No, skills are distinctly different from aptitudes. Skills are developed from practice and experience. The ease and speed at which we can master and utilize a skill will depend on our aptitudes.
Are Aptitudes the same as personality traits?
While personality assessments provide for interesting conversation, they rely on self-reported information. They more often reflect recent experiences and do not reliably predict one’s career fit. Personality inventories are useful in many settings, but should be viewed as a piece of the career puzzle rather than a key to unlock real information and guidance.
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