Meaning and Types of Aptitude

Meaning of Aptitude

  • Aptitude comes from the word ‘Aptos’ meaning fitted for. Aptitude is defined as a natural or inherent capacity to acquire a certain skill or ability in future through appropriate training.
  • Aptitudes are innate special abilities that make an individual easily acquire knowledge and skill or perform certain activities or tasks.  They are inborn characteristics that make you special and excel in an activity more than others.
  • That is why someone can be gifted in music but can barely draw while another struggles to sing but is prolific in drawing and painting. 
  • So, an individual’s aptitudes determine whether he will be successful in a particular field or not. These differences also make a person satisfied and fulfilled as a mechanic while another is fulfilled as an actor. In addition, you can possess two or more aptitudes in different measures.

In 1988 Upamanyu Chatterjee, an IAS officer, wrote a novel titled ‘English, August’. This is a novel about a young recruit to IAS serving his first posting. In this novel, he says that most people in India do not identify their aptitude. In search of their career, they keep on trying and something clicks. I’m one of them and I became an IAS officer. This is very true when it comes to us in India

Types of Aptitude

  1. Physical aptitude means the physical characteristics for performing some task successfully. For example, armed forces require a specific set of physical features, like height, strength etc.
  2. Mental aptitude means a certain specific set of mental qualities needed to perform some tasks successfully. This is further characterized by general mental ability and value orientation. The former implies an ability to think rationally, while the latter also includes certain value-based behaviour, like the one guided by empathy, compassion, integrity, accountability, responsibility etc. Finally, although aptitudes are inborn, they can be improved with training. For instance, if you possess singing talent, attending a music school or voice training class can help transform your singing talent into a marketable skill.
Type of Mental AptitudeDescriptionExample
Numerical aptitudesGood at playing with numbersRamanujan, APJ Kalam  
Language AptitudeInterest in learning a new or foreign language.diplomat customer relationship manager, translator, and tour guide  
Inductive ReasoningInterested in the investigation.detectives, scientists, psychologists, and philosophers.  
IdeaphoriaIndividuals who are full of ideas.content creators, writers, and entrepreneurs.  
Analytical Reasoninggood at gathering and interpreting data from research findingsdata analysts, thinkers people working in Hindenburg
Auditory Aptitude  The talent of singing and can learn to play instruments fast,Sonu Nigam, Lata Mangeshkar, bismillah khan
Dexterities  Those who are interested in the use of fingers and small tools to perform tasks.    sculptor, engineer, surgeon, hairdressing, artiste, mobile reaper,
Graph OriaInterested in dealing with graphsevent planner, secretary, administrator, project manager,
Oratory aptitudeThe ability to command attention while they speak is called the operatorSalesperson, teacher, lecturer, motivational speaker (Sandeep Maheshwari), lawyer politician (NAMO, Hitler, Lincoln, Mandela, Martin Luther King Junior
Colour DiscriminationQuite good with colours, and they know the best combination of clothes to wear or the best colour to combine for your house designer, interior decorator, and painter (MF Hussain, Raja Ravi Verma)    
Foresight    Ability to discern the future by making subjective predictions.    Employers
Spatial aptitude  Ability to understand, analyse and retain the spatial relationship between objects and space.Geographers, astrologers.
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