The Highlands Ability Battery is one of the most effective career aptitude tests available.


Overview of the Highlands Ability Battery

The Highlands Ability Battery is an objective measure of your relative ability to do specific things from solving problems to remembering what you read. It tells you what you’ll find easy, what will be difficult and is the foundation to effective career choice. The Highlands Ability Battery comprises 19 separate validated objective career aptitude tests. The Highlands Ability Battery isolates natural abilities and analyses combinations of aptitudes in addition to individual aptitudes.

The main reason to take The Highlands Ability Battery is to find out where you have natural ability and to use this to make effective career decisions.

The Highlands Ability Battery is a fundamental step towards a satisfying and successful career.

When we study and work in line with our natural abilities it’s like driving along a brand new four-lane motorway. Working against our natural talents is like trying to make our way along a narrow, muddy, footpath. You can get there either way, but working with our natural talents is a lot easier and you will find much greater success. That’s the benefit of using a reputable career aptitude test.

Why the Highlands Ability Battery?

Real career success is rarely down to money and status and much more to do with finding a job which ties in with what you can do easily. We all have talents and abilities we are born with. These give us a special ability to do things easily and a reason why we can find other things difficult. Our abilities can be measured using a career aptitude test from age 14.

Because our abilities are hard wired they do not change. Practice won’t make them stronger and ignoring them won’t mean we lose them. They differ from skills, which we can develop, but which we can also lose, and interests which can change. However, both skills and interests can enhance our abilities. We are happiest and most satisfied when we make maximum use of our abilities.

An individual may develop the skills to practice law, for example, but if she doesn’t have the inborn talents which make the practice of law easy and satisfying, she will find her work unrewarding (and, even, as in the case of many lawyers, frustrating). When we apply our abilities to our study or work, we do our tasks better.

The Highlands Ability Battery can help you to

  • Understand where you are naturally talented
  • Know how you solve problems and make decisions most effectively
  • Understand clearly why you would be happy in some fields and not happy in others
  • Choose the best option from a group of study/career/ job/ business choices
  • Know how to study most effectively
  • Know what other jobs within your organisation you would be more fulfilled with
  • Use your true strengths more effectively and more consistently

“The individual, who knows his own aptitudes, and their relative strengths, chooses more intelligently among the world’s host of opportunities.” Johnson O’Connor, 1940 p134

Who should take the Highlands Ability Battery Test?

This assessment is for

  • Students who seek help in choosing A levels or a university degree subject
  • People who wonder why they are unhappy in their work
  • People seeking to make a career change and want to know what they are naturally good at
  • Anyone who seeks to understand their abilities

The Highlands Ability Battery is based on over 90 years of research, beginning with Johnson O’Connor. Since 1922, hundreds of thousands of people have used career aptitude tests to learn more about themselves and to derive more satisfaction from their lives.

Research from the Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation says that people tend to be more satisfied and successful in occupations that require their aptitudes and do not demand aptitudes that they lack.

The Highlands Ability Battery is psychometrically valid and reliable. The information and suggestions that it makes are highly accurate. The minimum reliability standard for the 19 career aptitude tests that make up the Highland Ability Battery is r = .80 and the reliability range is to .93, with 1.0 being perfect. It has been described as the equivalent of getting a CAT Scan for a painful injury instead of a traditional X-ray. As an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, I would not use any test that could not measure what it sets out to measure.

Please note I cannot know what your results will be in advance of this assessment. There is a possibility that you will be sufficiently self-aware that you do not learn anything new. However you will have increased confidence in what you know about yourself. Whilst the Highlands Ability Battery is immensely useful, the way that you will use your aptitudes depends on your interests, personality, values, skills and the current job market.

Career Aptitude tests for young people

(Almost) ALL my clients who have taken the Highlands Ability Battery wish they had taken it when they were younger as the information is so powerful when making career decisions.

My clients ask me why career aptitude tests aren’t more frequently used by schools. When a teenage takes a career assessment test they get to know what they can actually do which provides essential guidance to make decisions over study choices. But schools don’t have the budget for this type of assessment, relying instead on interest inventories. Just because you are interested doesn’t mean you will have the ability to be successful, and many of us aren’t sure if we are interested in something, or not.

Ability Testing, Skills and IQ

Thousands of people have taken the Highlands Ability Battery and I’ve personally guided over 1,000 clients using the Highlands Ability Battery.

People seek out objective data through a career aptitude test so they know more about themselves and can use this to identify careers to which they would be well suited. Career aptitude tests are not based on knowledge or experience. You can’t pass or fail the Highlands Ability Battery!

The Highlands Ability Battery does not measure or determine IQ. Most experts agree that IQ tests are not inherently helpful when trying to decide on a career path. Two people can have identical IQ scores but very different aptitudes. Skills are what we learn, and can support our abilities and help in areas where we lack natural ability. However if not used we can lose the skill.

You might think the worst option is to work in a job where you don’t have the natural abilities, but research has found that people experience greater problems when they have strong abilities that they are not able to use in their job. These can distract you from your ability to do the job and you would need to find an outlet for them through an out of work activity.

Every occupation, for example, engineering, medicine, law or management uses certain aptitudes. The work you are most likely to enjoy and be successful in is work that uses your aptitudes. For example, if you are an engineer but possess aptitudes not used in engineering, your work might seem unrewarding. If you lack the engineer’s aptitudes, your work may be difficult or unpleasant.


Example reports and further reading

Read a 2 page leaflet explaining the different work samples assessed through the assessment.

See a sample report – this is the Adult Version, different versions are available for Students, Lawyers and there is a leadership version.

Both adult and student reports now come with a Career Supplement – here is a sample of the Student career supplement.

Here is the link to reach the Highlands Company where you can sample the Highlands assessment.

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