Differential Aptitude Tests for Selection: General Abilities Battery and Technical Abilities Battery


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Note: This test review was done by BPS in 2004

Description of the Test

The DAT-S package consists of two batteries: the GAB and the TAB. The GAB comprises three tests of reasoning ability: Verbal Reasoning (VR), Numerical Reasoning (NR), and Abstract Reasoning (AR). VR and NR test scores can be combined to give a measure of general Educational Aptitude (EA). The TAB consists of four tests of reasoning ability Two of these are shared with the GAB (NR and AR). The other two are Mechanical Reasoning (MR) and Space Relations (SR). · VR measures the ability to see relationships among words. Based on analogies, it assesses the ability to infer the relationship between a pair of words and apply that relationship to a second pair of words. · NR measures the ability to perform mathematical reasoning tasks. The computational level of the problems is low in order to allow a focus upon reasoning rather than computational ability. · AR is a non-verbal measure of reasoning ability and uses geometric figures or designs. The test assesses the ability to infer the rule(s) that are operating and apply these rules to identify the next step in the series. · EA (VR + NR) is a measure of the ability to learn from books and teachers, and to perform well in academic subjects. · MR measures the ability to understand basic principles of machinery, tools and motion. The test taker is required to answer a simply worded question based on a pictorially presented mechanical problem. · SR measures the ability to visualise a three-dimensional object from a two dimensional pattern and to visualise how this object would look if rotated in space. The tests in the DAT-S were the result of work involved in compiling the fifth edition, level 2 of the DAT. Work included writing completely new items and organising tests into occupational batteries. The batteries are designed to be used for a range of occupational purposes, such as selection and appraisal. More specifically, the GAB is intended for use in aiding selection to a variety of positions where general reasoning ability is a key element, and the TAB for selecting candidates for a variety to technical and mechanical posts or to predict likely success in related educational courses. The widest application of the TAB is said to be in the selection of engineers and apprentice technicians or mechanics and the GAB is for the business and industrial sector. The authors recommend the GAB and TAB for use in staff selection, staff appraisal, career guidance and occupational research. The GAB manual states that the tests may be used singly or in combination; the TAB manual implies that this is the case (in the instructions for administering the tests) but does not state that this is so.

Authors: G. K. Bennett, H. C. Seashore, A. G. Wesman.

Test Publisher: Pearson Assessment

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