What’s the Best Aptitude Test? – Wrap Up


This article marks the final chapter in our “What’s the Best Aptitude Test” series. This series was designed with a clear goal: to assist high school students and their parents in the intricate process of college and career planning by examining the landscape of aptitude tests.

From exploring costs and accessibility to the measurement capabilities of each test, we’ve done our best to be thorough. As we culminate, we aim to revisit and address the essential questions that guided the focus of this series:

  • Is the Johnson O’Connor Test worth its cost?
  • What role does an Aptitude Testing Consultant play in interpreting test results?
  • What differentiates the Johnson O’Connor Test from the AIMS Aptitude Test?
  • Is the Highlands Ability Battery a better choice over YouScience?

Our final goal is to distill this information, providing guidance on which aptitude test could best serve the high school student. Below is a summary of the three articles written to answer these questions.

How Much Should An Aptitude Test Cost?

Aptitude tests, while invaluable, aren’t cheap. In our “How Much Should an Aptitude Test Cost” article, we look at the cost of each comprehensive aptitude test. These assessments are the Johnson O’Connor, AIMS, and the Highlands Ability Battery. By reading this article, parents and students can compare the cost with the value of each service.

The value of the Johnson O’Connor and AIMS aptitude tests depends on how the results will be utilized. If parents expect a test to dictate a specific career or major for their child, they may be disappointed. The tests reveal potential capabilities, not directives. They can provide a meaningful, reflective experience for the young individual; however, families seeking guidance for their child’s educational path might find a private testing specialist more cost-effective.

Aptitude test comparison chart

While pricier and more time-consuming, the AIMS test provides a comprehensive aptitude assessment. It’s a formidable contender for those seeking a deeper, more extensive exploration of their aptitudes. Yet, keep in mind the exhaustion that comes with its length and the commitment to travel, as their only testing center is in Dallas. It might be a lot to take on for students just looking to understand their abilities and how it affects their college major decisions.

Not to be overlooked is the AIMS’ repertoire of college planning resources. They offer many helpful guides and case studies, all freely available on their website. The more resourceful among us could opt for a less expensive aptitude test and still leverage the insights from AIMS’ resources.

Meanwhile, the Highlands Ability Battery distinguishes itself through its access to a College Consultant and interactive career reports. Highlands Consultants add a layer of expertise, considering the multitude of factors in college planning, not just aptitude measurement. Their career reports provide valuable data-driven recommendations aligned with the student’s aptitudes, aiding in a comprehensive college and career plan. Comparatively, while the AIMS test measures more aptitudes, the Highlands Ability Battery, pound for pound, might offer more utility in college and career planning.

What’s the YouScience Aptitude Test?

In my role as an aptitude specialist, I’m impressed by several facets of the YouScience platform. In our article on the YouScience Aptitude test, we delve into the strengths and weaknesses of the assessment. It’s an aptitude test that truly stands apart. Its rapid growth is largely attributable to a combination of remote testing capabilities, cost-effectiveness (around 49 USD),[1] and an expedited testing time frame. But as they say, the devil is in the details.

A standout feature of YouScience is undoubtedly its remote testing.[2] This is a game-changer in terms of accessibility for students and families who would otherwise have to embark on potentially inconvenient journeys to far-off testing centers like Johnson O’Connor and AIMS in Dallas, Texas. However, there’s an important flip side to this coin. Unlike the Highlands Ability Battery, which requires live debriefs with certified consultants post-assessment, YouScience leaves students to interpret their results solo. This approach could result in missed nuances and insights without expert guidance to understand the report fully.[3]

However, where YouScience really raises eyebrows is its cost and time management approach. This is where it shines and simultaneously shows some limitations. Despite its affordability and time-saving appeal, the platform’s lack of thoroughness in aptitude assessment leaves a bit to be desired. It falls short in its range of aptitude evaluations, excluding auditory abilities and a significant portion of mechanical aptitudes. This gap could result in a less comprehensive view of a student’s talents, potentially affecting career guidance accuracy. Take, for instance, the assessment of spatial aptitudes. While YouScience examines Spatial Relations Theory, it overlooks Spatial Relations Visualization. This could astray students, especially those considering engineering, medicine, or architecture careers.

Aptitude Test Comparison chart

In conclusion, YouScience deserves a round of applause for bringing aptitude testing into the mainstream discourse. However, it’s important for potential users to consider its limited scope. Yes, it’s affordable and convenient, but something like the Highlands Ability Battery might give you a broader and more comprehensive understanding of a student’s aptitudes and potential career paths. Because, at the end of the day, it’s not just about affordability or convenience; it’s about an accurate and holistic understanding of an individual’s talents.

What’s the Easiest Aptitude Test to Take?

Finding the “easiest” aptitude test can feel like wrestling with a monster. In our Easiest Aptitude Test article, we defined what “easy” means. When discussing aptitude tests, easiest means the quickest and most accessible. Thus, less time commitment and travel distance make an aptitude test “easier.” In that article, we dove into four popular contenders: Johnson O’Connor, AIMS, Highlands Ability Battery, and YouScience.

The Johnson O’Connor test swallows a whole Saturday, taking 6-8 hours. AIMS, while boasting the most aptitude coverage, takes up a whopping 10 hours across three sessions[4] – that’s a big chunk of time for anyone juggling work, school, and other commitments.

Next, we have the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB). The HAB offers a three-hour deep dive into 19 distinct aptitudes, with the added bonus of personalized career reports.[5] The debrief adds another 1.5 – 2 hours, but the flexibility of breaking the test into several sittings makes it more palatable. Last is YouScience, clocking in at a mere 90 minutes[6] – the shortest of any advanced aptitude test. However, its brevity comes at a cost, with fewer aptitudes covered and no mandatory debrief to chew on your results.

Comparison of four aptitude tests

The tech-savvy or busiest among us might appreciate the remote testing options. Since the HAB and YouScience offer remote testing[7][8], they save travel time and cost. However, the Johnson O’Connor and AIMS tests might be more suitable for those drawn to the tangible environment of a testing center, despite the necessary trek.

So, what’s the verdict? If time is of the essence and you’re okay with a pared-down assessment, YouScience technically takes the cake. But if you’re seeking a balance between convenience, thoroughness, and time, HAB might be your best bet. Remember, however, that “easiest” is a highly personal measure, depending on your unique preferences and circumstances. The ultimate goal is to choose the aptitude test that will serve you best in your quest to unlock your abilities and potential career paths.


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Happy Testing!


[1] Buy now, YouScience – accessed at https://www.youscience.com/buy-now/ on 29 March 2023.

[2] YouScience Introduction — College Made Clear, College Made Clear – accessed at http://www.collegemadeclear.com/youscience1 on 29 March 2023.

[3] The Importance of the Feedback Session with the , The Highlands Company – accessed at https://www.highlandsco.com/the-power-of-feedback-why-the-hab-includes-an-in-depth-debrief-session/ on 30 March 2023.

[4] Our Testing, Johnson O’Connor Research Foundation – accessed at https://www.jocrf.org/testing/ on 25 April 2023.

[5] How the Highlands Ability Battery Differs from Other Assessments, The Highlands Company – accesssed at https://www.highlandsco.com/the-highlands-ability-battery-a-unique-approach-to-personal-and-professional-development/ on 18 May 2023.

[6] How long does it take to complete YouScience?, YouScience – accessed at https://knowledgebase.youscience.com/how-long-does-it-take-to-complete-youscience on 18 May 2023.

[7] What is the Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) Assessment?, The Highlands Company – accessed at https://www.highlandsco.com/whats-highlands-ability-battery/ on 18 May 2023.

[8] YouScience, a breakthrough online platform, combines natural abilities, interests and career options to create a path to fulfillment, YouScience – accessed at https://www.youscience.com/youscience-a-breakthrough-online-platform-combines-natural-abilities-interests-and-career-options-to-create-a-path-to-fulfillment/ on 18 May 2023.

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