An aptitude is a component of a competence to do a certain kind of work at a certain level. Outstanding aptitude can be considered “talent”. An aptitude may be physical or mental. Aptitude is inborn potential to do certain kinds of work whether developed or undeveloped. Ability is developed knowledge, understanding, learned or acquired abilities (skills) or attitude. The innate nature of aptitude is in contrast to skills and achievement, which represent knowledge or ability that is gained through learning. According to Gladwell and Colvin  “often it is difficult to set apart an outstanding performance merely because of talent or simply because of hard training. Talented people as a rule show high results immediately in few kinds of activity, but often only in single direction or genre”.

Intelligence and aptitude

Aptitude and intelligence quotient are related, and in some ways differing views of human mental ability. Unlike the original idea of IQ, aptitude often refers to one of many different characteristics which can be independent of each other, such as aptitude for military flight, air traffic control, or computer programming. This approach measures a variety of separate skills, similar to the theory of multiple intelligences and Cattell–Horn–Carroll theory and many other modern theories of intelligence. In general, aptitude tests are more likely to be designed and used for career and employment decisions, and intelligence tests are more likely to be used for educational and research purposes. However, there is a great deal of overlap between them, and they often measure the same kinds of abilities. For example, aptitude tests such as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery measure enough aptitudes that they could also serve as a measure of general intelligence.  A single construct such as mental ability is measured with multiple tests. Often, a person’s group of test scores will be highly correlated with each other, which makes a single measure useful in many cases. For example, the U.S. Department of Labor’s General Learning Ability is determined by combining Verbal, Numerical and Spatial aptitude scores. However, many individuals have skills that are a lot higher or lower than their overall mental ability level. Aptitude subtests are used intra-individually to determine which tasks that individual is more skilled at performing. This information can be useful for determining which job roles are the best fits for employees or applicants. Often, before more rigorous aptitude tests are used, individuals are screened for a basic level of aptitude through a previously-completed process, such as SAT scores, GRE scores, degrees, or other certifications.

Combined aptitude and knowledge tests

Tests that assess learned skills or knowledge are frequently called achievement tests. However, certain tests can assess both types of constructs. An example that leans both ways is the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), which is given to recruits entering the armed forces of the United States. Another is the SAT, which is designed as a test of aptitude for college in the United States, but has achievement elements. For example, it tests mathematical reasoning, which depends both on innate mathematical ability and education received in mathematics. Aptitude tests can typically be grouped according to the type of cognitive ability they measure:

Fluid intelligence: the ability to think and reason abstractly, effectively solve problems and think strategically. It’s more commonly known as ‘street smarts’ or the ability to ‘quickly think on your feet’. An example of what employers can learn from your fluid intelligence is your suitability for the role for which you are applying

Crystallised intelligence: the ability to learn from past experiences and to apply this learning to work-related situations. Work situations that require crystallised intelligence include producing and analysing written reports, comprehending work instructions, using numbers as a tool to make effective decisions, etc.

Aptitude for civil services

Civil servants must follow certain norms, rules and regulations that will make them to give best results while forming and implementing policies. If most of the candidates still wondering why UPSC included Ethics, integrity and aptitude Paper in the civil services exam then here’s the answer to their question.

Once a candidate clears the civil services examination does not mean that they have achieved their dream to be an IAS Officer but the real challenge and fulfilling their true goal begins after they take their position and the most important skills required while taking the responsibility is the ethics that is all about how to act rightly. Being ethical doesn’t mean doing what society accepts as values of behaviour in society as it may differ from what is ethical. As an administrator one should make sure that highest standard of quality in governmental decisions and activities and not negotiate with values just for others convenience or satisfaction.

Some of the important qualities required for civil servent are as follows:

Legal and Rational Action

As a civil servant, an IAS Officer should abide by law and regulations in order to administer and lead. One should take rational action under any circumstances and follow the rules and regulations.

Responsibility and Liability

The key responsibility among others of an IAS Officer is to take care of the day to day administrative affairs of their jurisdictional area. By building a general consent, an IAS Officer should fulfil his responsibilities and meet all governmental tasks and when some blunder happens while performing a task he/she as an administrator should hold responsible herself/himself morally for actions and should be willing to apprehend liability.

Hard Work & Commitment

You work hard to achieve your big dream i.e., to become an IAS Officer but the real hard work you do is while facing the challenges that cross your path while looking after your administrative area that includes various departments like administrative work, funds managements, law enforcement, development programmes etc., and this means a lot of responsibilities. To accomplish and outclass in any task an IAS Officer should be a hard worker and committed to his/her duty.



Out-of-the-Box Thinking for Excellence in Work

As an administrator, one should make sure the utmost standard of excellence in administrative work and action. The biggest challenge in being a part of the administration in India which is a diverse country is that different problems occur in each area and field and under these circumstances as an administrator one should think out of the box and devise a solution that tackles various problems effectively.

Decisive and Resilient in Approach

Being a part of the governmental machinery, an IAS Officer should be resilient and adapt to any changes in the system, operation, or structure yet endure the ethical norms of conduct.  There would be tricky circumstances during the tenure that needs to be solved quickly, under these situations an IAS Officer should act shrewdly and should be decisive in approach that needs quick thinking, analysing all available possibilities and potential outcome of them and should act accordingly after a general consent.


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