Sunday, August 25, 2013

What Constitutes a Real Aptitude Test?

In a previous blog, see

I noted why most current standardized exams, including the SAT, GRE and others, no longer qualify as bona fide aptitude tests and hence can no longer be used for entry into the high IQ societies, such as Mensa, Intertel. This elicits the question of what a real aptitude test would look like, what type of questions would be seen?

As an example, I can present some sample questions from the (1985) Graduate Record Exam I took (test booklets could be purchased with score release), which result (1330 verbal + quant.) qualified me not only for Mensa entry but Intertel as well  - and also a $9800/yr  post-graduate research assistantship at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks. The test was grueling to say the least, lasting a full 210 mins. (3 1/2 hours) with 30 questions each in 7 sections (30 mins. allowed per section) alternating verbal, quantitative and analytical questions. The questions also varied in complexity. In the case of the verbal portions they ranged from simple recognition of opposites and analogies, etc. to parsing complex paragraphs from diverse writings then interpreting them. In the case of the quantitative sets, they varied from simple algebraic, arithmetic,  geometric or trig questions to analyzing graphs then addressing aspects of them via the questions. The point to bear in mind is that no matter how "simple" the questions may appear, they're not based on rote memory or content but on aptitude.

Since basically there  is only one minute per question on average, then if anyone attempts this as a sample test, you have no more than 20 minutes to complete it.  In the interest of space conservation I have focused only on the shorter version of questions - no lengthy ones. Thus finishing in the time  may be somewhat misleading - since obviously more complex questions (which are excluded) would consume more time.

With those provisos, here goes:

Sample GRE Verbal (I): Time: 5 Minutes

Each question contains a word in capital letters then five lettered choices. Choose the one that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capitals:


(A) genial (B) devout   (C) distinguished  (D) quick-witted  (E) heavy-handed


(A) fulfillment  (B) activity  (C) renascence (D) resistance  (E) continuance


(A) appreciation (B) deception  (C) modesty (D) stinginess  (E) anxiety


(A) insecure  (B) unwise  (C) inept  (D) lacking consequence  (E) without probability


(A) deceive  (B) garner  (C)  constrain ( D) confirm ( E) conjoin

Sample GRE Quantitative (I) Time: 5 Minutes

1. If the volume of a cube with side of length 6 is equal to the volume of a rectangular solid with length 12 and width 9, then the height of the rectangular solid is:

(A) 2 ( B) 4   (C) 6   (D)8  (E) 9

2. Consider this result of an operation []:

3(4.5 []  3) =  4.5

Which of the following operations could be substituted for [] to make the above equation true?

I (+)   II (-)  III (/ )

(A) None  (B) I only ( C) II only  (D) III only   (E) II and III

3. In a list of numbers the first number is 3, the second is 4, and each subsequent number is the sum of all the preceding numbers in the list. If the 20th number in the list is x, what is the 21st number in the list?

(A) 7x   (B) 16 x   (C) 32x  ( D) 35x   (E) 161 x

4. Electricity to operate a window air conditioner costs 3 cents per hour and to operate an attic fan, 1.2 cents per hour. How many hours would the attic fan have to be in operation to operate the air conditioner for 8 hours?

(A) 2.5  (B) 3,2  (C) 12,0  (D) 20.0  (E) 25.0

5. If r = 4s/ 5  then what is the value of 2s/ 3r?

(A) 8/15 ( B) 3/4  (C) 5/6  (D) 2/2  (E) 6/5

GRE Sample Verbal (II) Time: 5 Minutes

In each of the following, select the lettered pair of words that is closest to the original pair (shown in capitals):


(A) entry:restaurant (B) market:mall (C)picnic:park (D) kitchen:house (E) banquet: hall


(A) lubricant:friction (B) foundation:stability (C) exercise :activity (D) food:weight (E) antiseptic:sterility


(A) repudiate:thesis (B) predict:race (C) gerrymander:district (D) solve:conundrum (E)incriminate:evidence


(A) fire:log (B) pebble:rock  (C) leg: desk  (D) island:water (E) beach:desert


(A) wary:prudence  (B) horrific: panic (C) honorable:veracity (D) self-centered:conceit (E)complimentary:fulsomeness

GRE Sample Quantitative (II): 5 minutes

Choose (A) if the quantity in column A is larger, Choose (B) if the quantity in column B is larger, choose (C) if the quantities are equal, and choose (D) if the relationship cannot be determined from the information given:

Column A -------------------------- Column B

1. 12/ 3.......................................(4/7) x 7

2.  100.010 - 0.009.................100.000 + 0.002

3.  x/y ..........................................y/x

(where x = 25% of 12, and y = 10% of 40)

4. P ................................................Q

(for all x:    x 2       7x -  8  = (x - P) (x - Q)

5.  (-4) <> 5..................................5 <> (-4)

(for all real numbers p and r, p<> r = pr - p +r)

(Answers tomorrow!)

1 comment:

nancy john said...

thanks for sharing information really it is very useful

GRE Sentence Completion