How can the Foundation's aptitude tests help you select a direction if all of your scores are in the low or average range?
Remember that many important characteristics are not measured by the tests we currently give. You may have a talent for art or athletics, for instance, that could not be measured by our battery of tests. Thus, scoring low on all of our tests does not signify that you have no aptitudes. In addition, low scores on our measures do not indicate passing or failing, simply your relative ease or quickness with certain tasks.
The educational or occupational direction can be considered from two viewpoints depending upon whether you score objective or subjective on the personality test.
If you score objective on our Word Association test, you are more likely to derive satisfaction from working with and through others rather than by doing individual, specialized work. If your scores for the aptitudes we measure are low or average, you might consider general management, which will focus on your objective personality. In management, the emphasis is on delegating and coordinating the activities of others. If necessary, a manager can delegate to other people the tasks he or she finds difficult. For example, clerical tasks may be frustrating for someone who does not score high in graphoria, but paperwork can be assigned to bookkeepers and secretaries.
The general manager must understand the work of many departments, and so should know something about many kinds of work. This means acquiring a broad general background. Perhaps this is why most executives who are successful possess a large English vocabulary. The Foundation has found that a well-constructed vocabulary test is a quick way of estimating general knowledge. If you think you might be interested in a career leading to a management position you should make every effort to build your knowledge of words and try to cultivate a curiosity about many subjects. A general liberal arts background, perhaps followed by an MBA, can be as effective a route to business management as can an undergraduate business major.
Objective people with no other clearly high scores should make it a priority to develop skills in working with and managing people. Even while in high school, students can gain management experience through school clubs and activities.
If you score subjective on our Word Association test, you are more likely to derive satisfaction from work that enables you to advance in your career on the basis of your own individual effort and knowledge. Developing an area of expertise could lead, for instance, to a position in specialized teaching. In a business setting, it could lead to a staff position, one in which you have your own niche without any supervisory responsibilities. An advancement into management, known as a line position, may be frustrating for you because supervisory work entails working through other people, rather than relying on your own skill or knowledge. In planning your education, therefore, the Foundation believes that your should keep the goal of specialization in mind, but that you should also acquire a sound general education to help you select a specialty.
If you score subjective, but based on the tests in our battery, possess no other outstanding aptitude to indicate a career direction, your choice of a field in which to specialize could initially be decided by your personal interests. (Always remember that you may develop a new interest when you explore a career or academic subject for the first time.) Some subjective people are able to turn a hobby into a career. One man, who had brought his son in to be tested, recounted his own experience after he was tested by the Foundation. He scored subjective with no high scores and was advised by the test administrator to "specialize." The man, who held a routine semi-skilled job, was first at a loss as to how to apply his test results. Then he thought of his hobby, which was studying and collecting coins, and decided to start his own business. On a part-time basis, evenings and weekends, he bought and sold coins, all the time building his knowledge. His business became so successful that he left his full-time job, devoting all his time to his business, and became a world authority in his field.
Another examinee whose hobby was photography became a successful commercial photographer; another who decorated her own home and those of her friends built a lucrative business as an interior decorator. A strong interest in an occupation will provide the emotional charge, the enthusiasm, the deep desire to acquire the requisite knowledge, all of which can often compensate for any aptitudes you may lack for a particular activity.