Cognitive ability required in different exams is different, which is why there are so many students who score brilliantly in their college “knowledge” exams and yet struggle with aptitude tests, and vice versa. This phenomenon can be better understood by looking at the two ways in which many psychologists classify intelligence:
1. Fluid Intelligence
Fluid intelligence is the ‘street smart’ or ‘think on your feet’ type of intelligence. It involves having an open mind, looking at things from different perspectives, being open to learning and unlearning things and reacting proactively to problem. It is the ability to think and reason abstractly and strategically. While this is necessary for time-bound aptitude tests where shortcut techniques or innovative approaches help save time without compromising on accuracy, it is not enough without at least some bit of what is called crystallised intelligence.
2. Crystallised Intelligence
Crystallised intelligence is the ability to learn from past experiences in a systematic and permanent way and to apply this learning to work-related situation. Exam problems that require crystallised intelligence include those which require specific formulae or approach only, especially in some aspects of Quantitative Ability.
Both these forms of intelligence, in the right proportion, are useful in preparing for aptitude exams. However, if you become aware of your own unique style, strengths, and weaknesses, it is quite possible to use more of one of the above two categories of intelligence to cover up for any lack in another.
Follow the blog as we try to dig deeper into the psychological aspects of test-taking in the coming weeks!