The Differential Aptitude Tests for Guidance (DATs) are now being offered in our school. Our Transition Year students sit these tests in the Spring Term and the hope is that they are used as a supplementary tool in helping them make their subject choices for Senior Cycle. The DATS are administered by our Guidance Counsellor, Ms. Whelan.
The rationale behind these tests is that since different kinds of abilities are useful in different jobs and in different school subjects, a compliment of tests giving measures of several abilities is likely to be more useful than a test giving a single general ability score.
Scores on these tests can be used to produce a profile showing a student’s strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used in subject choice selection, course and career choice.
The DATs consist of seven subtests: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Abstract Reasoning, Mechanical Reasoning, Perceptual Speed and Accuracy, Spelling, and Language Usage. A brief explanation of each subtest is given overleaf.
It is important to note that whilst the DATs measure a wide variety of skills and abilities, they are not exhaustive and do not provide information on areas such as musical, sporting or inter-personal aptitudes.