Career assessments are conducted to assist clients in their career development by providing them with information from three domains: aptitude, personality and interest.

Career assessments can be conducted with clients across several age ranges, including high school learners, university students, and working adults looking to adjust or change their chosen career. For school-aged clients, a subject-choice assessment is generally conducted with Grade Nine learners before they choose subjects for their Grade Ten year. For clients in Grade Ten, Grade Eleven or Matric, a career assessment serves to provide information regarding career choice and university or further training applications.

Career assessments are usually conducted at the start of the Grade Eleven year for learners wishing to submit university applications using their end-of-year. Grade Eleven results, or at the beginning of the Matric year for application using final Matric results. The available career media (both local and international) for each of the three career assessment domains are discussed in the sections below.


Aptitude can be viewed as specific potential abilities or possibilities that are inherent to the individual, but may also have been acquired. It is, thus, the potential that a person possesses that enables him/her to reach a particular level of ability based on practice, experience and education.

Aptitude assessments are particularly important for Grade Nine learners choosing subjects and may provide guidance in choosing between Mathematics and Mathematical Literacy or choosing technical subjects such as Physical Sciences or Information Technology (IT), for example. Similarly, aptitude assessments may provide guidance as to the university degree or level of training to which the client is best suited. For Grade Eleven and Matric learners, a final year report or National Senior Certificate (NSC) serves as a practical marker of aptitude and will dictate the university course to which the client may be accepted based on his/her Admission Points Score (APS).

However, developers of the aptitude tests listed below suggest that an aptitude test cannot be replaced effectively by merely reviewing a learner’s academic performance or conducting an intelligence-based assessment.


Personality can be viewed as the individual’s inherent characteristics. The term personality describes the way a person is innately motivated to act. Research and observations confirm that there is no best personality style. All styles are valid, all have strengths and weaknesses, all are needed in society and in the workplace, and all fulfil vital roles in the community.

Objective and quantitative personality assessments help to measure an individual’s preferences for dealing with and relating to people, processing information, as well as their decision-making and organisation skills.

Personality assessments aim to provide individuals with an overview of their personality and their associated behaviour. An understanding of an individual’s personality can be matched to a suitable career path for the individual, in conjunction with their interests, abilities and values from the other assessments. These assessments only assess preferences and personal characteristics, not abilities or skills. However, individuals often develop their skills in aspects related to their personalities.

It therefore follows that knowing an individual’s personality preferences can provide an individual with insight into the range of skills that they may have the potential to develop.


Interest refers to the extent that individuals are attracted to a particular career based on their personalities and many variables, including their backgrounds. This involves their values, needs, abilities and self-concept. Interest flows out of people’s attempt to fulfil their needs and is therefore not a fixed aspect, but can change over time.

As a result, even adults in established careers may find themselves seeking an alternative career as their needs, and therefore interests, have changed. It has been noted that people are often more successful if they work within a career that interests them. Interest must not be confused with a person’s ability or aptitude in a specific activity.

Interest-based assessments are used as a measure of occupational interest; in other words, they measure the client’s interest in potential future occupations. Uncovering career interests is a critical step for school learners either in choosing subjects that may assist them in embarking on a specific career path following their school years, or in applying to tertiary education institutions for further education, training or study.

Interest-based tests also provide information about the suitability between personal preferences and a career choice. Ideally, a client’s interests should match the career environment that he/she would like to be a part of.

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