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"Aptitude" - do you really have it?

There has been a lot of talk about aptitude in the college lately, what with the TIME classes, placements, CAT, GRE and every other entrance you can think of (Don't point out GATE), be it for recruitment for a company or admission to a master's degree, all have a component that test your aptitude. Well, the term "aptitude" doesn't hold in these cases anymore. Aptitude tests were first incorporated to see how a candidate fares when posed with questions that are well, out-of-the-box. The ones who fare the best in these are considered as the ones with good aptitude. The examiners believe these are the people that can be moulded and trained into the professionals that they require them to be in the industry.
Ever since I joined coaching classes for CAT conducted by TIME, I have started to feel the way the candidates are trained does not judge their aptitude at all. They provide material which they have collected after poring over years and years of CAT and other entrance papers and have identified the types of questions that tend to appear. The training they provide should be such that the candidates are encouraged to think on their own and apply the basic knowledge that they have gained in their schooling days. What they are now doing though is nowhere close to that. They are providing a set of formulae for every possible type of question that a candidate might face and are imposing it on them even before they allow them to think what is the purpose in giving a problem of that kind. I feel so disappointed to see that a few of my classmates in the TIME class blindly follow these and don't even read the question entirely but just look at the type and apply the formula. This method of going about it just kills the purpose of even having an aptitude test. I hope those who are preparing for various entrance exams in this manner will give what I have mentioned a thought and re-evaluate their stance on good methods of preparation. The only way you can improve your aptitude (notice that it isn't in quotes) is by gaining an objective perspective of looking at things around you and people around you and what you study and what you read. So next time you hear the word aptitude, just ask yourself "Do I really have it?"

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