The Ball Aptitude Battery®
Understanding aptitudes is critical to understanding
the value of our Career Vision model.
Aptitude, broadly defined, is the potential
to learn the skills required for a specific type of
An individual’s aptitudes are a primary factor
in identifying the types of skills one can expect to
learn most quickly and easily. This in turn is a predictor
of the types of tasks that an individual is likely to
enjoy. So an individual who understands their own aptitude
profile can be more confident that their time and energy
is invested in education that is going to offer the
Aptitude assessment is viewed as central to career
planning for two primary reasons:
First, because there are significant
and important differences in aptitude requirements
across jobs, identifying careers that match your aptitudes
increases your chance for long-term satisfaction and
success on the job.
Second, an individual’s aptitude
profile remains stable over time. For this reason,
learning about your profile in high school or college
provides an enduring and practical source of information
for making career choices across time.
The Ball Foundation has made a substantial investment
over 30 years to ensure that the Ball Aptitude Battery
(BAB) is valid, reliable, and current. Our work has
demonstrated that the tests included in the BAB are
meaningful and stable predictors of learning and work-related
The BAB has been shown to be a statistically and practically
significant predictor of course grades, achievement
test scores, and ratings of employee training and job
In addition, BAB test scores have been analyzed in
conjunction with several widely administered aptitude
batteries, such as the General Aptitude Test Battery,
the Differential Aptitude Test, and the Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery. These analyses show that
the BAB measures a wider range of aptitudes that can
then be applied to a variety of career decisions.
The reliability of the tests in the BAB has also been
shown to be generally high, ranging from .69 to .95.
Support for the validity and reliability has been reported
in numerous scientific publications and presentations,
some of which are listed below.
Ball Foundation (2002). Ball Career System Technical
Manual. Glen Ellyn, IL.
Dawis, R. V., Goldman, S. H., & Sung, Y. H. (1992).
Stability and change in abilities for a sample of young
adults. Educational and Psychological Measurement,
Converse, P. D., Oswald, F. L., Gillespie, M. A., Field,
K. A., & Bizot, E. B. (2004). Matching Individuals
to Occupations Using Abilities and the O*NET: Issues
and an Application in Career Guidance. Personnel
Psychology. 51, 451-487.
Ryan Krane, N. E. & Tirre, W. C. (2004). Ability
assessment in career counseling. In S.D. Brown &
R.W. Lent (Eds.) Career Development and Counseling:
Putting Theory and Research to Work. New York:
Tirre, W. C. & Field, K. A. (2002). Structural
models of abilities measured by the Ball Aptitude Battery.
Educational and Psychological Measurement,
Tirre, W. C., & Field, K. A. (May, 2003). Measurement
equivalence of aptitude tests across gender and racial
categories: Findings with the Ball Aptitude Battery
- Computerized. Poster presented at the Annual
Meeting of the American Psychological Society, Atlanta.