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 performance.

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 greatest rewards.

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 performance.

The Ball Aptitude Battery (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 performance.

In addition, Ball Aptitude Battery (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 Ball Aptitude Battery (BAB) has also been shown to be generally high, ranging from .69 to .95.

Support for the validity and reliability of the Ball Aptitude Battery (BAB) 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, 52, 457-465.

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: Wiley.

Tirre, W. C. & Field, K. A. (2002). Structural models of abilities measured by the Ball Aptitude Battery. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 62, 830-856.

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.