The Highlands Ability Battery (HAB) is a unique test used to determine the subject’s innate skills. With the exception of two areas, the test is completely objective and requires no self-reporting.
“The Highlands Ability Battery assesses fourteen natural abilities and one skill through performance of time tasks,” Claire Yanoschik, HAB counselor for Mother of Divine Grace, says. “Highlands distinguishes abilities from skills; abilities are what you are naturally good at, while skills are something you can learn.”
The HAB test is often used as a career test, helping those who take it to determine what fields they would naturally excel in.
The test assesses the subject’s abilities in four key areas: personal style, driving ability, specialized ability, and vocabulary. All the results are given on a percentage grade.
The personal style segment considers whether you are an introvert or extrovert, a generalist or specialist, and how far ahead you naturally plan. With the exception of the introvert and extrovert question, this area is completely objective and your view of yourself will not affect the answer.
This segment of the test focuses on your driving abilities. These are the areas of skill that will have the greatest impact on your life. The studies provided by the HAB show that if you do not use your driving abilities, you will not feel fulfilled in your workplace.
Your specialized abilities are closely tied to memory and use of your senses. You will be assessed on your memory for images, sounds, words, and numbers, as well as your ability to discriminate between different sets of these categories.
The results of this segment can be especially useful for a student. It can help you identify what strategies will be most effective for memory work, as well as identifying areas you may need to work harder on. For example, you might have a good memory for images, but not be naturally skilled at proof-reading.
The last portion focuses on vocabulary, as that can be a key determinant in ensuring success at college or in the workplace.
Once a student completes the test, they meet with a counselor to help interpret their results. “People are complex,” Ms. Yanoschik says. “The consultant and test taker discuss skills, interests, personal style, family, values, goals, and career development cycle, along with abilities.”
This test offers many benefits for students, says Ms. Yanoschik. “Following one’s personal vocation involves both openness to God and knowledge of self. Abilities are a gift and a clue to the work God has in mind for you. I think the HAB is especially helpful to students, and those who feel unfulfilled in their jobs and want to make a change.”
“The results also include the best ways that you learn, and the types of jobs that you might do well in,” Carolyn Bockrath, one of the many MODG students who took the test, says. “One of the nice things about it is that it very openly doesn’t say that you can’t do a different job, and even shows you exactly how you would need to skill-build in order to be able to do a certain job that you might be interested in.”
Read on for more in-depth interviews with a counselor and student.
Claire Yanoschik, MODG Counselor
What is the Highlands Ability Battery test?
The Highlands Ability Battery assesses 14 natural abilities and 1 skill through performance of timed tasks. Typically, by the age of 14 a person’s abilities are set and will remain stable. Highlands distinguishes abilities from skills; abilities are what you are naturally good at, while skills are something you can learn. An example of an ability that the HAB tests is analytical thinking, which is the ability to organize information in a logical manner.
What role do you play as a counselor?
People are complex. As a HAB consultant I help the test taker integrate his or her results with other aspects of life. The consultant and test taker discuss skills, interests, personal style, family, values, goals, and career development cycle, along with abilities. Interests often indicate what field the person will pursue, but abilities and skills can help the test taker understand how he or she naturally wants to work in that field. If the test taker does not have a clear direction or obvious interests, the battery and debrief will suggest areas of work he or she might find fulfilling.
How will this test benefit the participants?
The participant will be equipped with knowledge that will help him or her make wise decisions regarding a career path. The test taker will also know how to maximize strengths and support weaknesses by understanding what learning channels are strongest and what tasks might require more time, effort, or energy.
Who should take this test?
I think the HAB would be helpful for anyone. Following one’s personal vocation involves both openness to God and knowledge of self. Abilities are a gift and a clue to the work God has in mind for you. I think the HAB is especially helpful to students, and those who feel unfulfilled in their jobs and want to make a change.
How do you sign up?
You can set up a personal 1.5-2 hour debrief with James, Greta, or Claire any time by emailing Claire, [email protected] Eventually we will offer our juniors and seniors video debriefs along with a shorter personal debrief.
Carolyn Bockrath, MODG Student
What was your experience with the test? Did you enjoy your experience taking it?
I really enjoyed taking the test! Some of the work samples were a bit frustrating, but they gave us ample warning beforehand that that would be the case, so I didn’t let it bother me. Because the work samples are designed to test your natural abilities, as opposed to trained skills, you can’t really control how well you’ll do. Provided you try your best, of course.
Since taking it, how have you found the results helpful in your life?
The results haven’t massively changed my life yet….but they could. It was really fascinating to look at them, honestly. It’s like a more in-depth MBTI test, except it doesn’t give you a personality type, it just has you take some fun tests and then tells you a bunch of scary-accurate stuff about yourself. It’s really neat though—it tells more about how your brain works and how your different natural strengths can work together. The results also include the best ways that you learn, and the types of jobs that you might do well in. One of the nice things about it is that it very openly doesn’t say that you can’t do a different job, and even shows you exactly how you would need to skill-build in order to be able to do a certain job that you might be interested in.
What would you say to someone considering taking the test?
If you have the opportunity and ability to take it, definitely do it! It is a very expensive test, but if it’s something you could realistically do, I think it would be very helpful. More so, probably, than the vast majority of personality tests/job matchers out there. Not only does it give you a very in-depth analysis of your natural strengths and weaknesses, but it also gives you links to a variety of different jobs that suit those strengths and shows you where you might want to build your skills. That said, it also makes it very clear that the HAB is only one part of a bigger whole, each piece of which is very important. While the HAB doesn’t tell you everything, it is still helpful on its own, and you can look into the other parts in order to see how the HAB plays into the whole.