David Battery of Differential Abilities (DBDA)

Mar 18, 2021

We all have some abilities that are better than others. We just don’t know which ones are outstanding and which ones are… well, not so outstanding.


And this is an essential point.


Because our abilities are one factor that decides which career or profession you would be good at.


Some of us are lucky enough to identify our strongest abilities.


But the rest of us find it can be challenging to identify them.


It’s simply not as evident as it was for this dude.

We may think we are good at something and later realise that we aren’t.


Some want to believe that they are strong at a specific ability, even if they are not.


Doesn’t all this sound so frustrating?


It’s something that can potentially decide our ideal career or profession, and we have no idea what it is.


Wouldn’t it be amazing if someone could tell us what we are good at? 


Someone without any bias, false judgement or preconceived notions.


You know what, there is.


And that’s what we are going to talk about in this blog.


Let’s begin.

David Battery of Differential Abilities (DBDA)

First of all, let me quickly explain what the term Battery means.


And no, it’s not what you put in your TV remote.


According to American Psychological Association,


A Test Battery is a group, series, or set of several tests designed to be administered as a unit in order to obtain a comprehensive assessment of a particular factor or phenomenon.


Let me explain what it means with an example.


DBDA tests and evaluates seven abilities.


  1. Numerical Ability
  2. Verbal Ability
  3. Spatial Ability
  4. Closure Ability
  5. Mechanical Ability
  6. Clerical Ability
  7. Reasoning Ability


Each one of these is a test.


You may take any of these tests depending on what you want to measure – numerical ability, spatial ability, etc.


Or, you might want to see whether you are fit to have a career in a specific field. Let’s take architecture, for example.


An architectural career requires you to have strong numerical and spatial abilities.


So, in this case, you must take both these tests to see if you are fit to be an architect.


These seven tests together are called a Battery.


They are designed to assess something, like your abilities, personality, aptitude, etc.


Now, let’s quickly have a look at what each of these seven tests assesses.

Numerical Ability

This tests your ability to accurately work with numbers and various mathematical functions such as addition, subtraction, division, multiplication, squaring, root function, etc.

For many of us, mathematics has been a touch subject.

Even if our maths teacher taught well, we still found it difficult to understand mathematical concepts and functions.

In short, we had poor numerical ability.

Some of the careers paths that require you to have a strong numerical ability are:

      • Investment banking
      • Chartered Accountancy
      • Actuarial science
      • Theoretical physics
      • Computer Science
      • Engineering

Verbal Ability

This tests your ability to understand and comprehends the written language.


Someone with a solid verbal ability can play with words effortlessly.


Some professions that require a strong verbal ability are:


  • Teacher
  • Journalist
  • Author
  • Public Speaker
  • Negotiator
  • Copywriter
  • Lawyer

Spatial Ability

Spatial ability helps you understand, manipulate and change the position and location of various shapes and objects.


That means your spatial ability gives you the capability to:


  • Physically or mentally combine shapes to make different shapes. For eg., joining two triangles to create a rectangle.

  • Using non-verbal reasoning

  • Creating and reading maps, graphs and other visual forms of data

  • Locating objects and remembering their location

  • Manipulating the shape and structure of an object

  • Imaging the movement of objects in space

  • Comparing the shape, size and structure of objects

  • Seeing the connection between three-dimensional figures and their respective two-dimensional representations.

  • Mentally visualising how a person at another location describes that location and objects at that location.

  • Visualising how an object would look if it was bigger or smaller

  • Tasks that require you to visualise abstract data in the form of shapes, such as drawing flow charts.

  • Representing a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface. For e.g., drawing a cube on a piece of paper.

  • Navigating and wayfinding.

  • Being able to perceive and comprehend heights, distances, lengths and widths.


You must have strong spatial ability if you need to do any one or all of these tasks.


Some professions that require you to have a strong spatial ability are:


  • Architect
  • Interior designer/planner
  • Civil engineer
  • Electronics hardware engineer
  • Automotive designer
  • UI/UX designer
  • Fashion designer

    Closure Ability

    Closure ability allows you to identify missing pieces of information.


    Raw data makes no sense. It’s simply a hotchpotch of numbers that makes no sense.


    However, someone with a strong closure ability would be able to identify patterns and extract meaningful insights from them. 


    Even if a piece of information is missing, you would look at other available pieces of information and figure out the missing piece.


    In short, you would have the ability to see the bigger picture.


    This ability is necessary for professions such as:


    • Data science/analysis
    • Architecture
    • Shop work
    • Computer programming
    • Visual data processing
    • Art
    • Designing

      Mechanical Ability

      It’s the ability to comprehend the workings of mechanical principles that apply to simple or complex machines and tools.


      You would understand electric and automotive facts and use them to create and repair machinery of various shapes, sizes and complexities.


      Mechanical ability is a requirement in career paths like:


      • Electric & mechanical engineering
      • Carpentry
      • Automotive Engineering

        Clerical Ability

        Clerical ability is the skill to timely and accurately perform clerical tasks such as data checking, basic mathematical calculations, attention to details, filling and organisation.

        Some career paths that require strong clerical ability are:

            • Record keeping
            • Personal Assistant
            • Inventory management

        Reasoning Ability

        This ability allows you to analyse a group of information and identify the why.


        Why does a series of events lead to a particular outcome?


        Why does something work with a given set of parameters and doesn’t when the parameters are changed slightly?


        You can use logic and deduction to understand and sometimes predict outcomes when you have strong reasoning ability.


        Strong reasoning ability is a necessity for career paths in:


        • Mathematics
        • Computer Programming
        • Detective work
        • Engineering
        • Science
        • Technology

          What does the DBDA report tell you?

          Your abilities are scored out of ten. Higher scores indicate stronger ability.


           The DBDA report gives you the following information:


          • Your current expertise in each of the seven abilities
          • Career recommendations based on your scores
          • Tips and suggestions to improve your ability and thereby your scores
          • Career recommendations if you can improve your ability and scores.


            Your mastery over your abilities would define what career you get into and how far you go.


            Even if a few of your abilities are weak, it doesn’t mean you can’t improve on them.


            If you want to get into the finance industry, your numerical ability has to be very strong.


            If it isn’t strong enough, then it doesn’t mean you can’t choose finance as your career path.


            It only means you can’t choose it as your career path until you improve your numerical ability.


            When you are not strong at something, you have two choices:


            • Follow your strengths and ignore your weaknesses
            • Try to turn your weaknesses into strengths


            What you choose would determine what career path would work best for you.

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