If you are an applicant and have questions about an AEI physical abilities test that you took for an employer, please review the frequently asked questions and answers below. If you still have questions or need to contact us, please complete and submit the form at the bottom of the page.
APPLICANT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS REGARDING FAILING THE TEST BATTERY
Can I get an accommodation for the part of the test that I failed?
Each of the test elements consist of demands that are essential functions of the job for which you applied and must be completed successfully for you to be considered capable of meeting the job requirements. However, if you feel an accommodation could allow you to successfully perform a test element that you failed, please contact us using the form below.
How could I have failed – I wasn’t even breathing hard or struggling during the step test?
How hard you were breathing or whether you were struggling during the test is not a particularly good indicator of whether you have the aerobic capacity to be able to perform the job for which you had applied. We use the step test to obtain an accurate measurement of your aerobic capacity, which we then compare to the criteria for the job, which was also objectively measured. The aerobic capacity we measured for you fell below the measured job requirement, which indicates that you are currently unable to perform the job at this time.
Does my failing mean that I have a health problem?
The fact that your scores are below what the job requires does not mean that you have any health problem. The job you applied for has a substantial physical demand. It is expected that not everyone will have the physical ability to perform the job, which is the reason we give the test. Please check with a physician if you have any specific concerns about your health.
Did my heart rate get too high too fast on the step test?
The test doesn’t measure how fast your heart rate rises. The test only takes into account what your heart rate was at the end of each of the stages of stepping you completed.
How do you measure my endurance level by just having me step up and down on a box?
A person’s heart rate for a given workload is the key indicator of their endurance capability. That means we can assess that capability by measuring the heart rate for a fixed workload and taking into account other information about the individual. The step test provides a fixed workload which is determined by your body weight, the stepping pace and the height of the bench. The heart stabilizes the rate it beats for a given workload within about 3-minutes. So putting all of this together, we can assess your ability to perform this job on-going by measuring your heart rate at the end of the last three-minute stage you completed on the step test and using that value along with other information about yourself to calculate your aerobic capacity.
Did I fail the test because of my blood pressure or other answers on the Health Questionnaire?
No, that information is only used to determine your safety in taking the test and was not considered in the evaluation of your aerobic capacity or test results.
Did I fail the test because of my age, sex or weight?
No. You failed the test because your step test results indicate that your current aerobic capacity is below what we objectively measured to be the job requirement.
What is my target heart rate?
Your target heart rate for the step test is 65% of your estimated maximum heart rate. We estimate your maximum heart rate with the formula HR = 220-age.
Some people are under the mistaken impression that they failed the step test because they exceeded their target heart rate. Actually, the target heart rate is used by the test administrator to determine which stage of the step test you need to perform for us to get an accurate estimate of your fitness level. Each stage involves stepping at a faster pace than the last stage. The test administrator takes each person to the stage in which their heart rate at the end of the stage exceeds their target heart rate. The heart rate at the end of the stage, the stepping rate, your body weight and some other information is then used to calculate your aerobic capacity. That is the indicator used to determine whether you’ll be able to perform the job for which you applied.
How can my current job be less demanding than the one I applied for? It seems the requirements are wrong or too high.
Since we haven’t measured the energy expenditure of your current job, we do not have a basis for comparison to the job for which you applied. We did scientifically measure the energy expenditure of the job for which you applied using a professionally-accepted method to determine the job requirement and pass/fail criteria for endurance.
How can someone else pass the test and not me when he/she has heart problems?
The test measures an individual’s aerobic capacity, not whether they have had or do have heart problems. If your friend passed the step test, it simply meant that his/her aerobic capacity was at a level that met or exceeded what is needed to be able to do the job.
How can someone else pass the test and not me when he/she is heavier than me?
The test measures an individual’s aerobic capacity, which is not necessarily related to an individual’s weight. If your friend passed the step test, it simply meant that his/her aerobic capacity was at a level that met or exceeded what is needed to be able to do the job.
How can someone else pass the test and not me when he/she is older than me?
The test measures an individual’s aerobic capacity, which is not necessarily related to an individual’s age. If your friend passed the step test, it simply meant that his/her aerobic capacity was at a level that met or exceeded what is needed to be able to do the job.
How can someone else pass the test and not me when he/she currently has a job with little or no physical demand?
The cutoff score for the step test is set on the basis of objective measurements of the energy expenditure requirements for that job. We actually collected heart rate and other data on that job as well as others like it to be able to come up with the cutoff. The method we used has been validated and is professionally-accepted.
I know I can do that job because I’ve done it in the past.
The fact that you’ve done the job in the past does not necessarily mean that you have the current physical capacity to perform it now. For instance, just as part of the natural aging process, our aerobic capacity tends to decrease with time. Also, no matter how high a level of conditioning we might reach, we can lose that conditioning very quickly if we do not stay active at the same level. That means you could have been at a level of physical fitness to be able to perform the job at one time, but even with as little as a month of decreased physically activity, your conditioning could fall below what the job requires.
The test administrator told me to lift what was comfortable for me, so I don’t understand how I failed the strength test.
The testing protocol calls for you to lift the maximum weight you feel you can lift safely. If you are certain you could lift more weight and stopped only because of the wording of the test administrator instructions, please contact us to discuss further.
I want a retest because I think the results are wrong. How do I get one?
The company you applied to should have a standard policy for reconsidering your application and retest. Please contact them directly for more details.
I wasn’t told in advance that I shouldn’t wear tight clothes, drink caffeine or smoke. Did this affect my test results?
If you were not given any of these instructions prior to testing from the company to which you applied, please contact us using the form below.