Aptitude vs Ability

Aptitude and Ability are two terms that are often confused with each other but there sure is a difference between them both.

With this article we attempt to highlight the basic difference between the two words while providing an insightful understanding of each word.


Simply, an aptitude is an inborn tendency to be good at doing something while ability is something you actually have become good at doing. Ability could require efforts, in which case an aptitude will help greatly, or you could have got the ability merely by working hard at learning something.

Let us first understand what Aptitude is-

The Merriam Webster defines ‘aptitude’ as natural ability to do or learn things. The inherent aptitude has given way to the “process aptitude development”

The word aptitude can be termed as natural ability. This can be a natural potential within a person that has not been fully developed yet. Aptitude lays dormant until the person realizes that he has such a potential and utilize it accordingly. Most of the competitive exams contain a dedicated section for Aptitude assessment. These tests are aimed at assessing the mental ability of people.


Now, what is Ability?

Ability can be termed as the power to do something. Ability is something that a person possesses at the present moment. Like we already said that aptitude needs to be realized and taken out, ability needs not. Though sharpening one’s ability can benefit the individual but it does not have to be taken out and remains visible.

Lets now check the key points-

  • Aptitude can be termed as natural ability.
  • Ability can be defined as he power to do something.
  • Aptitude is used in the sense of natural talent.
  • Ability is used in the sense of skill.
  • Aptitude is a potential.
  • Ability is a skill.
  • An aptitude may remain within an individual untapped until not realized
  • Ability is present in the individual and doesn’t need to be taken out.

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