The Highlands Ability Battery: Concept Organization

July 27, 2023

In our last post, we covered Classification, the first of five driving abilities measured by the Highlands Ability Battery. Today, we’re moving on to the next driving ability: Concept Organization. But before we dive in, let’s abide by the structure of Any Good Series and do a quick recap of the Highlands Ability Battery as a whole. If you shouted out, “It’s an assessment that measures three personal style dimensions, five driving abilities, and nine specialized abilities on a low to high continuum, the results of which can provide valuable insight into how we process information, learn, make decisions, and communicate with others!” you’d be spot on. Further, the driving abilities–our current focus–power everything we do and contribute heavily to our ideal academic and work environments. Moreover, combinations of certain driving abilities have their own implications, which we’ll explore further in today’s post.

What is the Concept Organization ability?

Concept Organization, like Classification, is another powerful problem-solving ability that is rooted in convergent reasoning. Essentially, it measures our ability to determine the logical connections between known facts and arrive at a logical conclusion (emphasis on logical). This is also known as deductive reasoning, or the ability to move from general facts to specific conclusions. Let’s review a few examples:

  • All dogs have tails. I have a dog, so it must have a tail. (Logical)
  • To enlist in the Marine Corps, one must be between the ages of 17 and 28. Jenny enlisted in the Marine Corps, so she must be between the ages of 17 and 28. (Logical)
  • Cows produce milk. My goat produces milk, so it must be a cow. (Illogical)

Although it’s simple to spot the breakdown in logic within example #3, it’s not always easy to do so in more nuanced situations, which is why strong linear & logical reasoning abilities are typically essential for those who work in any type of process-based profession, such as engineering or research.

Highlands Ability Battery – Concept Organization (Continued)

Concept Organization also measures your ability to collect, analyze, organize, and communicate information to others in a way that makes sense. If you’re strong in Concept Organization, you have a natural aptitude for planning and predicting how current situations could affect the future. Likewise, when you make decisions (or solve problems), Concept Organization often dictates how methodically or decisively you move through that process.

On the HAB, the work sample that measures Concept Organization assesses your ability to arrange ideas, information, or objects in a linear, logical order. Like every other ability, you’ll receive a low, medium, or high score, none of which are inherently more valuable than another. Although we’re used to associating “low” with “weak” and “high” with “strong,” those types of associations aren’t accurate within the context of the HAB, which simply seeks to provide you with more information about the environments where you’ll naturally thrive.

What if I receive a “high” Concept Organization score?

A high Concept Organization score means that you have the innate ability to digest a great deal of information and relay it to others in a way that makes sense. Essentially, you’re a natural communicator who enjoys creating processes for others to follow. You’re a solid and careful planner and organizer, and very logical when it comes to problem-solving. You prefer working at a methodical pace, are thorough, and don’t enjoy feeling rushed into decisions. As such, you may frequently overthink situations and find it difficult to make decisions quickly.

High Classification scorers often include those who work in professions that enable them to move methodically through the problem-solving process, including urban planners, writers, teachers, and scientists.

What if I receive a “medium” Concept Organization score?

If your Concept Organization score is in the mid-range, you are typically an adaptable problem-solver who is good at arriving at logical conclusions. However, even though you have the ability to solve problems logically, you may need more time to get organized when undertaking such tasks, particularly if unfamiliar. That said, it’s likely that you’ll thrive in most types of environments, particularly those that value and encourage flexible decision-making.

Medium Concept Organization scorers can be found in many types of work environments where some degree of logical problem-solving is an asset, including law, science, technology, writing, and political campaign planning.

What if I receive a “low” Concept Organization score?

If you receive a Low Concept Organization score, you’re likely a fast, decisive, and reactive problem-solver.  Further, you’re very good at performing specific tasks consistently. You typically do not prefer using a process to arrive at a specific solution, but instead can intuitively determine answers without needing to analyze every step of the process it took to get there. However, you may have difficulty prioritizing problems and can become easily overwhelmed.

If you score Low in Concept Organization, you often do well in structured environments that value intuitive, decisive problem-solving, such as customer service, production, and certain types of project supervisors, particularly in the industrial sector.

What does my Concept Organization score mean for my future?

A high score in any driving ability means that you must satisfy it on a frequent basis in order to feel fulfilled within your environment. As such, if you scored High on Concept Organization, you’ll value the opportunity to regularly engage in thorough, logical problem-solving at work, school, and/or home.

Moreover, your score can help you understand how to interact more effectively with others. Have a co-worker who asks a great deal of questions before she makes a decision? She might have high Concept Organization, and thus a driving need to understand the methods and reasoning behind a given procedure before she’s fully onboard. Alternatively, do you feel like you can barely keep up with a classmate who consistently makes split-second decisions with apparent ease and accuracy? He might have a score on the low end of the Concept Organization continuum. That said, Low Concept Organization scorers have plenty to appreciate about High Concept Organization scorers and vice versa; sometimes, decisive problem-solving is preferred while other times, methodical, process-based thinking does the trick.

The Concept Organization Ability – Continued

Finally, remember how we mentioned that certain abilities work together to provide you with even more insight into your personality and preferred environments? As luck would have it, Classification–our previously covered driving ability–and Concept Organization are two abilities that, combined, better capture your overall problem-solving and decision-making style.

Accordingly, there are nine Punnett Square-esque combinations: High Classification-High Concept Organization; High Classification-Medium Concept Organization; High Classification-Low Concept Organization, Medium Classification-High Concept Organization…etc. Each combination will tell you more about your best work and extracurricular roles. For example, High Classification and High Concept Organization are commonly seen among lawyers and physicians; in high school, that combination might manifest itself through high-visibility leadership positions like student body president or sports captain.

Your Highlands consultant will be able to help you better understand how your Concept Organization ability relates to and influences your other abilities, both in current academic and future professional environments.

Final Thoughts – The Concept Organization Ability

Whether you thrive on methodical, step-by-step problem-solving, find that you’re very good at making efficient and intuitive decisions, or fall somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, there are certain environments where you’ll feel most fulfilled, challenged, and best able to succeed. Moreover, the overlaps and interactions between your unique abilities–such as Classification and Concept Organization–can provide you with important information about your overall problem-solving style that will benefit you in college and beyond.

If you’re interested in working with one of College Transitions’ certified Highlands Consultants, we encourage you to get a quote today.

Looking for additional major and career-related advice? Consider checking out the following blogs: