Do you get anxious when you hear the words ‘psychometric testing’ together? Are you unsure what’s it about and want to improve your knowledge about it? Then this article will help you with such queries.
What is it?
Psychometric tests are a standard method backed by scientific theories and explanations used to measure individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioral style. They are designed to identify and measure the candidates’ suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude (or cognitive abilities).
They are objective in their methodology and assessment. They are developed by trained and experienced psychologists using rigorous methods to ensure that the tests are unbiased and do not contain material which could favor a certain group of candidates.
They identify the extent to which candidates’ personality and cognitive abilities match those required skills, pressure level, emotional levels to perform an assigned task or job. Employers use the information collected from the psychometric test to get the hidden aspects of candidates that are difficult to extract from a telephonic interview or a face-to-face interview.
Similarly, a person with good emotional stability is able to handle hectic situations in a better way and hence proves himself more productive. All these tests are ‘standardized’, meaning they have been tested on people before of a similar age and background. Psychometric tests are also objective in terms of scoring. Most tests use multiple-choice questions with set right and wrong answers, so there is no room for bias marking.
The modern psychometric test has inception in Charles Darwin’s cousin, Sir Francis Galton (1822-1911). Galton was fascinated by differences among individuals. It was him who showed that objective testing could provide meaningful results.
Another pioneer was James Cattell, who first coined the term ‘mental test’ in 1890. Fifteen years later, Alfred Binet introduced the first modern intelligence test.
Psychometric testing rose in popularity throughout the twentieth century, and today a psychometric test is best described as a standardized assessment which looks at human behavior and describes it with scores or categories.
There are mainly psychometric assessments that are online tests comprising a series of multiple-choice questions (MCQ), even in this age of internet some employers still use paper-based questionnaires. Your results are usually compared with the people who previously performed in the tests.
Basically, there are two kinds of major psychometric tests:
- Aptitude or ability test
- Personality questionnaire
Aptitude tests range from testing your logical, verbal and critical aptitudes. These are usually scored and have an objective marking. It does not matter if you finish the test (though you should complete as many questions as possible); it is the number of correct answers or right responses which counts. Your score is then compared for assessment with how other people have done on the test in the past. This group is called the ‘norm group’. They could range anything from students/graduates, current job holders or a more general random group.
How successfully will you perform in a job is just not a play of your abilities, but also on your personal qualities that you possess. Interviews and group exercises can be used to assess social skills in a participant, but personality questionnaires can further explore the way you tend to react to, or deal with, different situations that will come in across your life or at the workplace. Unlike aptitude tests, there are no right or wrong answers and questionnaires are in the major cases untimed. After you have finished a personality questionnaire, a profile is drawn up based on your answers to the questions.
Personality questionnaires ask questions designed to reveal factors such as: how you relate to other people around you; your style of work; your empathy; your motivations and determination towards certain setting or task, and your general outlook. Situational questionnaires are also designed to reveal similar factors; however, the style of questioning is different, asking that you state how you are likely to react to a given scenario. It is very tailor-made to the given situation.
The most common personality questionnaires that recruiters use is OPQ, 15FQ, and 16PF.
Scoring Of Personality Questionnaire
From your responses, the selector gains information about your style of behavior and how and why you do things in your own way. It usually reveals out your general outlook. You may receive some feedback on the profile, which your answers produce, and usually they asses you qualitatively by different methods of analysis. In which they rule out themes or codes that reveal out your personality which is followed by writing everything in a report or called Discussion.
This enables selectors to assess your reasoning skills in relation to others and to make judgments about your ability to cope with tasks involved in the job. The validity of such tests rests on how closely they assess abilities necessary to do the job. For this reason, there is a variety of tests; for example, tests of reasoning with written information (verbal reasoning tests), numbers, charts and graphs (numerical reasoning) or abstract figures (diagrammatic or spatial reasoning). The choice of tests used should be related to the work tasks involved in the job. A 2008/2009 survey by AGCAS (The Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services) found that law firms tested for verbal reasoning only, while engineering and IT companies used a much wider use of tests including diagrammatic, abstract and critical reasoning.
Areas of Usage
These tests are mainly used by companies to hire future employers. It helps them sift through various job applicants based on their profiles. Aptitude tests are conducted by various organizations and their scores are taken into consideration by universities. Examples of this are S.A.T, G.A.T.E, G.M.A.T. etc.
How can you benefit
These tests play a very big role in delivering a suitable path to everyone both the participants (who want to find the which kind of role is the most suitable for him or her) and to the employer too (who want to find the right kind of candidate for a specific task. These methods help people to reduce chaos, anxiety, stress in the occupational/organizational setting or even in day to day life in increasing the productivity and happiness in people’s life
I hope through this article you have gained enough information about psychometric tests and would feel comfortable when facing one test in the future. If you want to try your hand at some then be sure to explore some of the free tests at offer at Brainpundits. So, what are you waiting for? Cheers and start exploring yourself.