What is Psychometric Testing?

Psychometric testing is a tool used in several different ways in both the employment industry and the medical industry.

It is primarily used as a recruitment process, and recognized as a way of gaining insight into an individual’s personality and psychological thinking. In other words it helps a potential employer learn the ways in which an individual’s mind works, the type of personality an individual may exhibit and whether or not those particular traits will work well with individuals who are already employed at the company.

It can also be used with individuals who are already employed to help develop team spirit at the work place, assess an individual’s priorities and evaluate the ability of an individual to perform leadership tasks.

Online Psychometric Testing

Psychometric testing can be done just about anywhere. Currently there are processes which are using online software applications, and there are off-line paper and pencil tests that can be taken either in the office or with a physical therapist or psychologist. Depending upon the depth of the test it can take anywhere between 15 minutes in one hour to complete.

At some stage in your working career you will probably be asked to complete a psychometric test, either as a prospective employee or as a means of improving worksite relationships. And, just like any other test, it is possible to improve your test scores.

While it may be important to be able to improve your scores, it is also important that you answer questions truthfully and honestly so that interpretation of the test results are accurate.

Practice Makes Perfect

Have an interview coming up with a company that is known for giving psychometric tests? Don’t panic. There are ways to be prepared.

If you have not been involved in formal education for some time it is important to get some practice just taking tests. Something simple as surveys in popular magazines will help to prepare you for answering paper and pencil question.

Another sure way of preparation by is to practice with a workbook. Two of the best are Psychometric Tests For Dummies by Liam Healy and IQ and Psychometric Test Workbook: Essential Preparation for Verbal, Numerical and Spatial Aptitude Tests and Personality Tests by Philip Carter. A more specialized book that focuses on preparing for junior management, senior management or even director level position interviews that might include this type of testing.

Psychometric tests are also timed so you may feel pressure to answer the questions quickly and move on. Try practicing timed testing at home with the goal of getting used to the stress of doing short tests under pressure and expanding your current vocabulary.

This is also the time to refresh your current math skills and ability to perform spatial relationships and reasoning problems. Each of these specific categories will be addressed in a psychometric test.

You might practice for a short time using any type of visual puzzles, trivial pursuits, Sudoko and a review of math skills, such as percentages, fractions, and decimals and relationships.

Work your Vocabulary

Another category which will be tested is your vocabulary. You can help to improve that by using any online Word of the Day type of service, crossword puzzles or other types of word puzzles. Remembered to do these as a timed test and try to become faster with greater accuracy.

When the day of the test arrives remember to stay calm, get plenty of sleep the night before and eat a full breakfast.

Ask for any information prior to taking the test that you may require in order to answer questions correctly. Get a feel for the layout of the questions when you open the test up. The timing does not start until you begin the test so spend some time relaxing and getting ready for action.

Some individuals have compared psychometric testing with IQ or intelligence testing. And, intelligence testing has had significant criticism aimed at it since it is intensely difficult to measure human intelligence using a linear test.

For instance, Einstein was famous for having relatively low IQ scores.

The comparison between psychometric testing and intelligence testing comes from the broad types of psychometric tests which can be administered. The first is an aptitude test which is supposed to measure raw ability and the second is a personality test aimed to assess character, temperament and how you deal with problems.

Evaluation after Injury

Another reason for using psychometric testing is to evaluate the current abilities of an individual who may have suffered from a head injury, stroke or other traumatic brain injury. Psychologists also use it for individuals who suffer from attention deficit disorder.

In the case of individuals who suffer from ADD, where the essential features a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity that is more frequent than typically observed in individuals, psychometric testing measures intelligence, knowledge, skills and other aspects in order to accurately assess the abilities of the individual while providing a means of taking the test that accounts for the hyperactivity.

In one study performed at Massachusetts General Hospital, researchers looked at the differences between results from psychometric testing and those of questions based definitions which patients identified as deficits in their own function when individuals suffered from ADHD.

The results indicated that behavioral questionnaires are not interchangeable with neuropsychological testing, such as psychometric testing for the assessment of functional disabilities in adults who have ADHD.

This study indicates that while psychometric testing may have its critics, the results often hold greater reliability than getting the information from either the patients or their family.

No Right or Wrong Answers

Individuals who are asked to take a psychometric test should know that there is no pass or fail. This means there are no right or wrong answers.

The reason to prepare to take this test is so that the answers or results are an accurate representation of the actual abilities of the individual and are not skewed by the fact that the individual has not taken a formal test in many years.

Different companies have their own methods of using psychometric testing in the business world.

Often times they ask the employee to take multiple different tests looking for validity and reliability in the answers from the test taker. This ensures that the results are fairly accurate and that recommendations can be made on these results which will be successful.

As with any other form of testing, the employee can use this type of test in order to give the employer what they think they want to hear as opposed to telling the truth. For this reason the employer should be using individuals who are qualified occupational psychologists to give psychometric testing to their employees in order to discern the difference between truth and lies.

Reputable companies who are administering psychometric testing for businesses will have no hesitation in offering credentials to the company.

Sources:

BMC Medical Education: Development and psychometric testing of an instrument to evaluate cognitive skills of evidence based practice in student health professionals

Measuring the Mind: Conceptual Issues in Contemporary Psychometrics

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