Introduction to Psychometrics
Psychometrics is the design of psychological tests to measure intelligence, aptitude, and personality, and the analysis and interpretation of their results.
A psychometric test is a standardized structured way of assessing something about a person's characteristics which include capabilities, personalities and behaviours. From an organizational perspective, a psychometric assessment is the way of understanding of personal suitability for a job.
Where did psychometrics originate?
While the exact origins of psychometric tests are vague, it is found throughout human history appearing across various cultures and religions. In ancient China, candidates were required to take psychometric examinations in order to obtain high-status occupations. Western armies were able to select soldiers with the most suitable personality using a test known as the Woodworth Personality Data Sheet (1917).
But even before that, Francis Galton who was the cousin of the famous Charles Darwin, notable for his contribution to the theory of evolution, had started to devise a number of measures for psychological variables. It was Charles Darwin’s studies on individual difference that motivated Francis Galton to work on these psychological measures.
Over the years the field of psychometric theory has evolved along with the other measurement models and classical test theory, and the objective through various psychometric instruments is to measure the personalities, abilities, behaviours, attitude and skills.
Today different types of psychometric testing are used to measure different characteristics, from personality to different skills such as logical reasoning, situational judgement, verbal reasoning etc., and quite often psychometric assessments are mistaken to be numerical reasoning tests of verbal reasoning tests. But they clearly are much more than that. Employers across the globe make use of modern psychometric testing as a part of their recruitment process or selection process to ensure they are selecting candidates with the right mix of skills, knowledge, and capabilities as well as the capacity to learn more on the job, adapt to changes instantaneously, and the ability to function well in the face of stress.
A psychometric test is often used to identify the right person for the job partly because psychometric tests tell us something different to the results of an academic qualifications. Companies today get hundreds of job applications and a lot of these applications are very innovative and robust. Now, they need a robust way of sifting between candidates, and psychometrics testing provides that answer.
What are psychometric instruments?
Psychometric instruments are instruments used for psychological measurements. These instruments must be designed and researched according to strict scientific principles that include classical test theory among others.
Today, most commonly used tests that are conducted in the name of Psychometric are actually not Psychometric. This often leads to misleading results as only a test that is truly psychometric will give results that can be relied on.
When we hear the word assessment it is very normal for us to get a little nervous. In psychometric assessments, there's no right or wrong answer there is no such thing as the perfect personality. The assessment instrument can provide you with valuable information about yourself. However, it cannot measure everything about you. The purpose of these instruments is not to pigeonhole certain characteristics, but rather to allow you to explore all of your characteristics.
Assessment is a way to tell if any change or progress or learning is happening. It can help establish a Baseline using the test scores. And then once the Baseline is established over time, we can measure the deviation from the Baseline based on all the work that the student would have put in over a period of time. It can’t be emphasised enough that there are no right or wrong answers when it comes to psychometric assessments, there is no perfect personality and the assessment is actually designed to measure the individual differences that exist.
A lot of people who get nervous about these assessments, practice by taking the free tests available online, which is perfectly normal.
At TC Global our teams are trained to follow the rules and standards set by the British Psychological Society. Connect with us to know more on Psychometrics tests used by us.
What does psychometric testing involve?
As a test taker, a psychometric assessment does not require any preparation or training. All assessments are administered on-line, using a PC or a laptop, and a reliable internet connection.
While some tests require supervision, most of the tests are designed to be valid without supervision making the logistics very straightforward. For some instances where the tests are supervised, we can provide our certified team or training in Test Administration (EFPA Level 1) is available from TC Global.
There are many different types of assessments. You might be asked to complete the personality and ability assessments as a part of the psychometric test. These assessments are designed to measure what strengths and development areas you possess and along with other sources of information such as your interests, it is likely to identify roles that you might enjoy and will be good at.
Personality tests measure your personality traits or how you are likely to behave at work. For example, do you prefer to work in a team, or do you prefer to work alone? This information helps employers explore the alignments between your personality and the role they are trying to fill, if there is an alignment then you may also be more likely to enjoy and performing the role. There are no right or wrong answers to these personality tests just as there's no perfect personality that employers are looking for.
Ability assessments would get you to work with different aspects such as shapes or patterns, written information or numerical information. These are typically used to assess verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning or abstract reasoning / diagrammatic reasoning. Many people often mistake it for simple aptitude tests or an IQ test / Intelligence Test. It is important to note that a psychometric test may have elements of an aptitude test, but they might not be the same thing.
Personality tests are not timed and usually take between 30 - 45 minutes to complete while ability tests are timed can take anywhere between 4 minutes and 15 minutes depending on the assessment.
As a test taker, you will receive a link to your assessment, with on-screen instructions. After completing the assessment your report is generated immediately. With no paper or pens and no manual scoring, the margin for error or biased evaluation is zero.
Make sure you connect with us for details or an online demonstration!