Psychometric Assessments

Overview

History records date back to 2200 BC, when the Chinese Emperor would make his prospective warriors undertake arduous fitness assessments, in order to test their efficiency for his office. From then on, the influence of psychometric analysis have only grown, albeit gradually, into the courts & other areas of work.

However, the modern tools of psychometric assessments found their basis in the mid 19th century. It was Sir Francis Galton (Charles Darwin’s cousin) with his fascination for individual differences & preferences who pioneered the use of questionnaires in order to elicit information.

Late 19th century saw the coining of the term ‘mental test’ by James Cattell, an American psychologist. And, come 15 years, the French psychologist Alfred Binet devised the first ‘modern intelligence test’.

Psychometric tests grew significantly in the 20th century, with various additions to the existing system of testing.

Today, it has come to become an essential prerequisite to successful career building.

Parameters

Since psychometric tests are independent of gender, mood and/or existing academic pursuits, it offers the most unbiased platform for analysis.

These tests are designed to elicit the correct response out of the candidate and not merely the right answer. They are formulated on practiced standards and in an easy language to make them comprehensible.

An important factor to note is that, psychometric tests do not require any preparation besides an open mind to accepting its results.

Since these tests are meant to give you an overview and an understanding of your nature along with its potential to favour well in certain professions, they are not graded into points or scores, but in ranges.

Psychometric tests are ideal for candidates with a basic understanding of the English language, comprehension and willingness to be honest in the attempt. These tests are now available in other languages as well and have been proven effective.

Psychometric Assessments - Types

Aptitude vs. Skills Testing

APTITUDE & SKILLS TESTS = APPLES & ORANGES   An Interest and Aptitude assessment like CareerScope helps to objectively clarify what you would like to do and would likely succeed in.  It is used to objectively plan for future learning and work.  It is a career guidance test.

A skills test tells you what you can do now, given your previous learning.  If you have not had much previous learning, it can only tell you that you lack skills - but not your potential or what your innate strengths are.  Despite its backward focus, skills assessments are often used as a screening test for employers (incumbent scores provide a criterion reference) and a prescriptive test for educators.

For helping individuals find a job or enter training, this kind of assessment usually requires analyzing the requirements of individual local jobs to determine their requirements, testing the incumbents, assessing individual applicants to determine skills gaps, and then perhaps providing training to close those gaps.

Both kinds of assessments are useful (as are both apples and oranges, but you can eat an apple right out of the box, and make more things out of it - like apple pie and apple sauce, etc.).  Assessing aptitude and interest first will help focus the job seeker, make the comparative skills testing and any subsequent training more likely to produce a trained worker who is more likely to stay on the job.  Also, CareerScope can be taken with only a fourth grade reading ability.  Skills tests typically require a higher reading level.

Some argue that Skills become obsolete - but not Aptitudes.

Aptitude vs. Achievement Testing

Aptitude tests are used to predict success in a career path or course of study. Achievement tests are designed to measure how much a person has already achieved or learned in academic knowledge. Achievement testing is becoming ever more important as the accountability increases to prove that students are learning. But for guidance, aptitude might be a better measure for showing potential. For instance, a student who has not learned "the basics" in primary and secondary education - for any number of reasons - can still have the "aptitude" to do well in a career and related studies - especially if they are interested - although they might have some catching up to do academically.


Aptitude vs. IQ Testing

Aptitudes might be thought of as separate types of intelligence, each perhaps having relative strength or weakness in an individual.  This can be of high value for determining what training or career to pursue. Intelligence Quotient (IQ) is one score summarizing a person's overall intelligence based on a broad range of abilities. An IQ score will indicate that you are smart, average, or not smart, but it is not a precise tool for career guidance.

Two people with the same IQ might have very different scores for their individual aptitudes.   The GATB-related score for general learning ability, or "G" score, is correlated to IQ score, but is not considered to be the same.  The G score, in this case, is an aptitude score based on three aptitude subtests: pattern recognition, numerical reasoning, and word meanings.  A person who scores very high on pattern recognition and word meanings, but low on numerical reasoning, might have a high G score but a career counselor or automated career guidance system would not point them toward math-intensive occupations.  A similar high IQ score, by itself, would not indicate whether a person is strong or weak in numerical reasoning, and math-intensive occupations would seem as viable as any other.

* Library research done from Vocational Research Institute Website: www.vri.org