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What is Psychometric Testing?

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  • Written By: Garry Crystal
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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Psychometric testing is a tool used mainly in the recruitment process. It is recognized as an efficient way to gain insight into a person’s personality and psychological thinking. It can help develop team spirit in the workplace and assess an individual’s priorities.

This type of testing is usually an office-based procedure, although the test itself can be conducted anywhere. Many are processed online using software applications. The test should only take around 15 minutes to complete, although depending on the depth of the test, it may take longer. There are tests to assess sales capability, management styles and social personality traits.

Psychometric testing can be used in the development or selection process in business. A number of businesses around the world use psychometrics on new or potential employees. The results of the testing give management an idea of how the employee will fit in with company ideals and policies. Once the test has been completed, it takes approximately 5-10 seconds to produce the results.

The results of psychometric testing are usually issued in booklet form or sent by email and printed. This type of testing uses in-depth psychological profiles to assess personality and intellectual levels. Different test companies use different theoretical approaches to testing, such as the psychometric approach, the psychodynamic approach, the social learning approach and the humanist approach.

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Psychometric testing usually falls into three specific categories. Ability testing measures a person’s potential to learn new skills or to cope with the pressures of a specific job. Aptitude testing is also job related, but focuses on specific job areas and how the test taker would perform in a defined role. Personality testing covers how a person acts in the workplace in relation to different personality types. It can determine how the test taker would deal with someone of the direct opposite personality type, and suggest to management how to get the best results from someone with a certain personality type.

Psychometric testing covers a wide range of skills and implementations. There are special team building weekends at which people are assessed within role playing and social events. Testing can also be used for such applications as mentoring individuals or setting workers up with a “life coach” to guide them through work-related issues and how to handle them.

With psychometric testing, there is no pass or fail. Different test companies have their own methods of testing. Usually, there are multiple sets of questions relating to personality type, how the test taker would handle aspects of work and home life, what his or her goals are for the future and his or her strengths and weaknesses. If the test taker is truthful, then results should be fairly accurate.

As with any form of testing, psychometric testing is open to abuse. People may answer what they think their employer would like to hear rather than the truth. If you are considering psychometric-related tests, you should always make sure that tests are carried out by qualified occupational psychologists. You should also ask if the company is certified or accredited by any national or state board of psychologists. Reputable companies will have no hesitation in offering these very hard to come by credentials.

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Discuss this Article

anon176375
Post 4

psychometric testing is very useful in the recruitment and selection process, as well as for career counseling.

anon159503
Post 3

Psychometric tests are very useful tools provided they are conducted by right persons in a right way. The test taker should also answer the questions in his/her true spirit of honesty.

FootballKing
Post 2

I have had several employers administer psychometric tests during employment application processes. While I have always felt confident about my ability to test in an academic situation, these types of psychological tests can be both misleading and abusive.

One problem with these tests is the ambiguity of some of the questions. Often times the questions can have several answers that would be correct. These often involve asking what would be a "more correct" answer.

I question how accurate these tests are at determining the true character of an individual. Ultimate judgment is always best suited for the human perception in my opinion.

cmsmith10
Post 1

Whereas it is mainly businesses conducting psychometric tests for potential employees, psychometric testing is a very useful tool to find a career that suits your personality. To be successful in a job, you should be confident that your values, abilities, and personality are in line with those needed for the career or job that you choose. Psychometric testing can help you identify career paths that you would actually enjoy.

There are several online psychometric tests that can be useful for these self-assessments. Make sure that they are legitimate, though.

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