What are the Different Types of Assessment Tools?

Sheri Cyprus

Career assessment tools can help job seekers and students determine the careers for which they are best suited. Self-assessment tools are tests that are often multiple choice. Some career-based assessment tests are self-scoring, while others are designed to be interpreted by career counselors. The main types of assessment tools are those that test personality, values, skills and interests.

Self-assessment tools can be test questions that are often multiple choice.
Self-assessment tools can be test questions that are often multiple choice.

Interest assessment tools may be divided into two parts. The first part may focus on activities that the individual marks as either liking or disliking to various degrees. The second section may involve a self-assessment about one’s skill level for each activity mentioned in the first part. This type of assessment tool may be called an interest inventory. Interest inventories can be as helpful in eliminating career options as in finding possibilities; for instance, if a person discovers that he or she strongly dislikes working with numbers, accounting careers may be ruled out.

Games and toys may be used to assess a toddler's fine motor development.
Games and toys may be used to assess a toddler's fine motor development.

Skill, or aptitude, assessment tools test specific skills involved in different careers. For example, an aptitude test given in booklet form with a pencil to shade in answer squares may involve a part where the individual is asked to draw straight lines freehand to connect a series of dots in a pattern. This exercise may help indicate one’s skills in manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Another area of a career skills assessment that tests one’s mechanical aptitude may show a series of photographs or drawings of gears and pulleys in different positions and ask the individual to explain what is occurring in terms of direction and force in each graphic.

Values assessments help students and job seekers better understand what ideals they value in work. While most people are likely to say they would prefer to earn a lot of money at a job, not everyone would value earnings above other values such as pleasant working conditions or the opportunity for advancement. Since the order of work values differs greatly between individuals, understanding one’s job value priorities can be one of the most revealing career assessment tools.

Personality types of career tests are often especially insightful assessments as they are psychologically based. The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one of the most common personality assessment tools used by career counselors. The MBTI was created by mother and daughter Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs-Meyers and is based on Carl Jung’s theories of psychological type.

The MBTI includes questions that relate to personality characteristics such as introversion vs. extroversion and thinking vs. acting on emotion. There are 16 different possible results of the test. The results of the MBTI assessment may help individuals better understand how they react to situations including daily occurrences in different career environments.

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