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What are Psychometric Assessments?

Psychometric header Cover

Article by Vicky Karuga

What is a psychometric assessment?

Psychometric Assessments have been around for sometime. The science of psychometrics can be described as the technique of mental measurements : the use of quantitative devices for assessing psychological trends. Of measuring latent abilities.

Psychometric Assessments or tests describes tests (used in educational and occupational settings) that are standardized as well as proven to be reliable measures of factors such as personality, ability, aptitude, and interest. When asked to take a psychometric assessment, this means that you are required to fill in a test and give answers that will more information on your workplace behaviours, interests, cognitive abilities, all of which we might not be able to accurately observe in the short time that an interview is conducted.

There are quite a few free psychometrics assessments and tools available online to give you a feel on what it may feel like to take a psychometric test. But one should really look for a well validated, researched psychometric assessment when looking for reliable data on a candidate or even more information about self for self awareness and development.

Some of the Myths about assessments is that they are like horoscopes and that they just box people into certain traits. The concept that people fall into certain categories, broadly, has been there since BC. Here we saw Hippocrates categorize people using their humors or temperaments. It is also something that is used widely today when describing some types of assessments.

Most psychometric assessment will fall broadly into the category of Personality assessments, cognitive ability assessments and Motivational Interest assessments. Of course this list is not exhaustive. In the workplace today, they will focus largely on workplace behaviours and how this lend themselves to the desirable competencies that make a great job fit, a great team or a great manager/leader.

The questions in a psychometric assessment are as a result of rigorous research. It is a science, the art of asking questions that will give us the answers to the questions that psychometric assessments seek. You can ask a question that fails because it receives certain answers from a certain demographic, fails to take into account certain differences in culture among many other items that are a subject of analysis in any assessment. A good psychometric assessment must have had its questions tested for reliability. The questions need to prove that they are reliable as stand alone items, that they are measuring what we want them to measure, that they are not biased in any way to a certain outcome.

There is a lot that can be discussed about psychometric assessments when it comes to psychometric questions, but this is a whole module in the study of psychometrics. One should be very careful when using free psychometrics assessments or psychometric tests as they then might not be well validated or researched. This can be a reason for a potential lawsuit especially in countries that are sensitive to data used to make people decisions. Or even for roles that might be sensitive. This also means online psychometric assessments that are free might not come with the required backing research and validations required. There is a reason why a good psychometric assessment has a cost and sometimes it can be expensive.

If in doubt, reach out to a certified professional who can give you more advise on psychometrics and help you make an informed decision. For more information on psychometric assessments, you can reach out to us on to the attention of Vicky Karuga. Or call us at 0722 457777

Vicky Karuga is the Managing Director of Profiles International, A leading firm in
the provision of psychometric assessments in the East African Region.

Profiles International EA
Profiles International EA

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