What do Psychometric Tests actually mean? Why a Psychometric Test is important for students?
The word psychometric has been derived by the combination of two words “psyche” which means “mind” and “meter” which means “to measure”. And as the term clearly indicates, Psychometric Tests are tools through which psychological characteristics of a human can be measured. Psychological characteristics of a person such as personality traits, behaviour preferences, cognitive abilities, motivation questionnaires, etc. can be measured by psychometric tests. These tests include the Verbal Ability test, Arithmetic Reasoning, Spatial Ability, Form Perception, logical tests, Clerical Reception, etc.
ABOUT PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS
Psychometric Tests are those tests through which talents, skills, and ability of a person can be measured. Those characteristics of a human that cannot be measured otherwise can be objectified through these tests. For example, if an evaluation has to be done on the personality preferences of a person or on his/her creative inclination, then in such a case there are two ways. One is to keep observing the person for a number of days and then come to the conclusion about his personality and whether the person is creatively talented or not. This procedure is long, takes time and can also be biased according to the understanding of the evaluator. And the other way is to conduct a Psychometric Test of the person and get quick and accurate results which will be unbiased.
Psychometric tests are designed with such principles and criteria that they deliver accurate and precise results. These can be discussed below:
Psychometric tests are formulated according to some guidelines and theories. It’s not that any person can take any examination neither can a person make his own test as per his understanding. There is a pattern which is needed to be followed according to theories. There are theories which belong to some group of people and there are other theories which follow to another group of people. This standardization has to be followed to implement the tests in the most accurate form.
Before formulating a test, it should be first identified which theory and model suit a particular situation and then only the test shall be standardised. Then only accurate and unbiased results can be attained from these tests. Various types of theories such as Classic Test Theory, Item Response Theory, and Rasch Model theory have been developed so that perfect results can be achieved.
A Psychometric Test shall be such that produces consistent results and which is reliable. Reliability is one of the Most Important Factors of Psychometric Tests and these tests should be such which are unaffected by the surrounding situations. For example, the result of a psychometric test shall not change due to the change in a person’s attitude or due to mood swings. This is because if so happens then it is not possible to rely on the results of the test as every time the result will differ and accuracy will not be achieved.
Hence, reliability remains an imperative factor that helps the student to identify the field of studies and career.
Various Psychometric Tests are conducted for various reasons. There shall be clarity in the intention of conducting certain psychometric tests and the expected outcome of it. For example, if a psychometric test is conducted for selection of career, then the test should be such that clearly targets the reason for why it is conducted and all the question should be able to identify those features which would help in selecting the career.
WHAT CAN BE MEASURED BY PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS
Psychometric tests measure various features of a human body like interest, personality, and aptitude of a human. Through interest tests, motivation, values and interest of different people are measured and evaluated. By Personality tests, different personalities of people and how they do a certain job in various manners are measured. Aptitude tests measure the ability of different people to perform various tasks and assignments.
IMPORTANCE OF PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS
Let try and understand first what can be achieved by these Psychometric Tests. These tests are basically a set of physical, mental problems that intend and aids in understanding a person better. Examinations, generally, focus on testing the learning capacity of a student, but these tests focus on mindset of a person. What talents and interests are hidden inside an individual, what are his abilities and skills? The test is very beneficial to students and reveals the cognitive capability of a person. These tests prove to be more advantageous to those students who are on the verge of selecting the stream of studies or choosing the career. By taking these psychometric tests students are able to measure their skills, talent, and ability and that helps the students in selecting the career.
When these tests are taken by a class 10th student, then through the results of these tests the student can be guided about which stream is better for his career and future according to his interests, skills, and ability. By these student's aptitude and ability are identified, subject interest and choices which will define his career are identified. Through the test, it is also determined how much stress and anxiety the student is capable of handling. Personality profiling is also done through the tests.
Similarly, a class 12th student is also steered towards a better career choice through these psychometric tests. By taking the test the student is able to recognise his career skills, career interest, and choices and able to realize his career goals. The examinations are accurate and give a reliable result and also save a lot of time for students as they directly come to know about the subjects and the career which will be best suited to them. Enhancements of career, stress and anxiety management are other Advantages of Psychometric Tests.
An appropriate psychometric test can even determine the stress handling capacity of a child. How much stress can a student handle and how will he behave in a particular difficult situation and what will be his reaction during tough times. The test also teaches about what can be a motivation to a child and what will not. These tests prove to be of great help and they can also be taken from anywhere and anyplace. The results of these tests also come in short span, just instantly because the tests are usually computerized and the results are measured and published through the software tools.
Psychometric tests have many benefits attached for students who have to select a Career Option as these tests outline the skills and capabilities inside a person and become like a guiding map for selection of career as per a person’s interest. Students don’t have to do a lot of research work in understanding their talents and also they need not go through several magazines related to careers. They get a perfect and Best Career-Oriented Advice.
Nowadays, psychometric tests are designed in such a manner that they focus on answering specifically asked questions by the students. Most of the Good Career Counsellor’s also rely on these psychometric tests so that they can suggest the best career choices to the students. Counsellors before giving advice to students studying in different fields like arts, commerce, science, engineering, etc. take Psychometric Tests so that the students can be shown the most appropriate and right path and maximum can be achieved from counselling and test both.
Although, there is no obligation on the schools to conduct psychometric tests for students, still these tests are suggested to schools and students so that students can understand themselves and their abilities, talents, temperament. The test will create self-awareness amongst the students. Thus, a psychometric test is important and recommended to guide the students in the proper direction.
WHEN CAN PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS BE CONDUCTED?
The Psychometric Tests shall be conducted at a suitable and stable age of a child. It shall not be conducted at a very early age because at that particular time the child’s development is in progress and therefore, his interest and skills all are subject to changes. These tests shall be taken up at those crucial junctures in the life of students which make a big difference. For example, after class 10th a student has to select a particular course of study, and then this test becomes relevant. After class 12th when the student has to make a career, then this test becomes important. If the tests are conducted on the proper time, then it gives great results to the students and also proves to be helpful for them.
EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT AND PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS
When it comes to understanding personality traits, traditional approaches never emphasized the role of Emotional Quotient on the personality of an individual. According to Emotional Quotient, you can relate a person to the way he is going to handle situations around him. For example, a calm and patient person will be able to handle heated and acute conditions properly. So when an appropriate assessment of EQ of an individual is done then he can be lead towards a correct field of career. This is because if career mismatches with an individual’s EQ then it will create distress for the student and ultimately harm the person.
Psychometric tests properly assess the emotional quotient of an individual and hence direct the students towards the right subjects and field of career.
HOW ARE PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS CONDUCTED
The test paper is in a questionnaire form which consists of questions that help in understanding the traits and personality of various people. The student giving the examination shall answer the questions with truth and correctly or else he would the one who is going to suffer the most. As if the student gives wrong information then that will adversely affect the result and hence the student will not be guided in the proper way.
Mostly the tests are conducted in computerised form and the pattern of next questions depends according to the question that has been answered previously by the students. With the help of computer testing now, subdivisions to the main traits have been added in the question papers. The examination can also be held in written form and the mode of examination doesn’t affect the results. It depends on the test taker as how he wants to take the test, electronically or written style.
PSYCHOMETRIC TEST AND CAREER COUNSELLING
A Career Counsellor provides advice to a student about what career will be suitable for him according to his interest and skills and also what is the Scope of a Particular Career in the future. There are students who know what career they want to pursue but they are unaware of how much hard work and skills will be required for that specific career. Do they possess that talent that is required for the career option they want to opt for? Will they be able to put in the hard- work required. Do they have the skills and knowledge? These entire questions will be answered by the career counsellor in his counselling session. And if a psychometric test is taken for the student then the result will be accurate and reliable and will also definitely help the Career Counselling in giving advice. A psychometric test will help in understanding the student in a better way and hence the student can be escorted towards the correct direction of career by the counsellor.
During the Career Counselling Sessions parents also get to know about the importance of these tests. Parents realize that through these tests they come to know about the interest, talents and skills of the children without wasting their time and energy. Through the results of the psychometric test, their children will be directed towards a career in which they would flourish and grow as it will be selected according to their capabilities. And due to the rise of awareness of the tests many schools and good career counsellors have adapted to conduct Psychometric Tests for their students.