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What is Psychometric Testing?

Psychometric testing is a scientific and standard method of testing used to measure an individual’s behavioural style and mental capabilities. Psychometric testing is a combination of two techniques of measurement, namely cognitive ability and personality or behavioural tests. The purpose of psychometric testing is to measure an individual’s suitability for a role based on given personality traits and cognitive abilities. Through the psychometric test the professional administering the test can determine the extent to which the individual’s cognitive abilities and personality match those needed to optimally fulfill the role. In essence, psychometric testing is used by employers to gather information about prospective employees, so that they can identify aspects of the potential employee’s personality and cognitive ability that wouldn’t be apparent in a normal interview.

Spatial ability and numerical reasoning are also tested in a psychometric test

Psychometric testing looks at cognitive ability, for example spatial ability and numerical reasoning, as these are important skills to have in many positions in any given business. As such, psychometric testing can give an employer insight into a candidate for a particular job’s ability to communicate effectively, decision-making abilities, and ability to calculate cause and effect in certain occupational scenarios.

Personality tests for psychometric testing require very little preparation from the candidate for the job. As such, a personality psychometric test works to measure the candidate’s relatively stable behavioural tendencies and preferences within a given occupational context. Because of the complex and obscure nature of personalities, personality tests are based on behavioural patterns. It is important to consider that personality psychometric tests are not compiled of questions that have answers that are either correct or incorrect.

Psychometric testing has been criticised as not being a good enough measure of cognitive ability or personality by some. However, there is multiple research in favour of this form of testing, stating that it is statistically examined and constructed to be objective through using standard methods of testing. In this light, psychometric tests are a reliable means through which to predict an individual’s performance through and evaluation of their cognitive ability and personality.

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