What are psychometric assessments?

In the last 20 years there has been a massive increase in the use psychometric tests in organisations, but what are they and why do people have to do them? The words broken down mean psycho is the Greek word for mind and metric- is the Latin word for measure, therefore the word psychometric is a way to measure the capability of an individuals mind. Psychometric assessments have been used increasingly in the workplace.

Psychometric assessments give organisations the ability to distinguish between normal candidates and high performing candidates. Psychometric assessments are supposed to be (when used in combination with other methods) the best prediction of job performance. They are divided into three groups, tests of ability ( general mental ability/ intelligence) Interest (career development/ career choice) and Personality assessments (trying to distinguish personality traits and behaviour).

Assessment design and consulting have become a big business and immensely popular. It has been discussed that trainee teachers may complete psychometric tests as part of trainee teacher assessments. Currently, many graduate jobs use these assessments to differentiate between candidates.

However, psychometric assessments are not without problems, they have been criticised for being culturally and racially biased in terms of “intelligence tests”. Some personality assessments have been criticised for being “fake-able”. However I cannot deny these are extremely common-place in many organisations and my advice to you is to get savvy, and practice, practice,  practice.

Here are some links to some information and practice sites: