What are Psychometric Tests and Why are they Important
A favorite tool of many Career Counsellors in India, Psychometric Tests are becoming rather common these days. You can find them in upscale schools, hidden in interview questionnaires, even on the web for silly entertainment or romantic purposes. So, today let us see what are psychometric tests.
What is a Psychometric Test?
A psychometric test is a set of questions. The designer of the exam targets them to understand how your mind works. Often these questions include mental exercises. Some of the questions have some sort of story with them. The intention of the test is to understand the cognitive and decision-making capacity of the student. Often, the authorities perform these tests on a student before s/he needs to make some big, life-changing decisions. For example, deciding on which stream or majors to take in school or college.
To clarify, the psychometric tests differ from the standard examinations a lot. Standard school tests are designed to test the learning ability of the student. These tests, however, target the student’s mental makeup. Many of the questions in the tests do not have any single ‘correct’ answer. Also, they tend to prefer measuring your bias towards certain personality traits instead of simply separating rights and wrongs.
Done correctly, a psychometric test should be able to reveal the internal mesh of the mind of the student. You can then match these verticals against the temperament needed by various career paths. Consequently, the best suitable candidate can pursue the right stream instead of choosing one based on the popularity of the stream.
How do they take Psychometric Tests?
The tests consist of a set of questions, all intended to understand the student’s mind. They can have both descriptive and multiple-choice questions. They can conduct these tests online or on hard copy. Both ways have their own advantages. Some organizations, therefore, prefer taking some of both.
Online Psychometric Tests are almost always dynamic in nature. Here, the software randomizes the questions. So, everyone receives a different set of questions. At least, not in the same order. Many of these tests are even dynamic in generating questions. That is, the next question you will face may depend on the present question’s answer chosen by you. These tests can return the results instantly and thus are very helpful in mass examinations.
On the other hand, offline tests on hard copies take much longer. They require a lot more organized as well. However, one significant advantage they offer is handwriting analysis. A good graphologist can figure out a lot from the way you write. Therefore, the descriptive questions in an offline psychometric test serve double purposes.
Why are Psychometric Tests used?
As mentioned above, a successful psychometric test reveals the mental makeup of a person. The tests generally award EQ points (Emotional Quotient) to the results. This metric determines how volatile someone’s personality is. Also, this indicates how well you perform under pressure. Indirectly, from this, they can figure out how would you react to certain situations that are prevalent in a certain area.
But most of all, the ‘psych test’ tells us what exactly the student likes or dislikes. Which, of course, you cannot find standard educational tests. This is called a ‘psych profile’ of a person.
The above data comes in very handy in determining a person’s career. When standing on a great fork on the career path, this data comes in very handy to decide which stream would be most suitable to you. This data is also good for anybody who needs to understand a person from the innermost.
Benefits of using Psychometric Tests
Benefit for Schools
Schools benefit in doing this because they can then place the right student in the right path. Therefore, it maximizes their rate of turning out successful, high-ranking assouts. If a student is mentally better suitable in the art career, then it makes no sense to push her in the science stream. Even if she does well in the science exams, she may be much better in the arts in practice. This is precise because a conservative test cannot tell how well the person will act in the actual work field.
Similarly, suppose if a student is not suitable to fine arts at all. Then choosing an art career for her just because her science marks are bad is also bad. This damages the person as well as the school’s overall getup. In this case, it can be found through psychometric tests why exactly is she doing bad in maths or physics, etc. Then the proper remedies can be given to her.
Benefits for Employers
The psychometric tests bring the opportunity of understanding the candidates to an employer. A general interview and skill test can only reveal an employee’s knowledge and interpersonal skills. These cannot tell whether the employee has a good temperament for the job or not. After all, everyone is careful at interviews, correct? Seldom do we show our real selves in job interviews.
A psychometric test can break this chain. Carefully conducted, such tests can reveal whether the employee has a certain kind of mindset the job requires or not. The questions can be directly asked in a separate test or be hidden within standard interview questions. This would help the HR realize if the person applying for a post is really good for that post.
For example, in the BPO sector, most of the jobs are customer support work. It requires an especially calm and stable mind. The candidates need to have a positively wooden heart, that does not sway under pressure or intense conversations. The ability of multitasking, high competitiveness, and team play are also required in the area.
In a general interview, almost everybody ticks these boxes. However, the BPO sector is one of the fields with the most attrition. Too many people joining customer service have to leave within a short while. This is because there are actually very few individuals made with such temperament. This costs a lot to the companies in the constant hiring and training process. Instad, they are gradually opting for ‘smart interviews’ including some form of psychometric tests.