What factors should I keep in mind when evaluating a psychometric test?
Posted by Cynthia W on 24 October 2006 11:31 PM

Firstly, ensure that you understand the theoretical rationale upon which the test was developed.  It should be based upon sound scientific theory!  Keep this in mind, in addition to your own reason for using the test (staff selection, departmental development, counselling etc.) as you gather the following information:

1. Suitability of the questions: are the questions in the test suitable given your target and context? Are they easy enough for your group to understand? Do they appear to measure what the test purports to measure?  Do you think any of the questions might cause offence to the respondent?

2. Reliability: source reliability data from the test publisher.  You can usually find this in the test manual.  Ensure that internal consistency and test-retest data exists.  Coefficients listed in the manual or quoted by the publisher should reach at least .70 for personality tests and .80 for ability/aptitude tests.

3. Validity: look for evidence of validity in the test manual. The publisher should note at least one out of construct validity and criterion-related validity. Basically, the data should suggest that the construct the test purports to measure is validly measured by the test and/or that scores on the test can predict a real-world meaningful outcome such as performance or absenteeism.

4. Normative Data: find out if the publisher provides appropriate norm groups for score comparison purposes. Are the sample sizes of those norm groups adequate? Do they represent your target group? Are they representative in terms of ethnicity and gender?

5. Practical Considerations: How much does the test and all required items (such as software, scoring keys etc.) cost? What level of training is required and how much does that cost? What are the scoring procedures? Is it easy/complex to score? If complex, is it worth it in terms of information gained? Can the test be computer scored? How much does the software cost?

PsyAsia trains all of our course delegates to be able to do the above as second nature in our Psychometric Assessment at Work Course.