Psychometric tests often influence who companies hire for what roles.

A businessman selects an onscreen button that states 'Aptitude Test.'You know how tall you are and how much you weigh. But can you put a number to your verbal comprehension ability? The field of psychometrics seeks to do just that—quantitatively measuring a person’s aptitudes, mental capabilities, and behavioral style.

If you’ve ever taken an IQ test, you’ve had experience with psychometrics. But IQ is only one psychometric measure. There are many different kinds of psychometric tests and they’re used in all kinds of industries.

How Is Psychometrics Used?

Psychometric tests are most often used by organizations seeking new employees. During the application process, many organizations ask prospective employees to take a test that measures the prospect’s ability to handle key aspects of a specific role. For example, a company hiring a new sales manager may have prospects take tests to measure how suited they are for management and how well they’re likely to handle different types of sales tasks. Through such tests, organizations can get a better sense of each prospect’s suitability for the role and easily compare prospects by comparing their test results.

What Are the Different Kinds of Psychometric Tests?

There are a lot of different varieties of psychometric tests, and organizations often hire firms to develop proprietary tests that fit the organization’s specific needs. However, some tests are more commonly used than others. Here are a few:

  • IQ tests: measure intelligence and overall aptitude.
  • Big Five Profile: measures the core personality traits of openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism.
  • Myers–Briggs: measures overall personality traits and categorizes people into one of 16 types.
  • Occupational Interest Inventory: measures motivations and aptitudes to ensure someone is well matched for a specific job.
  • Emotional Intelligence Test: measures the ability to understand emotions and behave in positive ways.
  • Reasoning tests: measure logical, numerical, and verbal ability.
  • Situational judgement tests: measure problem-solving ability and rate how well a person’s abilities fit with a specific job.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Psychometrics?

When organizations use well-validated psychometric tests in the hiring process, they can obtain key insights into prospective employees. This can help ensure new hires are a good fit with their role and are likely to excel. The better an organization is at finding good employees, the more successful the organization is likely to be.

Unfortunately, psychometric tests are not perfect. Prospects can try to “game” the tests by choosing the answers they believe are most likely to get them the job. Other prospects might experience a level of test anxiety that negatively impacts their results, thus causing an organization to reject someone who may have been an excellent candidate. Finally, if a test is not well validated and/or not administered and interpreted by someone trained in psychometrics, the results may be of limited use.

How Can You Learn More About Psychometrics and Psychology in General?

One of the best ways to gain a better understanding of psychometrics is to earn a BS in Psychology. Through a bachelor’s in psychology program, you can learn about the major concepts, theoretical perspectives, empirical findings, and historical trends in psychology, including those related to the quantitative measurement of intelligence and behaviors. This knowledge can prepare you for a wide variety of careers in psychology, from research to human resources to marketing.

If you’re questioning whether you have the time to earn a degree in psychology, online learning may provide the answer you need. Unlike campus-based psychology degree programs, online psychology degree programs don’t require you to live near a school of psychology or drive to a campus. Instead, you can complete online psychology courses from home and on a flexible schedule designed to give you the freedom you need to continue working full time while earning your bachelor of science in psychology. These advantages are why online education is so popular among working adults.

It’s never been so convenient to become a psychology major and complete a bachelor’s program. When you choose online education, you can gain the skills you need for a career in psychometrics or in any other field of psychology.

Walden University is an accredited institution offering a BS in Psychology degree program online. Expand your career options and earn your degree in a convenient, flexible format that fits your busy life.


Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission, www.hlcommission.org.  

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