Psychometric Tests A History – Numerical Reasoning Tests & Employment
By Thomas Andrews 2009
Psychometric tests assess candidate’s ability to deal with figures quickly and carefully while under time pressure. They first became prevalent in the 1980’s following work of psychologists such as Paul Kline with his pioneering work “A handbook of test construction: Introduction to psychometric design (1986)”.
He concluded psychometric tests could provide reliable and yet objective results which could be used to evaluate candidates abilities. He also concluded accurate judgements could only be made if the quality of tests was high so having good quality tests was deemed to be of paramount importance.
This internationally acknowledge work was followed by a rise in the use of psychometric numerical reasoning tests in assessment centres and now psychometric tests are commonly used by employers seeking to differentiate between candidates.
Other works followed in the 1990’s including “An analysis of the predictive power of the panel interview and pre-employment tests (1992)” by P.Roth and J.Campion which highlighted the importance of pre – interview employment interviews.
Research has shown that assessment centres can be over twice as effective if psychometric tests are used since candidates cannot prepare for them as thoroughly as they can with interview questions.
Studies have shown that candidates who perform well in psychometric tests and interviews are more likely to be effective workers and appropriate for the role they are applying for
The results of these studies have led to the rise in the number of large and small companies globally initiating psychometric testing on employment candidates
These tests will continue to grow in popularity as competition for jobs increases and jobs become harder to secure.