Psychometric Tests, also known as Aptitude Tests, are tests built to assess a person’s personality, ability, skills and knowledge. Based on years of studies in psychology, philosophy and design thinking, this assessment method is developed and constantly polished further to increase accuracy and improve the test takers’ experience. Below is a list of their main uses, some are, perhaps, less familiar and more unexpected than others.
This is possibly the most known function of Psychometric Tests nowadays. Usually seen at early stages of the recruitment process, especially for entry-level roles like internships or graduate schemes, they have been standardised to be used mainly by, but not limited to, large companies with a huge amount of applications being submitted every year. In this context, Psychometric Tests normally reveal a candidate’s personality or workplace behaviours with Situational Judgement Tests and also measure numeracy, literacy and logical thinking skills with Numerical Reasoning Tests, Verbal Reasoning Tests and Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests consecutively. They are highly competitive in nature as a pre-employment assessment; instead of having a fixed passing score, all results are compared against each other to find the very top performers.
Depending on the various education systems, Psychometric Tests are also used as an element of entrance exams, for example, in countries like India, Israel, Singapore and in some US institutions. More often than not, they are time-limited tests carried out in physical exam centres, for pupils transiting from primary education to secondary schools or high schools and at times, from high schools to colleges. Also highly competitive and are always invigilated under strict exam conditions, it takes a lot of practice for young pupils to acquire the skills needed to nail these tests; however, different from Psychometric Tests in recruitment, there is usually a fixed passing score and they are marked alongside other subject-specific exams.
A more informal use of Psychometric Tests is simply for self-awareness and personal development. While people do experiment with Numerical Reasoning Tests, Verbal Reasoning Tests and Diagrammatic Reasoning Tests simply to better understand their level of knowledge, personality tests like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI - 16 personalities), the Big Five Personality Test or the Belbin’s Team Roles Theory are some of the most popularly used, for both personal and professional reasons. These are do-able for everyone, as they offer people in-depth insights of their innate strengths and weaknesses, in many aspects of life like career, personal relationships, family dynamics or team fit, as well as aid them in making life-changing decisions.
According to many researchers, regular practice of Psychometric Tests without the pressure of competing for a job or a place in a school, is super effective for improving your cognitive ability and working memory. In this case, Psychometric Tests are gamified with exceptionally interactive and appealing user interface and experience design, as seen in smartphone applications like Peak, Elevate, Lumosity or the famous Brain Wars game, which was a hype on Facebook a few years back. Although there are occasional use of words and numbers, these gamified tests (if they can even be referred as such) keep it short, digestible and fun for people from all educational and cultural backgrounds. Use these when you are sitting idle in public transports or instead of scrolling aimlessly through your social media feed, might actually reduce your risk of suffering from Dementia or memory loss disorders at old age and preserve your brain in top-notch condition.
Finally, a very common but likely forgotten use of Psychometric Tests is for the purpose of scientific research. Researchers in all fields, especially psychological, biological or neurological related, maximise the application of these Aptitude Tests for quantitative and qualitative study with participants from all over the world to gain observations, understandings and predictions of current conditions and upcoming trends in society. And of course, they are not just to satisfy a group of people’s curiosity, the conclusions from this study contribute into changes at a larger scale and hopefully, help governments, businesses and even individuals create positive impacts, no matter big or small.
So there you go, 5 potentially unexpected uses of Psychometric Tests. What would you use them for?