What Are Psychometric Tests?

Psychometric tests and questionnaires have been growing in popularity, not only amongst those curious to know their own personality and work behaviour better, but also in businesses looking to hire, support and promote talent. However, the term is often used loosely, so understanding precisely what a psychometric test is can be difficult. As specialists in the field of psychometric products and consultancy, we here at eras can help you understand what these tests are and what to expect when you undertake one.


What Actually Are Psychometric Tests?

A man sits at his desk in front of his laptop thoughtfully looking out of the window.

A psychometric test or questionnaire assesses one or more aspects of human behaviour; such as ability or personality, under standard conditions. The scores are expressed either as a number or in category form, which might be as a grade A to E or on a colour-coded system such as red, amber, or green. Standardising the test and making the test results objective removes potential bias and gives a more accurate reflection of a person's behaviours and assumptions.

While the term 'psychometric test' can be used to cover a multitude of areas, it is perhaps a better reflection of ability and aptitude tests. The phrase 'psychometric assessment' is a more inclusive term and more appropriate for profilers, instruments and questionnaires used to assess a person's personality traits.


How Do Psychometric Assessments Work?

The standardised process means that all job applicants undertaking the assessment receive the same instructions and questions. This ensures that the assessment is fair and consistent for all. Sometimes a time limit will be included, though this is more often specifically in the cases of ability or aptitude tests.

With personality questionnaires and profilers, the timing isn't as important. What matters is completing all of the questions, as this will give a more accurate reflection of you or the intended candidate. The term 'test' implies that there is a right answer required to pass when in reality, where personal preference is concerned, there are no absolute 'right' answers.

What Do Psychometric Tests Measure?

One of the reasons that psychometric tests are so popular is because they can, in theory, measure almost any aspect of human behaviour and assign a score to them. This has proven to be particularly popular amongst employers seeking to gain a greater knowledge of potential candidates. You can measure an array of factors which are often separated into personality questionnaires or aptitude and skills tests. Below you'll find some examples of the different elements that can build up a psychometric assessment.

A screenshot of the 'overall summary' from the threesixty° assessment tool, providing a high-level overview of the Focus' scores for each competency included in the assessment, organised into communication, vision, and operations.
A screenshot of the 'overall summary' from the threesixty° assessment tool, providing a high-level overview of the Focus' scores for each competency included in the assessment, organised into communication, vision, and operations.
  • Critical thinking tests
  • Numerical reasoning tests
  • Verbal reasoning tests
  • Logical reasoning tests
  • Abstract reasoning tests
  • Diagrammatic reasoning tests
  • Mechanical reasoning tests
  • Spatial reasoning tests
  • Error checking tests
  • Personality questionnaires

The depth that psychometric assessments go into can be daunting, but it is an excellent way to understand ourselves and often appreciate how others view us. Gaining this critical insight can help you understand yourself better and prepare for career progression. Many businesses opt to use psychometric tests to ensure that they are supporting their teams in the right way and selecting the perfect candidate for the role.


What Makes A Good Psychometric Assessment?

While there are a lot of complex elements to a psychometric assessment, a good psychometric instrument will have two important properties: reliability and validity.

Reliability means that the questionnaire or test is measuring behaviour in a consistent and accurate way to minimise the number of errors. This usually means that, if the same group of people complete the assessment a second time, the results are similar or that, if people complete the questions in a different order, it would not alter the results.

Validity is the most important factor. Valid psychometric tests mean using the test in a way that is appropriate, relevant and useful. For example, if you are using psychometric assessments to test candidate suitability, the role itself should have been analysed to ensure that a clear outline for success has been identified.

How Do You Prepare For A Psychometric Test?

This is where using the term 'test' can cause issues. As stated earlier, there are no 'correct' answers to a personality assessment. The results are unique to each individual, so there isn't any revising you can do ahead of time. Candidates are encouraged to go with their instincts and what is right for them, instead of searching for the 'ideal' answer.

Even for ability tests, the good news is that, in the majority of cases, there isn't a lot of preparation involved. What concerns many is that the test is almost always timed. The ticking clock can make the process more intimidating, but it also produces more accurate results.

Many practice tests will feature this timed element, giving you the chance to prepare for answering questions under pressure. However, the best way to approach a psychometric test is to simply start the test itself. All of the psychometric assessments supplied by eras start with a few practice questions at the beginning before the timer starts. This gives you an idea of what to expect without invalidating the results.

What Are The Different Types Of Psychometric Tests From eras?

At eras, we offer a range of services using our expertise in psychometric products and consulting. The varied and detailed reports provided can give you great insight and are easy to follow, ensuring that you can easily read and understand the information. There are a number of psychometric tests and personality profiles we can supply you with, and you can read about our most popular ones below.

Aptitude Tests

Aptitude tests are typically completed under strict time constraints and are a popular tool used to increase the understanding of the abilities of potential candidates. This objective and standardised approach helps to reduce bias and identify the likelihood of success within a role. Aptitude tests will vary in their questioning depending on the job, with tests for operatives to managers available.

> Learn more about Aptitude testing

The Quest Profiler®

If you are looking to gain an insight into someone's personality, The Quest Profiler® is right for you. As one of the fastest-growing personality questionnaires in the UK, it is easy to use and can produce three different types of reports to suit your needs, such as individual development reports, team reports and selection & recruitment reports.

> Read how you can integrate The Quest Profiler® into your organisation

threesixty°

Performing 360° assessments can help you to identify the strengths and development areas of individuals by revealing how their colleagues perceive them, as well as providing meaningful feedback. Our threesixty° assessment gives you these unique insights and allows you to customise the training recommendations to match development interventions with your organisation's capabilities.

> Discover the threesixty° assessment tool now

Additional Psychometric Assessments Offered By eras

At eras we can support your business with further psychometric assessments. The Psychometric Portal® covers all the above assessments, together with questionnaires on company culture and engagement, job analysis, job matches, and much more.


The Growth Of Psychometric Assessments

Psychometric assessments have become increasingly popular throughout the years, with more businesses using them as part of the recruitment process. They are used to gain insight into potential candidates and ensure that they are saving time and resources on hiring the right people. They are also popular amongst individuals seeking to understand themselves better and support their own development.

Interested in how psychometrics can help you? You can call today on +44 (0)1379 652171 or email your query to info@eras.co.uk.

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Experts in Psychometrics

Need more information about how eras and psychometrics can help your business? Don't hesitate to get in touch with us today! We're always here to answer any questions you may have and help you choose the best solution for your needs.