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9.5.2 Psychometric testing

Designed by psychologists, psychometric assessments are used to assess a person's abilities, personality, motivations, values and interests under standardised conditions in line with a particular role. There are many different types of assessment all with the aim of helping the assessor build an overall profile of the client and, importantly, how that client might fit within a specific workplace.

Psychometric assessments typically fall into two categories: aptitude tests and personality inventories.

Psychological assessment (psychometric testing) can add value to the whole-of-person assessment approach by:

  • developing a picture of an individual's aptitudes and attributes; and
  • predicting how these will affect their performance in a particular situation.

There are a large number of psychometric testing tools available and the test required will depend on the type of rehabilitation setting (medical, psychosocial and or vocational). They must be selected and administered in ways that are unbiased and don't lead the client.

Psychometric assessments typically fall into two categories: aptitude tests and personality tests.

There are aptitude tests for:

  • general problem solving;
  • numerical reasoning
  • verbal reasoning;
  • critical thinking;
  • mechanical, clerical, linguistic, musical or artistic abilities;
  • manual dexterity;
  • reaction time and
  • hand/eye coordination.

There are personality tests for:

  • interpersonal style;
  • work/team style;
  • leadership style; and
  • motivational style.

Psychometric tests should not be the sole instrument used for the assessment and placement of clients.  They should be used in conjunction with other assessment tools, as one element of the assessment process. Most commonly, they are used to assess the person's preferred strengths for a position or job type.

These tests define the critical characteristics needed for success in a position, to determine the match between the person's profiles and the "ideal" profile for a specific workplace.

Psychometric Tests may be used in conjunction with general assessment tools.  Some of these are discussed in the following topics.