What Is the Definition of Psychometric Testing?

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Psychometric tests are scientific means of identifying and measuring a person's cognitive abilities and behavioral characteristics. Psychometric tests are used to determine the extent to which a person is suitable for a given task.

Employers, human resources managers and recruitment agencies are all examples of organizations that use psychometric testing. Recruitment agencies ask candidates to take psychometric tests in order to determine the types of jobs which suit the candidates. Employers and human resource managers perform psychometric testing on individuals after they have been hired. In both cases, the testing is intended to assess a person's individual ability to perform a specific type of task.

Psychometric testing is seen as unreliable by some job-seekers who feel that the tests do not accurately or fully represent all of their relevant skills. According to the Institute of Psychometric Coaching, however, psychometric testing is "very reliable in predicting candidates' performance, and provides an accurate evaluation of the applicant." The reason for the tests' accuracy is due to decades of real-world outcomes in which the testing has provided accurate data, according to the Test Partnership.

Both cognitive and behavioral testing test a range of abilities and take myriad forms. Subjects tested on psychometric tests include numerical reasoning, critical thinking, error identification and social intelligence.