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How Psychometric Tests Are Developed and Why You Can't Do It Yourself

Posted on the 29 January 2013 by Onetest @onetest_hr


How Psychometric Tests are Developed and Why You Can't Do it Yourself


Psychometric testing is typically used in recruitment to help companies find the best possible person for the role and to help existing employees understand their strengths and areas for development.

Psychometric testing consists of administering a set of questions, designed by Organisational Psychologists, that measure underlying individual attributes such as cognitive ability and personality traits, in a statistically valid and reliable way. That is, the tests measure what they are designed to measure and return consistent results over time.

In order to be valid and reliable, psychometric testing must be administered and scored in a standardised way and appropriate population normative data should be provided to ensure results are interpreted correctly.

What is the Difference Between Psychometric Testing and Surveys?

A survey is a set of questions that gathers people’s opinions on a topic. Surveys are very useful in the workplace but the results only provide insight into opinions and that is all.

By comparison, a psychometric test is a set of specific questions that predicts a certain outcome with a level of statistical confidence. That is, if a person answers a question in a particular way, they will be likely to exhibit certain behaviour in the workplace.

For example, a survey about safety practices will tell you what people think about safety practices but this will have no relation to their actual safety behaviour. On the other hand, a psychometric test designed to measure safety behaviour will accurately predict how safely people will actually behave in the workplace.

What can Psychometric Testing Measure?

Psychometric testing can be used to predict behaviours, attitudes and future job performance. Each test is designed to measure a particular attribute, for example safety behaviour or emotional intelligence. By using a series of psychometric tests organisations are able to assess the most important attributes for each position and select the best candidate for the job.

At Onetest, we have developed psychometric tests to measure:

  • Cognitive Ability
  • Workplace Safety
  • Values
  • Work Reliability
  • Work Preferences
  • Behavioural Profile
  • Personality (16PF)
  • Emotional Intelligence

Talk to us today to find out how Onetest’s psychometric testing and employee surveys can help you find and nurture truly talented people in your organisation.


By Matthew Clarksonveloping a psychometric test is a long and involved process. It simply isn’t possible for reputable companies to develop effective psychometric tests in a short period of time or for employers to write their own questionnaires that identify the best candidates reliably. This is because developing a truly predictive psychometric test is a rigorous scientific process that that takes highly trained professionals years to develop and perfect!

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