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Cognitive Abilties Tests: Paper and pencil or individualized assessment measures of an

individual's general mental ability or intelligence.


These tests may be categorized as:
• General Intelligence Tests
• Aptitude Tests
○ Mechanical Aptitude
○ Clerical Aptitude
○ Spatial Aptitude
Advantages Disadvantages
• highly reliable • non-minorities typically score one
• verbal reasoning and numerical tests standard deviation above minorities
have shown high validity for a wide which may result in adverse impact
range of jobs depending on how the scores are used in
the selection process
• the validity rises with increasing
complexity of the job • differences between males and females
in abilities (e.g., knowledge of
• combinations of aptitude tests have mathematics) may negatively impact the
higher validities than individual tests scores of female applicants
alone
• may be administered in group settings
where many applicants can be tested at
the same time
• scoring of the tests may be completed by
computer scanning equipment
• lower cost than personality tests

Tips
Avoid pure intelligence tests Intelligence tests may require special administrive procedures and
increased costs associated with administration, scoring, and interpreting the results. Aptitude
tests are generally more suited for the employment area.
Job Analysis Before any test is administered, you should conduct a job analysis to identify the
job requirements and duties. Tests should be chosen to measure aptitudes and abilities related to
the job.
Adverse Impact Try to avoid tests that have demonstrated adverse impact. If a test is shown to
have adverse impact, then the use of the test should be validated in accordance with the Uniform
Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures.
Follow the Instructions Most tests include instructions for proper test administration and
scoring.

Summary of Cognitive Ability Tests


Examples of Cognitive Ability Tests
1. Employee Aptitude Survey A battery of employment tests designed to
meet the practical requirements of a personnel office. Consists of 10
cognitive, perceptual, and psychomotor ability tests. Nine of the 10 tests
have 5-minute time limits. The remaining test requires two to ten
minutes of testing time. Is a tool for personnel selection and a useful
diagnostic tool for vocational guidance and career counseling. For
situations in which it is desirable to retest an individual on an alternate
form, special retest norms are provided for interpreting retest scores.
○ Test 1--Verbal Comprehension. Each item consists of one word in
capital letters followed by four words in small letters. The
respondent is to choose the word in small letters that means
about the same as the word in capital letters. Scoring is the
number right minus 1/3 the number wrong.
○ Test 2--Numerical Ability. A battery of three tests: integers,
decimal fractions and common fractions, each is timed separately.
Designed to measure skill in the four basic operations of addition,
subtraction, multiplication, and division.
○ Test 3--Visual Pursuit. Designed to measure the ability to make
rapid scanning movements of the eyes without being distracted by
other irrelevant visual stimulation. Involves the visual tracing of
lines through an entangled network.
○ Test 4--Visual Speed And Accuracy. The test consists of two
columns of numbers; the respondent decides whether the number
in the first column in exactly the same as the number in the
second.
○ Test 5--Space Visualization. Designed to measure the ability to
visualize forms in space and to manipulate these forms or objects
mentally. The test taker is shown a group of numbered, piled
blocks and must determine, for a specifically numbered block,
how many other blocks touch it.
○ Test 6--Numerical Reasoning. Designed to measure the ability to
analyze logical relationships and to see the underlying principles
of such relationships. This is also known as the process of
inductive reasoning--making generalizations from specific
instances. The test taker is given a series of numbers and
determines what the next number will be. Scoring is the number
right minus 1/4 the number wrong.
○ Test 7--Verbal Reasoning, Revised. Designed to measure the
ability to analyze verbally stated facts and to make valid
judgments on the basis of the logical implications of such facts;
and thus, the ability to analyze available information in order to
make practical decisions. Scoring is the number of right answers
minus 1/2 the wrong answers.
○ Test 8--Word Fluency. Designed to measure the ability to express
oneself rapidly, easily and with flexibility. Word fluency involves
the speed and freedom of word usage as opposed to
understanding verbal meanings. People who measure high in this
ability are particularly good at expressing themselves and in
finding the right word at the right time. The test taker is given a
letter of the alphabet and asked to write as many words as
possible that begin with that letter.
○ Test 9--Manual Speed And Accuracy. Designed to measure the
ability to make rapid and precise movements with the hands and
fingers. Also measures, according to the authors, the
temperamental willingness to perform highly repetitive, routine,
and monotonous work. The test taker is to put a pencil dot in as
many circles as he or she can in five minutes, without letting the
dots touch the sides of the small circles.
○ Test 10-Symbolic Reasoning. : Designed to measure the ability to
think and reason abstractly, using symbols rather than words or
numbers; to manipulate abstract symbols mentally; and to make
judgments and decisions which are logical and valid. Each
problem contains a statement and a conclusion and uses certain
symbols such as the equal sign and mathematical symbols for
greater than and smaller than, etc. The test taker determines
whether the conclusion is definitely true, definitely false, or
impossible to determine on the basis of the statement. Scoring is
the number of right answers minus 1/2 the wrong answers.
2. Progressive Matrices, Advanced Sets I and II. A nonverbal test
designed for use as an aid in assessing mental ability. Requires the
examinee to solve problems presented in abstract figures and designs.
Scores are said to correlate well with comprehensive intelligence tests.
Set II provides a means of assessing all the analytical and integral
operations involved in the higher thought processes and differentiates
between people of superior intellectual ability.
3. Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test. Brief individually administered measure
of verbal and nonverbal intelligence for people aged 4-90. Developed
specifically for screening purposes and for those situations where it
would be difficult to do a more in-depth assessment. Norms are
provided for all ages. Composed of two subtests, vocabulary and
matrices. Vocabulary measures verbal, school-related skills by
assessing word knowledge and verbal concept formation. Matrices
measures nonverbal skills and ability to solve new problems. Items in
matrices subtest involve pictures and designs.
4. Short-term Memory Tests A form of cognitive ability test that are
exemplified by short-term memory tasks such as forward digit span and
serial rote learning, which do not require mental manipulation of inputs
in order to provide an output. Short-term memory tests lack face validity
in predicting job performance.
5. Information Processing Tests Selection tests that have the same
information processing requirements that occur on the job. In other
words, the tests are tailored for each particular job. There is some
evidence that adverse impact is reduced.
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Personality Tests: A selection procedure measure the personality characteristics of


applicants that are related to future job performance. Personality tests typically measure
one or more of five personality dimensions: extroversion, emotional stability,
agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience.
Advantages Disadvantages
• can result in lower turnover due if • difficult to measure personality traits
applicants are selected for traits that are that may not be well defined
highly correlated with employees who • applicant's training and experience may
have high longevity within the have greater impact on job performance
organization than applicant's personality
• can reveal more information about • responses by applicant may may be
applicant's abilities and interests altered by applicant's desire to respond
• can identify interpersonal traits that may in a way they feel would result in their
be needed for certain jobs selection
• lack of diversity if all selected
applicants have same personality traits
• cost may be prohibitive for both the test
and interpretation of results
• lack of evidence to support validity of
use of personality tests
Tips
Select traits carefully An employer that selects applicants with high degree of 'assertiveness',
'independence', and 'self-confidence' may end up excluding females significantly more than
males which would result in adverse impact.
Select tests carefully Any tests should have been analyzed for (high) reliability and (low)
adverse impact.
Not used exclusively Personality tests should not be the sole instrument used for selecting
applicants. Rather, they should be used in conjunction with other procedures as one element of
the selection process. Applicants should not be selected on the basis of personality tests alone.

Summary of Personality Tests


1. Since there is not a correct answer to personality tests, the scoring of
the procedure could be questioned.
2. Recent litigation has suggested that some items for these types of tests
may be too intrusive (Soroka v. Dayton Hudson, 1991).
3. This technique lacks face validity. In other words, it would be difficult to
show how individual questions on certain personality measures are job
related even if the overall personality scale is a valid predictor of job
performance.
4. Hooke and Krauss (1971) administered three (3) tests to sergeant
candidates; the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, the Allport-
Vemon-Lindzey Study of Values, and the Gough Adjective Check List.
These tests did not differentiate candidates rated as good sergeant
material from those rates as poorer candidates. The researchers
concluded that the groups may have been so similar that these tests
were not sensitive enough to differentiate them.

Types of Personality Tests


1. Personal Attribute Inventory. An interpersonal assessment instrument
which consists of 50 positive and 50 negative adjectives from Gough's
Adjective Check List. The subject is to select 30 which are most
descriptive of the taregt group or person in question. This instrument
was specifically designed to tap affective reactions and may be used in
either assessing attitudes toward others or as a self-concept scale.
2. Personality Adjective Checklist A comprehensive, objective measure of
eight personality styles (which are closely aligned with DSM-III-R Axis II
constructs). These eight personality styles are: introversive, inhibited,
cooperative, sociable, confident, forceful, respectful, and sensitive. This
instrument is designed for use with nonpsychiatric patients and normal
adults who read minimally at the eighth grade level. Test reports are
computer-generated and are intended for use by qualified professionals
only. Interpretive statements are based on empirical data and
theoretical inference. They are considered probabilistic in nature and
cannot be considered definitive. (2K )
3. Cross-Cultural Adaptability Inventory Self-scoring six-point rating scale
is a training instrument designed to provide feedback to individuals
about their potential for cross-cultural effectiveness. It is most effective
when used as part of a training program. It can also be used as a team-
building tool for culturally diverse work groups and as a counseling tool
for people in the process of cross-cultural adjustment. The inventory
contains 50 items, distributed among 4 subscales: emotional resilience,
flexibility/openness, perceptual acuity, personal autonomy. Materials:
4. California Psychological Inventory Multipurpose questionnaire designed
to assess normal personality characteristics important in everyday life
that individuals make use of to understand, classify, and predict their
own behaviors and that of others. In this revision, two new scales,
empathy and independence, have been added; semantic changes were
made in 29 items; and 18 items were eliminated. The inventory is
applicable for use in a variety of settings, including business and
industry, schools and colleges, clinics and counseling agencies, and for
cross cultural and other research. May be used to advise
employees/applicants about their vocational plans.

Sample Questions of Personality Tests


The following items are similar to items found on personality tests:
Never Seldom Sometimes Often Always
I enjoy reading books of fiction.
1.

I am more conservative than risk taking.


2.

Sometimes I get very nervous.


3.

I more often introduce myself to strangers


4. than strangers introduce themselves to me.

I consider myself more of a doer than a


5. thinker.
I like to set goals before beginning a
6. project.

I like to follow schedules.


7.

I think it is OK to bend the rules to


8. complete a task on time.

I enjoy long weekends.


9.

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Physical Abilities Tests: Tests typically test applicants on some physical requirement
such as lifting strength, rope climbing, or obstacle course completion.
Advantages Disadvantages
• can idendentify individuals who are • costly to administer
physically unable to perform the • requirements must be shown to be job
essential functions of a job without related through a thoroughjob analysis
risking injury to themselves or others
• may have age based disparate impact
• can result in decreased costs related to against older applicants
disability/medical claims, insurance, and
workers compensation
• decreased absenteeism

Tips
Fitness for the job Rejection of an applicant for failing a physical abilities test must be based on
a determination of the individual's fitness for the job not on a general determination on the
disabilities of the applicant.
Liability Although a physician may administer the physical abilities test, it is the employer who
decides to hire or not, therefore the liability for violations of Title VII or ADA will rest with the
employer.
Job Analysis Identify stresses that occur on the job.
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Work Sample Tests: Designed to have high content validity through a close relationship
with the job.
Work Sample tests are based on the premise that the best predictor of future
behavior is observed behavior under similar situations. These tests require the
examinee to perform tasks that are similar to those that are performed on the
job.
Advantages Disadvantages
• high reliability • costly to administer; often can only be
• high content validity since work samples administered to one applicant at a time
are a sample of the actual work • although useful for jobs where tasks and
performed on the job duties can be completed in a short
• low adverse impact period of time, these tests have less
ability to predict performance on jobs
• because of their relationship to the job, where tasks may take days or weeks to
these tests are typically viewed more complete
favorable by examinees than aptitude or
personality tests • less able to measure aptitudes of an
applicant thus restricting the test to
• difficult for applicants to fake job measuring ability to perform the work
proficiency which helps to increase the sample and not more difficult tasks that
relationship between score on the test may be encountered on the job
and performance on the job
• Work Sample tests use equipment that is
the same or substantially similar to the
actual equipment used on the job

Tips
Job Analysis Critical for identifying the content of the job from which samples will be
developed. The Critical Incident Technique would be useful for identifying job duties/tasks that,
if sampled on the test, would result in high predictive validity (criterion related validity).
High Content Validity The test should be constructed with the intent of developing a
highly content valid test. The content validity is build into the test.
Equipment If specific equipment is used by incumbents on the job, try to incorporate all or
some of that equipment on the test. Of couse, the safety of the applicant should take precedence
over use of dangerous or unfamiliar tools or machines.

Types of Work Sample Tests


1. Work-Sample Tests of Trainability These are tests through a period of
instruction when the applicant is expected to learn tasks involved in a
work sample. The work-sample tests of trainability are suitable for
untrained applicants with no previous job experience. The predictive
validity of this technique is low relative to other techniques and there is
evidence the validity of the instrument may attenuate over time.
2. Simulation of an Event These tests present the candidate with a
picture of an incident along with quotations from those involved. The
candidates then respond to a series of questions in which they write
down the decisions they would make. The test is scored by subject
matter experts.
3. Low Fidelity Simulations These tests present applicants with
descriptions of work situations and five alternative responses for each
situation. Applicants choose the responses they would most likely and
least likely make in each situation.
4. Work-samples Applicants perform observable, job-related behaviors as
predictors of criterion performance. It is not feasible to adapt certain
work behaviors for testing. Work samples often are not conducive to
group administration and, therefore, were dropped from consideration
because of concerns regarding test security.
Validating Work Sample Tests
1. Content Validity The most direct relationship between the test and job
would be shown through content validation. The tasks and duties
performed on the test would be compared to the tasks and duties
performed on the job. The test should encompass significant (in quantity
or in importance) tasks/duties of the job.
2. Criterion Validity To measure this validity, you must first determine
what criteria will be used. Two common forms of criteria are:
○ Supervisory ratings of the incumbent's job performance. The
disadvantage of using supervisory ratings as criteria is that they
typically lack sufficient reliability to be used for statistical analysis.
The reliability of these measures is attenuated by rater errors
such as 'halo' or 'leniency'. These ratings alto tend to lack the
variability necessary to show a correlation between predictor and
criterion.
○ Production measures such as quantity or quality of work.
Production measures are not available for some jobs.
The predictor measures used with work sample tests include:
○ Number of work samples completed (using a time limit)
○ Time to complete work samples (using a limit on the number of
work samples to be completed on the test)
○ Number and type of errors
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Empirical test

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Psychometric test

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MBTI personalitty test

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TAT

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FIRO B

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BELBIN

The MBTI® model (along with other personality theories and


psychometrics models) is particularly useful for:
• understanding and developing yourself
• understanding and developing others
• understanding what motivates others
• understanding others' strengths and weaknesses
• working in teams - by ensuring that all relevant necessary
capabilities are represented in the team
• allocating and agreeing tasks and project responsibilities
• agreeing roles and development with others and for oneself
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Aptitude tests are intended to measure your ability to do something, such as complete a special skill or
accomplish a task in a certain amount of time. Many employers believe that giving aptitude tests to
prospective employees helps them determine who the best candidates are for a particular job. Therefore,
you should be aware of how some aptitude tests are evaluated by employers.

Read more: Why Do Employers Give Aptitude Tests? |


eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_6329468_do-employers-give-aptitude-
tests_.html#ixzz0zYkBwU5M
Ability or aptitude tests measure an applicant’s intellectual capacity in specific areas. A wide variety of
aptitude tests are available with the most common types being:
• Verbal reasoning
• Numerical reasoning
• Conceptual / abstract reasoning
• Problem solving
• Spelling and grammar
• Decision making
• Computer and office skills

Advantages of aptitude tests:


• They are relatively free of bias and prejudice and are difficult to cheat on
• They are often very cost effective as their high predictive value helps ensure a good job fit.
Disadvantages of aptitude tests:
• Appropriately designed and validated tests must be used and these can be costly.
• You must ensure the test used are appropriate for the role you are trying to fill.

Assessment Centres

What are assessment centres?

Assessment centres are a process of combining a number of different assessment techniques. They
generally take place over 1-5 days and bring together a range of candidates for a job or potential
promotion.
Assessment centres often test:
• Ability
• Personality
• Work samples
• Verbal skills and oral presentations
• Written skills and applications
• Interviews
• and perform reference checks
Advantages of assessment centres:
• They are a valid predictor of job performance
• They provide an objective way of testing a number of candidates under the same circumstances
• Multiple assessors often mean that the process is more rigorous than others
• Behaviour can be observed throughout the testing process
Disadvantages of assessment centres:
• A lot of time is required to construct and conduct the tests
• It may not be realistic to expect candidates to commit the time required to them

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Ability tests measure either general or particular skills, capability and acumen. This category of test
can include:

• numerical tests: assess how well you interpret data, graphs, charts or statistics, and can test
basic arithmetic.
• verbal reasoning: assess how you well you understand written information and evaluate
arguments and statements.
• non-verbal reasoning: assess how well you follow diagrammatic information, spot patterns or
your spatial awareness.
• logical reasoning: assess how well you follow through to a conclusion given basic information,
or using your current knowledge or experience.
Employers may also run tests to assess your problem-solving skills or ability to identify mistakes
accurately: eg proofreading, or basic spelling and grammar tests.

An ability test will typically measure general skills that someone of your education, experience and
background is likely to possess already. Ability tests can also be combined with aptitude tests to
measure both your current skills, and your capacity to develop new abilities that will be needed on
the job.

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Self-Assessments
A. This technique involves applicants generating self-ratings on relevant
performance Over time, self-assessments can be useful to clarify job
performance expectations between employees and supervisors (Bassett
& Meyer, 1968; Campbell & Lee, 1988), but initial discrepancies in
understanding of what job requirements and performance dimensions
between self- and supervisor ratings cause problems in a performance
appraisal system (e.g., Ash, 1980).

Problems with this approach:


1. Self-ratings show greater leniency, less variability, more bias, and less
agreement with the judgments of others (Ash, 1980; Harris &
Schaubroeck, 1988; Johns, Nilsen & Campbell, 1993; Thornton, 1980;
van Vliet, Kletke, & Chakraborty, 1994; Williams & Levy, 1992).
2. The predictive validity of this technique is questionable (Mabe & West,
1982). The predictors related to self-assessments and supervisor's
ratings may show a lack of congruence (e.g., self-efficacy related to
self-ratings) (Lane & Herriot, 1990).
3. Research suggests that applicants may not honestly respond to this
type of technique (Love & Hughes, 1994).
4. Self assessment scores tend to be inflated (Gupta & Beehr, 1982; Ash,
1980).
5. Evidence suggests there is low face validity and perceived fairness
associated with using this technique to promote law enforcement
personnel.
6. The evidence suggests low accuracy compared to objective measures
(George & Smith, 1990; DeNisi & Shaw, 1977).
7. Self-assessments may not correspond to ratings from other sources
(e.g., peers) due to a lack of congruence on which specific job
dimensions are to be assessed and the relative importance of specific
job dimensions (Zalesny & Kirsch, 1989; Zammuto, London, & Rowland,
1982).
8. Congruency in ratings between supervisors and employees may be
affected by the decision of supervisors to agree with the self-
assessments of employees to avoid potential employee relation
conflicts