The term ‘psychometric’ is a general one and covers ability tests as well as questionnaires on personality and personal style. The Register of Psychometric Test Use: guidance counsellors, which is maintained by the Psychological Society of Ireland (PSI) endorses the professional competence of guidance counsellors in the administration of psychometric tests and supports the implementation of good practice in psychometric testing in schools. Tests of ability are considered measures of maximum performance and are designed to measure what a student is “capable of knowing” as opposed to attainment tests which measures what a student knows relative to a curriculum. The most commonly used ability tests are those measuring numerical, verbal and abstract reasoning.
Everyone is born with a unique set of natural abilities which enables them to perform certain tasks easily. It is important to discover these inborn talents by using an objective assessment tool. The workshops and assessment testing along with the up to date information offered by CTA can help you make informed and confident decisions. By uncover your own strengths and weaknesses, interests and aptitudes you can then start to navigate the ever-expanding range of career options available to you.
Types of assessment instruments
Standardised ability tests (sometimes referred to as psychometric tests) are designed to be curriculum-independent and measure more enduring and long term traits than the attainment of learning, that is, they measure what a student is capable of knowing rather than what is known.
Standardised achievement tests (sometimes referred to as attainment tests) measure what a student knows and can be used to assess, for example, students’ knowledge and skills in literacy and numeracy, and to determine progress in these areas.
On foot of information garnered from various assessment practices including ability and achievement tests, further information may be gathered through the administration of diagnostic tests to provide a more detailed view of a student’s learning strengths and needs.
A diagnostic test is designed to provide specific information about a student’s strengths and needs in some aspect of learning, for example, word identification skills or understanding of number concepts.
In addition, guidance counsellors may use the outcomes of ability and interest tests to guide and to support students’ decision-making regarding subject choice and senior cycle programme options and to support their career development, including planning for higher education and/or further education and training.
Both NEPS and NCGE provide guidelines on best practice in psychometric testing which are available from the Department of Education. You can also view the School Guidance Handbook from the NCGE by clicking on the following link:
*Source: Department of Education of Education & Skills, 2017