Classification of Psychological Tests

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 16: Psychological Tests

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4



1. Individual Vs. Group Test

Tests can be classified as individual tests and group test on the basis of how a characteristic is measured by the test. Individual tests are given to a single individual at a time usually by a trained examiner who also observes his behaviour carefully throughout the testing period and then awards the scores. Many versions of I.Q. tests are given in a one to one situation. Eg. Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale used for clinical evaluation.

Group tests on the other hand, are usually presented in a format which allows the individual to record his own responses and can be simultaneously given to a number of individuals, without any special need of observing their behaviour. Group tests are supposed to be more objective because their administration scoring and interpretation is done in a routine manner for industrial testing.

2. Paper Pencil Test Vs. Performance Test

Tests can be classified into paper pencil and performance test on the basis of medium used for testing. In paper pencil tests, the testee simply receives a test paper or printed booklet containing the test questions, and he records his responses in some written manner on the answer sheet that is usually provided. 

As the name implies in performance test a person has usually to manipulate certain objects or pictures or block or assemble parts of a mechanical device that is to perform or act in a certain manner. 

3. Language Vs. Non-Language Test

They are also known as verbal and non-verbal tests. In verbal tests, offcourse, the test items are not only in written or spoken form but subject responses are also in a language form. Most of the test usually use a language. Verbal test is used to identify the ability to understand, analyze and interpret written information of an applicant. Non verbal test involves the ability to understand and analyze visual information and solve problems using visual reasoning. Most of such tests have items in the form of pictures, designs, figures, or some other symbols. This test can be used for deaf, illiterate and foreign language speaking people. It enables people to analyze and solve complex problems without relying upon or being limited by language skills.

4. Speed Vs. Power Test

Every item is very easy – the task is to complete as many items as possible in a short time. A classic speed test would contain many items of almost equal difficulty, thus, the score obtained is entirely dependent upon how fast the subject completes a given number of items in a given amount of time. Usually, the time limit is so short that no one is able to achieve a perfect score. 

In classic power test, test items are arranged in increasing difficulty, some items are too difficult for anyone to solve, so that, the tests scores depend upon how many items the subject solves in a given amount of time. The time limit is, however, so determined that it is long enough to permit one to solve all the items. 

5. Selection Test Vs. Classification Test

In selection test, an organization may decide to accept some persons and reject others for filling it various jobs. The major characteristics of such decisions are that it rejects some individuals whose future performance is no direct consequence to the organization. 

Classification test requires special consideration to determine on which of the several possible assignments a person will be able to do his best. For instance, a university classification test may assign a particular student to a particular course after taking into account his test scores. 

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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