Different Types of Tests

Projective tests: These tests expect candidates to interpret problems or situations based on their own motives, attitudes, values etc. Many personality tests are projective in nature. A picture is presented to the person taking the test who is then asked to interpret or react to it. Since the pictures are clouded, the persons interpretation must come form inside – and thus get projected. The person supposedly projects into the picture his or her own emotional attitudes, motives, frustrations, aspirations, and ideas about life. Standard tests are also frequently used to assess the personality of the testee . For example, in the Thematic Appreciation Test, the testee is shown a picture and is asked to make up a story based on the picture. The responses are analyzed and a profile of personality is developed. However, projective tests have been under attack since they are unscientific and often reveal to bias of the test evaluator particularly if he is not properly trained.

Interest tests:

These are meant to find how a person in tests compares with the interests of successful people in a specific job. These tests show the areas of work in which a person is most interested. The basic idea behind the use of interest tests is that people are most likely to be successful in jobs they like. These tests could be used as effective selections tools. Obviously if you can select people whose interests are roughly the same as those of successful investments by using say the strong Campbell inventory in the jobs for which you are recruiting it is more likely that the applicants will be more successful in their new jobs. The chief problem with using the interest tests for selection purposes is that responses to the questions are not always sincere.

Preference test: These tests try to compare employee preferences with the job and organizational requirements. The job diagnostic survey developed by Hackman and Oldham is an example of a preference test . This test shows how people differ in their preferences or achievement meaningfulness , discretion etc in their jobs.

Achievement tests:

These are designed to measure what the applicant can do on the job currently i.e. whether the testee actually knows hat he or she claims to know. A typing test shows typing proficiency a shorthand test measures the testee’s ability to take dictation and transcribe etc. Such proficiency tests are also known as work sampling, it is a selection test wherein the job applicant’s ability to do a small portion of the job is tested. These tests are of two types: Motor, involving physical manipulation of things (e.g. trade tests for carpenters , plumbers, electricians) or Verbal, involving problems situations that are primarily a language oriented or people oriented (e.g. situational tests for supervisory jobs).

Since work samples are miniature replicas of actual job requirements they are difficult to fake. They offer concrete evidence of the proficiency of an applicant as against his ability to do the job . However, work sample tests are not cost effective as each candidate has to be tested individually . It is not easy to develop work samples for each job. Moreover, it is not applicable to all levels of the organization. Managerial jobs are often not possible to develop as a work sample test that can take one of all the full range of managerial abilities.

Simulation test:

Simulation exercise is a test which duplicates many of the activities and problems employees faces while at work. Such exercises are commonly used for hiring managers at various levels in an organization. To assess the potential of a candidate for managerial positions assessment centers are commonly used.

Source: HRM VSP