Sunday, January 6, 2008

Types of tests for selection

Tests are classified into five types. They are:

(i)Aptitude tests
(ii)Achievement tests
(iii)Situational tests
(iv)Interest tests
(v)Personality test

Aptitude Tests: These tests measure whether an individual has the capacity or latent ability to learn a given job if given adequate training. Aptitudes can be divided into general and mental ability or intelligence and specific aptitude such as mechanical, clerical, manipulative capacity etc.

Intelligence Tests: These tests in general measure intelligence quotient of a candidates. In detail these tests measure capacity for comprehension, reasoning, word fluency, verbal comprehension, numbers, memory and space .Other factors such as digit spans—both forward and backward, information known, comprehension, vocabulary, picture arrangement and object assembly.

Though these tests are accepted as useful ones, they are criticized against deprived sections of the community. Further, it is also criticized that these tests may prove to be too dull as a selection device.

Mechanical Aptitude Tests: These tests measure the capacities of spatial visualization, perceptual speed and knowledge of mechanical matter. These tests are useful for selecting apprentices, skilled, mechanical employees, technicians etc.
Psychomotor Tests: These tests measure abilities like manual dexterity, motor ability and eye-hand coordination of candidates. These tests are useful to select semi-skilled workers and workers for repetitive operations like packing, watch assembly.
Clerical Aptitude Tests: Measure specific capacities involved in office work. Items of this test include spelling, computation, comprehension, copying, word measuring etc.

Achievement Tests: These tests are conducted when applicant claims to know something as these tests are concerned with what one has accomplished These tests are more useful to measure the value of specific achievement when an organization wishes to employ experienced candidates. These tests are classified into:
Job Knowledge test; (b) Work sample test.

Job Knowledge Test: Under this test a candidate is tested in the knowledge of a particular job. For example, if a junior lecturer applies for the job of a senior lecturer in commerce, he may be tested in job knowledge where he is asked questions about Accountancy principle, Banking, Law, Business Management etc.
Work Sample Test: Under this test a portion of the actual work is given to the candidates as a test and the candidate is asked to do it. If a candidate applies for a post of lecturer in Management he may be asked to deliver a lecture on Management Information System as work sample test.

Thus, the candidate’s achievement in his career is tested regarding his knowledge about the job and actual work experience.

Situational Test: This test evaluates a candidate in a similar real life situation. In this test the candidates is asked either to cope with the situation or solve critical situations of the job.

(a)Group Discussion: This test administered through group discussion approach to solve a problem under which candidates are observed in the areas of initiating, leading, proposing valuable ideas, conciliating skills, oral communicating skills, coordinating and concluding skills.

(b)In Basket: Situational test is administered through ‘in basket’ The candidate, in this test, is supplied with actual letters, telephone and telegraphic message, reports and requirements by various officers of the organization, adequate information about the job and organization. The candidates is asked to take decisions on various items based on the in basket information regarding requirements in the memoranda.

Interest Test: These tests are inventories of the likes and dislikes of candidates in relation to work, job, occupations, hobbies and recreational activities. The purposes of this test is to find out whether a candidate is interested or disinterested in the job for which he is a candidate and to find out in which area of the job range/occupation the candidate is interested. The assumption of this test is that there is a high correlation between the interest of a candidate in a job and job success. Interest inventories are less faked and they may not fluctuate after the age of 30.

Personality Tests: These tests prove deeply to discover clues to an individual’s value system, his emotional reactions and maturity and characteristic mood. They are expressed in such traits like self-confidence, tact, emotional control, optimism, decisiveness, sociability, conformity, objectivity, patience, fear, distrust, initiative, judgment dominance or submission, impulsiveness, sympathy, integrity, stability and self-confidence.
(a)Objective Tests: Most personality tests are objective tests as they are suitable for group testing and can be scored objectively.
(b)Projective Tests: Candidates are asked to project their own interpretation of certain standard stimulus situations basing on ambiguous pictures, figures etc, under these tests.

Personality tests have disadvantage in the sense that they can be faked by sophisticated candidates and most candidates give socially acceptable answers. Further, personality inventories may not successfully predict job success.

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