At the start, it would be good to understand what psychometric testing seeks to achieve. The tests are a set of physical and mental queries intended to get a better understanding of the individual's conditioning. Most examinations aim at testing the learning capability of the student and never get to access the mental makeup of a person. The tests aim at revealing the cognitive capacity of the person before taking to making life-changing educational decisions.
So if done correctly, the psychometric tests can reveal the suitability of the student to a particular field of study. Rather than focus on what pays more or what the parents would want the child to pursue, a psychometric test would best match the capability to the needs of the skill market.
It would be wrong to have the tests done right at the beginning of the school education. That is the child has to attain a stable stage in their development to have the right assessment done using the tests. If the individual is too young, the traits that were made a note of early on might be subject to changes as the character is formed and behavioral traits harden.
The psychometric tests should be done at crucial junctures in the students' lives to make a difference to the person. Ideally, the tests should be done towards the middle of the school life when the children would have attained the age of around fourteen or fifteen. This would have allowed both the boys and girls to have matured sufficiently to have formed traits of adult behavioral patterns.
The test consists of a questionnaire which seeks to understand the traits and personality types of people. It is essential to answer the queries truthfully to get the most benefit from the process. If the information is given wrong, it is the person who is getting the assessment done that is going to be adversely affected.
With the use of computers to do the testing, it is possible to have a lot more directed questions. Each subsequent question is decided by how the person gets to answer the earlier questions and so on. One of the strong points of the computer testing model is that it has been possible to have subdivisions to the dominant traits which were not possible earlier.
It is the individual who takes the final call as to be tested by the computer mode or the written style. Rarely does the method of testing decide or influence the final results and it is more of the convenience of the test taker more than anything else.
The traditional approaches to understanding personality traits never stressed the role of temperament or what is now called the emotional quotient (EQ). The EQ gets to relate a person to the situations around them and often the amount of volatility in the person's temperament. As has been observed in the past, it is the calm individual who gets to be in better control of situations, no matter how acute and heated it might be.
When the correct assessment of the individuals EQ is made, it would be possible to guide him to a field that would be the best match for the kind of temperament. This brings stability to the career choice and in the very long term a better satisfaction in the chosen field. A mismatch in this aspect could cause acute distress to the person and more importantly affect the health to a large extent.
Thus by using the psychometric tests well it is possible to guide the students towards the right choice of career and subject to follow.
The psychometric tests aim at bringing greater harmony between the students and the field of study that they propose to undertake. The employer class would like to have people working for them who are comfortable in the chosen field, and the tests would help decide if the person is right for the role being considered.
A worker who is the best fit for the role is bound to be more productive and thus would bring the most benefits to the firm or the employer that uses him. Therefore the final aim of the psychometric tests on students should be to have a more harmonious society as a whole.
All over the world, the stress is on providing individuals with the best opportunities to prosper and grow. At the same time, there is a greater need to protect the privacy of the individual more than ever. Thus the testing procedures are done in such a manner that the private details of the person undergoing the testing and in case there are some personal issues are not brought to the public domain.
Another vital part of the development of the tests is the need to be neutral as far as cultural and social statuses are concerned. Thus the questions are so framed to avoid advantages or the disadvantages to people due to the backgrounds that they come from. At the same time, the tests are not to be taken as the final word in deciding the suitability of a person to a course of study.
At present, there is no compulsion that school students need to undergo psychometric tests at any time during their study. However, the tests are recommended to students to understand themselves and their temperaments better. It is thus more of a self-help and self-awareness step than a mandated study of the person.
Thus the psychometric test must be performed with the due balance being exercised and to better guide the student and not as a mandatory requirement for studying a particular course.