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5 Psychometric Tests Every Student Must Take

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By Dr. Srividya
10 Mar'22  9 min read
5 Psychometric Tests Every Student Must Take

As the career landscape is becoming more dynamic with a wider breadth of career options to offer, it will only be helpful if the decisions students take pertaining to their subject, courses, and career choices, are absolutely informed decisions. This article speaks of what role psychometric tests play in facilitating self-awareness, and thereby supporting students in making the right decisions. While a primary component of making informed decisions is knowing what is happening in the industry, an equally important aspect is to know oneself well, which is exactly what psychometric tests help us with. Read on to know. 

Read more
5 Psychometric Tests Every Student Must Take

As the career landscape is becoming more dynamic with a wider breadth of career options to offer, it will only be helpful if the decisions students take pertaining to their subject, courses, and career choices, are absolutely informed decisions. This article speaks of what role psychometric tests play in facilitating self-awareness, and thereby supporting students in making the right decisions. While a primary component of making informed decisions is knowing what is happening in the industry, an equally important aspect is to know oneself well, which is exactly what psychometric tests help us with. Read on to know. 

Read more

Till yesterday, subject choices and careers were more a function of your marks or entrance exam performances. Students who scored high percentages usually took science subjects, students who were primarily from business families took commerce, students who were not keen on academics took humanities. This was the trend in most schools in India, and even today, students fear taking humanities in some families, for fear of being looked down upon.

However, with time, there has been a visible realisation among the masses as to how these perceived differences are merely mental blocks, grounded in societal creation. The last few years have seen the rise of psychometric tests to help students understand their strengths, and pursue careers that are in line with their aptitudes and strengths. So, what are the different types of psychometric tests, and how do you decide which ones to take? This article highlights the relevance of different types of psychometric tests.

Interest Inventories

It goes without saying that a student who finds a subject or an area interesting would willingly read, or pursue a subject. For example, based on your experience of studying these subjects in school, you would know if you are interested in maths, physics or English literature. But, what about careers? While in school, we hardly gain practical exposure to the practice of any career, and if it all, it is only a bird’s eye view. So, how is a student supposed to understand which career/s they are interested in? Career interest tests might be the solution!

Psychology offers many assessments or psychometric tests for students that provide you with an insight into your occupational profiles and interests. Occupational interest profiling involves understanding the broad areas and activities that would be of interest to a student. These tests may also be referred to as ‘career interest tests’. Careers and roles that cater to these interests will be more satisfying for an individual.

For example, some of you may like to research a topic, analyse the findings, and get a deeper understanding. This might mean that you have an investigative bent of mind or interest.

Some of you may find it very hard to sit still and work, or study for long hours. It is common to see students who feel very fidgety while studying, but who do exceedingly well at sports. You find yourself more drawn towards careers or tasks that require you to get physically active or engage with your body.

Psychometric tests for students that identify key interest areas are very helpful in knowing what would engage you professionally. Some established and internationally acclaimed career interest tests include the Holland Interest Inventory and the Thurstone Interest Schedule.

Personality Tests

Almost everyone talks about personality in terms of physical attributes like height, stage presence, communication, and other facets. In psychology, ‘Personality’ is described as the typical way in which a person thinks, feels, behaves, and refers to a usually consistent pattern of behaviours or traits. If you observe closely, you will know that different people, even those very closely connected to each other, have different qualities and preferences, and these typical ways of behaving have a huge influence on career success and satisfaction.

For example, you may know someone who is very meticulous and organised, and prefers to work with detailed schedules and plans. On the other hand, you will also know of others who like to live life on the edge and get very bogged down by routines and ‘to-do’ lists. These are inherent styles or preferences of working, and they impact the way a person approaches a career.

If you like to work in an organised way, you might be more suitable for roles in operations, logistics, project management, administration, etc. On the other hand, if you work your best under pressure, and thrive when the adrenaline rush is high, you may be a good fit for media, entertainment, event management, emergency, and defence services. These differences can be well quantified and brought to light by ‘personality type tests’.

There isn’t enough awareness in students about the connection between personality types and careers. Psychologists have conducted over a hundred years of research to identify different personality types and how they influence career choices and job satisfaction. Knowing your personality type can be valuable in choosing a career that you find fulfilling and aligned with your needs. This is where the role of personality type tests comes in.

psychometric tests for students, psychometric assessments for students, personality type test, aptitude test, career interest testsPsychometric tests for students

An internationally acclaimed personality type test is the Myers Briggs scale. This helps you locate your preferences across 16 personality types, and each of these is accompanied by career and occupational suggestions and recommendations. The Gallup Strengths profile is another tool used by industry often. There are also other adaptations of personality inventories, or personality type tests, that are more easily available and less expensive to administer.

Values And Motivators

It is a common notion that everybody is motivated by money and a luxurious lifestyle. Most people take jobs or pick careers that pay handsomely. A few years into a job, and often there is a growing realisation that the work is not meaningful or valuable in some way, and the pay package loses its charm. At this juncture, many feel disillusioned or frustrated at work.

The truth is that while money does matter to help us live a comfortable life, for most people, other aspects like freedom, leisure time, learning, fame, growth, etc. also matter. These are underlying values and motivators that surface when a job does not allow you to fulfil or live a life by your values.

It is helpful for all students and professionals to understand their underlying motivators and values at work. There are several psychometric tests for students that can help them understand their values or motivations concretely. The Value Preference Survey, by Uday Pareek, is a short and easy-to-use test, to identify and measure your values. Knowing your values can really help you align your course and career choices with what you find more important in life.

Aptitude And Skills

Many schools and students have recently started using aptitude tests to help class 10 students choose subjects and streams for high school. These aptitude tests usually assess the student in areas like mathematics, engineering, art, verbal ability, logical thinking, mechanical aptitude, spatial orientation, etc. Based on the scores on these parameters, students are recommended streams like sciences, humanities, commerce, or other combinations of subjects.

For example, when an aptitude test brings out that a student has a strong aptitude in maths and logical ability, it suggests that the student may do well in areas like computer sciences, data sciences, statistics, actuarial sciences.

A student who is good at sciences and has a high mechanical aptitude may be excellent at engineering professions. If this student also has a high aptitude for art/design, then areas like automobile design, product design, etc. become good choices too. Aptitude tests help clearly bring out the areas that a student is naturally strong in.

Some well-recognised aptitude tests include David’s Battery Of Differential Aptitude (DBDA), and Differential Aptitude Test (DAT). Indian adaptations of the same are also available, and are usually less expensive to use.

Learning Styles

Have you ever noticed that some people learn well and easily when they see videos or mind maps? Some others like to close their eyes and listen closely, and understand best when they focus on the sound or audio. Some of you may like to learn by doing and trying out different things, and remember best by doing and observing for yourself.

Psychological research has revealed that everyone has a slightly different learning style based on how their brain functions. Some of you may be more visually inclined, which means that you learn better through pictures, images, and videos. This might indicate that you may have a visual learning style.

For those of you who like to read aloud, and learn best when someone explains the concept to you, you may have an auditory learning style.

In reality, our brains like to learn through a combination of styles, and if you know your learning style, it enhances your understanding and performance in academics, as well as whatever different activities you choose to be a part of. Most students struggle to learn and memorise because they are unaware of their inherent learning styles.

The Kolb Learning Styles Inventory is a well-known psychometric test for students to help them assess their learning style, so they could change the way they learn, such that it aligns with how their brains are wired. It is useful to do this test in middle school itself as it makes it easier for students to learn and prepare for exams.

General Guidelines For Using Psychometric Assessments

The design of psychological tests is an expensive and time-consuming process that takes many years. As a result, many educational institutions and schools find it expensive to purchase these psychometric tests for students. It is always recommended to acquire licensed versions of tests for valid and reliable results. Many tools have less expensive and well-designed Indian adaptations too that could also be used.

There are many tools available on the internet that are free and easy to use. Please use these tools with care, as they may not be as robust or complete, and may give you a score that may not be valid for you. The costs incurred if you select a subject or course that does not suit you are far higher than the price of the psychological tool, so do consider using licensed and validated tests.

Consult a school guidance counsellor or career counsellor, so they can administer the tests and score them accurately for you. Psychological testing is both a science and an art, and it is essential to consult certified career counsellors, preferably those with a psychology degree. They are trained to interpret the results for you and guide you accordingly.

Choosing careers and courses can be daunting for anyone. Psychometric tests for students are available to help them build clarity and greater self-awareness such that they can choose their careers aligned with their preferences, strengths, and needs.

So, go ahead and spend a little time building your self-awareness. Wish you the very best!

Dr. Srividya is an organisational psychologist, career, and personal growth coach. She works with teens, parents, adults, and returning professionals, to help them align their personal and professional needs, desires, and overcome personal and professional challenges. She can be reached at www.lifevidya.in.

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