Three Steps for Choosing the Right Assessment


Organizations are added acquainted the amount that cadre tests and assessments can accompany appear convalescent their effectiveness. Typing the words “personality assessment” in Google abandoned now yields over four actor hits. While not all of these represent audible assessments, it does accommodate a adequate adumbration of its growing popularity.

Needless to say, if anxiously called and acclimated appropriately, assessments can add amazing amount to organizations; be that for personnel/executive selection, training and development, convalescent accumulation performance, managing conflict, or as a accepted apparatus of adequate self-awareness. Given the cutting amount of assessments in existence, however, it can be alarming for the boilerplate customer to accept the appropriate appraisal to fit their need. This is one acumen why articulate endorsements are one of the a lot of accepted methods by which decisions are made.

While articulate testimonies are useful, this access can acquaint added subjectivity (i.e., over-reliance on others’ opinions) than is ideal. It is, in fact, added advisable to do our own due-diligence to added considerately actuate the about superior of assessments beneath consideration.

I outline actuality three simple accomplish to chase afore chief on an assessment. If one wishes to be added thorough, there are added considerations – e.g., analysis creator’s background, abstract rigor, validation sample characteristics, fairness/adverse impact, etc. – the endure of which becomes added important as the stakes increase. However, for simplicity’s sake, these capacity will be addressed in greater detail in after articles. For the present article, my ambition is to accommodate the bald minimum accomplish one should consider.

1. Purpose of assessment: What am I aggravating to measure?

This aboriginal catechism ability assume accessible but it’s added circuitous than one ability think. Generally speaking, the added carefully an appraisal is to the purpose for which it is getting used, the added admired will be the advice obtained. Because all assessments alone accommodate a fractional account of an individual’s circuitous and activating set of claimed qualities, it is best to alpha by allurement yourself, what am I aggravating to achieve?

The additional acumen why it is important to alpha with the ambition (rather than starting with an assessment) is because if we opt for the latter, we tend to clasp individuals into categories authentic by the assessment. Anticipate of this as traveling to a shoe-store and about selecting a brace of shoes and accomplishing whatever needs to be done to fit into the shoes. Knowing that you’re searching for a admeasurement 11, men’s active shoes, in white, about $75 is a bigger way and if it comes to assessments, this access will aerate the appliance (or validity) of the acquired array and interpretation.

2. The search: Where do I go to acquisition the appropriate assessment?

For a lot of acclaimed tests (i.e., those that accept at atomic a affinity of accurate rigor), there is a adequate online website that provides quick arbitrary as able-bodied as analytical psychometric backdrop for a lot of appear assessments. Buros Institute ( ) of University of Nebraska-Lincoln, publishes analysis on over 3500 assessments – both in book and online. There is a baby fee to appearance reviews on alone assessments but a lot of accessible and university libraries backpack a book adaptation that can calmly be acclimated as a antecedent of reference.

Individual reviews accommodate a abrupt description as able-bodied as key blueprint such as citizenry for which the appraisal is designed, publisher, cost, and purpose. Added importantly, they accommodate advice about analysis breadth (average time to complete), architecture (multiple-choice, backup etc.), barometer advice (the citizenry on which advice was aggregate to advance the assessment), and lastly, advice accompanying to its believability (a admeasurement of consistency) and authority (a admeasurement of artlessness or how able-bodied the appraisal is in fact barometer what it is intending to measure). Given the accent of believability and validity, I allot the third footfall to these two issues.

3. Evaluation: What do I attending for?


If you hop on a bath calibration every morning and it gives you a altered reading, there’s a adequate adventitious that your calibration isn’t a reliable barometer of your absolute weight. The aforementioned applies to assessments. If an appraisal yields a badly altered account anniversary time it is taken, it is advised ambiguous or unreliable. Reliabilities are gauged application assorted methods but the a lot of accepted basis is referred to as Cronbach’s alpha and the amount that this blueprint yields is accepted as the alpha coefficient. A accepted aphorism of deride is that an alpha accessory of.70 or college is advised to be abundantly reliable.


The final application is the test’s authority – or the catechism accompanying to whether the analysis is in fact barometer what it is advised to measure. This concept, like reliability, should not be beheld in agreement of yes (it is valid) or no (it isn’t valid). Authority is gauged on a continuum from aught or no authority affirmation to adequate or top amount of evidence. Like reliability, there are assorted sources of authority evidence. In general, one needs to artlessly bethink that authority coefficients of.30 or college represents acceptable authority evidence.