Varied aspects of Psychometric tests


The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has recently ordered 19,500 affiliated schools to put its entire staff including teachers, non-teaching employees, sweepers, bus drivers and conductors through a psychometric evaluation. This comes as an aftermath of a murder of a child in a school in Gurugram by a bus conductor. CBSE has announced that the onus of safety of children in school lies with its authorities. So, what are psychometric tests, let’s find out.

Psychometric tests are designed to measure a person’s suitability for a role based on the required personality characteristics and aptitude. Personality means the overall profile or combination of stable characteristics that capture the unique nature of a person. It is a combination of several physical and mental characteristics that determine how a person looks, thinks, feels and behaves. It also constitutes the way in which a person reacts and interacts with others.

Psychometric tests are done by experts in this field.

Evaluating competency

Here are a few parameters on the basis of which competency of a person is evaluated:

Accountability: Ability to assume responsibility for own actions and their implications. High scorers will have a consistent set of priorities and strong personal values. They will go by the rules and will not fall apart under pressure.

Interpersonal Relationship: It is the ability to connect with others and work for mutual interests. People with good interpersonal relationships will develop correct attitude, fine etiquettes and social sense, and interact effectively with friends, students and teachers. Being cheerful and friendly, they will look for areas of agreement, willingly share information and knowledge, and respond with concern to the needs and interests of others.

Health Management: Paying attention to the state of health, food and environment of the community and the people working along with. High scorers will be sensitive to the health and wellbeing of people and plan activities to promote them.

Helping attitude: Quality of a person to contribute to the performance success of others. High scorers will have a natural tendency to truly care for people, be ready to help.

People friendly: Quality of a person to relate and show respect and empathy to people. High scorers will be good at establishing rapport, have a natural tendency to truly care for people.

Positive attitude: Ability to think and act positively when dealing with a difficult situation. High scorers will be calm and reassuring, remain levelheaded, quickly recover from setbacks, and assume all is OK unless proved otherwise.

Process compliance: Ability to perform in accordance with the guidelines and the workflow systems. High scorers will be able to keep to the processes and procedures, follow set ways, keep track of mistakes and correct them.

Empathy: It is the ability to focus on the needs of another person and emotionally channelise a supportive response. High scorers will show respect to others, display care and concern to the problems in the society, reach out to friends in need, and enter into a meaningful dialogue with everyone. With helpful patterns of response and behaviour, they will be tolerant with diversity, build support networks, and foster sensitivity towards the environment.

Managing emotions: It is the ability to keep their own emotional balance and respond appropriately to different life situations. High scorers will have several mental tools to identify, express and manage their emotions in a healthy manner, and handle with ease, everyday responsibilities. They will share their feelings with students, teachers and parents, and integrate their life and work, while remaining cool and calm in critical situations.

Dealing with stress: It is the ability to handle excessive stress and cope with difficult situations. High scorers will be optimistic, anticipate stressful situations, cope with them effectively, and quickly recover from setbacks. Remaining level-headed and composed, they will respond positively to the demands of the moment, shift their focus whenever required, regularly track the outcome they want, and promptly meet the deadlines.

Self awareness: It is the ability to assess the self accurately and respond to the situations appropriately. High scorers will have a clear perception of their personal strengths, skills, and weaknesses, focus their attention on their personal development and move forward confidently to face challenges. They will realistically assess their self-worth, positively interpret the environment and change their response and behaviour to enhance the sense of their self-respect and self-esteem.

Identifying behaviour

Here are a few behaviour attributes on which people are tested:

Visual thinking: ability to visualise thoughts, tasks and projects fairly well, grasps ideas and concepts fast, and come out, often, with some good ideas. With a visually flexible mind, he/she will interconnect ideas, and make use of the knowledge and opportunities in productive ways.

Target focus: In a given context, he/she exhibits a fair ability to think in terms of goals to be achieved. Being above average at managing priorities, he/she is able to put things into perspective and stay on track. He/she will set sufficiently concrete goals with regard to productivity and efficiency, and put in effort to accomplish them.

Independent performer: He/she enjoys working alone and loves solitude. Motivated from within, he/she makes own decisions, and rarely relies on the recommendations of others. Having the priorities and values right, he/she is willing to stand up to the truth, and always gives a straight answer. He/she may be more productive when working alone than in a team set-up.

Team up: He/she is not very democratic when it comes to getting feedback from others and using it for self-improvement and decision making. Unable to shift into the perspective of others, he/she may not be the best person to recognise and appreciate different cultures and view points, or to maintain long-term relationship with them.

Optional thinking: He/she is always motivated by opportunities and possibilities, and is likely to choose the best option. He/she prefers to develop new ideas and ventures rather than maintain the status quo activities. Having many options, he/she is flexible, and will never get stuck with any situation. If something is not working he/she will figure out other ways of doing it.

Systematic thinking: He/she does not like to follow set ways of doing things, and may not always complete and finish what he/she starts. Process compliance is not his/her strength and he/she does not like to enforce compliance on others. Uncomfortable with predictable patterns, he/she would prefer differences and variations in the process.

Overview: He/she prefers to work on the overview, at the conceptual level, and see the big picture all at once. He/she is most effective when she can create a plan of action and delegate the execution to someone else. Thinking big deeply ingrained in the psyche with no limitations and no fears, he/she is able to release unlimited potential to focus on high value activities.

Detail-oriented: He/she needs to focus more on details when planning, organising and implementing something. Recalling specifics will help in clear understanding of things and their step by step analysis. It will be a good idea to write down a to-do-list, so that he/she can diligently move toward what he/she wants.

Proactive: He/she is highly motivated and loves taking risks. Being impatient for action, he/she likes to take initiative and get things done. He/she has an ability to create motion and momentum in others and translate innovative ideas into immediate action. In a stalemate he/she may create a plan to get things moving and spur others into action and reacts swiftly to situations.

Cautious: He/she will do better if He/she can work with more caution in situations that demand evaluation of possible threats, safety and security, and exercise patience. He/she needs to take more time to calculate the risks associated with different alternatives to avoid danger or damage. He/she also needs to feel in control for consistency and quality of action.

Active listening: He/she will pay attention to what others say, and interpret the message accurately. Picking up non-verbal signals to understand the meaning more clearly, he/she will focus the attention on the speaker, mentally validate the facts and figures, and respond appropriately.

Dealing with change: He/she looks for changes and challenges in the workplace and likes to do things differently. Ever prepared to face unexpected change, he/she will easily come out of the comfort zone, encourage others to adapt and respond positively and manage a fluid work environment successfully.

Data collection: He/she is most likely to be interested in digging up the past knowledge and projects to build lessons on case studies. Involving in research and investigation, he/she will be able to engage in collection, identification and measurement of past data to crate quality evidence for informed decisions-making.

Living in the present: He/she lives in the present and responds willingly to the demands of the moment. Being calm and the most reassuring person at home and at work, he/she deals with life better than most people. Reacting fast and remaining level-headed, he/she is very productive on short term assignments that require immediate action.

Futuristic thinking: He/she is a dreamer and is fascinated by future possibilities. Thinking further ahead, he/she will create a framework for the future, and direct the life and career towards it. As a forward thinking person, he/she will know what lies ahead and look at them through multiple frames, identifying the impact of his/her decisions and making necessary changes.

Career focus: He/she has a normal focus on the paths. He/she should take in life, learning and work. Exploring personal interests and opportunities, he/she will soon settle down to the chosen career. He/she believes in life work balance, does not allow work to take priority over personal matters, and manages the career choices accordingly.

Bodily expressive: To a great extent, he/she is able to coordinate voice, movement, facial expressions and gestures theatrically. He/she adds convincing extra touch to her message to make it unique. Using effective body language to support the message, he/she can project a strong image as the presenter to engage the audience.

Reasoning: He/she pays attention to the purpose and consequence of each action, looks for facts and figures, and always thinks things through to reach a conclusion. Focusing on reason, he/she will break down arguments, identify patterns, and draw inferences based on the factual analysis. He/she will be very objective, and exercise sound judgement.

Intuitive: He/she is a person with less intuitive knowledge, relying more on the conscious reasoning, and seeks feedback from others rather than trust own instincts. With a penchant for facts and figurers, he/she is likely to take more time to analyse the data before making a decision.

Empathy: Moderately sensitive, he/she does not over react to situations. He/she can be caring, considerate and connected to others and at the same time maintain own identity. She can be a balanced leader who reaches out to people, value their feelings and experience, and bring out the best in them.

People focus: He/she needs to focus more on people and their motivation to understand the potential, ideas and talents in others. By developing social thinking he/she will be able to build high value relationships, look for areas of agreement, and build a network of people with different viewpoints.

Nature sensitivity: He/she lives with an awareness of the impact of one’s actions on the environment, and actively promotes eco-friendly life, conserves and protects natural resources, and works to prevent pollution. With a passion for the planet, he/she has a deeper understanding of environmental responsibilities, and incorporates an environmental friendly living in daily life.

Activity orientation: He/she likes to move out into the world of activities of personal interests. Needing to be always doing things, he/she expresses the self through activities, and plans his/her time around sports, exercises, and hobbies. He/she is the hard worker in the office and likes being in motion and full of enthusiasm. He/she can be an activist always going to meetings, rallies, demonstrations, and so on.

Knowledge update: His/her approach to learning and acquiring new knowledge is good and he/she can often get out of the comfort zone to improve the understanding of the subject. He/she generally likes to explore knowledge to improve the quality of life and professional competence. This may be due to the pressure to catch up with the fast-growing knowledge base rather than the love for knowledge.

Wealth creation: Though he/she is inquisitive about wealth and may find many things interesting, he/she does not want to be tied down by the love of material things. Nevertheless, he/she can be balanced on matters of money and maintain a holistic view on physical comforts and affluence, and integrate various financial needs.

Problem focus: He/she demonstrates good ability to search and identify problems, and pinpoint possible obstacles or potential dangers during planning. Looking at the work dispassionately and objectively, they will pay attention to what needs to be rectified. Deadlines may get her/him into action, and quickly organise tasks to prevent things going out of control.

Based on these different attributes, people are assessed on their suitability to a particular job.