Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I'll be taking a test soon. Where can I get a study guide for your tests?
We are not aware of any study guides for any of our tests. Our tests are not certification tests nor were they designed to function as such. There are employment tests intended to measure either aptitude to learn a programming language or proficiency within one. Generally our tests are not the type that you can study for. So our best advice is to try to relax and take the test with an open mind.
Who scores the tests?
Psychometrics Inc. scores all tests for our clients. The multiple-choice tests are scored "live" with the responses read to one of our test scoring staff. This staff person enters all the information and reads each and every response back to the client a second time to make absolutely sure the information was correctly entered. The scores are reported only after the information has been verified.
What is the "passing" score on one of your tests?
Psychometrics does *NOT* set passing scores. In general we provide what are called normative scores developed specifically for each and every test. These norm tables are frequently updated as new people take the test. Each person who takes one of these tests is compared to every other person who has taken the same test. To use an example, those who've taken the C++ test are compared against all C++ programmers who have taken the test. A person who scores in the 75th percentile (as an example) performed as well as or better than 75% of those who've taken the test. Each client of Psychometrics will decide on their own what percentile is acceptable since the level of proficiency required for any individual job title can vary. We cannot tell our clients what an acceptable score should be for their environment. We can help them select the score by providing population information, but ultimately the decision rests with the organization using the test.
Why aren't these tests On-Line?
There are a number of issues with on-line testing. If the test is a non-critical test (i.e., a job does not hinge upon achieving a high score), there is little reason not to put the test on-line. However, our tests are frequently used as one criterion of many to select among a larger group of candidates. We strongly believe that each testing session must be fair, equitable, and as easy to take as possible. There is too much variation from computer to computer to ensure that each examinee was given the exact same environment. Furthermore, computers have the habit of crashing, networks go down, and any number of issues can be presented. The only requirement for taking a paper and pencil test is a handful of pencils, the test booklet, and a quiet, well-lit room.
Issues of test security also become relevant. Is the person taking the test from his browser at home the same person the organization wanted to hire? Is it just that one person or does he or she have an entire room of friends standing behind him coaching his every response? Is the person taking the test a "ringer"? Does one person apply to take the test solely to write down each and every test question to give to the next person who really wants the job? For these reasons and many others, every testing session *must* be proctored in a secure testing environment to ensure that each person taking the test is the person who *should* be taking the test. For this reason combined with concerns of equivalent testing environment, on-line testing rapidly becomes less and less appealing.
Finally, privacy is always a concern. The results of any personnel tests are and should be kept strictly confidential. This is important to the organization using test as well as for the individual taking one. Gradually eroding privacy is a serious problem in our modern world and we do not wish to contribute to the problem.