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Glossary of Assessment Terms



aptitude test
A test that measures or estimates future performance of a person in some defined area of cognitive, psychomotor, or physical functioning. IT Aptitude assessments measure the ability to learn and become proficient in IT related technology.

achievement test
A test that measures acquired knowledge or skills, usually as the result of previous instruction. Certification tests are a form of achievement test.

adverse impact
A situation in which members of a particular race, sex, or ethnic group have a substantially lower rate of selection in hiring, promotion, or other employment decisions.

Any test or procedure used to measure an individual's employment or career-related qualifications or characteristics.

A theoretical characteristic or concept (e.g., numerical ability, conscientiousness) that has been constructed to explain observable patterns of behavior.

construct-related validity
The extent to which a test measures a specific theoretical construct, characteristic, or trait. In employment testing, this characteristic should be important for job success. Examples of constructs are mechanical ability and physical endurance.

content-related validity
The extent to which the content of a test samples or represents the subject area or behavior it is intended to measure (for example, a typing test).

A statistic that indicates the degree to which two variables relate to each other, such as a test score and job performance, or one test with another test.

A measure of performance, such as productivity rate, accident rate, or supervisory ratings. Test scores are used to predict criteria.

criterion-related validity
The degree to which scores on an assessment instrument correlate with some external criterion, such as job performance. When the assessment instrument and the criterion are measured at about the same time, it is called concurrent validity; when the criterion is measured at some future time, it is called predictive validity.

job analysis
A systematic process used to identify the tasks, duties, responsibilities and working conditions associated with a job and the knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics required to perform that job.

normal curve
A mathematical curve that is the basis of many statistical analyses. The curve is bilaterally symmetrical, with a single, bell-shaped peak in the center. Most distributions of human traits, such as height, mathematical ability, and manual dexterity, approximate the normal curve.

Descriptive statistics that are used to summarize the test performance of a specified group, such as a sample of workers in a specific occupation. norms are often assumed to represent a larger population, such as all workers in an occupation.

percentile score
The score on a test below which a given percentage of scores fall. For example, a score at the 65th percentile is equal to or higher than the scores obtained by 65% of the people who took the test.

predictive validity
The probability that scores on an assessment instrument will correlate with training success or job performance.

The degree to which test scores are consistent, dependable, or repeatable.

standardized test
A test developed using professionally prescribed methods that provides specific administration requirements, instruction for scoring and instructions for interpreting scores.

target group
The population or group of individuals whom the employer wishes to assess.

The degree to which actions or inferences based on test results are meaningful or supported by theory and empirical evidence.

validity coefficient
A numerical index that shows the strength of the relationship between a test score and a criterion, such as job performance.