A psychometric test, more accurately termed a “psychometric assessment”, is a psychological test that measures an individual’s relevant strengths and weaknesses in order to determine employment suitability with reference to potential career paths. Through psychometric assessments students can gain an accurate idea of their behavioural/personality style, skills, knowledge and cognitive abilities. A Psychometric test or assessment allows a career counsellor to predict which career paths a student is most suited to, based on the objective data collected during this kind of career testing.
Psychometric tests can be seen as a kind of aptitude test or career test, due to the fact that it helps students better understand their abilities and strengths/weaknesses, allowing them to make informed subject and career choices.
Often times, students have to make serious decisions regarding their future career, what subjects they should choose and what they should study after school. When students are struggling with making these important decisions, they are often advised to go to a career counsellor to complete certain psychometric assessments that will help them make informed decisions regarding their career and subject choices.
Psychometric assessments (or tests) are objective and are not just a measure of aptitude. Apart from aptitude, these tests also measure (to a certain extent) the likelihood of the students’ level of satisfaction and success in his/her future career. What also makes these tests so successful as a career testing tool is the fact that it helps the students to get to know themselves better - helping them realise what their strengths and weaknesses are in the process.
However, it is important to remember that psychometric assessments (though helpful) are just one of the many tools available today to help guide students in their career choices. Because no one test can provide a complete answer, these tests should always be used in conjunction with the advice and guidance from a professional career counsellor. Psychometric assessments (or tests) are valuable as they provide consistent results when it comes to providing quality, independent, non-discriminatory and objective career advice.
Interest is concerned with a person’s needs, values and abilities and forms a significant part of the total personality of a person, as well as his/her self-concept. Because one must have a personal motivation to pursue a specific career, interest plays a large role in career choice and ultimately determines persistence and work satisfaction. A person’s occupational interests determines his or her disposition (either positive or negative) towards specific job-related activities.
Assessments used: South African Vocational Interests Inventory (SAVII) and the Self-Directed Search Questionnaire (SDS)
Since it is concerned with a person’s unique characteristics, personality plays a substantial role in influencing his/her motivation behind certain thoughts and behaviours.
Personality often determines a person’s behaviour, thoughts and actions in specific situations, as well as in interpersonal interactions.
Assessment used: Jung Personality Questionnaire (JPQ)
An aptitude test is specifically designed to predict and determine a person’s ability to benefit from education, or their chances of succeeding in a specific career or field of study. The results obtained through aptitude testing gives the assessor an indication of the future potential of the individual being tested. Career counsellors use aptitude tests to determine if a person will be able to carry out occupational tasks if he/she receives the necessary training.
The reason a person’s values are examined during testing is because values often determine lifestyle preferences. It is important to note that there is a distinct difference between values and interests. Interests relate to specific activities, while values relate more to elemental preferences and beliefs.
Assessment used: Values Scale (VS)
How can Michelle help students make informed subject and career choices?
Michelle Duraan takes a holistic approach when it comes to career counselling, which means that she always aims to engage and develop the student as a whole, taking into account everything that is needed for him or her to make an informed decision about his or her subject choices and/or career aspirations. It is through this holistic approach that Michelle enables students to discover more about who they are and how these factors play a role in determining the career they are best suited to.
In order to optimally help students, Michelle makes use of a combination of narrative counselling and psychometric assessments to assess the values, personality, abilities, interests and aptitude of the student involved.
Once all tests and assessments have been completed, Michelle discusses the results with the student and/or his or her parents/guardians. It is during this discussion that everything will fall into place and start making sense for both the students and their parents/guardians.