Psychometric tests – measuring skills, aptitudes, interests and personality traits – have long been used in careers advice and guidance to support students (and adults) in making career choices that suit their strengths and interests. They range from a fun, quick online quiz (like this one: www.icould.com/buzz-quiz) to highly detailed, personalised reports identifying skills and career role best-fits.
Many of us will have taken such tests only to find ourselves given outrageous career suggestions of which we have no interest – so to what extent are these tests really useful? In my opinion, it depends on what is expected from them and how the report is used. They are definitely no magic bullet, giving a definitive direction or course of action to the clueless. But viewed as a starting point for exploring career options, psychometric tests can be hugely beneficial in thinking broadly and creatively about career choices. However, to get the most out of the report, it’s really important that a discussion about its findings takes place. Here’s an example:
A grade 11 student – let’s call them Chris – has no idea what to do after their IB. They do a detailed psychometric assessment and the report suggests a number of career options matching their interests, personality and aptitudes. Alone, Chris scrolls through the report, sees no career that grabs their interest and declares it a waste of time.
Two days later Chris turns up for the post-test interview with a careers adviser. Together, they talk through the key aspects of the report. Chris is asked to consider how the results might be true in some cases but not true in others, and to reflect on the different circumstances or environments that impact their learning. When it comes to the job suggestions, the adviser questions why Chris has rejected the suggestions, as well as encouraging Chris to think more broadly about why the test might have thrown up this result.
Whether the process ends in a decision or not is unimportant: it (the test, report and interview combined) has led to a process of reflective thinking about career options which is the starting point – and continual cycle – behind all of our (career) decisions.
At LIS, we host a number of different career-profiling or career-suitability tests which are offered to students in grade 10 to 12 on a voluntary basis, with details of dates sent out via Parent Portal. All are followed by 1-2-1 careers interviews to discuss the results. Below is a list of the tests hosted at LIS, but there are many more out there. If you have any questions about psychometric testing – or about the careers support available at LIS and locally in general – please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Morrisby Psychometric Test
Morrisby is a UK-based company that has been at the forefront of psychometric testing for career decision making for over 50 years. The test – in English – lasts for 2 hours and tests students on their verbal, numerical, spatial, mechanical and abstract reasoning; students also fill out an interests and personality questionnaire. For those with special educational needs and who are newer to English, an option is available to identify this and the results are adjusted accordingly.
Immediately following the test, which takes place online and lasts for 2 hours, a very comprehensive report is produced. For more information about Morrisby, see their website:www.morrisby.com.
2. Geva-Test Studium und Beruf
The Geva Institute is a Munich-based organisation that has been developing psychometric tests across Germany for 30 years. As with Morrisby, the test helps students identify their career interests and academic skills. The test is taken online, is in German and lasts for 3 hours (including set up time and breaks). The results – a 20 page document with 14 suggestions for higher education courses and/or jobs – are emailed ca.3 days following the test.
The Arbeitsagentur offers tests for Grade 11-12 students interested in studying a range of subject areas. These tests help students to identify their suitability for a particular field of study, based on their aptitude for the type of thinking required in that subject. LIS hosts the specialist team of psychologists from the Arbeitsagentur, allowing the test to be conducted in school. However, the results of the test are discussed individually with one of the Arbeitsagentur psychologists and not automatically shared with the Beyond LIS team (unless the student wishes to do so).