10 Practice tips for convenient testing
Our 10 practical tips for a comfortable test situation will ensure that you get the most out of your testing, without any unnecessary stress for you or your test person.
Psychological testing is always used in the context of decision making. Whether it's clarifying a mental disorder, regaining a driver's license or selecting personnel, the stakes are often high for the test person. That makes it all the more important to reduce nervousness.
Our 10 practical tips for a comftable test situation will ensure that you get the most out of your testing, without any unnecessary stress for you or your test person.
#01: Prepare infrastructure
The most trivial things are often the most important. Especially if you rarely run tests, you should regularly check your infrastructure for functionality and keep it up to date. This includes, for example, regular Windows updates and updating drivers for external input devices. If you are pretending to test on a laptop, make sure the charging cable is plugged in right before testing.
Good advice: If you are specifying tests that require precise motor input, such as tests measuring responsiveness or fine motor skills, a heavy chair without casters is recommended for the test site.
#02: Read the manual
In everyday business, there is hardly any time for reading long manuals. But knowing a test and its procedure in detail is essential for the correct interpretation of the test results. Good manuals contain specific instructions for the test, for example, which aids may be used and how to set up external input devices.
Did you already know? Registered and activated users can view all manuals for SCHUHFRIED tests free of charge and in full in the VTS Marketplace.
#03: Don't forget your own self-experience
When was the last time you worked on a test yourself completely and seriously? In everyday life, you often lack the time for regular self-awareness and tests quickly become routine. It can be helpful to put yourself in your test taker's shoes every now and then, and especially to work through longer tests yourself.
Good advice: Even your test administrators, who do not interpret test results, should have taken the test in its entirety at least once. That way, they know exactly what to expect from test takers and can better anticipate questions.
#04: Create a pleasant atmosphere
Good lighting, a tidy testing area and a friendly greeting help reduce tension. Don't be afraid to openly address obvious or suspected nervousness and ask about apprehensions. This gives you the opportunity to clear up any ambiguities and correct any misconceptions immediately.
Good advice: plan at least five minutes for just greeting and saying goodbye - in addition to the instruction and discussion of findings. This will prevent time pressure due to scheduling conflicts and convey a sense of appreciation. Also inform the test person about the local conditions - where are the toilets, where is smoking allowed, where is the test administrator?
#05: Clarify the test capability
Especially for questions with legal consequences, it is advisable to have the test-taker's test-taking ability confirmed in advance of testing. Ask about fatigue, illness, medication use, any alcohol or drug use.
Good advice: Clarifying these issues as part of a standardized intake questionnaire ensures low-threshold inquiry into these necessary but often sensitive test-taking questions. Don't forget to have them confirmed by signing - or in the case of digital questionnaires - by checking a box.
#06: Explain the test procedure
Does the testing consist of multiple tests? Is it only about performance or also about personality? How long will the testing take? Are there breaks in between? Clarity about general conditions gives your test person orientation and creates a sense of controllability. If your test sequence includes special features, such as planned breaks for other examinations or an adaptive test, you can also point this out right at the beginning.
You can explain adaptive testing to laypersons, for example, like this: Adaptive testing means that the difficulty of the given tasks is based on previous performance. A solved task is followed by a more difficult one, an unsolved one by an easier one. Therefore, an adaptive test is always subjectively perceived as difficult. So do not be discouraged if you cannot solve some tasks. The test is designed to get you to your performance limit quickly and keep you there.
#07: Create transparency
Test results are an important source of information for decision-making or diagnosis. Accordingly, transparency about how they are handled is important. Of particular interest is usually the extent to which test results contribute to the final outcome, what other data sources are used, and how long and to whom the data are accessible.
Good advice: Test takers may have inhibitions about asking such questions directly for a variety of reasons. Proactively addressing these issues not only builds transparency, but also trust.
#08: Optimize your administration processes
Interpreting test results is anything but trivial and should only be done by qualified individuals. However, assistants can take a lot of the administrative work around it off your hands. Look for jobs in your process that you can hand off after a short briefing, such as preparing the test site or checking the infrastructure.
Good advice: If you work with SCHUHFRIED's Vienna Test System, you can assign security levels for different users, for example. This allows assistants to enter test subjects already in the system without seeing confidential test results from other test subjects.
#09: Collect feedback
Inconveniences during testing are not always as obvious as a suddenly dead battery. After testing, ask your test subjects for honest feedback about how they felt about the testing.
Good advice: Not all test subjects find it easy to give feedback. If appropriate, you can also ask for specific details, such as how the break length was perceived, to get into the conversation.
#10: Know your resources
Handling test far from begins and ends with the brief. Organizations such as the International Test Commission, the American Psychologist Association, and the Board of Test Trustees, for example, have compiled detailed and freely available guidelines, recommendations, and tools for test selection, handling, and interpretation.
- International Guidelines for Test Use
- Guidelines for the Practice of Telepsychology
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