Question: What is the "passing" score on one of your tests?
Answer: 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 organisation using the test.
Question: How important is test validity?
Our tests are commonly
used as predictive, valid, and powerful pre-employment screening
instruments for applicants for programming positions. Many vendors
market tests without bothering to perform validation studies that ensure
their tests actually predict success in training. Unlike most testing
vendors, Psychometrics Inc. stands behind all of its tests when used
properly. We devote a tremendous amount of time, energy and expertise to
ensure our tests will help our clients select only the very best
programmers or candidates for programmer training
Question: What are norms?
Answer: Norms are groups or "populations" of people. In our case, groups of examinees that have taken our tests. These norms can vary depending on the type of group that is being sampled.
Question: What is a percentile?
Answer: A percentile is an individual score within a norm. It does not indicate the percentage (number) of items an examinee got correct. Rather, it is a way of ranking a person within a group - in our case, comparing an examinee's performance on a test with others who have taken the same test. For example, an individual who scores at the 70th percentile has achieved a raw score higher than 70 percent of the population on whom the test was normed.
Question: Why aren't these tests On-Line?
Answer: 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 can crash, networks go down, and so on. The only requirement for taking a paper and pencil test is a handful of
pencils (rather than a room full of laptops) the test booklet, and a quiet, well-lit
environment. Issues of test security also become relevant. Is the person taking the test from his browser at home the same person the organisation 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 organisation using the test as well as for the individual taking one.
Question: I'll be taking a test soon. Where can I get a study guide for your tests?
Answer: 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 job related 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.
Question: I am an individual about to sit the B-APT (Berger Aptitude for Programming Test). Is it possible to see some sample questions before sitting the test?
Answer: The B-APT is an entry level programming aptitude test, using a tutorial learn-and-apply methodology. The tutorial at the beginning will prepare you for the questions you have to answer. Consequently, no previous programming experience is required. Because of this approach, we are unable to provide you with sample questions. A question viewed in isolation, without the benefit of the tutorial section, would be very confusing. The best advice we can give to any candidate due to sit the test is to try and relax when taking the test and make sure to read the tutorial through thoroughly. There is no trick to passing the test; it is simply evaluating your aptitude for learning computer programming.