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3 Oct 2014
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Psychometric exams
Take the test

Dominic Arkwright and Macer Hall

When it was announced that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would be asking some of its civil servants to undertake psychometric testing, we here at Today asked the question, "what exactly can such a technique tell an employer about its staff?"

Otherwise known as 'occupational assessments', supporters of the tests claim they can be used to accurately "determine a personality profile across a wide range of characteristics or in conjunction with other evidence and to make predictions about likely success in a wide range of jobs".

So what are they? "A psychometric test is a quantitative assessment of one or more psychological attributes", Carl Francis, an occupational psychologist for assessment company Psytech, told us. "A good testing starts with job analysis and the trained test user would work with the organisation."

That being the case, to gauge the 'psychological attributes' of the Today team we asked two of our trusty reporters, Dominic Arkwright and Macer Hall, to sit down and take psychometric exams whilst we were on air. Click on the audio links on the right hand side of the page to hear how they went.

Over a number of weeks, Today listeners also conducted one such exam, the 'Jung Type Indicator' on this website. Over 18,000 of you took part and whilst the specific results are confidential, we were joined once again by Carl Francis who gave us an overall mental snap-shot of those of you who visit this website.

On the whole, you are "intuiting" (which in psycho-speak means you have empathy and are interested in looking beyond the facts to see the stories behind them), you're more interested in theories than hard facts, you attach an emotional value to the judgements you make. You're naturally warm and sympathetic, but are quickly annoyed by people who appear dogmatic or inflexible.

Of our reporters, Macer Hall undertook a personality questionnaire (more specifically the 15FQ+, to "obtain a detailed and comprehensive assessment of personality within a well-established framework"), whilst Dominic Arkwright was put to the test on Verbal and Numerical Reasoning (the CRTB2, which assesses "high level critical reasoning ability").

Click here for Dominic and Macer's results.

TEST YOURSELF - Click here: if you'd like to try a sample psychometric exam provided by the assessment company Psytech, who put our reporters to the test.

If you have any queries please email giving the date you completed the test and your email address.

NOTE: Macer completed Psytech's 15FQ+ personality questionnaire. This is a test used in selection scenarios and is only suitable for administration under supervised conditions. However, you can try a personality assessment called JTI (Jung Type Indicator) by following the link above; you will get your own personalised report by email. This is a measure used in development scenarios and can be undertaken unsupervised.

CLICK HERE to learn more about your typology.

Other Links



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Listen - Psychometric tests provide us with a snap-shot of the average Today programme listener.
Listen - Does psychometric testing work? We put our reporters to the test.
Listen - Find out whether Macer is interested in the philosophical question of free will.
Listen - Dominic and Macer receive their results. But can we gauge anything from such tests?
What does psychometric testing really tell an employer about its staff?
Some civil servants may be asked to take early retirement.
"A psychometric test is a quantitative assessment of one or more psychological attributes."
Some claim that these tests can be used to accurately determine a personality profile.

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