In September 2017, Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) of India issued a circular mandating its 19,500 affiliated schools to put their employees (both the teaching and non-teaching personnel) through psychometric evaluation. Failing to do so was warned with impending disqualification. But today, even after more than a year of this rather strict mandate, the schools are still grappling with uncertainty and reservations towards the use of psychometric assessments.
This article will help you better understand psychometric assessments for school personnel, especially in India. Discover all the benefits of using assessments, and how Indian schools are conducting the tests.
1. What do psychometric assessments measure?
Psychometric assessments are a scientific and standard measure of an individual's various psychological characteristics. The assessment can reveal the test-taker's personality traits, motivation, values, aspirations, etc. For teachers and supporting staff in schools, psychometric assessments of personality can be used to evaluate the required key behavioural competencies like: involvement at work, emotional sensitivity, rule-following, etc. This will allow to predict work-behaviour of the school personnel and their success in the job role.
The tests can also assess intra- and inter-personal qualities of emotional intelligence (EI) by assessing factors of EI like, self-control, empathy, dealing with diversity, and more. This can establish the ability of the teaching and non-teaching staff to deal with a diverse set of students and maintain harmonious relations with co-workers.
The psychometric tests of attitude can also measure the traits of honesty, respect for laws and procedures, etc. The assessment of these traits can reveal inclination for any unethical or counterproductive behaviour at work.
2. Why use psychometric assessments?
a) Reliable and objective: Psychometric assessments are designed by combining the latest theories, tools and techniques of psychological analysis. The tests are then validated in accordance with the highest standards defined by the international scientific community. The school can thus be assumed that the analysis is free from human biases, and reports are objective, reliable and consistent.
b) Easy to administer: Today most psychometric assessments are made available via an online assessment platform. The many features and functionalities of the assessment platform allow great flexibility, ease and speed in the management and administration of the tests. Invitation to take the tests can be sent out to candidates in just one click. The usual time taken by a candidate to complete a psychometric test can range from 10-30 min and the experience of taking the test online is designed keeping in mind the ease of the test-taker. The test reports are generated automatically upon test completion. These reports are self-explanatory and can be understood and used without mandatory assistance from a psychologist. Overall, the school administration can finish the assessment of multiple candidates in a few days’ time.
c) Secure and sensitive: The assessment questionnaires, reports and testing process are secured by adherence to international testing and data protection guidelines. Only relevant data is collected upon active consent and then anonymised for further security, the data can also be erased on the test-taker's request. Both the test questions and report results are worded to be positive and non-judgemental, thereby being sensitive. These measures enable the schools to gain trust and build the confidence of teachers and other staff in the psychometric assessment process.