Tests Essay

1303 words - 5 pages

Introduction What are tests? Simply stated, a test is a series of standard questions that constitute an answer. Our textbook Psychological Testing and Assessment defines test as " any device used to evaluate the behavior or performance of a person (Aiken, 2000). Tests are administered to help make decisions about people or assist them with a course of action pertaining to future educational, occupational and psychological issues. They are used in school, psychological clinics, military and civil service industry for diagnostic, selection, placement and promotional purposes. With the wide use of tests there have been many criticisms of its usage. Most notably standardized test have been the center of these criticisms.It has been noted that both the test administrator and test taker play a significant role in the evaluation process; therefore each must approach their part with caution. The test administrator is responsible for certain elements in the evaluation process. They are obligated to ensure they receive proper training in test administration and that the test includes no biases. Another important part they must cover is the actual administration. This portion means the test is administered in a comfortable setting and that individuals are free from distraction. The Test Taker is accountable for correct penmanship and spelling. They must also ensure they don't suffer from reading difficulties that affect their test score. They must also be aware that positional preferences, changing answers, bluffing and guessing will affect their score negatively if they are not careful.Historical Overview The notion of testing has been an integral part of society for many centuries. The early Chinese dynasties used testing to evaluate their government officials. As early 2200 B.C. a civil service examination system was instituted by the Chinese emperor to determine if government officials were fit to perform their duties. "This system, according to which officials were examined every three years for proficiency in music, archery, horsemanship, writing, arithmetic, and public and private rites and ceremonies, was continued by later Chinese rulers to include knowledge of civil law, military affairs, agriculture, revenue, geography, composition and poetry" (Aiken, 2000).During the 19Th century, an emergence of scientific study of individual differences in abilities and personality developed. A leader in this movement was Charles Darwin. His writings on the origin of species and his theory of biological theory stimulated interest in psychological testing. During that time, several other theorists became affiliated with testing. One of those men was Alfred Binet. Binet was a follower of English psychologist Francis Galton and his theory of individual differences by means of standardized tests. Binet's most important work was in intelligence testing. With his colleague, psychologist Théodore Simon, he devised a test to measure the mental ability of...

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