Practicing Online Psychometric Tests versus Practicing Paper Versions
Given that psychometric tests are increasingly being conducted online, rather than the traditional paper-and-pencil format, research has looked at measuring the differences between these two modes of psychometric tests. Psychometric test developers attempt to ensure that these different modes of delivering psychometric tests produce the same results. However there are inevitable differences in these modes that can lead to differences in the results of your psychometric test. Clariana and Wallace (2002) reported that your chance of getting equivalent scores on a paper-based psychometric test and a computerised practice psychometric test is only about 50%. Because of these differences between test delivery modes, it has been found that practicing in the same mode that the psychometric test will be administered in formally (i.e. online), is important. Practicing psychometric tests from books or other paper based tests would be to your disadvantage. This is referred to as the practice psychometric test mode effect.
Transfer appropriate processing (TAP) theory helps to further explain the test mode effect. This theory of memory stresses the importance of practicing in a similar mode to a psychometric test, proposing that results are dependent on the extent that the mode for retrieval (the psychometric test procedure) resembles the encoding conditions (the preparation and practice mode for your psychometric tests). In an article, ‘Paper-based Versus Computer-based Assessment: Key Factors Associated with the Test Mode Effect’ it was reported that practicing online psychometric tests and computer practice generally, had a significant positive effect on psychometric test results. It has been found that psychometric test takers who were less familiar with taking tests online, did not do as well in online psychometric tests, and practise in this mode of delivery would have been beneficial (Clariana & Wallace, 2002).
A relevant key factor of the test mode effect for you, in regards to practicing for your psychometric tests, is how familiar you are with various online psychometric tests, such as aptitude tests and personality tests, and importantly how familiar you are with this mode of delivery not just the content. When preparing for psychometric tests it is important to familiarise your self with the unique features of online psychometric tests therefore practicing psychometric tests online increases your psychometric test results.
Differences between traditional paper-based practice psychometric tests (i.e. practice psychometric tests taken from books) and online practice psychometric tests include how the items appear visually, how they are ordered, and whether the test offers you the experience of working under real-time limits. The order presentation of online psychometric tests items is predominantly randomised. In contrast, traditional paper-based psychometric tests do not have this functionality. Additionally, often computerised psychometric test items are presented one by one on separate screens, meaning that you are being more interactive as you are navigating to the next item. In contrast, traditional paper versions of psychometric tests list multiple questions on each page. Online practice psychometric tests offer you the possibility to practise solving test questions under time limitations. In contrast, traditional practice tests taken from books do not offer this important learning experience.