Aptitude Tests, especially verbal reasoning practice tests are our focus here.
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Verbal Reasoning Test Example
Read the passage. To each question, answer TRUE, FALSE or CANNOT TELL using only the information given in the passage. Answer TRUE if the statement is true or follows on logically from the passage. Answer FALSE if the statement is false. Answer CANNOT TELL if there is insufficient information given in the passage.
Firstly, Verbal Reasoning Test Passage I
The Far Eastern practical philosophy of Confucianism did not begin as a religion and, unlike religious institutions, does not have a clergy or church associated with it. It has been followed for two millennia in China and was the state orthodoxy until the Chinese Revolution in 1911. Whilst it is not an organised religion, Confucianism has still been hugely influential on East Asian spiritual and political life.
Confucious taught a way of living one’s life through adopting moral values as the basis for political and social actions, firmly focusing on one’s family foundations within the community. There are two ethical divisions in Confucianism: the first derives from Confucious himself, and values following conventional codes of behaviour; the second strand came from medieval neo-Confucians’ belief in following one’s moral intuitions.
- Confucianism is a religion that values the family over the community.
Firstly, Cannot Tell. The passage states that Confucianism values both.
- This is both a religion and a system of philosophy.
Secondly, True. This is logical based upon the passage.
Secondly, Verbal Reasoning Test II
Whereas invertebrates have an external exoskeleton, vertebrates have an internal endoskeleton. The human endoskeleton is comprised of cartilage and the body’s 206 bones. These are connected to each other by ligaments. It protects and supports the body’s internal organs. Also, the human endoskeleton also works in conjunction with muscles, joints and nervous system to enable movement.
Joints occur between bones, making the skeleton flexible by acting as hinges or pivots. Tendons attach muscles to bones and contract in response to a stimulus from the body’s nervous system. Those muscles that are under conscious control, the skeletal muscles, act by pulling against the bones of the skeleton.
- Physical activity requires the muscles and bones to synchronise.
Firstly, True. See 3rd sentence.
- The human endoskeleton provides connection points for the body’s muscles.
Secondly, True. T
- The human skeleton is comprised mainly of bone.
- Unlike invertebrates, humans have an internal exoskeleton.
Finally, False. Humans have an internal endoskeleton as specified in the first and second sentences.
Thirdly, Verbal Reasoning Test Passage III
Copernicus’ sixteenth century model of the solar system has the Earth and associated planets revolving around the Sun. Nicolaus Copernicus’s theory was the first heliocentric model of planetary motion, placing the sun at the centre. That said, his solar model retained the erroneous premise – as per the Ptolemaic System – that planets move in perfect circles.
There was a complete change in people’s concept of the universe because of the move away from the geocentric view. The Copernican model of the solar system laid the groundwork for Newton’s laws of gravity and Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. It describes how each planet stays in orbit.
- The passage suggests that the Copernician system was flawless.
Firstly, False. The Copernician system retained the erroneous premise that planets move in perfect circles.
- Copernicus developed the first geocentric model of the Earth’s solar system.
Secondly, False. The model was heliocentric.
- C paved the way for Newton’s work on the orbits of the planets.
Thirdly, True. See the last two sentences.
- The Ptolemaic system preceded the Copernican model.
Finally, True. See 3rd sentence.
Here is a useful list of psychometric terminology.
Every psychometric test has at least one norm group.
The standalone score has little meaning, so a comparison with previous candidate performance is used. For example, percentile rank.
Pre-test (or Pilot) Item
A trial item as part of a larger-than-necessary set of pre-test items. The final, refined test is created by refining those items that work best. This is based on statistical analysis of the trial item set’s results.
Firstly, is the test a reliable measure?
Most commonly the internal consistency index coefficient alpha or its dichotomous formulation, KR-20. Under most conditions, these range from 0.0 to 1.0, with 1.0 being perfectly reliable measurement. A reliable test may still not be a valid test.
Subject Matter Expert (SME)
SMEs write items, review items, participate in standard-setting studies and job analyses.
Secondly, is the test valid? A measure of what it ‘says on the tin’?
In our opinion, both the initial content validation and later criterion validation analysis are vital for any bespoke psychometric test.
We recommend collecting additional recruitment data over time so that additional validation studies can be conducted. Such as assessment centre data.