This establishment guide to psychometric test room conditions addresses the suitability and preparation of the environment in which test candidates will be working. This guide should be seen as being additional to the best practices and regulations which may apply to the accommodation employed (offices, hotels, colleges, etc.) for testing purposes.
Individuals sitting psychometric tests are entitled to adequate administrative planning and satisfactory physical room conditions in which to work.
The results of the psychometric tests may have an important impact on a candidate’s future career. Candidates may naturally be experiencing increased levels of anxiety. Nothing less than first class preparation is acceptable.
Psychometric testing sessions can be lengthy (check the likely duration with the assessors, PGA Group Consulting Psychologists, or other professional psychometric tester being used) and this should be taken into account regarding the test room conditions.
Attention should be paid to accommodate properly participants with impairments or special needs.
Nothing should disturb the concentration of the candidates or create a situation where test candidates are unfairly affected or discriminated against, however accidentally. To help achieve this, the test room should be prepared well in advance.
The Psychometric Test Room
The psychometric test room will need to be large enough for the number of candidates and administrator(s) expected to be accommodated comfortably.
To help safeguard the security of psychometric test papers, equipment and personal belongings, the test room should be securable if it is going to be left unattended before the psychometric testing session concludes.
There should be adequate privacy for the occupants of the test room.
A room clock should be provided to help candidates monitor the time, particularly while taking timed psychometric tests and should be clearly visible from each candidate’s seated position.
Desks and chairs for candidates and the administrator(s), should be in position and stable. Seats with table arms attached are wholly unsuitable. Room furniture should be arranged to allow the administrator(s) to move freely around the test room. Candidates’ desks or positions should be spaced far enough apart to allow sufficient ‘elbow room’ for working and to help prevent copying and cheating by the test candidates.
The surface on which test candidates are to work should have enough room to accommodate easily a Test Booklet (up to DIN A3 or double U.S. Letter size, when open), Answer Booklet (up to A3 or double U.S. Letter size, when open), an A4 or U.S. Letter size rough pad or loose paper for rough working, pens, pencils, erasers, etc.
A reliable electricity supply should be safely and easily accessible within the psychometric test room. This should be sufficient to supply safely any electrical equipment which may be used in the testing session. Trailing leads and cords can present a trip hazzard and their use should be avoided.
Adequate space should be made available, and current ergonomic best practises be observed should test candidates be having to use computer or specialized equipment, especially if for a long duration. Check if this kind of equipment is going to be used and who will be providing it.
All psychometric test materials and stationery used by candidates are supplied by the assessors, PGA Group Consulting Psychologists (check this detail if using other professional psychometric testers).
The psychometric test room, working and contact surfaces, and equipment should be clean and reasonably free of dust, grime, irritants and pollutants.
The psychometric test room should be well lit but without the presence of glare, excessive reflection or dazzle, for example from sunlight, reflective surfaces or harsh lighting sources. Window blinds or curtains should be available if the room is likely to suffer from adverse external lighting conditions.
Ideally, the room should have a natural light source and ideally lighting should be controllable locally.
Temperature and Ventilation
The psychometric test room temperature should be adequate and comfortable for sedentary working.
There should be sufficient ventilation of the room for the number of persons taking part, given the length of the psychometric testing session.
Ideally, the room temperature and ventilation should be controllable locally.
The psychometric test room should be as free from external noise as possible. Continuous noises, such as heavy machinery or from busy roads and car parks should be avoided. Potentially more distracting still are occasional noises, for example from telephones, public address systems, buzzers, bells and car horns. The likelihood of this type of noise disturbance should be minimized.
In addition to putting a TESTING IN PROGRESS: DO NOT DISTURB notice on the test room door, it would be advisable to warn staff and others in the vicinity of the test room to help ensure that noise levels will be kept to a minimum.
Interruptions and distractions from outside should be kept to an absolute minimum and eliminated if possible.
Candidates and the psychometric test session should only be disturbed by a GENUINE emergency (not telephone calls and/or messages, etc.)
A supply of drinking glasses, fresh cool drinking water (preferably a choice of still and carbonated mineral water), and ideally a selection of squashes should be available for candidates in the psychometric test room.
The availability of local catering facilities for the provision of snacks or better should be matched for the length of the psychometric testing session overall. Again, check the likely session duration with the assessors, PGA Group Consulting Psychologists, or other professional psychometric tester being used.
The psychometric test room should be within short walking distance of toilets and other facilities to ensure candidates do not waste time.
Ideally, the test room will be equipped with a coat stand or equivalent.
If applicable, signs directing unaccompanied candidates to the psychometric test room, and to the exit should be clearly displayed, unobstructed and unambiguous.
Fire and emergency exit route signage should be clearly displayed, unobstructed and unambiguous.
This guide to psychometric test room conditions forms part of our best practice advice to clients. I hope you have found the guide informative, useful and beneficial.
Should you have any questions, or would like further information, my team and I would be very happy to help. Details and an e-mail form to contact/locate us can be found here: www.pgagroup.com/contact-pga-group.html
PGA Group Consulting Psychologists - www.pgagroup.com
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