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Developing a psychological test

A psychological test is a standardized measure of an individual’s performance of defined tasks. The development of psychological tests is a highly specialized process and should be performed by a team of experienced professionals. Those who are qualified to carry out these test are called psychometricians, most of them are psychologists with advanced graduate training. The process itself is difficult and lengthy, but we will try to explain it in brief here. Testing is the measurement of human knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personality traits. It is also called psychometrics.

For the development process, we will refer to the most widely accepted guidelines, based on the international standards for educational and psychological testing. These standards are a joint publication of the American Educational Research Association, the American Psychological Association, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (1999).


The guidelines of the standards that test development should be based on sound science and evidence of the scientific approach. The guidelines lay out a series of procedures that should take place when developing these tests.

·         Specify the purpose of the test

·         Make frameworks that describe the knowledge and abilities to be tested

·         Develop test specifications

·         Create test items and scoring rubrics

·         Review test items

·         Evaluate quality of all items

The planning phase of psychological tests should particularly require a lot of time and thought according to Foxcroft. This should be particularly paid attention to when the test is carried out in a multicultural society. Attention needs to be paid while designing the test for cultural relevance and potential bias.


There are principles described by Shultz in Psychology that also work today. Proper psychological testing is based on rigorous research and is not the same thing as the quick questionnaires you find in magazines. These tests comprise of following principles to note:

1.       Standardization, which we have described above

2.       Objectivity should also be key, with biases minimized  

3.       Test norms, which constitute average test scores and it is possible to establish a point of comparison

4.       Reliability, the test should be consistent in its results

5.       The test should measure what it is supposed to

Importance of testing

Testing is carried out by every nation on earth to determine selection, placement, and for counseling. It is an important gateway into institutions, organizations, and societies. They help shape the destiny of all those who take it and it is important for those who study these tests that they understand their uses and occasional abuse. Learn in particular the history of psychology, which is a compelling and captivating story. Psychological testing may be traced back to the Chinese imperial examinations, according to Gregory.



You can use test makers available for this very purpose. It should appear to be difficult with all the sources that we have mentioned, but that is what you are supposed to do with a proper psychological test. Test makers have been developed to aid you in this field, and the results you get should be equally rewarding. 

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