FAQs - Administering Assessments



Why do I need to use a Session ID to begin an assessment session?

Session IDs are necessary for both administrative and security reasons. These special codes provide security for you and prevent unauthorized use of WebAssess®, our online testing system. In addition, a Session ID automatically loads the assessments you want for a particular situation.

How do I know how far along someone is in an assessment session or when it ends?

After you start assessment sessions with applicants or employees, you won't have to keep checking on them or guess when they're done. You can find out exactly where people are in the process by clicking on Status of Sessions. This status tool also tells you when assessment sessions are over.

May we administer assessments as "practice tests" to help employees meet assessment standards for a future job?

You should never administer assessments to employees except for selection, certification, training and development, or research purposes. Allowing individuals to take practice tests will encourage employees to place more emphasis on "passing" than on improving skills and abilities needed for a job. In addition, some employees may feel discriminated against if some individuals receive more coaching than others through the use of practice tests.

Why are you recommending that an applicant should meet the standard on each assessment to be considered for a job?

Each assessment measures certain skills, abilities, and job-related traits required for successful job performance. Expecting applicants to meet the standard on each assessment is the defining characteristic of a "non-compensatory" selection system. This means that high scores on one assessment cannot compensate for low scores on another one. For example, if both reading and math skills are required for a job, then proficiency in math does not compensate for inadequate reading skills.

In addition, allowing hiring supervisors and managers to use their discretion to waive certain assessments due to poor performance would jeopardize the objectivity, fairness, and integrity of the entire selection process. Since each assessment serves a particular purpose in the selection process, it is important to maintain consistency and to expect all applicants to demonstrate skills, abilities, and job-related traits needed for effective job performance.

Is an applicant allowed to "retake" an assessment for which he/she did not meet the established standard?

Allowing reassessment will depend on organizational policies. Some organizations permit reassessment within a few days; other organizations have reassessment periods of several months or longer. Reassessment policies should be established to meet the business needs of the organization without jeopardizing the security and integrity of the assessments. Reassessment is intended to give applicants a "second chance" within a reasonable period of time. Some organizations give applicants a "third chance" to allow them to make the necessary improvements in skills and abilities between assessment sessions.

How long does it take to get results after an online assessment session has ended?

Assessment results are available immediately after an online session has been completed.

How do you report an individual's scores after he/she completes an online assessment session?

Assessment results for each individual include raw scores and percentile scores. Scores for all assessments are provided in an Assessment Results Profile, which quickly tells you the strengths and development needs of an individual.

Why don't you recommend raw scores to be disclosed to applicants and hiring supervisors and managers?

We believe that it is a good policy not to disclose specific scores to applicants and hiring supervisors and managers for a number of reasons.

First, pre-employment tests are being used to determine if applicants have the basic skills, abilities, and job-related traits required to perform the job. Typically, people making hiring decisions only need to know if an applicant meets the minimum requirements for a job. Once these requirements are met, applicants should be given further consideration for employment based on their work history, responses to interview questions, and other relevant information. Providing specific scores to hiring supervisors and managers may lead to inappropriate emphasis on comparative scores, thereby eliminating certain applicants from further consideration. [Special Note: If hiring supervisors and managers receive training on how to interpret "Assessment Results Profiles," it may be advantageous to provide specific scores to these individuals. Applicants who consistently exceed assessment standards are more likely to be successful on a job than individuals who barely meet these standards.]

Second, raw scores have no meaning without further interpretation. It is not feasible to provide applicants with an explanation of these scores without referring to technical concepts.

Third, although some applicants may want to know their specific scores for development purposes, the assessment devices should not be used as development planning tools when the primary purpose of the assessment is to help supervisors and managers make hiring decisions.

Finally, assessment standards are recommended to meet both business and legal objectives. Disclosing specific scores may interfere with these objectives and may create misunderstandings, disagreements, and disputes regarding assessment procedures.

Please consult legal counsel in your organization regarding any concerns you may have about communicating test results or other legal matters pertaining to the use of employment tests.