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The first 200 words of this essay...
There are 3 main types of psychometric testing. These are Ability testing, Aptitude testing.
Ability tests measure a persons potential, for instance to learn the skills needed for a new job or to cope with the demands of a training course.
Tests of attainment assess specifically what people have learnt e.g. mathematical ability or typing skills. Of course what people have learned does depend on their ability in that domain in the first place so the scores on the two types of test are conceptually linked.
The major difference between tests of ability and tests of attainment is in the way the scores from both types of test are used. Many ability test items look identical to those on attainment tests but attainment tests are different in one crucial respect - they are traditional. They focus on what has been learnt and on what a person knows and can do now. Ability tests are potential. They focus on what the person is capable of achieving in the future or their potential to learn. Bear in mind that some attainment is required before certain abilities can be measured, for instance,
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