Types of employee selection tests are broadly classified into five types as under:- A. Aptitude Tests B. Achievement Tests C. Situational Tests D. Interest Tests E. Personality Tests.

These are further sub-classified into-

A: Aptitude tests are:- 1. Intelligence Tests 2. Mechanical Aptitude Tests 3. Psychomotor Tests 4. Clerical Aptitude Tests.

B: Achievement tests are:- 1. Job Knowledge Tests 2. Work Sample Tests.


C: Situational tests:- 1. Group Discussion 2. In-Basket 3. Assessment Centres

D: Interest tests

E: Personality tests are:- 1. Objective Tests 2. Projective Tests.

Types of Employee Selection Tests – Aptitude Tests, Achievement Tests, Situational Tests, Interest Tests and Personality Tests

Types of Selection Tests

Types of selection tests are broadly classified into five types as under:

1. Aptitude Tests:


These tests aim at measuring if an individual has the capacity or latent ability to learn a given job, in case he is given adequate training.

Different aptitude tests are as under:

(i) Intelligence Tests:

These tests, as evident from their name, measure intelligence quotient of the candidate. In detail, these tests measure capacity for comprehension reasoning, word fluency, verbal comprehension, numbers, memory and space. Other factors are such as digit spans forward and backward information known, comprehension, vocabulary, picture arrangement and object assembly.


Intelligence tests comprise of the following sample learning, ability, the adaptability tests, etc.

(ii) Mechanical Aptitude Tests:

To evaluate the capacities of spatial visualisation, perceptual speed and knowledge of mechanical matter mechanical aptitude tests are held. These tests are useful when selection is to be made of apprentices, skilled, mechanical employees, technicians, etc.

(iii) Psychomotor Tests:


These tests measure abilities like manual dexterity motor ability and mind and coordination of candidates. These tests are of great use to select semi-skilled workers for repetitive operations like packing, watch assembly.

(iv) Clerical Aptitude Tests:

Specific capacities that are involved in office work are measured through this test. This test includes the items like spelling, computation, comprehension, copying, word measuring, etc.

2. Achievement Tests:

These tests are conducted in case, it is claimed by the applicants that they know something as extraordinary, as such these tests are concerned with what one has accomplished. These tests are more useful to measure the value of specific achievement, when an organisation wishes to employ experienced candidates.


These tests are classified into two phases:

(i) Job Knowledge Tests:

It is the test under which a candidate is put under test in the knowledge of a particular job. For example, if a junior lecturer applies for the job of a senior lecturer in commerce, he may be tested in job knowledge, where he is asked questions about Accountancy Principles, Banking Law and Business Management etc.

(ii) Work Sample Tests:


This is the second phase under which a portion of the actual work is given to the candidate, as a test and the candidate is asked to do it. To illustrate, in case a candidate applies for a post of lecturer in Management, he may be asked to deliver a lecture on Management Information System as a work sample test.

3. Situational Tests:

This test makes evaluation of a candidate in a similar real life situation. The candidate is asked either to cope with the situation or solve critical situations of the job.

It can be divided as under:

(i) Group Discussion:


As it is clear from its name that this test is administered through a group discussion approach to solve a problem under which candidates are observed in the areas of initiating, leading, proposing valuable ideas, conciliating skills, oral communicating skills, coordinating and concluding skills.

(ii) In-Basket:

Situational test is administered through in-basket. The candidate, in this test, is supplied with actual letters, telephone and telegraphic message, reports and requirements by various officers of the organisation, adequate information about the job and organisation. The candidate is asked to take decisions on various items based on the in-basket information regarding requirements in the memoranda.

(iii) Assessment Centres:

Assessment centre provides wide-ranging holistic assessment of each participant as it is a process that makes evaluation of a candidate’s potential for management on the basis of three sources viz., multiple assessment technique such as situational tests, standardised methods of making inferences and pooled judgements for multiple assessors to rate each candidate’s behaviour.

4. Interest Tests:

Likes and dislikes of candidates in relation to work, job, occupations, hobbies and recreational activities are determined through this test. The objective of this test is to find out whether a candidate is interested or disinterested in the job for which he is a candidate and to find out in which area of the job range/occupation the he is interested in. This test is based on the assumption that there is a high correlation between the interest of a candidate in a job and job success.

5. Personality Tests:


The aim of these tests is to evaluate the whole personality of the candidate such as his emotional reactions and maturity and characteristic mood. They are expressed in such traits like self-confidence, tact, emotional control, optimism, decisiveness, sociability, conformity, objectivity, patience, fear, distrust, initiative, judgment, dominance or submission, impulsiveness, sympathy, integrity, stability and self-confidence.

The personality tests are of two kinds:

(i) Objective Tests – Objective tests are suitable for group testing and can be scored objectively.

(ii) Projective Tests – Under this, candidates are asked to project their own interpretation of certain standard stimulus situations, basing on ambiguous pictures, figures etc., under these tests.

Types of Selection Tests

These five tests have been subdivided as follows:

1. Aptitude Test:

This test is commonly used to judge the latest (existing but not yet developed) ability of a candidate to know new job skills. This will enable to understand whether a candidate is selected would be having the inclination of mechanical or clerical jobs. The aptitude test will guide the following forms of like Medicine, Art, Music, Painting or Clerical and many other activities. This test may lead to mental or intelligence test, mechanical aptitude test or psychomotor tests.


This test is further subdivided into 4 tests:

(a) Mental or Intelligence test

(b) Mechanical Aptitude test,

(c) Psychomotor test, and

(d) Clerical aptitude test.

(a) Mental or intelligence test – This form of test measures the overall intelligence activity or IQ (Intelligence Quotient) of a person. It also measures the capacity for comprehensive reasoning, word fluency, verbal comprehension and other factors like digital span both forward and backward comprehension. But this test is proved to be dull as a selection device.


(b) Mechanical Aptitude Test – This test estimates capacity of spatial visualisation, perceptual accuracy and knowledge of mechanical aspects. This test is useful for selecting skilled mechanical employees and technicians.

(c) Psychomotor test – This test accounts for abilities like manual dexterity, motorability and coordination of individuals. It is also used for selection of semi­skilled workers, who can assist the main work force.

(d) Clerical aptitude test – Test look on specific capacities required for office work, which includes checking and correcting spelling mistakes, copying, typing letters, keeping office records and files and despatching of mail from one place to another as an office administrative requirements.

2. Achievement Test:

This test is conducted when an applicant claims to know some special professional knowledge. It is useful to understand the quantum of specific knowledge the individual possesses at the time of an employment needed by the organisation to select experienced candidate.

This test includes:

(a) Job knowledge test and


(b) Work sample test.

(a) Job knowledge test – In this test a candidate is examined for the knowledge he possesses. For instance, to promote a junior person to a seminar post, e.g., a LDC (Lower Division Clerk) to UDC (Upper Division Clerk) in an organisation.

(b) Work sample test – A worker is doing his work of moulding section in a workshop of the company. To find out his capability, the in charge of the section may give him to mould a hot liquid material into a shape of one inch metal plate. If he succeeds in moulding the desired shape; he can be rated as an experienced “Sheet Metal Worker.”

3. Situational Test:

This test is used to find out basic characteristics of an individual, viz., value system, reactions and maturity, etc. A candidate is observed in his real life situation. In this he is told to involve himself with other candidates to solve a critical situation by bringing out his ideas.

(a) Group Discussion:

A topic of common interest is given to the group to discuss and to arrive at a conclusion. In this the candidates’ ability to communicate with others, leadership quality, introducing valuable ideas, coordinating skill and ability to converse and conclude the subject in a cordial manner are judged.


(b) Basket Test:

This is another type of situational test conducted through a basket containing different type of letters, requests, orders, etc., to be analysed by the candidates after going through the contents of varied documents in the basket.

After studying contents of each appropriate reply is to be made or solution is to be found by the individuals. In this a candidate’s capability to understand the subject of each paper and will bring out his perception, conception, investigation and decision making capabilities as a leader.

4. Interest Test:

It is the state of wanting to know something about or a capacity about a subject arousing in a person, who is normally non-intellectual in nature. This test-is an inventory of “likes and dislikes” of a person. The assumption of the test is that there is correlation between the interest of a person in his job and attaining success.

5. Personality Test:

Personality attributes are considered as important since they effect the entire behavioural pattern of a person. Personality refers to the im­pression which an individual forms on others. They are expressed in such traits like self-confidence, tact, conformity emotions, control opinion, decisiveness sociability, so on and so forth.

(a) Objective test – Most of the personality tests are objective tests, as they are suitable for group tests and can be scored objectively.

(b) Projective test – The test projects interpretation of certain ‘stimulus’ situ­ations on confused form of pictures and figures.