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Test FAQs

Important: Some of the information below is specific to North America and does not necessarily apply to all the tests we carry or which are showcased on this website. If you have any questions or concerns about any specific instrument, please contact us.

  1. Why should I test job applicants?
  2. Does testing really work? Can it really tell me anything that I couldn't find out on my own?
  3. Does COD develop and publish the tests?
  4. Pricing: Why aren't your prices online?
  5. How Do I Choose The Right Test? (goes to a new page)
  6. Test formats:

  7. What formats are your tests available in?
  8. Are all your tests available in electronic format?
  9. Administration & scoring:

  10. Who scores the tests and how long does it take?
  11. Can I score the tests myself?
  12. Do I need special training to administer and score a test?
  13. Test development:

  14. Can tests be customized?
  15. Can I develop a test myself?
  16. Legalities:

  17. Is testing legal?
  18. Do your assessments comply with the Federal and Provincial laws in Canada?
  19. Can your assessments be used outside of the US and Canada?

1. Why should I test job applicants?

Standardized testing of skills, aptitudes and attitudes provides better and more accurate information than using resumes, interviews and reference checks alone. Many employers tend to rely on intuition and “gut instinct” rather than proven, objective procedures to select applicants for employment, placement or promotion. Traditionally, employers relied upon the standard (and subjective) methods, such as interviews, reference checks and resumes and in the past, personnel selection has been treated as more of an art than a science.

However, many research studies and undesirable outcomes have shown that these subjective techniques simply do not work well or consistently. Such techniques have at least two major limitations:

  1. the evaluation process is not identical for each candidate, and
  2. subjective procedures are not very accurate.

Using legal, valid, reliable, proven and standardized tests means that every applicant is examined in the same way and enables employers to uncover skills, abilities, facets and flaws that may never come to light in any other way. When you consider the way that most applicants are assessed, it’s surprising that anyone would even expect to hire qualified individuals consistently. Ultimately, testing can help you avoid hiring someone else’s rejects and should help to confirm what you think that you already know about a person.

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2. Does testing really work? Can it really tell me anything that I couldn't find out on my own?

Yes. It really does. People are generally very honest when answering questionnaires. However, if they aren't, many tests are designed to catch those who "lie" or try to skew the results in their favour by providing “socially acceptable” answers. People often ask us how one can test for honesty. They make the assumption that if someone's not honest, then they will give dishonest answers on a test. Correct?

Wrong! People who are dishonest (likely to steal from their employer for example) have a mindset that dictates that they are "normal" and that everyone else thinks like they do. This is a common human trait that we all share and which assessments can capitalize upon. For example, if one is the type of person who thinks that it's OK to "borrow" money from the cash register on a Friday night (even if they honestly intend to repay it), they tend to believe that other people would also do this and see nothing wrong with it. Therefore, when given a test that measures honesty, people like this tend to be very honest and open about how dishonest they actually are. The test will identify that as an undesirable trait and recommend that the individual not be hired.

What's more, if you had simply asked the question in an interview, it is not very likely that the person would have admitted to that type of behaviour to your face. Testing can tell you things that you simply can't find out by any other method.

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3. Does COD develop and publish the tests?

No. While we do not create our own instruments, we only deal with the best test developers who produce high-quality products that have stood the test of time.

Developing a test and conducting the research trials needed to prove that it is accurate, valid, reliable, and measures what it says it will measure, takes a great deal of time and money. The tests that we offer have undergone rigorous validity testing and are used by a wide range of companies. We have access to many different kinds of tests and new tests are being developed all the time.

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4. Pricing: Why aren't your prices online?

Due to the wide range and number of test formats, parts, versions and selling quantities available, it's often difficult to accurately determine what the costs are or should be.

We carry a wide number of instruments, often available in different versions or multiple complimentary parts. Prices vary widely and, in many cases, tests are sold in minimum quantities but are sometimes also sold individually. We can help by providing you with specific information and helping you to determine which format or version will best suit your needs and your budget. Therefore, we have provided information on each tool but encourage you to contact us to discuss your needs in more detail. Part of our job is to help you find the most appropriate tool for your needs and make recommendations for other assessments that you may wish to consider. Often, people enquire about a particular tool but would be better served by something completely different but simply aren’t aware of what else is available. The test that we recommend might even be better or cheaper than the one that first caught your eye! A quick conversation will enable us to perform a needs analysis and help you find the right tool for the job.

Volume discounts are available for larger quantities. We can also source unusual or specific tools that are not generally available.

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6. Test formats: What formats are your tests available in?

Different tests are available in different formats:

  • Online tests are taken via the Internet.
  • Computer-based tests can be administered and scored on a computer in-house using the software we provide.
  • Paper tests are usually hand-scored by the test administrator or self-scored by the person who takes the test.

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7. Test formats: Are all your tests available in electronic format?

No. We offer many online tests and are constantly adding new tools as they become available; but many are still only available in paper-and-pencil formats. Some tests simply haven’t been converted to electronic formats yet; other tests will never be available online because their applications don’t lend themselves to online administrations.

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8. Administration & scoring: Who scores the tests and how long does it take?

Different tests may be scored in different ways:

  • Online tests are automatically scored via the Internet.
  • Computer-based tests can be administered and scored on a computer in-house using the software we provide.
  • Self-scoring tests can be scored by hand by the person taking the test or sometimes via a 1-800 number.
  • Paper tests are usually scored by the test administrator.
  • Other tests are scored by us: you send us the tests by email or fax; we score the test and send you back a complete report.

The scoring time for tests ranges from instantaneous (online) to up to ten-fifteen minutes per test (paper/hand-scored).

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9. Administration & scoring: Can I score the tests myself?

Yes, in most cases, scoring is done for you automatically, or can be scored on-site by you or your staff.

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10. Administration & scoring: Do I need special training to administer and score a test?

The majority of our tests have been designed for use by employers or HR Managers and require no special training or licensing. However, some tests must be administered under controlled conditions or proctored and/or scored and interpreted by trained professionals. For instance, most personality tests are only available to psychologists and those with specific training or qualifications.

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11. Test development: Can tests be customized?

Sometimes yes, but there are a large number of standardized, validated tests available; customization is rarely necessary.

Customizing a test is very costly and time-consuming, and often requires re-validation. Validation entails completing a series of studies to measure it against known tests and variables. This process can run into thousands of dollars in costs. Using a test that has not been validated can leave you open to a lawsuit if you are unable to prove that the test is valid and does what you say it does.

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12. Test development: Can I develop a test myself?

Yes, but you should have the qualifications to do so, meaning graduate level training in tests, measurements, statistics and psychology. Test development is done by trained professionals. Creating and using your own test, without being able to prove that it is accurate, reliable, non-discriminatory and measures what it was designed to measure, can leave you wide open to costly lawsuits. Unless you have a very unique and specialized testing need, you should be able to find a standardized tool that will provide the information you want.

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13. Legalities: Is testing legal?

Canadian Flag Canadians

Due to Canadian Human Rights legislation, tests containing Drug Avoidance scales may not always be legal for use in Canada.

Yes. In most jurisdictions is it legal to test people for skills, attitudes or aptitudes that have been demonstrated as requirements for success for the job in question. Creative Organizational Design cannot provide legal advice or information about specific legislation in various jurisdictions. It is the responsibility of the end-user to comply with local employment laws and related regulations. If you are unsure about whether a particular tool may be used in your jurisdiction, we encourage you to query your legal counsel or appropriate legislative body.

Different States, Provinces and countries have specific employment legislation. Tests that measure "job-specific" skills or aptitudes that are a necessary requirement for a position can always be used legally to pre-screen employees. However, be aware that not every test can be used in every case. Some tests are designed specifically to be used only for pre-employment and cannot be used on existing employees. Others have certain measurements that may or may not be legal to use in your particular State, Province or country.

Legal assessment practices: One may decline to hire an applicant for a customer service position if they do not have the required customer service skills. For example, one may reasonably refuse employment to a person applying for a proofreading job if they cannot read. However, you may not use an IQ (intelligence) test for pre-employment purposes because it probably cannot be proven that a high IQ is essential for success a particular job. Personality tests generally fall under the same restrictions. Although some tests are based on personality measures and are acceptable, generally, one may not use a personality test as a pre-selection tool for pre-screening applicants.

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14. Legalities: Do your assessments comply with the Federal and Provincial laws in Canada?

In general, the human rights laws of Canada are fairly similar to those in the United States and prohibit discrimination based on characteristics that are not job-related such as gender, race, and religious beliefs. Test developers work closely with legal experts and with employment laws in mind in order to ensure their ability to be sold and used widely. Some tests have been modified to take into account certain differences in cultures or offered in different languages. For instance, Canadian laws prohibit discrimination against those dependent on drugs and alcohol. We offer some special tests for Canadians that do not contain drug-avoidance measures. Some are also available in Canadian French.

Creative Organizational Design cannot provide legal advice or information about specific legislation in various jurisdictions. It is the responsibility of the end-user to comply with local employment laws and related regulations. If you are unsure about whether a particular tool may be used in your jurisdiction, we encourage you to query your legal counsel or appropriate legislative body.

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15. Legalities: Can your assessments be used outside of the US and Canada?

Many customers use instruments outside the US and Canada. It is impossible to be knowledgeable about the employment law for all possible locations. Generally, most tests can be used in most countries. However, there may be issues to contend with. For example, the test may not take into account cultural differences or may not be available in the necessary language. Translating a test can change the use or meaning of words and invalidate the test. It is important to use tests as-is and not make on-site modifications.

If you have concerns about the use of a particular tool, we strongly recommend that you consult with legal counsel familiar with your applicable employment laws or a psychologist within your jurisdiction.

Not sure which test fits your needs? We can help. Contact Us today.

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