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The disadvantages of psychometric testing

Updated April 17, 2017

Psychometric testing involves evaluating a person's psychological attributes including personality and abilities. Often this form of testing is used to during the job interviewing process to analyse potential employees. While psychometric testing can help one gain a better understanding of an individual, it also has four primary disadvantages that can limit its effectiveness.

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Fake Answers

Perhaps one of the biggest disadvantages of psychometric testing is that individuals sometimes give false answers. This can be a particular problem for potential employees who are interviewing for a job position. Sometimes individuals will answer questions with what they think employers want to hear. They try to minimise their negative attributes and maximise the positive ones. In other words, people often want to sell themselves and don't answer all questions honestly.


Psychometric tests tend to label a person as either one thing or another. For example, after taking a test, a person's results might say that he is an introvert. In reality, he is likely to have both introverted and extroverted characteristics. The nature of human beings isn't usually black and white; it tends to often be a grey area. Therefore, the rigid labelling from these tests can often provide inaccurate or misleading results.

Fixed Answers

The majority of psychometric tests rely upon a fixed number of answers. This means that sometimes test takers are forced to choose a certain answer even if none of the answers completely apply to her personality. Human nature is incredibly complex and these tests don't always take this into account. Therefore, the results don't usually offer complete accuracy.

Language Barrier

Another problem with psychometric testing is that non-native English speakers sometimes have difficulty understanding the questions. These individuals may misinterpret what certain questions are asking and answer incorrectly. As a result, the data can be skewed.

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About the Author

Nick Mann

Nick Mann has been a writer since 2005, focusing on home-and-garden topics. He has a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.

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