Three steps to a good (digital) practical test

Three steps to a good (digital) practical test

Besides the well-known knowledge test, the recognition and appreciation of skills is important for various professional groups. To this end, (digital) practical tests are increasingly used. But how do you make sure that what needs to be tested is actually tested and how do you shape such a practical test? In just 3 steps we will help you on your way to a good (digital) practice test.

  1. Core of the profession

Choose a skill that belongs to the core of the profession and make a practical case about it. For example, for a secretary, the skill ‘planning’ is essential. However, this same skill may be less relevant for another professional.

  1. Requirements for good functioning

Name some of the criteria to be tested in the case that distinguish between poorly and well-functioning professionals. What are successful people in your organisation very good at? What leads to success in the profession? Think, for example, of being meticulous for the accountant or customer-oriented for the call centre employee.

  1. Description of behaviour

Once you have described these criteria, describe the corresponding behaviour on three levels: unsatisfactory, satisfactory and good. What does a candidate do as a minimum in order to score satisfactorily on that criterion and what does he do if he does not achieve that level or does it very well?

Some practical tips for the description:

  • Tip 1: Do not describe the criteria too extensively, limit yourself to the core. The more manageable, the better the quality of the assessments and the comparability between the assessors.
  • Tip 2: Do not award too many points per item or criterion, this may cause (large) differences between assessors. What are the chances that the possibility of awarding 20 points will result in that number of points being awarded? This chance is at least a lot bigger with a score of, for example, 0 (for unsatisfactory), 1 (for satisfactory) or 2 (for good).
  • Tip 3: When assessing, do not be too cautious. Point out to the assessors that in terms of score the difference between giving a satisfactory instead of a good is the same as that between an unsatisfactory and a satisfactory. There is a difference of one point between the two. You want to avoid the middle ground as much as possible.

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