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How To Interpret Your Candidate Test Scores

Interpreting Test Scores for Skills Tests

These notes will help you interpret the results of a candidate's skills test.  In addition each test has an interpretation video to help you get the most from each candidate report.

Norm Group Tests

If your test has a 'bell curve' analysis it is a norm grouped test.  This means we got a group of suitably qualified candidates to complete the test, and you can compare your candidate against this group.  The tests which are not norm-grouped are the Individual Tax, Business Tax, Bookkeeper, Debits and Credits and Intern / College Graduate Tests.

The norm-group tests give your candidate a percentile score.  The percentile scores measure your candidate against the norm group.

For example, if your CPA Corporate Test candidate achieves a 65th Percentile Score, then you can expect them to achieve a higher score than 64 in 100 Corporate CPA's. A 20th Percentile Score would suggest they would achieve a higher score than 19 in 100 CPA's.

The higher the percentile score achieved by your candidate, the better they have performed against that norm group.

Some high volume recruiters will decide that all new recruits must be at least as skilled and knowledgeable as most of the norm group and will set a benchmark of 50th Percentile. All candidates scoring below this benchmark are rejected. Other employers, especially those looking for skills and knowledge in only one or two of the topics may prefer to concentrate on performance in those topics essential to success in the role and pay less attention to overall scores.

Competency Based Tests

The Bookkeeper Tests, Tax Tests, Debits and Credits and Intern / College Graduate tests are developed using a competency framework.  We used an expert group to grade the questions for quality and set the competency levels.  You can then see if your candidate meets the required competency in the test, vs the competencies you have set out in the job description.  Page 3 of each report provides an overview of performance in determining where the candidate sits on the competency framework.

Accounting or Bookkeeping Topics

For the Topics in each test, you can see the number of questions the candidate answered correctly or incorrectly (omitted questions count as incorrect).

Each topic is broken down into difficulty level to identify the skill and knowledge level your candidate possesses in that topic. A description of likely capabilities at each level is also provided.

Recruiting managers and business owners only interested in one or two topics can concentrate on a candidate’s performance in topics essential to success in the role.

Overall Scores

An overview of test performance gives a quick reference on how many questions your candidate completed in the allocated time of 40 minutes, in terms of how many questions they got correct or incorrect (omitted questions count as incorrect).

You can use this information to identify candidates with lower percentile scores who omitted a number of questions.  A high degrees of accuracy in a smaller number of questions might suggest they worked slowly but accurately in the test, which may keep them in the selection process.

Omitted Questions

Attention should be paid to the number of questions omitted. Because the test is timed, questions are omitted where a candidate chooses to skip a question and also where they run out of time.

To determine whether your candidate ran out of time, look at the cover page to see the time they took to complete the test. If the time is 40:00, then the candidate was still working on the test when their time expired.

Also pay attention to the spread of omitted questions.  High numbers of omitted questions on a certain topic, or on more difficult questions, suggests a candidate 'skipped' questions they couldn't answer.

Individual Questions

The most detailed level of the report lists all 40 questions, the topic areas, and whether they were answered correctly, incorrectly or omitted, allowing selection panels to drill down to explore particular elements of accounting most important to their organization, and their candidates performance against those questions.

Proctoring Interpretation

Follow this link for assistance with interpreting the proctoring report.

Feedback on Candidate Reports

We're very happy to provide individual feedback on candidate reports.  This is particularly useful the first one or two times you use our tests, as it ensures you get the most out of what the reports can tell you.  To access this just Contact Us

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