Meaning of Objective Type Test

An objective test is a psychological test that measures an individual’s characteristics independently of rater bias or the examiner’s own beliefs, typically by administering a bank of questions marked and compared against exacting scoring mechanisms that are completely standardised, much like examinations. Objective exams are sometimes contrasted with projective tests, which are subject to the beliefs of the rater or examiner.

Projective tests are based on Freudian psychology (psychoanalysis) and aim to reveal people’s unconscious perceptions. Objective tests have more validity than projective tests; nonetheless, they are still subject to the examinee’s desire to be honest about his/her personality and, as a result, can occasionally be inaccurate representations of the individual’s genuine personality. Projective tests are said to reveal parts of people’s personalities that are hard to quantify using objective tests and are far more reliable at revealing “protected” or unconscious personality characteristics or features.

An objective test is built by following a rigorous protocol which includes the following steps:

  • Making choices on nature, objective, target population, and power.
    Creating a question bank.
  • Estimating the validity of the questions through statistical procedures and/or expert judgement.
  • Creating an application format (a clear, easy-to-answer questionnaire, or an interview, etc.).
  • Identifying which questions perform better in terms of discrimination, clarity, and simplicity of answer when tested on a pilot sample.
  • Using a new questionnaire or interview on a sample.
  • Using proper statistical approaches to generate test norms