Psychometrician

Pychometricians practice the science of measurement, or psychometrics.

 

Summary

Psychometrics is the science of measuring psychological attributes, such as intelligence or understanding. Tests are one way to assess these intangible qualities. And psychometri­cians’ work ensures that each test is reliable and that all test results are valid. When creating a test, psychometricians might start by determining its basic structure: which format to use, such as multiple-choice or short-answer questions; how many ques­tions to ask; and the levels of difficulty of the questions. Psychometricians then set the time that will be allotted to take the test and make decisions about scoring, such as how many points to assign each question.

Most psychometricians work with subject-matter experts to identify what a test taker should know to be competent in a particular discipline. The subject-matter experts write questions and answers. Then, everyone works together to make sure that the test covers the right material and conforms to the plan. After new test content has been created, psychometricians make sure that it is sound. They might do this by conducting pilot tri­als—essentially, a test of the test.

Psychometricians also analyze test results. For example, they make scores comparable from different versions of a test. And they use score data to create reports or make recom­mendations—such as suggesting curriculum changes for improving student performance.

Many of the assessments that psychome­tricians work on have significant implications for test takers. Some psychometricians, for example, design the licensure exams that give teachers, lawyers, and others permission to work in their fields. Other psychometricians design instruments to evaluate factors ranging from career interests to mental health, all of which can affect decisions about the future.

 

Educational Requirements

Many psychometricians have a master’s degree or Ph.D., usually in a subject such as educational measurement, quantitative psychology, or sta­tistics. Most people enter the discipline from a related field, such as statistics, mathematics, computer science, or psychology.

 

Salary Range

$50,000-$100,000

 

Want to know more?

Bureau of Labor Statistics-Psychometrician

We Use Math-Psychometrician

 

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ETS Educational Measurement, Psychometrics, and Research LinkedIn Group

Research, Methodology, and Statistics in the Social Sciences LinkedIn Group

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Information retrieved from http://weusemath.org/?career=psychometrician, http://www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2011/fall/yawhat.pdf

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