Curricula and Subject Selection • Pre-College Advising

Psychometric Testing & Academic Exploration–Explained

POSTED ON 12/20/2022 BY The Red Pen

Psychometric Testing & Academic Exploration - Explained | The Red Pen

Planning an academic path for your child after grade 10 is overwhelming. With multiple universities, curriculum options, majors and subjects, how do you help your child zero in on areas of interest, which will eventually pave the way for a successful career? The answer lies in effective academic exploration as this helps to develop critical thinking and creativity skills, confidence and independence.

A psychometric test is a great first step to help your child identify their academic areas of interest and potential career pathways. The information and synthesis from a psychometric test can give you a focused trajectory and the confidence to help your child make relevant academic and extracurricular decisions. Let’s find out what these tests entail and how they can benefit your child.

What is a psychometric test?

A psychometric test is a scientific, mind-measuring method that offers insight into a student’s talents, interests and potential. It is often used as an indicator to help students make effective curriculum, subject and future career decisions. Unlike school exams, which assess your child’s knowledge and its application, psychometric tests give your child a better understanding of their inherent strengths and weaknesses in specific academic areas. This is due to the personalised report that your child will receive after completing these tests, which can help them make an informed decision.

What are the general components of a psychometric test?

At The Red Pen, we use the InterQuest Test. It is administered online and takes approximately two and a half hours to complete. It comprises two essential components:

1) The Aptitude Test:

The InterQuest Test’s Aptitude Test assesses your child’s reasoning and cognitive abilities, which will help them determine whether they have the right skills for specific subjects and careers. It assesses and evaluates their strengths in:

  • Numerical reasoning
  • Verbal reasoning
  • Spatial reasoning
  • Abstract reasoning
  • Arithmetic calculation
  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Spelling

What are the benefits of the Aptitude Test?

The Aptitude Test offers an unbiased and independent assessment of your child’s academic capabilities which leads to the discovery of personal strengths. Your child can leverage this while choosing courses, subjects, majors and careers. The Aptitude Test can also trigger essential conversations about mismatched subjects and perceived weaknesses. This can help your child leverage their academic ability or improve in certain areas.

For instance, if your child wants to pursue a career in journalism or communications, they need to demonstrate strong verbal reasoning skills. Similarly, if your child is interested in exploring computer science, it is vital to have high numerical reasoning and arithmetic calculation. If the results do not support your child’s interests, they can make an informed decision about whether to spend time improving these areas or focus on other areas in which they have excelled. Without this awareness, your child may pursue an academic path that isn’t right for them.

At The Red Pen, our counsellors provide extracurricular direction and advice on curriculum and subject selection. They also give you and your child an overview of global undergraduate application processes. Learn more

2) The Careers Questionnaire:

An essential component of the InterQuest Test, the Careers Questionnaire explores interests, values and motivations that can help your child identify the best academic fit for future careers. Based on the answers to 300 questions, your child will receive a personalised interest profile that identifies 50 broad academic areas to explore, ranked in order of areas of academic interest. For example, computer science will be a high-ranking field if your child scores well in math, physics and problem-solving.

What are the benefits of the Careers Questionnaire?

The questionnaire inspires thoughts and discussions around future academic and extracurricular choices. The results provide personalised information and a subject selection matrix to help your child make structured choices about further exploration. Your child can identify their most interesting options and ask the right questions when making academic decisions. If your child bases their subject selection on their strongest interests, they are more likely to gain satisfaction and enjoyment through their educational journey.

How can psychometric tests support academic exploration?

Psychometric testing is a reliable technique which can reveal your child’s suitability for a particular field of study. It removes the guesswork from academic decisions by highlighting your child’s interests, strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if the test results indicate engineering as a potential area of interest, your child can opt for physics, chemistry and mathematics. It’s also an excellent tool if your child is contemplating two or more different academic choices. Psychometric tests help them recognise their abilities and identify study areas more aligned with their aptitude and interests, motivating them to maintain their grades.

However, it is essential to know that psychometric tests are merely one of the many ways to identify future academic interests. There are various other ways in which your child can explore their interests. They can complete short online courses or research papers on platforms such as Coursera, Udemy, EdX, Scholarly and Lumiere Education. Internships are a valuable way to explore different career options related to academic interests. There are also non-academic activities, such as community service, that expose students to different career fields through hands-on projects and experiential learning.

How does The Red Pen support psychometric testing?

The Red Pen uses the InterQuest Test for students in grades 8 to 11. Once your child enrols in our Mentorship Programme or the General Counselling with Psychometric Testing, we will help them identify two to three academic areas of interest. Based on the result, our certified mentors will guide your child to select relevant subjects that match their capabilities and interests. The mentors will also encourage them to engage in extracurricular opportunities, which will further help them explore these academic pathways as well as those they may not have considered. At The Red Pen, we will also guide your child to pursue areas of educational interest that will satisfy them and enable them to fulfil their long-term career goals.

Once your child receives their results, it’s time to choose their subjects and curriculum. For more information on how The Red Pen can assist your child in choosing the right academic path, get in touch with us.