Tests are necessary for the assessment of job skills which will be valuable for any kind of occupation be it skilled or professional at any level and in any type of industry. Other tests such as the aptitude tests or the personality test which falls under the psychometric test category or the verbal reasoning ability skill test etc. are mainly used for analyzing the skills of job applicants. Another two main types of assessment skills are the cognitive and non-cognitive skill tests.
These two tests rely on different designs and are constructed differently but the ultimate result of these two tests complements each other. These two tests are required by various types of industries for hiring potential candidates. On combining these two skills in different areas provides the employers with valuable information which helps in improving the decisions made regarding recruitment, selection, promotion and also training and the development. The information that has been received through the results of cognitive ability test and the non-cognitive tests enables an individual to identify their strengths and weaknesses and also to focus on improving their work in a particular field of work.
Cognitive vs. non-cognitive skill
The cognitive and the non-cognitive skill tests together gives a stronger, clearer and a much more comprehensive picture of an individual. The employers and the employees together get a big advantage from these two tests.
On one hand, we have the cognitive skill test which involves mainly the conscious intellectual effort like the process of thinking, reasoning or remembering. Non-cognitive skills are again related to motivation, integrity, and interpersonal interaction among individuals. It may also involve intellect skills but it is less direct and less conscious than cognitive skills. Soft skills mainly deal with the personality, temperament and the attitudes of an individual.
Cognitive ability skills are also known as hard skills. It involves mainly an individual’s knowledge skill, intelligence, and other motor functions. Most of the jobs these days want candidates who will acquire some of the cognitive ability skills that are mostly associated with obtaining information and completing tasks.
The cognitive ability skills include the conscious intellectual effort of an individual like thinking, remembering or reasoning. During the assessment of these skills, the examinees are required to demonstrate their own capability in certain areas which include mathematics and reading as well.
The assessments of cognitive ability skills mainly include:
- Applied mathematics
- Applied technology
- Business writing
- Listening for understanding
- Locating information
- Reading for information
- Workplace observation
Non-cognitive ability skill is also known as a soft skill. It is mostly associated with the personality, temperament, and attitude of an individual. Almost all the jobs require the job applicants to acquire soft skills or the non-cognitive skills which have to be associated with working with other employees efficiently without any problem and also functioning effectively in the work environment provided.
The non-cognitive ability skill mainly assesses the following:
The soft skills are known to be related mainly with motivation, integrity and interpersonal interaction. They also involve intellect but it is less direct and less conscious than the cognitive ability skill. These skills as said earlier, are mainly associated with the temperament, personality and the attitude of an individual. Most of the job recruiters are in need of job seekers or candidates who have soft skills which will enable them to work better in their respective workplace and also have a good rapport with the other employees of the company. The employees need their workers to work effectively in a given environment. Non-Cognitive skills are considered to be the most important requirement in any job occupation.
Research has shown that the cognitive ability assessment skill has been considered as one of the most important and top predictors of success related to jobs such as job performance, job-related learning, training, and advancement. This assessment skill requires the candidates to perform a specified skill so that they can answer the items correctly without any error. For example- the assessment of applied mathematics mainly involves math problems that are work-related and the examinees are required to solve them by using their math skill and to see if they are getting the answers right or wrong.
Non-Cognitive ability assessment skills are also important predictors of success related to jobs. Unlike the cognitive ability assessment skill, the non-cognitive assessment skill includes statements regarding values, attitudes, and activities. The candidates or the examinees are asked how well a description fits them, how much important value is for the candidates or how much they would like or dislike a particular activity that is given to them.
Since the non-cognitive assessment skills are mainly designed in order to measure the soft skills of an individual. The vital soft skills are most importantly the temperament or the personality characteristics of an individual such as the attitudes, interests, preferences or the values. For example, the aspect of fit assessment mainly tends to reflect how much the individuals value autonomy in their work. On the hand, talent is the tendency to carefully think and plan before taking any action. These are traits which are covered by the talent. So, these are the important soft skill attributes which are measured by these assessments.
Combining the two assessments
The cognitive and non-cognitive skill assessments are known to capture the various unique aspects of work-related competencies in their own individual way. Both of these assessments, together provide a very strong and a more comprehensive and complete, clear picture of the individual taking the tests. The big picture of these two assessments is known to give a lot of benefits to the examinees. The career seekers and current employees benefit by giving them a good, clear understanding of their strengths and the potential challenges that they might face in their work environment. They are also able to identify the areas where they need to improve. It also benefits employers and workplace professionals by enabling them to predict their workplace success. It increases their predictive power.
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