Factors that influence assessment outcomes

Factors that have an impact or influence performance in testing situations include client/student/patient factors, environmental factors, clinician factors, and those involving the actual testing process itself. The factors can vary between students and professionals, but the idea remains the same.

Assessments and Psychometric assessments have become an important part of the corporate culture of today. It helps understand the employees in a better way and adapt to their needs for greater productivity and success.

Factors that influence child and school-based assessment

The challenge – The assessments used in school settings have various degrees of standardization and psychometric properties. It is true to say that most of these have an acceptable level of reliability and validity. The idea is to use these assessment techniques appropriately combined with fidelity to provide useful information about employees. Assessments for the team are necessary and should be done at various levels.

It is important to have a thorough understanding of these factors so that you can communicate in a better way and obtain fruitful results.

Physical Factors

Age level –the chronological age of the student is accounted for in the test
Development level – it
should be considered if the student is developmentally delayed or advanced
Physical disabilities – visual
impairment, hearing loss, speech problems etc.
General health
Has the student eaten?
Did the student get
enough sleep?
Does the student have
a cold, flu, fever etc.?
Is there a history of
substance abuse?
Mental/ Behavioral Factors

It is important to understand students –

Level of motivation
school learning ability level
Specific mental health history
Activity attention level (focused, impulsive, distracted etc.)
Cognitive level (developmentally advanced or delayed)
Overall behaviour (is the Students are aggressive, agitated, anxious, shy, withdrawn, insecure, compulsive etc.)

Home Factors

Is the child homeless?
Is he/she in foster care?
Is the child member of a migrant family?
Is the student a native speaker of another language, is she/he bilingual, or is there primary language at home not English?
Are there any cultural differences?
Do the parents/caregivers take interest in the child’s education?

School Factors

Does the student feel safe and secure at his/her school?
What is the testing environment (classroom/ office lighting, noise level, temperature, amount of interruptions etc.)?
How well the student relates to the teachers and other school professionals?
Does the student have cultural support?
What are the level of student socialization and peer support?
Was the child ever pulled from a class or school event, or does he/she enjoy these activities?
Is the student under or overage for the class?
Does the student have a history of chronic absenteeism?
Was there a fire drill or another unplanned emergency drill?
Rater/Clinician/Teacher Factors Cultural differences (language barrier, implicit basis etc.)
Previous experience with the student (amount and frequency)
Rapport and management skills Familiarity with testing environment and test materials
Fidelity to assessment
qualifications and instructions
Interpretation experience
and knowledge
Factors that influence adult
and other adult assessment

The challenge – Even when the thought process is followed for instrument section,
there are several other factors make their presence felt during the testing
session. It does have a direct impact on the performance and the test results. Clinician
awareness about these factors is important and their potential impact on test
results to ensure maximum performance and most accurate results. The same rules
apply for assessment for
corporate as well.

Physical and Sensory Factors

Hunger/ poor nutrition
Side effects of
Substance use
Altered cognition because
of delirium
Severely impaired
language function
Chronic or acute medical
Impaired gross or fine
motor skills
Slowed psychomotor speed
Mental and Behavioral Factors

Substance abuse
Severely impaired
Significant impulsivity
Cognitive impairment
History of abuse
Significant agitation
Intellectual disability
Poor effort/ lack of
Special mental health
issues (anxiety and depression etc.)


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