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A performance test is an assessment that requires an examinee to actually perform a task or activity, rather than simply answering questions referring to specific parts. The purpose is to ensure greater fidelity to what is being tested. they are particularly used in the assessment of nonverbal aspects of behavior such as motor performance.
An example is a behind-the-wheel driving test to obtain a driver's license. Rather than only answering simple multiple-choice items regarding the driving of an automobile, a student is required to actually drive one while being evaluated.
Performance tests are commonly used in workplace and professional applications, such as professional certification and licensure. When used for personnel selection, the tests might be referred to as a work sample. A licensure example would be cosmetologists being required to demonstrate a haircut or manicure on a live person. The Group-Bourdon test is one of a number of psychometric tests which trainee train drivers in the UK are required to pass.
Some performance tests are simulations. For instance, the assessment to become certified as an ophthalmic technician includes two components, a multiple-choice examination and a computerized skill simulation. The examinee must demonstrate the ability to complete seven tasks commonly performed on the job, such as retinoscopy, that are simulated on a computer.
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