What Are Restricted Tests

What Are Restricted Tests

Restricted tests may not be purchased by an individual unless (s)he possesses certain credentials. Tests are generally grouped into 3 restriction categories...

  1. Tests which anyone may purchase who has a knowledge of how tests may be used... known as level A, category 1, or level 1 tests.
  2. Tests where some formal experience and knowledge of testing is required. The publisher requires that the test purchaser has a level of knowledge sufficient to use the test before allowing sale... known as level B, category 2, or level 2 tests.
  3. Tests which are restricted for sale only to members of a professional association which certifies the individual is licensed to practice psychology or psychiatry... known as level C, category 3, or level 3 tests.

What Does This mean?

It means one can only buy tests which may be useful in conducting legitimate business. The restrictions listed above will not normally prevent anybody from obtaining any test which could be used effectively.

Level 1 tests

Users of level 1 tests should know as much about tests as is contained in this article, and must have a work related reason for obtaining the test. This may include teaching or research in the field of psychology at a college or university.

Level 2 tests

Users of level 2 tests must meet the criteria for level 1 and must in addition meet the requirements of the publisher as regards elegibility for the specific test. The requirements are seldom much different from those for level 1.

Level 3 tests

Level 3 tests are restricted to use by professional psychologists, psychiatrists, or those with a similar suitable designation. Level 3 tests include those which are useful in the assessment of psychopathology. These tests often require careful interpretation. Frequently, useful results can only be obtained by people with training in the use of the specific test. If you are curious about this type of test, we suggest that much more can be learned about testing and about psychology from texts which are freely available in every library, and from courses taught in colleges and universities, than can be learned from a copies of tests.

Why Restrict Tests

If individuals are to be given tests for any reason, and if the test's validity relies on these individuals not having seen the test prior to administration, then it is evident that such tests must not be given out to general circulation. This is more important for standardized tests than it is of the final exam on which a teacher will base student grades. Since standardized tests can only be developed at great expense -- through specialized knowledge and extensive research -- it becomes much more important that knowledge of test content be safeguarded from the general public.

From the above one can see that test publishers find themselves in a somewhat paradoxical position. They make their money by selling copies of tests, however, they cannot generally distribute tests without destroying the utility of (and future sales of) their product. To ensure that a test will continue to be useful, publishers classify their standardized test products according to who may purchase them. Publishers expect that users will not destroy a test that is purchased by showing it to people unnecessarily. Test purchasers are expected to keep tests under lock and key, and to see that all copies of tests are destroyed when they are no longer required. This expectation is not to be confused with the legal copyright under which test purchasers must buy copies of tests from the publisher rather than reproduce them locally.

Psychology and Restricted tests

No group relies on the availability and validity of standardized tests more than professional psychologists. Early on, the American Psychological Association (APA) developed guidelines for the handling and use of testing materials. The present standards are a joint creation of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), APA, and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME). The standards are set out to assist members in understanding the proper handling of tests.

Most provinces in Canada and U.S. States have Professional Psychologists Associations, and most of these associations have now endorsed the AERA, APA, NCME Standards as written.

Note: we do not sell tests directly to students without the written consent of an instructor/supervisor who is expected to be responsible for the proper handling of the tests by the student. This is not an effort to keep materials out of the hands of students, but is rather an attempt to help Universities and professors in their efforts to maintain control of human subject research.

Copyright © 2006, M.D. Angus & Associates Ltd.

mdangus@psychtest.com