Today students are spoiled for choice, their world is full of competition to be the best. And more often than not career choices and decisions are easily influenced by external factors like parental pressure, peer pressure, salary and remuneration that can be got and prejudices about certain careers in general.
What course/stream do I take? Which college should I go to? Where do I go from here? I am confused about what to do next? These are questions that every student asks during a counselling session. In times of such confusion, they need support in the form of expert and professional advice. This is where the role of counselling comes into existence.
As Guidance Counsellors, our first job is to study the students and understand what they want and why they are showing interest in a particular stream/career. Let the student & parent do most of the talking.
During this discussion you will come to realize that the career choices are most often based on – What my friends are doing, the adventures particular course offers, and the salary package, aptitude and ability are taken into account rarely.
I had a client who wanted to become a pilot, a dream he had since he was in grade 6. But his aptitude for Maths and Physics was very low coupled with a few health issues. It was a tough job to counsel both student and parent and convince them that this was not an ideal career option, ultimately, find the ideal career match for him!!
This is when a psychometric test kicks in. Wikipedia says that a Psychometric Test “Refers to specialist fields within psychology and education and is devoted to testing, measurement, assessment, and related activities. The field is concerned with the objective measurement of skills and knowledge, abilities, attitudes, personality traits, and educational achievement”
And so, a very important and a must-have tool in every Guidance Counsellors arsenal!
TEST, the word conjures up demons and ogres, fear and anxiety, every student’s worse nightmare – TEST!.
To begin with, assure the student that it is NOT a test, it’s an assessment tool. There are no right or wrong answers, no good or bad reports and no one fails a psychometric test. You don’t need to cram and burn the midnight oil to attempt one. You just need a calm and quiet mind.
These are a set of questions that help us to understand and assess the student, their mindset and if they are suitable for that field of study that they want to choose and wish to pursue.
The next question: When is a good time to administer a Psychometric Test and which test to administer?
The ideal time for a student’s psychometric test would be from Grade 8 and 9. In another couple of years, they will have to decide on the course of study, choose subjects they would want to pursue. Therefore, this is a time that a “Stream Selector and a Personality Test” should be administered. These two tests coupled with each other aim at identifying a stream, (Maths, Science, Commerce, Arts, Humanities etc) with personality traits, that will be best suited for the applicant.
Students in grades 10 and 11, even 12 can be administered an “Ideal Career and a Personality Test” like the Stream Selector test, the Q&A in this is aimed at identifying career options. The results show a list of Ideal Career options available to the student.
Armed with these results a career counsellor can approach students, explain the results. This is the time to advise them for a future course of action and prepare a road map for them. Give suggestions but let them reflect on the choices and come up with alternatives if required. Advice the clients based on what they want v/s their ability to achieve the goal. Help them to make an informed decision by referring to the test results.
The point to keep in mind is that the results of a psychometric test do not bound or predict the final word; the test only shows various alternatives mapped out for a student. However, these psychometric tests are recommended as they give insights into what can be achieved and how.
The biggest advantage of psychometric testing is not limited to students finding their right career pathways. It shows the abilities and interests of students to help them throughout their career.
This way these psychometric tests help career counsellors in discovering the interests, and abilities of their students. According to the results, you can ask your students to take up the right career path and choose the right career.
If you are passionate about helping students in making the right career choices and want to enter the career counselling industry, become a Global Career Counsellor. This is an industry-ready program offered by Univariety in Collaboration with UCLA Extension. The program helps individuals to develop and sharpen their career counselling skills within 50 hours. The Global Career Counsellor Program has helped more than 5720 candidates to polish their counselling skills and transform their careers.