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Developing, Validating and Analyzing Written Tests (Overview)

"While many types of selection procedures are frequently litigated, none are as vulnerable as the infamous written test. There are at least two reasons for this. First,written tests typically have higher levels of adverse impact against minorities (Sackett,2001; Neisser, 1996) than other types of selection procedures, making them eligible for civil rights litigation. Second, they are sometimes only theoretically related to the job, or not sufficiently related to the job. Despite these drawbacks, written tests are frequently valid predictors of job success and are typically not biased against minorities (SIOP Principles, 2003, p. 32).

For these reasons, employers should complete validation studies on written tests. Completing a thorough validation process helps insure that the test used for selection or promotion is sufficiently related to the job (and includes only test items that Job Experts have deemed fair and effective) and generates documentation that can be used as evidence should the test ever be challenged in an arbitration or civil rights litigation setting."

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