Adaptive assessments automatically adapt to the ability of the candidates based on how they answer the questions. Such tests, also called Computerised Adaptive Testing (CAT), are powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies. Ideally, the questions in adaptive testing start at a medium level of difficulty. Then the difficulty level and order of questions vary based on the answers given by the candidates. For example, if the algorithm feels the candidate found it easy to answer, the difficulty level is scaled up and vice versa. Therefore, every candidate will get a unique test paper that helps elicit their competencies accurately, which makes for a level playing field.
The modern education system understands the importance of adaptive assessments. Schools and colleges have started implementing the same to make education more inclusive. The traditional assessment approach led to inequities in scores, which also meant it did not correctly reflect the test-takers ability. Adaptive assessments are an intelligent testing approach that adapt to the cognitive capabilities of the candidates.
In employment assessments, all the above principles apply more significantly. Every candidate has varying levels of competencies that map to different skill sets in a JD. Hence, gauging all candidates based on the same assessment may not help find the best-fit candidates for a specific job. Adaptive assessments are an apt solution that benefit employers and candidates alike.
To better appreciate adaptive assessments, let’s see their top five benefits.
- Positive candidate experiences
In a typical assessment scenario, candidates who find the first few questions challenging may get overwhelmed. Anxiety creates a psychological barrier, and they may forget what they do know as well. In adaptive testing, they feel comfortable since the algorithm adapts the questions to the candidate’s ability level. Also, candidates feel sufficiently challenged to proceed further since the algorithm adjusts the difficulty level to keep their interest alive.
Thus, candidates get a positive assessment experience. Also, smart candidates who cope with increasing difficulty levels get shorter tests. This aspect matters because many quality candidates drop out of the hiring process if they feel the testing process is time-consuming and not worthwhile.
- Improved accuracy
‘Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.’
Many of us have come across this saying, applicable to traditional assessment systems. Adaptive testing scores on this count as it adjusts the test questions to assess the capabilities of candidates more accurately. Also, it follows a weightage system to calculate percentiles and maintain scoring consistency across candidates. As an employer, the percentiles allow you to compare apples to apples and not oranges!
- Enhanced hiring integrity
Since no two candidates receive the same question paper, test integrity is high in adaptive assessments. There is limited scope for malpractices. Every candidate’s question paper will be a unique combination, pulled randomly from the question bank to suit their capabilities. Hence, each assessment will be unique and scores more reliable.
- Higher efficiency
Since the questions keep adapting to the skill level of the candidates, the tests will be shorter. The candidates will quickly reach questions challenging their faculties and not spend more time answering many questions they find easy. Thus the overall assessment efficiency improves significantly. According to some studies, adaptive assessments reduce the time to deliver accurate results by 50%, while improving precision significantly.
- Customisable and updated question bank
Since AI and ML algorithms power adaptive assessments, employers get access to comprehensive test reports and associated insights. Analysing these helps understand many aspects that aid fine tuning question banks further. You can customise question types and difficulty levels for specific skills or adjust the weightage of questions for more accurate assessment. You can even remove any biases you find to enhance the reliability of hiring decisions. A customisable, updated question bank adds to the success factor of adaptive assessments.
Adaptive assessments are steadily gaining ground as the corporate world looks to leverage every opportunity to become more inclusive in its quest for quality talent. Adapt your recruitment process to incorporate them and reap the benefits of efficiency and better quality of hires.