Interpreting the Test Response Data Report

Perhaps it is a character flaw, but I have never enjoyed reading long technical reports. In my early years as a practitioner in Human Resources, I was typically so busy that I did my best to gain the key information I needed from written materials by skimming them. This approach worked a large percentage of the time and yet there was more than one time when I would have benefited from having read an entire document thoroughly.

My days of skimming ended when one of the jurisdictions I had just started working for was sued by the Department of Justice for patterns and practices of discrimination in their entry-level hiring and promotional processes. One of the important lessons that came out of defending that lawsuit was how critical it is to read all important documents thoroughly.

In that regard, if you are one of the jurisdictions who has made the choice to utilize IPMA-HR’s public safety tests, you may be overlooking a wealth of information if you do not take the time to read thoroughly the “Test Response Data Report,” which is available to Test Security Agreement signers on request. Review of this report will provide you with some key information regarding the test and how your candidates performed in comparison to how all test takers combined performed.

The beauty of this report is in its simplicity. Unlike typical research studies that are weighed down with a lot of technical jargon, this report comes complete with all the information necessary to understand it. While a background in statistics may be helpful in applying significance to some of the information, it is not required to understand the report. To its credit, the document also provides a concise explanation of adverse impact and makes it clear that adverse impact does not equal discrimination. Continue reading