For most people tests occur throughout one's life. People are administered tests for school, work, and other reasons. Testing can be for various reasons and there are different categories of testing. The major categories of tests are mental ability tests, achievement tests, personality tests, interests and attitudes, and neuropsychological tests. In order to ensure accuracy with testing, it is important to question, compare, and contrast reliability and validity of tests. Reliability deals with the stability of scores and measured traits and validity questions the purpose of the tests and what it measures (Hogan, 2007). Tests are also categorized by how they are given and by how much time one has to complete a test. The reason tests exist is because of the different needs people have, such as scientific reasons, medical reasons, or administrative reasons. Testing individuals can provide much-needed answers for production, progress, and even for life saving reasons.
The term test can be defined as a standardized process that produces information about behavioral and cognitive processes in a quantified manner (Hogan, 2007). Throughout the history of tests and testing, standards for psychological testing has changed and evolved over the years (Camara & Lane, December, 2006). Most people have had at least some experience with testing. As early as childhood, people are given tests for various reasons. Early on children may undergo medical tests and tests given because of educational reasons. Pediatricians often test toddlers for certain behaviors in order to rule out cognitive issues such as autism or speech delay. As people get older, they may encounter other tests such as college placement tests or tests to obtain employment or certifications and licenses. There are many types of tests, some for diagnostic reasons, while others are for measuring intelligence, opinions, or skills.